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10 Best Nespresso Vertuo Pods and Where to Buy Online Guide!

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Sasha Pavlovich

03/25/2022 · 11 min reading

What do we want? Coffee! When do we want it? Now!

You’ll find a lot of single-serve brewers out there. Versatility is the Nespresso Vertuo line’s super-power. You can brew just a single shot of espresso, a rich cup of coffee, or, if you have the VertuoNext machine, you can brew an 18-ounce carafe to share. The unique brewing method delivers an excellent cup in less than a minute.

So, if you’ve decided you want a Vertuo coffee machine, or already have one, then you’re faced with the question of which capsule to buy. This guide is designed to help make sense of the variety available so you can easily choose the best capsule for you.

What are Nespresso Vertuo Pods?

A Nespresso Vertuo pod is a capsule of ground coffee designed to be used with a single-serve coffee machine from Nespresso’s Vertuo line. The Vertuo line is the second generation of Nespresso coffee machines.

The Vertuo capsules come in a range of roasts and types of beans. They also come in a variety of sizes: 1.35-ounce shot of espresso, 2.7-ounce shot of espresso, 5-ounce strong cup of coffee (called a Gran Lungo), 7.8-ounce cup of coffee, or 18-ounce carafe.

Each capsule has a barcode on it. It is imprinted under the rim of the capsule This barcode is read by the Vertuo machine. Information on the barcode details exactly how the machine should brew the coffee inside. Things like water temperature, the force of water flow, and how much water to use are included.

Difference Between Nespresso Original Capsules and Nespresso Vertuo Pods

The Nespresso company was formed in 1986 in Switzerland. The company is owned by, but independent from, the Nestle Group. The original machines made espresso only and used 19 bars of pressure to extract the coffee. In 2014, the Vertuo line was introduced. These machines offered versatility. The machines use a Centrifusion system to extract coffee. They can brew regular coffee as well as a concentrated coffee similar to espresso.

Original Nespresso Machines and Capsules

The Original Nespresso machines introduced the world to pre-portioned, single-serve espresso designed to be brewed at home. In the beginning, Nespresso offered four different coffee varieties: Capriccio, Cosi, Bolero, and Decaffeinato. Today, you can find 29 different Nespresso-brand capsules for the Original line machines.

But you can brew an even wider variety of coffees with an Original machine. Many third-party vendors offer capsules that are fully compatible with Original Nespresso machines. This drives down the cost as well as gives you access to an ever-increasing range of coffees.

After you insert the capsule into the machine, you choose what size drink you want. Some Nespresso coffee pods are designed to make a smaller or larger drink, but ultimately you choose how much water will go through. As a result, if you choose a capsule designed for .84-ounce ristretto but press the button for a 3.7-ounce lungo, the result may be a bit watery.

You’ll find a wider range of Original Line Nespresso machines than the Vertuo machines. Small, compact machines can go for around $200. This line also has fully-automated machines which froth the milk and add it to the cup. These high-tech machines tend to be around $650. Capsules for the Original line are less expensive than for Vertuo machines.

Nespresso Vertuo Machines and Capsules

Nespresso Vertuo machines use technology to automatically adjust the pre-wetting time, water temperature, and amount of water used to make your beverage. The barcode is imprinted on the underside of the rim. This takes the guesswork out of wondering how big of a coffee the specific capsule was designed for. It also means that you don’t have leeway as to how strong or weak you want your final brew. The choice is made when you purchase the capsule, and that’s it.

As mentioned above, Vertuo machines extract the coffee by spinning the capsule. It spins at 7,000 rpm. The water saturates the coffee grounds and is forced out through a series of tiny holes just under the rim.

Currently, there are four different Vertuo models. But you won’t find much difference between them. None of them feature an integrated milk steamer. If you like steamed milk in your coffee, you can purchase a bundle package that includes an Aeroccino milk frother.

Prices for Vertuo machines tend to hover around $200, give or take $50. Capsules for the Vertuo line tend to be a little more expensive. Also, because of the barcode technology, there are currently no third-party manufacturers of Vertuo capsules like there are for the Original like.

How to Tell an Original Line From a Vertuo Capsules

You can easily tell the difference between an Original and a Vertuo capsule at a glance. Original capsules are all the same size. They are bullet-shaped, measuring 37mm wide at the top, 24mm wide at the base, and 29mm long. Vertuo capsules vary in size and have a rounded bottom. They are all about 58mm wide at the top. The length varies from about 20mm to over 60mm.

Original and Vertuo Nespresso Pods

Best Nespresso Vertuo Pods Available to Buy

Whether you like a light, mild coffee to start the day or a darkly intense shot of espresso, you’ll find a Nespresso Vertuo capsule to meet your needs.

So, you might have a question: where to buy Nespresso pods?

Here we’ll break down some of the more popular varieties of coffee available to help you get started.

1 Nespresso Voltesso

Nespresso Voltesso
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Nespresso Voltesso is a mild roast. It is a blend of arabica and robusta beans from South America. That means it will have a boosted caffeine content while still retaining good taste. The beans are sourced from independent farmers from Brazil and Colombia. It is light and sweet for a delightful espresso. It has biscuity and winey flavor notes. This capsule is brewed at a lower temperature with a gentle flow for a longer extraction time. This enhances the sweetness.

Key Features

  • 1.35-ounce espresso shot
  • Mild roast
  • Sustainably sourced from Columbia and Brazil
  • Flavor intensity: 4
  • Flavor notes: biscuity, winey

Pros:

  • Light and sweet
  • Rich aroma

Cons:

  • Light roast may not stand up to milk

2 Nespresso Half Caffeinato

Nespresso Half Caffeinato
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This coffee gives a malted cereal aroma. It is a light roast. The arabica and robusta beans are primarily sourced from Brazil with Ethiopian beans added for an enticing aroma. The brew has a rounded body and smooth mouthfeel. With only half the caffeine of regular Vertuo coffees, you can drink more without getting the jitters.

Key Features

  • 7.8-ounce coffee
  • Light-medium roast
  • Sustainably sourced from Brazil and Ethiopia
  • Flavor intensity: 5
  • Flavor notes: biscuity

Pros:

  • Sweet and velvety
  • Half the caffeine of regular coffee (some may consider this a con)
  • 100% arabica beans

Cons:

  • Light roast may not stand up to milk

3 Nespresso Melozio

Nespresso Melozio
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The beans for this smooth, harmonious coffee are sourced from Central and South America. It is primarily Arabica beans with a small percentage of robusta beans. The malt aroma pairs with the honey flavor notes. The Brazilian beans undergo a natural, semi-washed process to yield extra sweetness. The Melozio does best served black.

Key Features

  • 7.8-ounce coffee
  • Medium roast
  • Sustainably sourced from Central and South America
  • Flavor intensity: 6
  • Flavor notes: smooth cereal and a honeyed sweetness

Pros:

  • Available in regular and decaf
  • Sweet and smooth

Cons:

  • May not stand up well to milk

4 Nespresso Intenso

Nespresso Intenso
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This is a dark roast for those who like strong, bold flavor. It is a blend with a heavy dose of washed Guatemalan robusta beans. It also includes Arabica beans from Mexico and other Latin American countries. It offers a pleasant, lingering aftertaste and a thick crema.

Key Features

  • 7.8-ounce coffee
  • Dark roast
  • Sustainably sourced from Mexico, Central, and South America
  • Flavor intensity: 9
  • Flavor notes: brown sugar, caramel

Pros:

  • Deep, intense flavor
  • Stands up well to milk

Cons:

  • Some might find it bitter
  • Doesn't have complex flavors

5 Nespresso Stormio

Nespresso Stormio
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This dark roast is a blend of arabica beans from Nicaragua and Guatemala. These beans were grown in the high mountains of Nicaragua and in the rich, volcanic soil at elevation in Guatemala. The brew has a rich, woody flavor and powerful aroma. It is smooth and full-bodied with a complex aroma. This capsule brews with a longer pre-wetting and at a higher temperature to bring out the spicy, woody notes.

Key Features

  • 7.8-ounce coffee
  • Dark roast
  • Sustainably sourced from Central America
  • Flavor intensity: 8
  • Flavor notes: spicy, woody

Pros:

  • 100% arabica beans

Cons:

  • Has some bitterness

6 Nespresso Odacio

Nespresso Odacio
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This bold yet lively brew is sourced from Nicaragua and Ethiopia. The Nicaraguan beans are dark roasted and bring bold flavor to the cup. The Ethiopian beans are lightly roasted to retain their fruitiness and acidity. This culminates in a complex brew in your cup.

Key Features

  • 7.8-ounce coffee
  • Medium-dark roast
  • Sustainably sourced from Central America and East Africa
  • Flavor intensity: 7
  • Flavor notes: roasty with fruity, acidic aftertaste

Pros:

  • 100% arabica beans
  • Bold, but not overpowering

Cons:

  • People who like traditional dark roasts may not enjoy this blend

7 Nespresso Altissio

Nespresso Altissio
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This is a strong, bold espresso that can stand up to milk. The blend includes robusta beans from Brazil. Arabica beans from other parts of South America bring the intensity of flavor. This is balanced with the lighter, cereal notes of Costa Rican coffee beans. It produces a smooth cup with a velvety, rich mouthfeel. This capsule brews at a high temperature with a longer pre-wetting and a slow flow to deliver a balanced cup.

Key Features

  • 1.35-ounce espresso shot
  • Medium roast
  • Sustainably sourced from Costa Rica and South America
  • Flavor intensity: 9
  • Flavor notes: roasty, cocoa

Pros:

  • Thick, rich crema
  • Available in regular and decaf

Cons:

  • Can be bitter

8 Nespresso Diavolitto

Nespresso Diavolitto
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This intense espresso packs a powerful punch. It has a higher percentage of robusta beans. Because of that, it has a whopping 150mg of caffeine in each shot. The rich aroma has hints of oak wood and leather. Arabica beans from Brazil are blended with robusta beans from Central and South America. The taste is strong, but it has a creamy texture with a smooth finish. This is probably the strongest-tasting Nespresso capsule. The brewing process includes a longer pre-wetting time and heats the water to a higher temperature to get the best flavor possible.

Key Features

  • 1.35-ounce espresso shot
  • Dark roast
  • Sustainably sourced from South and Central America
  • Flavor intensity: 11
  • Flavor notes: roasty, spicy, woody

Pros:

  • 150mg caffeine to get you going
  • Great for making lattes and cappuccinos

Cons:

  • Not for those who want light, fruity, and sweet notes
  • Can be bitter

9 Nespresso Solelio

Nespresso Solelio
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This mild coffee blends arabica beans from Columbia and Kenya. It's one of the mildest coffees that Nespresso offers and makes a great morning coffee. It has a light roast to retain the bright acidity and fruitiness. This coffee is best served black. Despite its light roast, it delivers a full flavor in a well-balanced cup.

Key Features

  • 7.8-ounce coffee
  • Light roast
  • Sustainably sourced from South America and Africa
  • Flavor intensity: 2
  • Flavor notes: toasted cereal, red fruit

Pros:

  • 100% arabica beans
  • Sweet and fruity
  • Great for a morning coffee

Cons:

  • Doesn't stand up to milk

10 Nespresso Arondio

Nespresso Arondio
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This well-rounded coffee has a nice acidity with a hint of bitterness. It's one of the highest-rated for overall taste. The medium-full body is pleasant any time of day. Arondio is a blend of Colombian arabica beans and Guatemalan robusta beans. This capsule is brewed at a higher temperature with an intermediate water flow.

Key Features

  • 5-ounce Gran Lungo
  • Medium roast
  • Sustainably sourced from South and Central America
  • Flavor intensity: 6
  • Flavor notes: cereal, fruity

Pros:

  • Does well with milk

Cons:

  • Slightly bitter

Things to Consider Before You Buy Nespresso Pods

Are you new to the world of Nespresso coffee? Here are some guidelines to help you understand your choices so you can find a coffee that suits your taste.

Arabica or Robusta?

Do you turn up your nose to robusta beans? I used to just completely dismiss them. Yes, they have more caffeine, but it’s not worth it! Then I found an incredible coffee that I loved more than any other. To my surprise, it had the dreaded robusta beans in it!

Just like any other produce, if robusta beans are grown carelessly, harvested roughly, and stored in a haphazard way, they won’t taste very good. With the rise of specialty coffees, coffee growers, importers, and roasters have turned a closer eye to the care of robusta beans. As a result, this humble bean can actually enhance the flavor of a coffee blend. And we know you want that added caffeine!

While Nespresso does offer a few varieties that are 100% arabica beans, the majority do have at least a small percentage of robusta beans. Before just rejecting the lot, please, at least try one of the varieties blended with robusta. You just might find your new favorite.

How Strong Do You Like It?

Nespresso offers a flavor intensity rating of 1-13. The scale is based on the coffee’s degree of roasting, body, and bitterness. Lower end ratings (1-4) are mild, lighter roasts. The upper range includes darker roasts with more intense flavor. Some of these coffees can be quite bitter and are better served with milk. Intensity is about the taste and is not a reflection of the caffeine content.

Size Matters

Unlike buying other kinds of coffee, you have to know how big a cup of coffee you want before you purchase a Nespresso capsule. For most machines, you can choose from four sizes: 1.35 ounces, 2.7 ounces, 5 ounces, and 7.8 ounces.

Nespresso did make an Alto size of 14 ounces. But this size has been discontinued, much to the dismay of many coffee drinkers. If you want to brew more than 8 ounces and don’t want to have to brew two capsules, then you might want to look into the Vertuo Next machine. This machine can brew an 18-ounce carafe.

Cost of Capsules

Just in case it’s not obvious enough, Vertuo capsules are designed to be used only once. Given the cost of the capsules, you may be tempted to reuse a capsule. But please don’t! The resulting brew will be awful.

There is one possible exception to reusing a capsule. You can find foil seals so that you can use your own ground coffee with a used pod. Use the foils to seal the capsule before putting it in the machine. Just be sure that the seal does not cover any portion of the barcode underneath the rim.

Reuse the capsules at your own risk. There is no guarantee that it will work. Also, you might get stray grounds in your cup. Even with new foils, there is a limit to how many times you can reuse a capsule. It will begin to deteriorate and soon the machine won’t be able to read the barcode. Finally, you’ll need to match the grind size closely. Grind too fine or coarse and you won’t like the result.

Another possible alternative to the disposable capsules is a stainless-steel, reusable capsule. Again, there is no guarantee that it will work with your machine.

But both these alternatives defeat the purpose of the Nespresso machine. A major draw is how easy and convenient they are. Bottom line, just realize how much cheaper a single capsule is than having to stop and buy a coffee at a coffee shop!

Variety Is the Spice of Life

If you can’t bear to stick to only one type of coffee or you’re not sure which one you want, you can try one of Nespresso’s variety packs. The Vertuo 100 Capsule Indulgent Pack includes a wide range of what Nespresso has to offer, including flavored coffee. It offers 10 capsules each of 10 different varieties.

If you love dark roast but are not sure which one you will like best, you can try the Vertuo 40 Capsule Dark Roast Pack. This includes three different varieties: Intenso, Stormio, and Odacio.

Do You Like Flavored Coffee?

Admittedly, the assortment of types of coffee available in the Vertuo line is limited. We trust that the variety will expand, especially when third-party roasters can make Vertuo capsules. In this article, we focused on the most popular varieties that are always available. But there is more diversity.

Want flavor? Nespresso offers several flavored coffees in the 7.8-ounce size. You’ll find the classic flavors of chocolate, hazelnut, caramel, and vanilla. Nespresso also offers seasonal, limited-edition coffees. For instance, during the holidays you might find a flavor like Nordic Vanilla Princess Cake.

What About Specialty and Single Origin Coffee?

Are you a coffee aficionado who only wants to drink the best coffee? No problem! Nespresso offers single-origin Vertuo capsules from countries like Peru, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia.

Nespresso also has a line they call Reviving Origins. This program strives to help farmers preserve rare and important varieties. The coffee is available in limited edition batches. The Reviving Origins line has included coffee from Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Puerto Rico.

Caring About the Environment

It may seem wasteful to be throwing away all those aluminum capsules, but Nespresso has a solution! All Nespresso capsules are recyclable. And they make it easy. You can request a recycling bag from Nespresso. When you buy directly from Nespresso, the company includes a bag to fill up and drop off at UPS. If you happen to live near a Nespresso Boutique, you can drop your capsules off there. And they don’t just recycle the aluminum. They also compost the spent coffee grounds inside the capsule.

Nespresso also works at the source. They form relationships with the growers to help them grow more sustainable harvests. The company is also committed to restoring and conserving forests of all kinds. Its efforts reach forests of the Amazon as well as in Hawaii, Texas, and California.

Where to Buy Nespresso Pods

It’s pretty easy to find Nespresso Vertuo Pods. For the best selection, you might want to order from Nespresso’s website. If you happen to live near one of the 50 or so Nespresso Boutiques in the U.S., you can stop in and browse the collection.

Alternatively, more grocery stores and big-box stores like Target are offering Nespresso capsules in their stores. You can also purchase capsules online from a wide variety of vendors.

Caffeine Content

The majority of Nespresso’s espresso capsules have about 50-100 mg of caffeine. The exception is the Espresso Diavolitto, which contains 150 mg of caffeine. The 7.8-ounce Vertuo coffees all have about 170-200 mg of caffeine. These numbers, of course, don’t apply to the half-caf and decaffeinated versions.

FAQ

  1. Can you use normal Nespresso pods in Vertuo?

    Original Nespresso capsules cannot be used in a Vertuo machine, and vice versa. For one, they have a very different shape. Another key component is the barcoding on the Vertuo capsules. A Vertuo machine will not operate without being able to read this barcode.

  2. Do you add milk to Nespresso Vertuo?

    Nespresso Vertuo machines do not have an integrated milk function. You can find that on some Original Nespresso machines. If you want steamed milk in your coffee, we suggest getting an automatic milk frother. Some Nespresso machines come bundled with an Aeroccino milk frother.

  3. Can you use Nespresso Vertuo pods twice?

    No. These are designed to be single-use only. The good news is that once used, you can send them back to Nespresso for recycling.

  4. How much caffeine is in each capsule?

    Most Nespresso espresso capsules have a range of 50-100 mg of caffeine. This varies based on the percentage of robusta beans used in the blend. The Espresso Diavolitto has a higher percentage of robusta beans and contains 150 mg of caffeine. Nespresso coffee capsules have a range of 170-200 mg of caffeine.

  5. Can I use Starbucks pods in Nespresso Vertuo?

    Yes! Starbucks partnered with Nespresso to present Starbucks coffee in capsules for both the Original and Vertuo line of machines.

  6. How to use Nespresso Vertuo pods?

    You simply insert the capsule into the machine with the domed side facing down. The machine reads the bar code underneath the rim of the capsules. It then automatically adjusts the brew time, temperature, and amount of water to create the perfect cup.

  7. Should I buy Nespresso Original or Vertuo?

    If your true passion is espresso, then you might prefer a machine from the Original line. These use 19 bars of pump pressure to extract the espresso. The drawback is that they only make espresso. If you like a variety of styles of coffee, the Vertuo line offers more flexibility. These machines use centrifugal force to create a drink very similar to an espresso. They also make regular coffees up to 7.8 ounces and an 18-ounce carafe.

  8. What is a Nespresso boutique?

    Nespresso has opened specialty stores where you can walk in and buy Nespresso capsules. These are often in malls or at kiosks. If you want to explore all that Nespresso has to offer, you might enjoy stopping in at a Nespresso boutique.

  9. What Is the Difference Between Nespresso and Keurig?

    While both Nespresso and Keurig specialize in single-serve coffee, they go about it in different ways. Original Nespresso machines use pump pressure to force the water through the grinds. Nespresso's Vertuo line uses Centrifusion technology to spin the capsule at high speed to force the water through the grounds and out of the sides of the capsule. Keurig uses a basic pour-over method to push the water through the grounds to drip out of the bottom.

  10. What Is the Difference Between Vertuo and VertuoPlus?

    The primary difference is that the VertuoPlus can brew an 18-ounce carafe. Unless Nespresso decides to bring back the Alto size, the largest cup you can brew with the other Vertuo machines is 7.8 ounces.

Get What You Want, When You Want It!

We don’t need to tell you how busy this modern world is. A Nespresso machine can help you speed through your day a little easier. If you regularly stop at the coffee shop on the way to work, a Nespresso machine at home can save you time and money. Want a delicious coffee but don’t want to leave home? With these machines, you can brew cafĂ©-style drinks easily at home. Most of the drinks brew in under a minute, so it won’t slow you down.

Whether you want a light and sweet blend or a deep, dark, bold cuppa, Nespresso has a coffee for you. We hope this article helps you find your way through the exciting world of Nespresso coffee capsules. Happy brewing!


Sasha Pavlovich

Hi, I'm Sasha, and this blog is about coffee!

I'm myself an experienced barista with a high passion for coffee. Love brewing, cupping, and talking coffee non-stop. I hope you enjoy my blog and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

View all posts by Sasha Pavlovich

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