When it comes to coffee capsules, Nespresso brand coffee reigns supreme, but they don’t have a monopoly by any means. If you simply don’t like Nespresso, fancy a change or want something cheaper, you do not need to toss your Nespresso machine out for another espresso machine.
The introduction of Nespresso has flooded the market with different types of Nespresso capsule alternatives. To be totally frank, some are bad, some good, and some terrible. Even though Nespresso pods don’t expire quickly, many coffee drinkers still want budget-friendly options.
The flavorful coffee made by Nestle Nespresso machines and the rising cost of the pods has led to a rise in producers offering alternative capsules to Nespresso. However, there are more options, and choosing the right one can be challenging.
But we have sorted out some of the best products that you can use in most Nespresso coffee machines whether you want a pure espresso or consider yourself a home barista keen to make lattes or an americano. Like the best Nespresso pods, this list of the best Nespresso-compatible capsules promises you great-tasting coffee.
- 1. Peet's Coffee Variety Pack
- 2. Starbucks Por Nespresso Variety Pack
- 3. Lavazza-Espresso, Nespresso Compatible Capsules
- 4. Gourmet Coffee Capsules
- 5. Carte Noir Espresso Lungo
- 6. Amazon Brand Solimo Ristretto Coffee Capsules
- 7. Café LA Llave Capsules
- 8. HiLine Coffee Broadway Dark Roast
- 9. L’OR Espresso Colombia
- 10. Café Bustelo
- 11. illy Classico
- 12. Colonna Coffee Rubirizi Espresso
- 13. Café La Llave
- 14. Italian Coffee
- 15. Don Francisco's Old Havana
- 16. El Cubanito
- 17. Dunkin’ Espresso Bold Roast
- FAQs about the Alternatives to Nespresso
1. Peet’s Coffee Variety Pack
If you love Peet’s coffee shop coffee, you can enjoy it at home right from your own coffee maker. The capsules are available in four different amazing flavors. This is 100 percent Arabica Coffee, so you already know they’ll taste great.
Even though you can use them for your Nespresso coffee machines, these capsules are not for Nespresso Vertuoline. In terms of flavors, go for Ristretto, Crema Scura, Ricchezza, and Nerissimo.
You should give the Crema Scura a try as it has an intensity level of 9. All of Peet’s caffeinated coffee capsules contain a similar amount of caffeine, so the intensity level is about how bold the flavor is.
They also have a decaf option if you’re looking to cut back on caffeine but don’t want to cut out good-tasting coffee. Check out our Nespresso VertuoPlus vs. Nespresso VertuoPlus Delux guide.
Contains four (4) Boxes of 10 Peet's Coffee Espresso Capsules, One Box Each of Ricchezza, Crema Scura, Ristretto, and Nerissimo Espresso (40 Espresso Capsules Total)
2. Starbucks Por Nespresso Variety Pack
We all love Starbucks, but it’s not feasible to go there every single morning. So save yourself time and money by getting yourself some coffee capsules to brew at home without the help of a barista.
The manufacturer, Starbucks, has partnered with Nespresso to create these coffee capsules, and they work with most of the Nespresso machines, like Citiz, Expert, Essenza Mini, Crastista, KitchenAid, and Lattissima.
The capsules have varieties of roast intensities that can range from an intensity level of 6 to 11. The capsule is made from 1.35, 3.7, or 0.85 ounces. You can go for Starbucks Columbia, House Blend, Pike Place Roast, Caffe Verona, and more based on your taste preference.
These coffee blends all taste fantastic; after all, Starbucks is beloved for having some of the best coffee out there. So rest assured, you’ll love whichever of these capsules you try.
This variety pack of Best Selling Favorites of Starbucks Nespresso roasts includes Blonde Espresso Roast House Blend, Single-Origin Colombia, Pike Place Roast, and Caffè Verona
3. Lavazza-Espresso, Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Lavazza Decaffeinato Ricco Espresso is a perfect combination of high-quality Asian Robusta and Brazilian Arabica coffee for a delicious taste and powerful punch of caffeine. These capsules are compatible with most Nespresso Original machines and come with different intensities, ranging from 6 to 13.
They’re created using plastic instead of aluminum.
Expect a combination of dark chocolate and sweet liqueur with an intense aroma. Speaking about its flavors, you can go try Leggero Lungo, Armonico Espresso, Dark-roast Deciso, Avvolgente Lungo, Decaffeinato Ricco Espresso and more. You should also try its Espresso Rico crema.
6 Packs of 10 single serve Nespresso pods with the Lavazza Decaffeinato Ricco decaffeinated coffee blend (60 cups total)
4. Gourmet Coffee Capsules
These flavorful coffee capsules are compatible with the Nespresso OriginalLine coffee machines. The capsules are high-quality, and the manufacturer claims they’re 100 percent natural, with no added sugar, flavorings, or preservatives.
You can try unique blends, such as Brazil, Caramello, Decaffeinato, Colombia, Brazil, Intenso, Cioccolato, Lungo, Verona, Vaniglia, and Ristretto.
The company offers a 6-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re unhappy with this capsule coffee, it’s a no loss to you. So, why not take the risk?
High quality 100% natural & unique espresso in convenient Nespresso compatible pods 6 boxes, containing 20 capsules each, 120 capsules total
5. Carte Noir Espresso Lungo
Each capsule contains exceptional flavor as well as an aroma since they’re full of pure Arabica coffee. This brand is highly rated by fans of French coffee, which is all about savoring small cups of espresso.
You will find them similar to the Nespresso capsules. All the capsules come with various levels of intensity to choose from, and you will get around ten coffee capsules in this rich collection. You should also try out its other flavors, like Intense, Decaf, and Corse.
If you’re concerned about sustainability, the brand claims its aluminum capsules are “zero impact Co2.”
6. Amazon Brand Solimo Ristretto Coffee Capsules
You might be skeptical seeing that Amazon sell their own coffee under the Solimo brand name, but don’t knock these Amazon brand capsules until you try them. While we can be a little snobbish about coffee sometimes, Amazon proved they know what they’re doing, so they at least deserve a chance.
This dark roast coffee contains a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans. They lean heavily towards Arabica, so you don’t need to worry about a bitter-tasting espresso shot.
Apart from Ristretto, the capsules are also available in other flavors like Lungo and Espresso. In this pack, you will get 50 capsules, and it is compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine models. The flavors are very strong and rich.
As per the official site, the coffee beans are grown by UTZ-certified farmers, and they have followed better agricultural practices. The beans are roasted as well as packaged in Belgium by expert roasters. If you’re concerned about the environment, you’ll be happy to know Amazon partnered with the Rainforest Alliance too.
7. Café LA Llave Capsules
These capsules are available in five different unique flavors. The capsules work great in all Nespresso coffee machines. Since everyone has different tastes, their espresso brews range in intensity on a numbered scale to keep all their customers happy.
If you’re looking for smooth-tasting coffee capsules, then try Nuevo Mundo. For a strong flavor, go for La Llave Espresso. They also have decaf, with a strength of 11, so you won’t miss out on taste.
All these coffee capsules listed here offer a satisfying and rich flavor while providing the users with the perfect boost to start the day. You should find them less expensive than buying original Nespresso capsules. So, what are you waiting for? Choose the perfect one and place your order.
8. HiLine Coffee Broadway Dark Roast
If you love dark, bold-tasting coffee but not a whole lot of caffeine, then HiLine Coffee’s capsules are a dream come true. Each pod contains around 60 to 70 mg of caffeine, so they are not the strongest on this list of Nespresso alternatives. The capsules are compatible with Citiz, Essenza, Lattissima, Maestria, U, Le Cube and Pixie Nespresso machines.
You’re probably already aware of how fresh coffee is the best. The more oxygen interacts with coffee, and the longer this takes place, the more the flavor and aroma suffer. The good news is HiLine roasts their coffee shortly before shipping, so you’re coffee will be as fresh as possible.
They also come in lots of fun flavors like pumpkin spice, Wall Street dark, Swiss mocha almond, hazelnut cupcake, and tons more, so you’ll never get bored.
9. L’OR Espresso Colombia
L’OR’s espresso Colombia is compatible with Nespresso’s original machines. If you love a bold flavor, thick crema, and a strong wake-up call, you’ll love these single-origin pods. The Colombian climate is ideal for cultivating coffee beans with strong caramel notes, nutty undertones, and low acidity.
If that’s not appealing enough for you, you can also get different capsules from the same brand sources from Papa New Guinea. They also have the classics like decaf espresso, lungo, and ristretto in different strengths in both single and variety packs.
10. Café Bustelo
Café Bustelo’s capsules are compatible with Nespresso Original Brewers. Their rich dark roasts are topped with a thick, heavenly layer of crema. Compared to some of the other options on this list, they’re fairly affordable too.
If you hate bitter coffee, then Brazilian coffee might be for you. Due to the climate, the beans tend to taste sweeter than the coffee from other regions.
11. illy Classico
Nowhere does espresso like Italy, so that’s a pretty good reason to trust illy right off the bat.
illy Classico Italian coffee capsules are suited for original Nespresso machines. You can expect high-quality Arabica coffee when you purchase these capsules. They have a sweet aftertaste, with delicate notes of caramel, jasmine, and fruity orange blossom, leaving you with a smooth brew with little bitterness.
They also offer Classico K-Cups, so be sure to check you’ve picked up the right coffee before purchasing if you’re specifically looking for Nespresso-compatible pods.
12. Colonna Coffee Rubirizi Espresso
Nowadays, many coffee companies are operating with sustainability in mind while still aiming to produce high-quality coffee for their customers. So, you’ll be relieved to know Colonna Coffee sells pods that are fully compostable – while it’s also growing more common to come across reusable coffee capsules.
They also sell aluminum coffee capsules, so make sure you purchase the correct ones.
This coffee is made from washed bourbon coffee beans grown in volcanic African soil. These beans brew a sweet yet mildly spicy cup of Joe. If this isn’t appealing to you, they also have single-origin Brazilian coffee, Colombian coffee, and Guatemala in decaf, espresso, and lungo variations, so there’s bound to be something you like.
13. Café La Llave
Café La Llave is an affordable coffee brand that packs a punch; the coffee goes down strong and smooth with a creamy layer of crema on top. This dark roast blend is sourced from Latin America; it has a bold flavor that is cut by hints of caramel and nuts.
Café La Llave’s espresso pods are compatible with Nespresso Original Line brewers. They’re ideal for eco-conscious coffee lovers as the brand has a free pod recycling program with TerraCycle.
14. Italian Coffee
Espresso is from Italy, so it should come as no surprise that a company called Italian Coffee will transport you there with its quality java. The brand has been offering authentic Italian Joe for 30 years, and that experience has paid off.
The Italian espresso capsules are a deep, rich, and full-bodied medium roast with a delicious layer of crema on top. This coffee is a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans to balance flavor and strength.
These Nespresso-compatible pods are also much more affordable than other brands, which might help them taste a little bit better.
15. Don Francisco’s Old Havana
If you like Cuban coffee, you’re in luck because Don Franciso’s Old Havana coffee capsules are for you. The brand recommends adding lots of sugar for a more authentic Cuban coffee experience – but it’s not a necessity. These are still pretty good on their own since they’re made of pure Arabica coffee and have fruity, citrus, and nutty notes.
Don Francisco’s medium-dark roast capsules are compatible with Nespresso Original Line Brewers but not the Nespresso Vertuoline machines.
You can also experience some otherworldy flavors right in your living room as they also have a Kona blend, Double French, and even more options to choose from, so you’ll never grow tired of this brand.
A medium dark roasted espresso that transports you to the streets of Old Havana where the word espresso means coffee. Add lots of sugar to make a Cuban coffee. Intensity 8. Medium roast.
16. El Cubanito
Cuban coffee fans have much more than one option when searching for Nespresso alternatives, as El Cubanito is another option. They’re also fairly affordable, which is a win-win for customers on a budget.
El Cubanito sells highly-rated gourmet espresso capsules to capture the essence of Cuban street coffee. These pods have a bold dark flavor with a chocolate undertone while being strong and a little sweet.
17. Dunkin’ Espresso Bold Roast
You don’t even need to leave your house to get your Dunkin’ fix, although you’ll probably miss their sweet treats with Dunkin espresso capsules.
Dunkin’ espresso capsules are compatible with Nespresso Original Brewers but not Nespresso Vertuo Line machines. So, you can enjoy a sweet, smooth, and powerful espresso from the comfort of your own home – saving money and time in the process.
Dunkin’ was actually one of the first fair trade coffee brands, so you can feel good buying this. Dunkin’ also sells K-cups so make sure you’ve picked up the right product before purchasing.
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy our Nespresso Vs. Keurig guide.
FAQs about the Alternatives to Nespresso
Are refillable Nespresso pods any good?
Refillable Nespresso pods are palatable however don’t seem to offer the full flavor of an original pod. Nevertheless, a wide variety of refillable capsules are available, so it’s worth shopping around.
Can you use other pods in Nespresso Vertuo?
Unfortunately, you cannot use the original Nespresso pods in a Vertuo machine. You should use the Nespresso Vertuo pods, which are markedly different from the original pods, while utilizing a new and upgraded Vertuo machine. Vertuo pods are offered in a variety of sizes, so it all is dependent on the type of machine you have and the kind of coffee you want to brew.
Are Aldi Nespresso pods any good?
Unsurprisingly, the Aldi pods are significantly less expensive. However, a Which? taste test evaluating Nespresso and popular compatible pods from companies like Cafédirect, Cafépod, Café Royal, Carte Noire, Dualit, Percol, Starbucks, Taylors, and several retailers’ own brands, also revealed that Aldi pods were the best.
Can I use Starbucks pods in Nespresso Vertuo?
Starbucks now manufactures specialized Nespresso machine-compatible pods. Starbucks by Nespresso capsules are recyclable and made with the same high-quality Starbucks coffee. They were developed in collaboration with Nespresso to operate efficiently with the Vertuo system.