I’m a big fan of Nespresso coffee. The machines are so easy to use and yet they prepare beautiful drinks with a smooth texture and creamy finish.
With so many varieties to choose from, though, it can be difficult to know where to start or how to find flavors that suit your taste. This list is based on a combination of my own preferences and the bestselling coffee varieties from Nespresso.
Buying the Right Coffee Pods
First of all, there are two types of Nespresso coffee machine: Original and Vertuo. With the Original machine you’re getting the classic espresso experience. The Vertuo machine has more bells and whistles, and it provides a wider range of coffee sizes and styles. The different machines require different coffee pods.
Nespresso rates their coffees on an intensity scale from 1-13, where 13 is the strongest and most intense. This rating refers to the taste of the coffee, rather than the caffeine content. Most darker roasts have a higher intensity rating. I have included the intensity rating for each coffee in the list.
There are 25 coffees in the Original Line, with fun, special editions coming out every so often. The coffees come in sleeves of 10 capsules.
A ristretto is 25 ml, and an espresso is 40 ml.
1. Intenso Arpeggio (intensity rating 9)
This coffee is one of the bestsellers on the Nespresso website. It is deliciously creamy and just the right level of intensity. It also makes a good Americano, which is 150 ml (25 ml of coffee, plus 125 ml of hot water). Any of the Ristretto/Espresso coffees can be used for Americanos.
2. Volluto (intensity rating 4)
The Volluto is a safe bet when you feel like having an espresso. It is sweet, light, and well balanced, with sweet biscuit and light fruit notes. It has a strong taste despite its moderate intensity, but it won’t keep you awake at night. The blend is subtle, with both bitter and fruity flavours. Volluto is a good choice to get acquainted with Nespresso.
3. Intenso Ristretto (intensity rating 10)
This one is for when you want a powerful, intense coffee and nothing else will do! This is a full-bodied coffee, intense and syrupy. It is roasty, bitter, and bold with spicy pepper and woody aromas. It’s a quick drink that packs a powerful punch.
Best Lungo (110ml)
4. Vivalto Lungo (intensity rating 4)
This one is my favourite choice for a lungo coffee. This coffee is complex and balanced and makes for an enjoyable, creamy drink. This is the blend that got me into Nespresso drinking!
5. Linizio Lungo (intensity rating 4 )
With the same intensity rating as the Vivalto, this coffee is round and smooth. A very straightforward flavour, and another good option for an introduction to the Nespresso line of coffees.
6. Fortissio Lungo (intensity rating 8)
For a more intense lungo, I’d recommend the Fortissio. This is a nice, rich, full-bodied coffee that also makes a good latte. I like the intensity level – not too strong, but with a good flavour.
7. Ciocattino (intensity rating 6)
If you are a chocolate lover, then this one’s for you. Ciocattino makes for a nice, rich espresso, with a hint of dark chocolate. Chocolate adds a little bitterness and gives more depth to the flavour.
8. Master Origin – India (intensity rating 11)
I enjoy all of the Master Origin coffees, but my favourite is India, an intense and spicy variety. This is a clean, strong, slightly bitter drink. As for the aroma, you will find dry notes of cocoa, as well as spices like nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper.
European Version Nespresso OriginalLine Master Origin Variety: Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nicaragua, 50 Capsules
Best Decaf Nespresso
The decaf coffees taste just as good as their caffeinated cousins.
9. Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato (intensity rating 4)
When you fancy a decaf coffee, this is the one I’d most recommend. It is a nice, complex and balanced coffee. This is my go-to decaf.
10. Ristretto Decaffeinato (intensity rating 10)
This variety is powerful and contrasting. It’s truly hard to believe it is decaf! This Ristretto has a lovely, strong flavour without being overpowering. Go on. Have two!
Here are my top picks from the Vertuo Line.
11. Diavolitto (intensity rating 11)
This popular coffee is intense and surprisingly powerful. The aroma is reminiscent of oak wood and leather with a creamy texture that balances it out. The Diavolitto is a perfect espresso with a smooth and fine texture.
12. Altissio (intensity rating 9)
The Altissio is a bold and rich espresso, a medium roast, with just a hint of cocoa. It has a lovely crema on top (that fine layer) and it is a perfect choice for making other drinks. And, if I’m being honest, I really love the purple capsules!
13. Melozio (intensity rating 6)
Melozio is one of the bestsellers from the Vertuo line, perhaps because of its mid-range intensity. The delicious flavour is a blend of caramel, cinnamon, pecan, and syrup. It is smooth, mellow and perfectly balanced.
14. Intenso (intensity rating 9)
The Intenso is smooth, strong and, not surprisingly, intense. The strong bitterness of this coffee is where its appeal lies. If you like bold, strong-tasting coffee, the Intenso is the perfect choice for you. One of my favourites.
Nespresso Vertuo delivers you a full range of cup sizes and coffee styles from espresso to Alto XL with easy to use Nespresso pods; Enjoy hot or pour over ice; (VertuoLine Capsules are not compatible with OriginalLine machines)
15. Hazelino (intensity rating 6)
When you fancy something a little different, this hazelnut flavored medium roast coffee is a pleasant option. I’m not typically a fan of flavoured coffees, but this one surprisingly tasty, with hints of biscuit and almond in addition to hazelnut. A lovely, smooth, velvety drink.
16. Stormio (intensity rating 8)
What a great name for a coffee! The Stormio is dark and intense, with a strong and distinct flavour. It has an earthy taste, and just a hint of bitterness. This one’s a good choice for those who like darker roasts but like some interesting flavor.
Nespresso Vertuo delivers you a full range of cup sizes and coffee styles from espresso to Alto XL with easy to use Nespresso pods. Enjoy hot or pour over ice. (VertuoLine Capsules are not compatible with OriginalLine machines )
17. Decaffeinato (intensity rating 7)
This decaf coffee blend has a lovely flavor and texture. You wouldn’t know it wasn’t a regular caffeinated drink. It is round, smooth, a little bit malty, and delicious. I add a little milk or cream to this one.
18. Giornio (intensity rating 4)
The Giornio is a nice velvety breakfast coffee, medium roasted, with floral tones. The aroma is reminiscent of honeysuckle, or other sweet-smelling flowers. This capsule can only make a standard cup of coffee.
19. Voltesso (intensity rating 4)
I like these lovely golden capsules. This popular coffee is lightly roasted and has biscuity notes and a distinctly sweet aroma. It is mild, but not weak. This coffee is a good everyday option and is nice blended with milk.
20. Caramel Cookie (intensity rating 6)
When you fancy a little sweet treat, try this coffee, with the comforting taste of caramel. Barista Creations Caramel Cookie is a well-rounded coffee. The caramel flavor adds a buttery biscuit note. It is a perfect little coffee when you fancy something different.
Best Budget Choice: Lavazza Variety Pack
21. Lavazza Variety Pack
If you want to try a variety of different flavors to get an idea of your best fit but don’t want to spend a ton of money to do it, the Lavazza Variety Pack is a very solid choice. At 60 capsules for $25, it’s very affordable, and those 60 capsules divide up into 10 capsules each of six different blends, ranging from an intensity of 4 to 10. It also includes a decaf option. Lavazza has an excellent reputation in general, and the espresso selections have something to suit just about everyone.
Best Medium Intensity
22. Don Francisco’s Old Havana
I prefer a medium-intensity pod for my Nespresso adventures, and Don Francisco’s Old Havana never disappoints me. The espresso comes out nutty and sweet.
It has a mellow smoothness that works on its own or when blended into a latte or another drink. In addition, Don Francisco has partnered with Terracycle, and their pods are fully recyclable, adding an environmentally friendly slant to the product.
Best Strong Intensity
23. Illy Extra Bold Roast
Sometimes you want coffee that bites back. For those occasions, the Illy Extra Bold Roast fits the bill perfectly. While it is a bit pricey compared to the Lavazza, it’s a good value for the quality of espresso you get from the capsules.
Illy is a generation-old name in espresso, so the partnership with Nespresso is a natural conclusion. The coffee blends African, Asian, and South American beans in a deep dark roast that brings you right back to the classic Italian caffè, which works beautifully in classic espresso drinks.
The Final Word on Best Nespresso Coffees for Caffeine Lovers
Those are my top picks for Nespresso coffees. The good news is that they’re all of high quality and are all flavourful, with a lovely smooth, creamy texture. I no longer even add cream to my coffee most of the time.
If you’re still unsure where to start, you can always buy a variety pack and see which ones you prefer. And the colorful capsules look pretty, too! They appeal to the eye as well as the tastebuds! If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in learning if you can make regular coffee with Nespresso.
Does Nespresso Use K-Cups?