How To Refill Nespresso Pods The Easy Way

You might fret about Nespresso pods going to waste every week, but they don’t need to. Our guide on how to refill Nespresso pods will save you money and waste.

how to refill Nespresso pods
Nespresso pods are surprisingly easy to refill and use multiple times

Coffee pods get a poor reputation for producing unnecessary waste. That’s because many users throw the plastic pod in the trash immediately after one use. However, Nespresso pods are surprisingly easy to refill and use multiple times. 

Refilling Nespresso capsules contributes less waste to landfills, saves you money, and still allows you to achieve that perfect cup of espresso every time. This step-by-step guide on how to refill Nespresso pods will allow you to continue using your prized Nespresso machine without having to purchase more pods constantly. You might also be interested in our alternatives to Nespresso coffee capsules. 

How To Refill Nespresso Pods

You must carefully perform every step to ensure the espresso comes out of the machine exactly as it would with a new pod. Performing these steps correctly takes practice, but they’ll become second nature in no time. Check out these Nespresso competitors.


  • One used Nespresso capsule
  • Your favorite espresso coffee
  • Thin aluminum foil 
  • Scissors 
  • Your Nespresso machine

We suggest using an old pair of scissors for this process because cutting aluminum foil can damage them. It’s best to designate one old pair for your Nespresso refilling needs.

Step 1: Clean The Used Capsule

Take the used Nespresso capsule out of the machine. Use a small knife to clean out the coffee grounds thoroughly. There should not be any grounds left in the capsule.

Thoroughly wash and dry the capsule. The capsule must be completely dry before refilling. 

Step 2: Fill The Capsule With Fresh Espresso Grounds

Espresso grounds are typically very fine dark roast beans to ensure the best flavor, so start by selecting your favorite espresso. Pack the new espresso grounds into the cleaned capsule tightly. Learn more in our explainer on how do coffee pods work.

Coffee pods with beans in wooden table
Pack the new espresso grounds into the cleaned capsule tightly

Clean the rim of the Nespresso pod carefully to ensure no espresso granules remain. Nespresso machines make perfect coffee because they are intolerant to imperfections. 

Step 3: Tightly Place The Foil On Top Of The Pod

This may be the first time you’re directed to buy cheap, flimsy aluminum foil. However, the heavy-duty stuff is too durable for this job. The goal is for the pressure within the capsule to break the aluminum foil, which is why the heavy-duty version doesn’t work.

Place the foil on top of the pod, then flip it over and crimp the foil firmly around the edges. Use your fingernail or a credit card to ensure the foil is firmly pressed against the underside of the rim. 

Do not let the foil touch the body of the pod. This is another critical detail that can cause the seal to become loose. Hot water will leak around the sides of the capsule instead of through the Nespresso pod. 

Step 4: Brew Your New (Used) Nespresso Pod

Gently place the pod you filled into the Nespresso machine and brew either a small or large cup, depending on your preferences. 

Step 5: Taste Your Espresso And Make Adjustments

The process of filling a used Nespresso pod takes practice. Your first cup of espresso with a reused pod will likely not come out exactly as desired. 

Examine the pod after brewing to see if there’s anything you can improve upon. Maybe the foil was not on tight enough, or it was touching the cone part of the pod. You’ll also want to see if the espresso was packed tightly enough into the pod.

Step 6: Clean The Pod And Use It Again

The final step in the refilling process circles back to step one. Assess the changes you need to make, clean the pod, and use it again. Once you perfect the cleaning and reusing processes, you’ll find that you save a lot of waste by not throwing these pods into the trash after every use.

You’ll also save on your weekly and monthly coffee bills because Nespresso users know that new pods are not cheap. 

Coffee capsules
Nespresso users know that new pods are not cheap

Can You Use The Same Nespresso Pod More Than Once?

Many Nespresso drinkers conserve pods by running the same pod through the Nespresso machine twice. Nespresso warns against this because the flavor of the second espresso is more watered down and weaker than the first.

If you’re refilling the pod, you can get a few uses out of it, but you cannot reuse it indefinitely as the capsule quality will deteriorate. Ensure you have thoroughly cleaned the pod after every use. 


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.