Nespresso Pods Vs. Capsules: What’s The Difference?

You might get Nespresso pods and capsules mixed up. Read on to find out how to distinguish Nespresso pods vs. capsules and which is compatible with your machine.

Nespresso pods vs. capsules
Nespresso pods vs. capsules

Imagine ordering a box of Nespresso capsules online. The package arrives at your door, and you open the box, but when you eagerly try to put the capsule into your Nespresso machine, it doesn’t fit.

After learning the hard way, I tried to find out more about the difference between the Nespresso pods and the Nespresso capsules. 

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03/07/2024 03:39 am GMT

What Are Nespresso Pods And Capsules?

The Nespresso Original containers are commonly known as pods. Vertuo containers are often known as capsules. You may have encountered a shopping site labeling Nespresso pods as capsules and vice-versa. Technically speaking, they’re correct but try to remember these two important words in the description before buying: Original & Vertuo.

These two are Nespresso’s different lines of espresso machines. Check out our Nespresso Pixie vs. Nespresso Essenza Mini guide.

What Nespresso Pods And Capsules Have In Common

There’s not much similarity between the two except that both are recyclable. They hold single-serve coffee that is instantly brewed when put into their respective machine.

Nespresso Pods Vs. Capsules: The Differences

Nespresso OriginalLine Pods Nespresso VertuoLine Capsules
Pods are more geometrically shaped and protruding bottom part. Capsules are more dome-shaped and bigger.
Single-serve espresso-based drinks only. Single-serve espresso-based drinks and other coffee variants.
It only comes in one size, which can make up to five ounces of espresso. Three different sizes with varying levels of flavor and intensity.
Over 38 original varieties. Around 41 selections, including flavored coffee and milk-based blends.
Note that their two Craft Brew blends are compatible with Vertuo Next machines.
Brewed via the traditional method (pressure-based), where hot water is blasted through the pod until its bottom bursts. Brewed via its patented Centrifusion technology, wherein the machine spins the capsule at a speed of up to 7,000 RPMs while water is infused.
Brewing temperature can reach 181°F to 187°F (83°C to 86°C.) Brewing temperature can only get to 163°F to 172°F (73°C to 78°C.)
Third-party pods are now available and compatible with the Nespresso Original Line machine. A unique barcode is printed on its rim, which the device verifies and then determines which setting it will use for the brewing process.

What’s Better About The Original Pods?

The Nespresso Original Pods offer you one thing: an espresso-based drink. 

Nespresso pods offer an espresso-based drink

The process is not complicated, either. You just need to pop the pod in the machine, and with a press of a button, you have yourself a shot or two of that crema-filled mana. It’s also more accessible now than ever, as the patent for Nespresso Original Pods has already expired, allowing independent manufacturers to make other flavors.

What’s Better About Vertuo Capsules?

The variants you can choose from come directly from the manufacturers of the Nespresso machine. Even if you’re an espresso type of person like myself, you won’t be able to resist not knowing how their flavored coffee and milk-based beverage will taste. If you have a sweet tooth, you should try either the Vanilla Custard Pie or the Hazelino Muffin blend.

male hand holding unboxing new package of with multiple colorful Nespresso coffee capsules
Vertuo capsules

I also like the idea of Nespresso incorporating new technology not only in their machines but also in their containers. Innovation breeds success, and the Centrifusion and barcode concept is just the tip of the iceberg (or the bubbles of the crema, if you will).

Who Should Get The Nespresso Original Pod (And Why)?

Espresso and espresso-based drinks are your cups of Joe. I get it; I’m a stickler for anything traditional as well. The VertuoLine machine doesn’t offer the more robust, authentic espresso taste. This is because the pressure-based method is more effective in extracting concentrated coffee. 

Also, I’m not sure if the price will be a factor for you, but I won’t shy away from saving a few bucks, as the Nespresso Original pods are more wallet-friendly than its techie twin. You might find our guide on how Nespresso pods work helpful. 

Who Should Get The Nespresso Vertuo Capsule (And Why)?

You are the type of person who carries a mug around the house or the office while doing your business. Its brew-size options will allow you to have more coffee throughout the day.

In addition, its array of blends will enable you to adjust your beverage according to your mood or situation. If you want something that’s light, you can go for a milk-based blend.

As a bonus, if you have a fascination with technology like me, you may find the Centrifusion and barcode innovation of the Vertuo machine and capsule a sight to behold.


  • Renz Lyndon Paguio

    His love for java originated from sidewalk vendors offering cheap 3-in-1 instant coffees poured in styrofoam cups. If he’s not in a studio or in an event venue, you’ll find RL crafting his own cold brew or sharing his experiences to fellow coffeephiles.