Owning a Nespresso is both a money saver and a coffee brewer of convenience, but what can be inconvenient is not knowing what the best third party Nespresso Pods are. This article is dedicated to helping you find the best alternative Nespresso capsules.
As a word of note – I am a big fan of the capsules on offer by Nespresso, but there is no reason for you to stick to one brand and not enjoy the many others. In this article I list my top 10 non-Nespresso coffee capsules.
With nothing else on the agenda, keep reading as we crack on with this article.
How To Choose A Great, High Quality Nespresso Compatible Capsule
If you already have a preferred coffee brand, you already have a head start. To be clear, selecting coffee capsules that are compatible with your Nespresso is not the same as buying whole bean unground coffee as you need to take a few factors into consideration.
The next few sections are dedicated to helping to clear your mind of what these factors are and to help you better choose an alternative Nespresso capsule.
Here is a quick list of the top 10 Third Party Nespresso Pods. I’ll detail each of the brands later. But first, let’s detail what you need to consider when selecting an alternative Nespresso capsule.
- 1. Gourmesso.
- 2. HiLine Coffee.
- 3. Bestpresso.
- 4. Jones Brothers Coffee.
- 5. Cafe Joe USA.
- 6. Caffeso.
- 7. Lavica.
- 8. Peet’s Coffee.
- 9. Il Caffe Italiano Roma.
- 10. Lavazza.
Read: Best Nespresso capsules for latte
Consider The Flavor Profile
Coffee lovers the world over know that when they are looking for espresso capsules they absolutely must adhere to the rule that fresh is best. This is the same with coffee beans as much as it is for Nespresso capsules.
How fresh your coffee is plays a bigger role in the flavor than the beans themselves or the roast level. Instead of checking out a roast level or specific country or region, focus on a flavor profile and brand that you trust.
With Nespresso capsules and coffee capsules are nitrogen flushed and vacuum sealed, and, thus, freshness is not an issue. The coffee grounds in them are absolutely fresh and will remain so.
Variety packs are winners here as they allow you to try many different flavors that a brand has available before you jump in and try their capsules.
Read: Best Nespresso flavors
Coffee Blends Are Much More Common Than Single Origin Capsules
Even though there are good quality single origin Nespresso pods from a variety of brands, they are rare and not a feature of coffee capsules.
Some coffee snobs tend to overlook blends as they consider them to be of lesser quality than single origin coffee. Nothing could be further from the truth. Starbucks makes great blends of coffee from various parts of the world and puts them together incredibly well.
These days, a blend is very carefully crafted for a great, balanced and unique flavor profile.
Espresso Vs Lungo
Nespresso OriginalLine and the compatible capsules are focused around Espressos, Ristrettos and Lungos.
The most focused, concentrated of them all is the ristretto. A Ristretto is an espresso made with half to 2/3rds as much water as an espresso. To explain what it is I usually describe it as a focused espresso.
The lungo, Italian for long, as you can guess, is a long espresso which is the opposite of a ristretto and is made with more water, typically twice as much as an espresso.
Some coffee brands recommend that you use individual capsules due to the intensity, flavor or concentration. Follow the recommendation of the brand, they made them, and they know best.
Nespresso Vertuo Vs Nespresso Original
To select the best alternative Nespresso capsules, you will, of course, need the right ones for your machine. A Vertuo capsule will not work in a Nespresso Original line machine and vice versa.
Get it wrong, and you have just wasted your money, unfortunately.
Let’s dig down and get to the meat and bones of this article and help you to make a coffee shop quality gourmet cup of coffee with the best third party Nespresso Pods.
Alternative Nespresso Capsules – The Best Third Party Nespresso Pods
A now to dig down and detail our list of the top 10 best alternative Nespresso capsules.
#1 Gourmesso Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Gourmesso, as the name indicates focuses on gourmet coffee and, I absolutely have to say their capsule coffee is simply the best out there. I am not just referring to Nespresso compatible coffee capsules; they make great K-cup coffee pods too.
Their coffee is fair trade certified, and they have a range of organic coffee too. Their coffee pods are competitively priced and have a wide variety of Nespresso machine compatible pods to choose from.
Gourmesso Espresso And Ristretto Capsules
- Ristretto Blend Forte: This is a dark roast coffee with Asian, African and Latin American beans and a touch of spice.
- Honduras Pura Forte: A dark roast coffee from the Central American nation with lovely chocolate notes.
- Ethiopia Blend Forte: A dark roast coffee with a Central and South American blend and a hint of citrus.
- SFCC House Blend Espresso: From the San Francisco Coffee Company, an organic coffee with a dark roast profile.
- Messico Blend Forte: A blend of Indian, Mexican and other Asian coffees, a full body, dark roast.
- Nicaragua Mezzo: A South American and Asian blend that has a touch of bitterness. A medium roast.
- Brasile Blend Dolce: With hints of citrus this light roast of Peruvian, Brazilian and Asian coffee is quite delightful.
- Colombia Arabica Mezzo: A combination of Indian and Colombian coffees that has licorice tones. A very nice medium roast.
- Tarrazu Forte: A bold, spicy volcanic Costa Rican dark roasted coffee.
- Decaf Peru Dolce: A Peruvian light roast with hints of chocolate.
Lungo Capsules Varieties
- Lungo Arabica Forte: An intense dark roast blend of Peruvian and Mexican coffee. A great union of Central and South America and their coffees.
- SFCC House Blend Lungo Dark: An organic coffee blend from the well respected San Francisco Coffee Company.
- Lungo Italico Forte: An dark roast with a great intensity level and rich crema and mild body. Earthy and woody tones. Made with African and Indian coffee beans.
- Lungo Latino Mezzo: Fruity aroma from this medium roast that is a great blend of Central and South American coffees.
- SFCC House Blend Lungo Medium: An organic coffee of medium roast from the San Francisco coffee company.
- SFCC House Blend Decaf Lungo: One of the more delicious options from the less popular decaf coffee capsules. An organic medium roasted coffee that is in the medium intensity range.
Specialty Coffee Available
- Biscottino: A sweet flavor with no added sweetener. A dark roast blend of Asian and South American coffee beans. A nice cookie flavor.
- Soffio Cioccolato: Expect a lovely Chocolate hint from this blend of Asian and South American quality coffee beans.
- Soffio Gianduia Caramello: Expect a sweet caramel hint from this dark roasted blend of Asian and South American coffees.
- Soffio Caramello: As the name tells you, expect a classic caramel sweetness and nutty hints from this blend of South American and Asian beans.
- Soffio Nocciola: Dark roasted Indian and South American blend with hints of hazelnut.
- Soffio Ciliegia: Expect subtle notes of cherries from this Latino and Asian beans. Dark roast.
- Soffio Vaniglia: A dark roast with vanilla tones and hints a great coffee with a light intensity. Dark roasted blend of Latin and Asian coffees.
- Soffio Noce Di Coco: As the name literally tells you, expect coconut flavors to come through from this Indian and Latin American blend.
- Soffio Cannella: Cannella, the Spanish word for cinnamon, and you can expect some nice subtle tones of cinnamon to come through from this dark roasted Asian and Latin blend.
- Soffio Mandorla: A dark roasted Brazilian and Indian coffee with notes of almonds.
- Decap Cioccolato: The chocolate flavors come through this organic coffee from Peru.
- Decaf Vaniglia: A great dark roasted organic Peruvian coffee with lovely vanilla tones.
My Suggestion: Aim at the variety pack, at least to start with. This will give you a great sample of the coffee capsules that they have and which ones you enjoy the most and which most suits your own coffee preference.
It is obvious Gourmesso love using South American coffee and Asian coffee, if you like those you will enjoy their capsules.
#2. HiLine Coffee And Their Nespresso Compatible Capsules
HiLine coffee predominantly uses coffee beans that come from South America and Latin American with some from Africa, which is where all the fab coffee grows. It is disappointing to see a lack of Asian and Southeast Asia coffee beans being used in what is a great brand.
One of the standout aspects of this brand is they are entirely digital with no physical stores, they are entirely an E-commerce brand and that saves them money which they can pass on to the end consumer.
Their generic capsules, which are available on all capsules and branded machines be it a Keurig or Nespresso are light in caffeine.
Coffee Capsules Available
- Greenwich Village: Orange, vanilla and fudge tones from this Brazilian dark roast.
- Times Square: Sage hints and chocolate tones from this Brazilian beauty! Dark roasted.
- Grand Central: Cherry and caramel notes from this Colombian coffee that is expertly dark roasted.
- Liberty: Raspberry notes and caramel tones from the Colombian coffee capsule; it is dark roasted.
- Central Park: Brazilian Decaf (who said Central Perk?) has cacao nib nuttiness.
- Wall Street: A dark roasted Indonesian Sumatra coffee with a nutty creamy profile.
- Broadway: Another Sumatran coffee. Expect tart, fruity notes.
- Kona Blend: Real Hawaiian Volcanic coffee, dark roasted to perfection.
- Chelsea: A light roast with citrus, cinnamon and blackberry hints. Guatemalan coffee.
- Brooklyn: made with medium-roasted Ethiopian coffee and has blueberry, walnut and great sweetness.
- West Village: A Guatemalan Medium roast with blackberry fruity notes and chocolate hints.
- Soho: A coffee from Guatemala with almond and cocoa notes.
Very Interesting Flavored Capsules
- Creamy Coconut: Brazilian dark roast with coconut flavors.
- Chocolate Donut: Ethiopian dark roast with chocolate flavors.
- Vanilla Macaron: A great dark roast from Ethiopia with biscuit taste and vanilla flavor.
- Pumpkin Spice: A great flavored coffee made with dark roasted Brazilian beans
- Hazelnut Cupcake: Dark roasted coffee from East Africa, with light hazelnut tastes.
- Sea Salt Caramel: A rather excellent capsule I must say! Ethiopian beans and dark roasted.
- Peppermint Bark: A dark roast from Southeast Asia with lovely minty tones.
My Suggestion: Absolute must-trys are the Sea Salt caramel, Pumpkin Spice and Broadway coffee capsules. You will enjoy the aromas and flavors. If you are new to this brand, start with their variety pack and enjoy a different coffee regularly.
#3 Bestpresso Coffee Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Bestpresso, founded in 2013 and have been making alternative third party Nespresso capsules for over a long, long, long time.
These coffee pods and capsules are very light on your pocket and are one of the least expensive ones.
Bestpresso, founded in 2013, and has been making alternative third party Nespresso capsules for over a long, long, long time.
These coffee pods and capsules are very light on your pocket and are one of the least expensive ones.
My Suggestion: As per the smart choice, go for the variety packs to start with as you will get a range of the above pods and capsules. When you have your favorite ones, buy a pack of those. There is no questioning their level of expertise and quality of coffee afteryour try your first variety pack.
#4. Jones Brothers Third Party Nespresso Compatible Capsules
The Jones Brothers Coffee is European based and run out of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The price and cost of their capsules is pretty good while not earth-shattering. They certainly make good coffee that you will enjoy.
Nespresso Coffee Pods From Jones Brothers
- Noir: Dark roasted coffee with strong tones of hazelnut and a prominent chocolate flavor.
- Elevate: A soft lemon zest, light intensity and slight and light sweetness from a medium roast.
- Gigolo: Very dark yet with very subtle and smooth tones of cocoa.
- Revive: A very interesting Medium-Dark roast balanced with a citrus tone.
- Enigma: Rich cocoa and roasted nuts taste from a deep dark roast.
My Suggestion: Jones Brothers focus on dark roasted coffee and deeper flavors. If this is the kind of coffee that you love, you will enjoy their coffee capsules. Try their sampler pack to start with.
#5. Café Joe USA Nespresso Alternative Compatible Capsules
Despite the name Café Joe USA is from Israel and despite being a very new name in the American coffee market they have been established for 30+ years.
The coffee beans that they use are sourced from all over the globe and their pods and capsules are very competitively priced.
Here Are Some Of Their Better Capsules
- Lucca: Subtle, sweet honey taste with nutty notes.
- Cuba: Made with Cuban coffee and is spicy, strong and with lovely chocolate tones and works great with milk-based coffee drinks like lattes, flat whites, cappuccinos and cortados. Great heavy body.
- Joe: This has a fruity acidity with a very nice aftertaste of honey.
- Trieste: A nice coffee with hazelnut and a subtle bitter after-taste.
- Extra Strong: Light cherry tones and a lovely dark chocolate taste.
- Colombia: A balanced robust bitter taste with fruity tones and a hint of spice.
- Ultra Strong: A bittersweet chocolate note balanced with light cherry flavors.
- Chiari: Smooth and soft yet balanced and punchy caffeine content from the Robusta beans.
- Costa Rica: This is an intense coffee from Latin America with vibrant fruity tones and level of sweetness.
- Decaf: Honey like after-tastes from a fruity acidic decaffeinated coffee.
My Suggestion: It is evident I love Cuba coffee. It is a great choice. As is the Colombia and Lucca capsules.
#6. Caffesso Compatible Capsules For Nespresso
Caffeso comes from my country, the United Kingdom, a company that adheres to the rules of 3 C’s of Coffee, club and compatibility.
What they mean by those 3 C’s are:
Coffee: Capsules that have a rich, thick quality crema that a barista would be proud of and produce great coffee.
Club: This is in refence to the Caffesso Coffee Club that have a loyalty program that you can benefit from by earning points that you can redeem for purchases of their products.
Compatibility: The final C, their capsules are compatible with a number of different coffee machines, including Nespresso and Keurig.
I think they forgot the 4th C, their coffee is cheap!
Caffesso Capsules Of Interest
- Forza Roma: A blend of Arabica and Robusta beans from India, Africa and Brazil. Woody and wine-like notes, which is great for dark roast.
- Milano: A great blend of African and Latin American coffees, full-bodied and dark roasted.
- Italiano: Very nice, very subtle caramel notes from a medium roasted blend of Asian and Latin coffee beans.
- Sidamo Single Origin: A great coffee from one of my fave single origin locations, Ethiopia, very floral in taste yet dark roasted.
- Colombia Single Origin: A well-made dark roasted Colombian coffee.
- Caramel: Asian and Latin blend of medium roasted coffees with very, very nice caramel tones coming through.
- Indiano: A good mix of Arabic and Robusta beans from India that are dark roasted and bring out the caramel tones.
- Lungo Forte: A smoky subtle dark roast with predominantly Colombian beans. There are African and other Latin American blends too. It is a very interesting coffee that leaves you very satisfied.
- Vanilla: A medium-dark roasted coffee with South American and Asian beans.
- Intenso: A dark roasted coffee with a notable citrus bite with Latin American blends and Ethiopian beans.
- Chocolate: Top quality Indian beans blended with South American beans, medium roast.
- Aromatica: Floral notes from this blend of Latino Beans. Roasted to the dark side of a medium roast.
- Decaffeinato: This decaf is low in acidity and medium roasted South American Blend.
My Suggestion: If you love exotic coffees, or simply enjoy coffees that taste exotic you will enjoy what Caffesso have on offer. They will strike a note with you if you enjoy Latin American coffees.
The Forza Roma, Lungo Forte and Sidamo Single Origin are three to try and die for!
#7 Lavica Nespresso Capsules
Lavica, an Italian Company that specializes in coffee and focuses on making third party Nespresso Capsules. They have a small range of specialist pods. Despite that lack of options, what they do have are outstanding.
Nespresso Coffee Capsules Available From Lavica
- Lungo: A medium roast that is a 60% Robusta and 40% Arabica blend, smooth and rich.
- Fortissimo: 10% Robusta and a 90% Arabica blend are very sharp and very intense.
- Belgian Chocolate: 60% Robusta and 40% Arabica blend with a soft, high-quality chocolate taste.
- Oro: 90% Robusta and a 10% Arabica complex blend that produces an hazelnut and bittersweet chocolate after-taste.
- Italiano: 60% Robusta and 40% Arabica and has a very nice hazelnut smooth caramel hints.
- Amabile: Medium roast that is a 50/50 half-and-half blend of Arabica and Robusta beans. Balances out there sweetness and an equal balance of bitterness. Nice.
- Decaffeinate: A very rich tasting decaff that is 70% Robusta and 30% Arabica beans.
My Suggestion: The Belgian chocolate is hard to look past for chocolate lovers and certainly worth trying out the Oro and Fortissimo are others that are of high, high quality.
(I said that twice for emphasis, high quality is what you get with this brand)
#8. Peet’s Coffee And Their Nespresso Compatible Capsules
What stands out about Peets Coffee is that they are also one of the top brands that produce third party Keurig K-Cups too, and, are a well respected regular whole bean coffee brand and a globally recognized coffee company.
They certainly do not disappoint with their range of Alternative Nespresso Capsules.
Here Are Four Of Their Very Best Nespresso Capsules
- Crema Scura
My Suggestion: Don’t wander or stray from their sampler. Their coffee is outstanding and of top quality. In fact, if you were to stock up on any of the Peets coffee capsules, do it with the sampler pack as you will have plenty of all of the above 4 capsules.
#9. Il Caffe Italiano Roma Third Party Nespresso Compatible Capsules
There are few well-established and well respected coffee companies that can compete with Il Caffe Italiano Roma, having been established in 1870.
With them jumping on the Nespresso train, you can expect capsules that are on par with any other coffee capsule producing brand.
This company focuses on lovers of Robusta, which I have a thing for after 3 years in Vietnam. Expect their capsules to be abundant in Caffeine.
Here Are Their Best Capsules
- Napoli: 95% Robusta 5% Arabica blend. Expect a smokey, floral and honey-like taste.
- Roma: 90% Robusta, 10% Arabica has very nice chocolate and caramel tones.
- Torino: 90% Robusta and 10% Arabica, very intense, bold and a punchy aftertaste.
- Trieste: 80% Robusta with 20% Arabica beans, very honey-like and fruity chocolate tones.
- Firenza: 60% Robusta and 40% Arabica, Expect honey and hazelnut tones.
- Venezia: 50% Robusta and 50% Arabica, smokey, floral and honey notes.
My Suggestion: If Robusta coffee beans are what you enjoy, then you will like what Il Café Italiano has on offer. They are lighter in flavor than the others and higher in caffeine. While I love Robusta, I understand that many others don’t. Thus, I did not rate these as high as I’d like too, but to be honest the competition is serious and tough as there are many top quality Nespresso Alternate brands available.
#10. Lavazza Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Lavazza, another well established Italian Coffee Company. There is no doubting Lavazza and their quality of coffee capsules.
Typically they only sell their capsules as part of a variety pack. This may change in the future.
Here are some of their better capsules:
- Lavazza Deciso Espresso: Earthy tasting with cocoa tones, medium roasted.
- Levazza Armonico Espresso: Very cereal like with caramel, dark roast.
- Lavazza Avvolgente Lungo: Spicy coffee. Dark roast.
- Lavazza Leggero Lungo: Floral and fruity, medium roasted.
- Lavazza Decaffeinato Ricco Espresso. Dry and fruity.
My Suggestion: If you love Italian coffee and Lavazza whole bean coffee, the Lavazza capsule will hit the spot for you. They are dark, rich and have a well-balanced caffeine content.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alternative Nespresso Capsules
Is There An Alternative To Nespresso Pods?
Yes, there are many alternatives to Nespresso pods. You are tied to or bonded to Nespresso capsules or pods as there are many alternative brands that make coffee pods and capsules that you can use in your machine.
Are Lidl Coffee Pods Compatible With Nespresso
Yes, Lidl have a range of coffee pods that are compatible with Nespresso machine. Their Bellarom coffee capsules have bold flavors that enjoyable and come in variety packs of 10.
Are Aldi Coffee Pods Compatible With Nespresso Vertuo?
Yes, Aldi have coffee pods that are fully compatible with Nespresso vertuo and other Nespresso machines.
Do Starbucks Pods Work In Nespresso?
Yes, there are Starbucks pods for Nespresso machines of all types.
Is Vertuo Better Than Original?
Nespresso Vertuo is considered to be better than the Nespresso Original due to the brewing process being more advanced. The coffee capsules are individually bar-coded, which the machine knows exactly how to brew that particular capsule perfectly.
The Nespresso Original has the advantage of being more versatile with due to being able to brew coffee capsule from third party manufacturers and brands.
Why Are Nespresso Pods Not Sold In Stores?
Selling in supermarkets is not part of the business model deployed by Nespresso. The company operates a value chaine where they can control all stages to ensure top quality for their customers.
Why Is Vertuo So Special?
A vertuo is special a the pods and machine can produce a better quality of cream making their espresso of a higher quality. The better crema is due to the higher speeds and better extraction process!
Can I Run My Nespresso Twice?
No, you cannot use the same pod or capsule twie to get a cup of coffee. If you do try to you will get a sour and underextracted cup of coffee that lacks taste and strength.
Frappé-Ing It All Up – Alternative Nespresso Capsules
There is no shortage of alternative Nespresso capsules that you have to choose from. There was once a time when all you could find was Nespresso capsules with no third party alternatives. I have no doubt that there will be more available as years roll past.
But these top 10 will take some beating due to their quality.
Join our cool coffee community and let us knwo what your favorite alternative Nespresso capsules are. FInd us on Facebook/Meta!