Nespresso Original Capsules - The Best Nespresso Capsules Flavors!

Nespresso Original Capsules – The Best Nespresso Capsules Flavors!

Last updated on October 25th, 2023 at 14:42

In this article we talk about Nespresso Original Capsules and list our Top 10 Best Nespresso Capsules flavors and the top 5 Starbucks Nespresso Pods. You will see pods ranked with information on their intensity, roast, types of beans and caffeine content and size.

There are a few tips where appropriate to determine if the pods go well with milk or not or can be used to make iced coffee.

Keep reading as we dig down into this topic.

Nespresso Original Capsules – What You Need To Know

Currently, there are more than 50 Nespresso Original capsules with each of them having a different flavor profile, intensity rating and bold taste. Each capsule will come from different parts of the world and be either a blend of coffee or a single origin coffee with an intense flavor that you will enjoy.

Nespresso Original Capsules
A Nespresso Machine

Read: Nespresso Vertuoline third party capsules

Info On Roasts

The roast levels also vary across the spectrum, including light roast, blonde roast, medium and dark roast coffee. The darker roasts have all the usual nutty, chocolate-like darker, deeper tastes. The light roast coffee capsules have more of the flavors from their origins and are more floral by nature.

Intensity Rating

The intensity rating of each capsule is on the standard intensity scale of 1 to 13. The intensity is based on a few factors, including:

  •  Bitterness.
  • Roast.
  • Body.
  • Concentration Of Coffee.

The higher the intensity score and intensity rating, the stronger the taste will be.

Caffeine Level

The caffeine content for Nespresso Original capsules ranges from 50 to 80 milligrams of caffeine per cup of coffee made, which, for an espresso, is a very common caffeine range for this kind of coffee drink.

A Starbucks espresso shot has 75 milligrams of caffeine.

Most Nespresso capsules have a very moderate caffeine content.

Coffee Beans

The type of coffee beans used are mainly Arabica, with only a few being from Robusta or being a blend of both types of coffee beans.

Notable, Starbucks Nespresso pods are exclusively Arabica coffee beans.

Nespresso has a cluster of aromatic notes which are:

  • Fruity and flowery.
  • Balanced.
  • Intense.

The Nespresso Original machines can make only 3 types of espresso: which are ristretto, lungo and a regular espresso. The difference between the three is how much water is used and thus the coffee to water ratio.

A ristretto is more focused and concentrated while a lungo is a longer espresso.

It is important to differentiate between Nespresso Original Capsules and Nespresso vertuo capsules.

Coffee Beans
Coffee Beans

Nespresso Original Capsules

It is very important to know that only Nespresso Original Capsules can be used in Nespresso Machines. These are the capsules that can be described as looking like a top hat.
These specialize in espresso drinks, lungo, ristretto and regular espresso shots.

Nespresso Vertuo Capsules

These are the dome shaped capsules and can only be used in a Nespresso Vertuo machines. These make good mug sized coffees and lungo and double espresso and single espresso shots.

You cannot be interchangeable with your capsules. They are designed for specific machines.

The Best Nespresso Capsules Flavors – Our Top 10 Picks

The following are what we consider to be the top 10 Nespresso capsules based on flavor.

#1 Firenze Arpeggio – Best Overall

Intensity rating: 9

Roast: Dark roast.

Type of coffee: Arabica.

Caffeine Content: Medium 63 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Creamy, cocoa, intensely roasted.

Sizes: Espresso 1.35 Oz (40ml)  Ristretto 0.85 Oz (25ml) 

The Arpeggio is a coffee lovers favorite and is perfect for making flat whites, cortados, lattes and cappuccinos. It’s smooth, creamy, intense and not too bitter tasting.

Firenze Arpeggio
Firenze Arpeggio

#2 Ristretto Italiano – Runner Up

Intensity Rating: 10.

Roast: Medium-Dark Roast.

Type Of Coffee: Arabica and Robusta Blend.

Caffeine Content: Medium 75 milligrams.

Aromatic notes: Berry, Intensely Roasted.

Sizes: Ristretto 0.85 Oz (25ml), Espresso 1.35 Oz (40ml).

Ristretto Italiano can be enjoyed hot or as an iced coffee. Although the name is Ristretto Italiano it is available in both ristretto and espresso size. The smaller ristretto has a more intense flavor.

Ristretto Italiano
Ristretto Italiano

#3 Roma – Best For Iced Drinks.

Intensity Rating: 8.

Roast: Light roast.

Type Of Coffee: Arabica And Robusta Blend.

Caffeine Content: Medium 63 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Woody and Balanced.

Cup sizes: Espresso 1.35 oz (40ml), Ristretto 0.85 oz (25ml).

Roma is a great choice if you love iced drinks like a regular iced coffee or a more exotic iced caramel macchiato. The Roma and Indonesia have similar profiles. Nay sayers say it has too smoky of a flavor and tastes burnt.

Nespresso Roma
Nespresso Roma

#4 Cosi – Best Light Roast

Intensity Rating: 4

Roast: Light roast

Type of coffee: Arabica coffee beans.

Caffeine Content: Medium, 59 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Citric, mild and delicately toasted.

Sizes: Espresso 1.35 ounces (40ml).

Cosi is a great choice if you love light roasted coffee. This one is light, fruity and slightly citric. If you enjoy Ethiopian coffee you will love cosi.

Nespresso Cosi
Nespresso Cosi

#5 Napoli – Best Dark Roast.

Intensity Rating: 13.

Roast: Dark roast.

Caffeine Content: Very High, 109 milligrams.

Type Of Coffee: Arabica And Robusta Beans.

Aromatic notes: Creamy, Intense and Cocoa notes.

Sizes: Espresso 1.35 oz (40ml), Ristretto 0.85 Oz (25ml).

The intensity rating of a maximum 13 should tell you this is a strong and intense coffee. Despite the high intensity, it is not bitter at all. This capsule is great with milk with the flavor of the coffee cutting through the milk perfectly. This is great for making lattes and flat whites.

Nespresso Napoli
Nespresso Napoli

#6 Scuro – Best Omni Roast.

Intensity Rating: 6.

Roast: Omni Roast, Light Roast and Dark Roast.

Type Of Coffee: Arabica Beans.

Caffeine: Medium 73 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Balanced, Intense and  Roasty.

Sizes: Ristretto only 0.85 oz (25ml).

A medium intensity and a well-thought-out omni roast make this a tasty and mild coffee. It goes well both with milk and without milk. I love the Scuro with oat milk.

Nespresso Scuro
Nespresso Scuro

#7 Palermo Kaazar

Intensity Rating: 12.

Roast: Dark Roast.

Type Of Coffee: Robusta coffee beans.

Caffeine Content: Very High 120 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Spicy, Woody and intense.

Sizes: Espresso 1.35 Oz (40ml) and Ristretto 0.85 oz (25ml).

The Palmero Kaazar is rich, intense and packs a caffeine kick. The intense flavor cuts through milk, making it great for milk-based espresso drinks like cappuccinos, flat whites, cortados and lattes. The smoky and spicy notes shine and linger beyond the mild.

Nespresso Palermo Kaazar
Nespresso Palermo Kaazar

#8 Cape Town Envivo Lungo – Best Lungo.

Intensity Rating: 10

Roast: Medium-dark roast

Type Of Coffee: Arabica and Robusta Blend.

Caffeine Content: Medium 70 milligrams

Aromatic Notes: Roasted, Woody and Intense

Sizes: Lungo 3.7 oz (110ml).

The Cape Town Envivo Lungo is the most popular and most loved lungo of them all. This can be enjoyed both with and without milk. Perfect every day coffee with an intense and woody taste.

Cape Town Envivo Lungo
Cape Town Envivo Lungo

#9 Capriccio.

Intensity Rating: 5

Roast Level: Light Roast.

Type Of Coffee: Arabica and Robusta Blend.

Caffeine Content: Medium 70 milligrams.

Aromatic notes: Rich and Distinctive

Cup Sizes: Espresso 1.35 oz (40ml).

This Capriccio capsule is perfect for an everyday coffee when made with a dash of milk like a macchiato or cortado. The low intensity rules it out for lattes and flat whites as the coffee flavor will not cut through the milk and taste too milky.

Nespresso Capriccio
Nespresso Capriccio

#10 Corto.

Intensity Rating: 11.

Roast Level: Dark Roast.

Type Of Coffee: Robusta beans.

Caffeine Content: High, 103 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Spicy, dark roasted.

Sizes: Cortado Cappuccino 40ml (1.35 oz).

The corto is best enjoyed with milk. It is strong and has a degree of bitterness and has a great caffeine kick.

Nespresso Corto
Nespresso Corto

The Best Starbucks Nespresso Pods – Our Top 5 Picks.

The following Nespresso pods by Starbucks are own top picks and available in the Starbucks variety pack.

#1 Starbucks Blonde – Top Choice, The Very best Starbucks Nespresso Pod.

Intensity Rating: 6.

Roast Level: Light Roasted.

Type Of Coffee: Arabica beans.

Caffeine Content: Medium, 65 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Smooth, Sweet and Balanced.

Sizes: Espresso 40 ml (1.35 Oz) Ristretto 25ml (0.85 oz).

The Starbucks blonde stands head and shoulders above all other Nespresso pods by the coffee franchise giant. Best of all you can use this to make copycat Starbucks drinks at home. The taste is smooth, light and sweet. Very balanced.

Try it – you will love it!

Starbucks Blonde
Starbucks Blonde

#2 Starbucks Caffe Verona – Runner Up.

Intensity Rating: 10.

Roast Level: Dark Roast.

Type Of Coffee: Arabica Beans. 

Caffeine Content: Medium 69 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Burnt Sugar, Dark Cocoa

Sizes: Espresso Only 40ml (1.35 oz).

While some coffee enthusiasts consider Starbucks Caffe Verona Pod to be the best Starbucks Nespresso Pods, and it is a great tasting coffee, it is only just edged out by Starbucks Blonde. The best part with Starbucks Nespresso pods is you can purchase a variety pack and have no really need to choose between the two.

Starbucks Caffe Verona
Starbucks Caffe Verona

#3 Starbucks Pike Place

Intensity Rating: 7.

Roast Level: Medium Roast.

Type Of Coffee: Arabica Coffee Beans.

Caffeine Content: Medium, 75 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Toasted Nuts And Chocolate.

Size: Lungo 3.7 Ounces (110ml).

Starbucks popular blend of Latin American Arabica coffee beans is rich yet subtle, and has notes of toasted nuts and chocolate.

Starbucks Pike Place
Starbucks Pike Place

#4 Starbucks House Blend

Intensity Rating: 8

Roast Level: Medium Roast

Type Of Coffee: 100% Arabica Coffee Beans.

Caffeine Content: Medium, 75 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Cocoa and Toffee notes.

Size: Lungo 3.7 Ounces (110ml)

The Starbucks house blend is deceptively simple and a very fine and very well-thought-out blend of coffee beans from Latin America. Enigmatically loaded with flavor yet very balanced with touches of cocoa and toffee coming through.

This will have you making all your favorite Starbucks coffee at home.

Starbucks House Blend
Starbucks House Blend

#5 Starbucks Colombia.

Intensity Rating: 7.

Roast Level: Medium Roast.

Type Of Coffee: 100% Arabica Coffee Beans.

Caffeine Content: Medium, 65 milligrams.

Aromatic Notes: Toasted walnuts and herbs.

Size: Lungo 3.7 Ounces (110ml).

Colombian coffee is loved all over the world, and for good reason! It is wash processed and juicy, clean and very nutty with hints of herbs and cocoa. This is fantastic on its own or with a variety of milk.

Starbucks Colombia
Starbucks Colombia

Frequently Asked Questions About Nespresso Original Capsules

Is Nespresso Discontinuing Original Line?

Nespresso discontinued the production and sale of 4 of their popular single origin coffee capsules from the original line. These were Indriya from India, Rosabaya from Colombia, Dulsao from Brazil, and Bukeela ka Ethiopia. These were replaced with a new range of coffee capsules with similar flavor profiles.

Do Nespresso Pods Fit All Machines?


Nespresso pods do not fit all machines. They are however, compatible with a number of other machines, including Breville / DeLonghi, Nespresso machines, including all Citiz models, all Pixie models, all Essenza models, all U models, and Le Cube, Inissia, Maestria coffee machines.

How Many Original Nespresso Pods Are There?

There are 24 original Nespresso coffee capsules which come in three different cup sizes. All the 24 original Nespresso coffee capsules are ethically and sustainably sourced from all parts of the coffee world.

Do Original Capsules Work In Vertuo?

No, unfortunately, it is not possible for you to use original Nespresso pods in Vertuoline machines as the shapes are very different, and simply they are incompatible. The Vertuoline machines are designed with a rounded pod and have a barcode that instructs the machine exactly how to brew the coffee.

What’s The Difference Between Vertuo And Original?

The main difference between the vertuo and the Original is the original offers a more diverse variability in flavors and brands, where as the vertuo is very proprietary but has different sized pods for larger cups of coffee. You can get around this with the Original pods by using more to make a bigger cup of coffee.

What Are The Color Codes For Nespresso Capsules?

Nespresso capsules are color coded, and you organize them well. If you want to do so, here is what they mean:

  • Black: Ristretto.
  • Green: Lungo.
  • Blue: Intenso.
  • Gold: Vanilla.
  • Brown: Cremoso.
  • Red: decaffeinated.

Are There 2 Types Of Nespresso Pods?

Yes, there are the Nespresso Original pods that are small and narrow and available in only one size. There are the Vertuo pods that are round, wide and have different heights depending on the contents of the pod.

Can You Use A Nespresso Original Pod Twice?

No, if you try to brew a Nespresso pod twice you will end up with a cup of coffee that is weak, watery and lacking in flavor and taste. You can make use of your old coffee grounds by adding them to your compost pile and your pod is great for using for seedlings or arts and crafts projects.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Nespresso Original Capsules

You don’t have to use Nespresso Original Capsules, other coffee companies also produce compatible pods for Nespresso Original Line machines.

What you can’t do is put the wrong capsule or pod into the wrong machine – it simply will not work. Which of our top Nespresso flavors did you enjoy the most? And what about Starbucks Nespresso Pods?

Did you agree with our ranking? If not, tell us why!

Join our fun and friendly coffee community and share your Nespresso Coffee “Secrets”

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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