A Nespresso machine can do a whole lot more than just make a tasty cup of java. From rich dark espresso to creamy lattes all layered with a thick crema there’s a huge variety of options all from the simple press of a button.
The only downside with these machines is the waste they produce. Each cup of coffee leaves a spent capsule that can end up going to a landfill. Not good news when most of us are consciously trying to be more eco-aware.
This is where Nespresso refillable capsules can save the day. Instead of throwing out old capsules why not use ones that you can refill with fresh coffee and use over and over again saving money and saving the planet in the process.
This brings us to which are the best Nespresso refillable capsules for your Nespresso machine.
To answer this question we need to start with the model of Nespresso machine you own. This article takes you through the different kinds of machines, how the pods work, and then we have some reusable pods reviewed for each type of machine.
Have a browse through and if you like the looks of any of these capsules click the ‘Price and Reviews’ button to check current prices on Amazon. Now let’s not wait any longer and get stuck right into the different kinds of Nespresso machine and how the pods work!
The Different Kinds of Nespresso Machines
There are two lines of Nespresso machine that each accepts slightly different Nespresso pods. There’s the Vertouline and the Original Line. The Vertuoline is designed for larger-sized, specialty drinks and works by reading a barcode on the pod. The original line is designed to fit various pods types as they don’t use barcodes to register the pod.
Vertuoplus, Vertuonext and Vertuomanuel are the three main kinds of Vertuo machines.
The Original Line includes the Pixie, CitiZ, Lattissima, Atelier, and Creatista.
How The Pods Work
The original line machines use pressure to extract the coffee flavor and brew espresso and different kinds of coffee. The Vertuoline machines use a centrifugation technique where the capsule is spun at speeds of 7000rpm. This produces a different flavor experience and a thicker crema.
The Vertuoline capsules have barcodes built into the rim of the capsule to alert the coffee machine to the size and brew method required. The Original Line options don’t have this issue so the machines have greater compatibility with third-party manufacturers’ coffee capsules.
You can buy reusable pods or kits that help you to reuse your Nespresso pods. This helps make these coffee makers a bit more eco-friendly compared to single-use coffee pods. It can also help save money and allows you to choose a different type of coffee to use with your machine. Refilling the capsules is a bit fiddly and does remove the ease that comes with owning a pod machine. In the end, it’s your choice which option suits you better!
Nespresso Originalline Reusable Coffee Pods
Material: Stainless Steel
Compatible With: Nespresso U, Pixie, Le Cube, Essenza, Maestria, Lattissima, Inissia, and Concept
These stainless steel capsules fit most of the Original Line Nespresso machines. They are very straightforward to use. All you need to do is fill the capsule with freshly ground coffee beans, gently level it (don’t tamp or compress the coffee), and clip the lid on top. Place it in the machine and enjoy your cup of coffee!
Because their stainless steel these capsules don’t absorb odors or stains and are hygienic to use over and over. It’s recommended to use a dark/medium roasted coffee and a medium-fine grind size to get the best results.
It comes with a coffee scoop and a little brush to help you keep it clean which is a nice touch.
The main issue with these pods comes from coffee being too tightly compacted so you don’t get a good water infusion. Don’t use a tamper when loading these capsules or opt for a coarser grind. Once you get the balance just right, these refillable capsules will serve you well.
Brand: Seal Pod
Material: Stainless Steel
Compatible With: Pixie, Inissia, Creatista, Expert, Citiz, Essenza, Latissima, Le Cube, Maestria, U, and more.
These refillable coffee pods are a great option for espresso brewing due to their sticker lid design. This allows more pressure to build up in the capsule so gives a richer espresso taste and thicker crema.
The capsule is made from food-grade 304 stainless steel and is extremely durable. All you need to do is add your coffee grounds and use the scoop to gently tamp them in place. The aluminum foil lids stick on top and seal the pod.
The pack comes with two original capsules, 100 foil seals, and two fresh covers that allow you to set up the capsule in advance and store it ready for use.
Nespresso Refillable Capsules
Brand: Alchemy Bar Goods
Compatible With: Essenza, U, Milk, Citiz, Citiz- Milk, Gran Maestra, Maestria, Pixie, Lattissima, Lattissima +, Concept, Le Cube, & Inissia
One of the simpler designs, these refillable Nespresso pods are really easy to use. Similar to the i Cafilas you just need to add your favorite coffee and clip the lid in place. The body of this capsule is plastic but it’s 100% non-toxic and BPA-free. It has a mesh steel lid to allow the water to infuse with the coffee grinds.
These espresso capsules are easy to use but do take a bit of practice to get them set up just right. You need to adjust the grind size as well as making sure you firmly tamp down the coffee. The pods come with a scoop that doubles as a tamp to help you achieve this.
Nespresso Vertuoline Reusable Nespresso Pods
Material: Stainless Steel
Compatible With: Nespresso Vertuoline GCA1,vertuoline GCC1, Delonghi ENV135 series,VertuoPlus BNV420 series and VertuoPlus De’Longhi ENV150 series.
These reusable Nespresso capsules come as stainless steel pods with aluminum foil lids. There’s a bit of an art to using them as you have to get the correct amount of coffee, right tamping pressure, and ensure you get the sticker in just the right position.
Too little coffee results in a weak tasting, thin brew but too much will pop the lid off during brewing which isn’t ideal. You need to press the coffee in place but don’t press too hard. Finally, when placing the lid over this capsule make sure it’s not obscuring the barcode at all otherwise it won’t work.
It’s a bit of a tricky design and the reviews seem to be a mixed bag. They work really well for some people but cause issues for others. It’s important to make sure these are compatible with the machine you have and then take some time to ensure you are filling them correctly.
Material: Aluminum Foil
Compatible With: Vertuoline Nespresso Machines
A slightly different concept here but instead of buying Nespresso compatible capsules you can just buy replacement lids for the regular capsules. It takes a bit of patience to cut away the old lid but once you remove this you can proceed like you would for other reusable capsules. Fill with coffee, tamp gently and place the Capmesso lid over the top.
It’s not the simplest task and you do need to take care not to cover the barcode as you fix the cap in place. These lids are only compatible with the Vertuoline Nespresso coffee capsules, not the original line models.
The benefit of using these are the capsule fit well in the machine so don’t cause any issues here, you can use any coffee you like and you preserve the barcode on the capsules so the machine knows what size of drink to deliver.
My-Cap’s Silicone Cap
Compatible With: Vertioline Nespresso Machines
Similar to the Capmesso, My-Cap’s silicone cap is an easy way to re-use the traditional Nespresso Vertuoline capsules. The benefit of this option is that it is completely reusable so less waste compared to the foil lid option.
You follow the same steps as with the Capmesso, emptying and preparing the capsule. Once the coffee is added you can either clip the silicone lid in place or use a paper coffee filter first before you attach the lid. The box comes with 100 filters so you can try with or without and see which you prefer.
The one upside to the foil lids is if you want to prepare pods in advance they will stay fresh thanks to the air-tight seal. My-Cap has addressed this issue by including a silicone lid that you can use to seal up the coffee-containing capsule ready to use in your espresso machine whenever you fancy.
This is a cost-effective, low waste option but they don’t seem to work great with every machine. For the cheap price, they’re worth a try and the majority of coffee lovers get on well with them.
The Nespresso Recycling Program
If re-usable pods are too much of a hassle but you still want to minimize your impact on the environment then you’ll be pleased to hear about the Nespresso recycling program. This allows you to gather up and send back your used pods by dropping them off at a designated UPS location or collection point. Check the Nespresso website for your nearest point.
The Bottom Line
The best Nespresso capsules to use in your machine has to come down to personal preference. If you want coffee fast and basically need your machine to perform like a barista from start to finish then just opt for the regular capsules.
If you’re very eco-aware and keen to minimize your coffee-makers footprint then a reusable pod is the perfect choice for you. They’re a bit more work but give you the added benefit of being able to use any blend of coffee you prefer.
All these different capsule options have their own positive and negative points so just make sure you do your research and choose the one that best fits your needs. Happy brewing!