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Compare All Nespresso Capsule Types

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When you want to quickly and easily brew coffee at home, a coffee machine such as Nespresso is an excellent choice. It requires single-use pods that are already pre-measured. All you have to do is pop your choice of coffee in the machine, add water, and turn it on. 

All of the hassle and mess is taken out of home brewing. But what type of Nespresso coffee is best for you? 

Keep reading to understand all you need to know about Nespresso and the different kinds of coffee that this unique, world-renowned machine can brew.

What Is The Difference Between Nespresso Pods and Capsules?

There are many single-serve options for coffee makers on the market. As you decide what to get, you’re sure to come across Nespresso pods and Nespresso capsules. What’s the difference?

It turns out, not much–the main difference is in the packaging. However, you need to make sure whether your Nespresso machine is compatible with pods or capsules, so you can buy the right single-serve coffee product. Not every machine can go with every capsule, either, so you may need to alter your machine purchase to match the type of Nespresso capsule you like the most. 

Nespresso pods: 

  • Are made out of paper packaging and are in a flat disk form. These pods look like teabags. To use them, you’ll need a machine that can use both ground coffee and pods, or one that is designed specifically for pods alone.

Nespresso capsules

  • Are based on the same concept as pods: they’re pre-measured, pre-packaged single servings of coffee. Their plastic or aluminum packaging is in a capsule-like shape and has a foil top. Typically, the color of a capsule will indicate the type or flavor of coffee inside. Not every machine is compatible with all types of capsules.

Both pods and capsules were designed with the same idea in mind: to provide a single serving of espresso in a convenient way. You’ll get the same amount of coffee and a consistent brew each time. They’re also single-use, so you will throw the pods and capsules away after brewing your cup. 

Different Types of Nespresso Capsules Compared

Nespresso offers a variety of coffee options. Whether you’re looking for a bold flavor or single-origin coffee, you’ll be able to find capsules that fit your preference. Here are the different types of Nespresso capsules.

Espresso Capsules

These capsules are “shorter” coffees, meaning that they were designed to be consumed as straight espresso or in a coffee drink that doesn’t involve a large volume of water. You can put an espresso capsule in your Nespresso machine and drink the coffee that comes out straight from the cup without any additions. These capsules are the ones Nespresso is most well known for, so a lot of people are used to drinking them. 

Because they’re “shorter” coffee, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t strong. You’ll find a decent variation of intensity in the Espresso capsules. They feature a coffee blend–the beans are from different origins rather than just one. The four kinds of Espresso capsules are:

  • Capriccio, which is very light and has cereal notes. 
  • Volluto, which features a sweet and fruity flavor. It also has some biscuity notes. 
  • Livanto, which has a caramelized flavor as well as some malted notes. 
  • Cosi, a fruity coffee that also has toasted and cereal notes. 

Intenso Capsules

Nespresso’s “intense” capsules have the greatest intensity of all the brand’s capsules. The five Intenso capsules have scores from 9-12 in intensity–the highest you’ll find in Nespresso’s products. If you’re looking for a bold, intense flavor, invest in these capsules, which boast full and tasty profiles. 

The five kinds of Intenso capsules are: 

  • Arpeggio, which features woody, cocoa, and grilled notes. 
  • Roma, which is very woody and has a strong roasted flavor. 
  • Ristretto, which provides chocolate hints. 
  • Dharkan, an especially intense coffee that tastes of toasted cereal and bitter cocoa powder.
  • Kazaark, the most intense coffee Nespresso offers. Its flavor is rich yet creamy with peppery notes.

Pure Origine Capsules

If you like single-origin coffee, this capsule is the Nespresso capsule for you. Pure Origine capsules feature beans that come from a single source. You’ll get a specific flavor and unique taste that’s entirely based on the location that the beans were grown in. 

Nespresso’s Pure Origine capsules are sourced from: 

  • Ethiopia, which has notes of wood and musk as well as a floral flavor profile. 
  • India, which features nutmeg, cloves, and cocoa flavors. 
  • Colombia, which provides a unique taste of cranberries and blackcurrants.
  • Brazil, which has a flavor profile akin to toasted grain.

Lungo Capsules

These capsules were made for “longer” drinks–drinks where you’ll add more water to the coffee. For example, Lungo capsules are perfect when you make lattes or cappuccinos. They’ll bring out a subtler taste yet more complex flavors that become well-balanced when a higher amount of water or milk is added.  

Lungo capsules come in four varieties: 

  • Linizio Lungo, a low-intensity coffee with cereal notes. 
  • Vivalto Lungo, which features cereal, roasted, and floral notes. 
  • Fortissio Lungo, which is intense but a little sweeter with malty toasted notes. 
  • Envivo Lungo, also intense with a woody, caramelized taste that incorporates a gingerbread flavor. 

Decaffeinato Capsules

You’ve probably guessed it–these capsules are decaffeinated. Keep in mind that decaf coffee isn’t necessarily wholly free from caffeine; Nespresso is transparent about the caffeine content of these capsules, which is at about 0.1%. However, all of the natural caffeine has been taken out of the capsules, and it’s a great choice for people who are looking to lower their caffeine intake yet can’t quite give up their coffee. 

There are four different Decaffeinato capsules: 

  • Decaffeinato Arpeggio, which has woody hints and cocoa. It also is of a higher intensity.
  • Decaffeinato Vivalto Lungo, which is also woodsy but features floral and cereal notes. 
  • Decaffeinato Intenso, a chocolatey coffee that is also more intense. 
  • Decaffeinato Volluto, which has biscuit, sweet, and fruity notes. 

Variation Capsules

These capsules are perfect for people who like flavored coffee. They’re essentially the Espresso capsule with certain flavors added, so your coffee has that kick of extra taste. These Variation capsules include: 

  • Vanilio Grand Cru, a vanilla-flavored coffee that’s smooth, sweet, and velvety. 
  • Caramelito Grand Cru, which is caramel-flavored. It has a full body with a delicate flavor and a creamy, smooth finish.
  • Ciocattino Grand Cru, which provides a chocolate flavor. It has a dark bitterness that blends perfectly with espresso, resulting in a full and rich profile.

Nespresso Espresso Capsules Compared

Nespresso’s Espresso capsules are basically the staple of Nespresso and are some of the most common Nespresso products that people buy. They contain common coffee blends and range in intensity. You’ll also find a wider variety of tastes in Espresso capsules than in other categories. Here are the full details on each kind of Espresso capsule.

Ristretto Capsule

Ristretto features Arabica beans from East Africa and South America. It’s an intense and full-bodied coffee with subtle fruity notes. The aroma also includes chocolate and a subtle contrast between a fruity and acidic profile.

Arpeggio Capsule

Arpeggio is creamy and intense, with an aromatic profile that features cocoa notes. It’s made from high-quality Central and South American Arabica beans. It’s intensely roasted to bring out the unique characteristics of each place of origin and is finely ground.

Roma Capsule

Roma’s woody and roasted notes come together to provide a balanced and full cup of coffee. Central and South American Arabica beans are lightly roasted this time and then finely ground to create a short espresso that isn’t too strong or intense. Its beans were cultivated at a high altitude.

Livanto Capsule

Livanto is well-balanced and stands out from the rest, thanks to its cereal and roasted notes. It provides a rounded profile with subtle fruity hints. The beans from Central and South America were grown following traditional methods, so their fruity and malted profile was preserved.

Capriccio Capsule

Capriccio provides a distinctive, rich taste. It contains South American Arabica beans with a little bit of Robusta as well. It all comes together for a strong cereal note and rich aroma. The beans are grown at a high altitude, then lightly roasted for light acidity.

Volluto Capsule

Volluto is the Espresso capsule that features coffee from high-quality, small plantations located in Colombia and Brazil. The Arabica beans in this capsule are sweet and fruity, and you’ll get a hint of a biscuity flavor as well. The coffee is lightly roasted to preserve the unique notes from each source, which value growing coffee beans in an environmentally friendly manner.

Cosi Capsule

This coffee provides a unique, lemony taste. It is lightly roasted and delivers refreshing citrus notes thanks to a special roasting method that is completed by the Nespresso Master Roasters. It’s the perfect choice for people who want a lightness and freshness to their coffee, or who’d like to test out a rare aroma that features hints of lemon.

Nespresso Capsule FAQ

Even after going through the breakdown of Nespresso’s different products, you may still have some questions about Nespresso capsules. Find answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

How Much Caffeine Is Contained In Each Nespresso Capsule?

The amount of caffeine you’ll get from your Nespresso coffee depends on a few factors: 

  • The type of coffee 
  • The degree to which it was roasted 
  • Where the coffee came from 
  • Type of bean; Robusta beans offer twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans

However, Nespresso does provide a general idea of the amount of caffeine you can expect for its different blends. Depending on the type of capsule, you’ll get: 

  • 55-65mg of caffeine in its Espresso capsules 
  • 77-89mg of caffeine in its Long capsules 
  • Less than 0.1% of caffeine in its Decaffeinated capsules

How Long Do Nespresso Capsules Last?

Nespresso delivers high-quality coffee. However, it’s well known that its machines and capsules are available at a high price point. Due to this, people want to know whether they can keep the capsules for a long time before using them, so their purchase doesn’t go to waste. 

The good news is, Nespresso’s capsules were designed specifically to last for a long time. You can have them for months or even years before putting them in your machine. The capsules are air-tight and do not let light or moisture in, so there’s no chance of bacteria or mold occurring. 

Nespresso does highly recommend that you use the capsules within a year of original purchase. This is because using them soon ensures that the coffee will still be fresh. Many people find that their Nespresso capsules offer the richest and freshest taste when used within the first six months after purchase.

What Are Nespresso Capsules Made Of?

Nespresso capsules are made out of aluminum material. Not only does this type of packaging ensure freshness and rich flavor, but it is also recyclable. Since capsules are single-use, Nespresso aims to prevent people from just throwing their capsules away, which adds to landfills. Instead, Nespresso specifically designed its capsules to be recycled so you can feel good about your single-serve coffee.

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