What are the best Nespresso Vertuo pods ?

After my initial shopping trip to a Nespresso store, I can now share my first review of the Nespresso Vertuo pods coffee. I’ll even provide a ranking based on my limited experience.

Please note that everyone has different tastes when it comes to food and beverages. This review will be based on my personal preference, which is for light roasted coffee.

Nespresso Vertuo

To provide a brief introduction to Nespresso Vertuo machines, they utilize centrifugal technology to extract coffee and produce a sort of crema.

However, this extraction method is less efficient compared to a traditional espresso machine, which typically uses more coffee and higher pressure to fully extract all the flavors.

The Vertuo Pods

The first thing to note about Vertuo Pods is that they come in different sizes for various styles of coffee.

From espresso to mug-sized servings, the extraction method varies. Initially, Vertuo Pods were designed with the American market in mind, where larger cups are commonly used.

Although Vertuo Pods include espresso options, the fact that Nespresso retained their original line of small sealed capsules with a silicone seal to withstand high pressure suggests that the classic pods are more specifically targeted toward espresso.

The grind and roast of Nespresso capsule

It is essential to understand that Nespresso uses innovative technology protected by patents.

This technology deviates somewhat from traditional pressure-extracted espresso. Therefore, the grind and roast are quite distinctive.

I found the coffee to be much darker compared to those from traditional espresso machines, which tend to be more brownish. Even if you choose a light roast coffee, the ground coffee beans inside the capsule will still be darker than typical espresso beans.

Keep this information in mind because the flavor profile of a coffee will highly depends on these two factors.

The different sizes of cups

There are seven different cup sizes, although the pods can have the same dimensions. For instance, Ristretto and espresso use the same capsule size, while mug and Gran Lungo also share the same dimensions.

  • Mug | 230 ml.
  • Gran Lungo | 150 ml.
  • Double Espresso | 80 ml.
  • Espresso | 40 ml.
  • Ristretto | 25 ml.
  • Carafe | 535 ml.
  • XL | 355 ml.

The different flavors

Each capsule has a unique color and specific font used on it. I must admit, Nespresso pods are by far the most appealing in terms of design. Compared to them, everything else from the competition feels cheap.

Nespresso is definitely aiming to get a luxurious vibe to the brand, hence the exclusive club and beautiful stores.

The ones I liked

1. Colombia

Colombia is arguably the most renowned country for coffee, and it’s no surprise why. If you’re seeking a perfectly balanced coffee—with rich flavor, a hint of bitterness, and a touch of acidity and sweetness—Colombia is the place to look.

2. Inizio

Inizio is a coffee made in Africa, specifically from Kenya and Ethiopia. Although different from Colombian coffee, it shares a rich and well-balanced flavor.

Slightly more bitter and roasted with character, it is still quite enjoyable.

3. Peru Organic

Peru Organic is, in my opinion, the easiest coffee to drink. It’s one of the least bitter Nespresso coffees I’ve tried, with a pleasant amount of acidity.

Despite being quite light, it is especially enjoyable as an espresso, although some might prefer a stronger coffee.

4. Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a coffee with no acidity, a medium level of bitterness, and a light body. Similar to Odacio, it features a strong cereal note, which isn’t my preferred coffee profile, but it could be appealing to those who enjoy that flavor.

5. Odacio

Odacio is a 230 ml coffee capsule featuring beans from Ethiopia and Nicaragua. This coffee has a slightly more roasted and bitter flavor with minimal acidity. It carries subtle cereal notes and a hint of fruitiness.

In my opinion, Odacio has a classic flavor profile, resembling the taste of regular coffee.

6. Bianco Forte

Bianco Forte is a blend of coffee from Kenya and Colombia, designed for mug-sized cups and perfect for mixing with milk.

It has a pronounced bitterness, complemented by notes of acidity and spices. I find that this coffee works best when paired with milk and sugar, which bring out a delightful caramel flavor.

The ones I wouldn’t buy again

1. Diavolitto

Diavolitto is a Brazilian coffee with a dark roast, featuring notes of oak and leather. It combines Arabica and Robusta beans, resulting in a robust body and a strong flavor.

To be honest, I think this coffee needs sugar and milk. It’s quite dark and tastes rather bitter.

2. Il Caffè

I’m not a big fan of dark roasted coffee, but some people might enjoy it. Il Caffè is a delightful blend of Colombian, Indian, and Vietnamese beans.

It is quite bitter with a rich body, and due to its darker roast, it features wood and cereal flavor notes. I think the is the strongest coffee when it comes to roast.

Overall impressions

While drinking coffee from Nespresso pods is highly convenient, it may not necessarily compete with machines that cost 40 times more like a Lelit Bianca and a proper grinder.

Although you can certainly taste differences between various pods, they all share a common trait—they can feel somewhat plain compared to a true espresso made with fresh beans.

The richness and diverse flavor profiles of a real espresso, which embodies a concentrated taste experience, are noticeably absent in Nespresso pods.

The coffee also comes barely warm, in fact the smaller the cup the colder the brew will be since the resistance has more time to reheat while brewing a long coffee.

This machine sits somewhere between a filter coffee and an espresso. It has some body and foam, but it doesn’t provide the best extraction or the highest quality coffee you can find.

I would even go as far to say that having an automated coffee machine or semi-automatic that grind fresh beans can definitely taste better than this.

The difference with a real espresso

Real espresso contains more coffee particles and is brewed at higher pressure and temperature, resulting in a more concentrated and thicker liquid.

In terms of flavor, an espresso is much stronger and richer. It’s almost like a thick caramel oil being extracted under pressure whereas the Nespresso Pods feels like a thicker version of filter coffee.

The crema is also completely different; here, it resembles more of an airy foam with a light appearance rather than tiny creamy caramel-colored bubbles.


In conclusion, Nespresso has always had a great idea in offering a diverse range of coffee with convenience.

However, the coffee, while consistent, tends to have a somewhat flat profile. This may be due to the technology and the coffee-to-liquid ratio.

If Nespresso could match the extraction quality of machines like the Lelit Bianca while maintaining the convenience of pods, these capsules would likely become popular with most people, including restaurants.

With a better extraction and lighter roast, we believe the espresso quality would be much richer in taste and texture. This might be a matter of technology and the ability of a capsule to withstand such high pressure.


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What do you think?

Written by dudeoi

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