Best Nespresso Compatible pods in 2024 (Tasty Alternatives!)

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Johny Morrisson

Are you a coffee lover who enjoys the convenience of using Nespresso machines, but finds the cost of branded Nespresso pods a bit steep? Rest assured, you’re not alone in this pursuit.

Coffee lovers are increasingly seeking out alternative Nespresso compatible pods that offer a broader range of flavors and intensities compared to branded Nespresso pods.

Tastiest Nespresso Compatible Capsules
(Top Picks)

Illy Espresso Classico
(The Best Tasting Espresso)

  • Prepared with 9 varieties of 100% Arabica Beans
  • Medium, Dark, and Bold Roast available
  • Compatible with Original line

Bestpresso Coffee
(The Most Affordable Option)

  • 12 different blends available from mild to intense taste
  • Way more affordable than the Original Nespresso capsules
  • Made with 100% Arabica Beans

Starbucks for Nespresso
(Alternative option for Vertuo)

  • Variety Pack including Blonde Espresso Roast, Pike Place Roast, Colombia, Sumatra, and Espresso Roast
  • Both Espresso and Coffee size Capsules
Starbucks by Nespresso Vertuo

Why Trust Us

I have had the pleasure of tasting many 3rd party Nespresso capsule alternatives over the years. In this article, I share my judgment on the top features, flavor profiles, and notes of the best Nespresso-compatible pods, so you can find your perfect match.

These alternatives provide a welcome escape from the limitations of Branded Nespresso pods, while still delivering top-notch quality and seamless compatibility at an affordable rate.

Nespresso Compatible capsules

1. Illy Espresso Classico
(Best Tasting Nespresso Compatible Pods)

Illy coffee Capsules are the tastiest option and make the finest Espresso with Nespresso. Among all the capsules compatible with Nespresso Original machines, they effortlessly claim the crown, delivering an exceptional and unrivaled coffee experience.

Key FeaturesIlly Classico
Type of Beans100% Arabica from 9 different locations
SizeBoth Lungo and Espresso Available
RoastMedium, Dark and Bold Roast
MaterialAluminum Capsules

Illy sources 100% Arabica beans from 9 different locations to make the best blend that delivers an intense and rich Aroma.

Illy Nespresso Capsules are expertly roasted in Italy (The Birthplace of Espresso!) and you can choose among 3 different roast profiles; the Classico, Intenso, and Forte. I am a fan of their Classico Espresso Pod!

When considering the price per pod, it is more or less the same as Original Nespresso Capsules.


✔️ Prepared with 100% Arabica beans from the 9 best regions of the World.

✔️ Different Roast Options are available and the Decaf option is also there


❌ Not an affordable option

❌ May cause leakages sometimes

2. Bestpresso Coffee
(Cheapest Nespresso Pods)

Bestpresso is the best affordable alternative to Nespresso pods. These coffee capsules offer a satisfying coffee experience with an intensity level that ranges from 6 to 12. 

Key FeaturesBestPresso
Type of BeansBoth Robusta Blends and 100% Arabica Beans are available
SizeLungo, Espresso, Ristretto
RoastAvailable in 6 to 12 intensity range
MaterialPlastic Capsules with Aluminum Seal

The coffee beans used in these capsules are sourced from reputable regions in South and Central America, as well as Africa, ensuring a delectable blend of flavors.

Bestpresso Coffee offers a range of flavors to suit different tastes, including Intenso, Arabica, Espresso, and Ristretto.

The pods are made of plastic that might not be recyclable in all locations. Also, I must add you’ll not get the premium espresso taste with these pods. You can give it a try, though, as it’s very affordable and has good customer ratings (So, you might also like it).

At less than 35 cents per pod, Bestpresso is the cheapest option available, almost three times less than original Nespresso pods.


✔️ The most affordable option

✔️ Variety of pods available from low to high intensity and from 100% Arabica to Robusta Blends


❌ Made of plastic which might not be easily recyclable in all locations

❌ Not perfect for strong coffee lovers

3. Peet’s Coffee
(Best Seller Nespresso Capsulea)

Peet’s Coffee has got you covered with their Nespresso-compatible capsules that use only the best beans for a top-notch coffee experience. Peet’s offers a variety of delectable flavors, including Nerssimo, Ricchezza, Ristretto, and Crema Scura, providing an array of choices to suit every palate.

Peet's Coffee
Key FeaturesPeet’s Nespresso Pods
Type of BeansHigh quality Arabica Beans
SizeRistretto and Espresso
RoastMedium and Dark roast
MaterialAluminum Capsules

Peet’s Coffee takes pride in the expert roasting and grinding process, resulting in a rich and flavorful cup.

While Peet’s Espresso capsules are more expensive than some other alternatives on the market, their premium quality and hand-crafted approach make them a great choice for coffee enthusiasts seeking a refined and satisfying experience.


✔️ Loved by customers (Bestseller on Amazon)

✔️ Variert of coffee pods available from intensity 8 to 12


❌ The taste is a little weaker (Not perfect for strong coffee lovers)

❌ Cost as much as Nespresso pods (Expensive option)

 4. Starbucks for Nespresso Original Line

This is an excellent option for Starbucks coffee fans who want to enjoy the same signature Starbucks taste at home. Starbucks by Nespresso capsules range from intensity level 6 (blonde roasts) to 11 (dark roast) and offer a deliciously rich coffee taste.

Starbucks for Nespresso Original Line
Key FeaturesOriginal line Starbucks
Type of Beans100% Arabica Beans
SizeLungo and Espresso
RoastBlonde, Medium and Dark roast
MaterialAluminum Capsules

The price per pod is comparable to other alternative options, making it an affordable choice for those who want high-quality coffee without breaking the bank.


✔️ Variety of capsules available; from Blonde roasts in the 4–6 range to dark roasts in the 10–12 range.

✔️ Made with 100% arabica coffee grown with sustainable practices


❌ The quality of some Varieties like Colombia and Cafe Verona is not up to mark.

5. L’OR Nespresso Compatible Capsules

L’OR Nespresso Capsules are best for coffee enthusiasts who crave a wide array of flavors. L’OR offers an enticing selection of capsules, including the aromatic Colombia Andes, the bold Onyx, the intense Ristretto, and the delicate Papua New Guinea with an intensity level ranging from 7 to 12.

LOR Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Key FeaturesL’OR Capsules
Type of BeansBoth 100% Arabica Beans and Robusta blends are available
SizeRistretto and Espresso
RoastMedium and Dark roast
MaterialAluminum Capsules

L’OR Espresso Capsules offers a high-quality blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. These beans are thoughtfully selected and roasted to perfection, ensuring a luxurious and flavorful cup of coffee with each brew.


✔️ Wide variety of flavors is available

✔️ Made with the finest coffee beans from Central and South America


❌ Some users find the pods to be too weak

 6. Café Bustelo
(Best Nespresso Compatible Pods For Latte)

Café Bustelo Coffee is a perfect option for those who love the strong taste of coffee with notes of Cuban Sugar. These pods are perfect for making specialty coffee drinks such as Cappuccino or Latte with your Nespresso machine.

Cafe Bustelo Nespresso Capsules
Key FeaturesCafe Bustelo Nespresso Capsules
Type of Beans100% Arabica Beans from Brazil
RoastDark roast
MaterialPlastic Capsules

You’ll surely love the rich and bold flavor profiles of Café Bustelo Coffee. These capsules have an intensity level of 11 which provides a strong taste with a smooth finish.

It’s worth noting that the pods are made of plastic which may not be easily recyclable in all locations.

Additionally, the variety is limited with only dark roast options available.

In terms of pricing, the Café Bustelo Coffee capsules are very affordable compared to Original Nespresso capsules.


✔️ Rich and full-bodied flavors

✔️ Made with the finest coffee beans from Brazil


❌ Very limited variety of pods (Only dark roast available)

❌ Made of Plastic

7. Lavazza Capsules
(The best Affordable Option)

Lavazza Espresso Capsules offer a great way to enjoy premium Italian coffee at a more affordable price. This variety pack of 60 capsules includes four unique blends: Armonico, Deciso, Avvolgente, and Leggero with an intensity level of 6 to 12.

Lavazza Nespresso Capsules
Key FeaturesLavazza Nespresso Capsules
Type of BeansBlend of Arabica and Robusta
RoastDark roast
MaterialBoth Plastic and Aluminum Options are available

Lavazza Espresso Capsules are known for their quality and variety, as they’re made using a blend of high-quality Arabica and Robusta coffee beans that are carefully selected and roasted to perfection. 

You’ll love the smooth and creamy flavors, as well as the bold and strong taste of this coffee.

There Lavazza Capsules are available in both Aluminum and Plastic materials. The Plastic ones are very affordable, but they are not recyclable. The Aluminum ones are a little expensive, but they can be recycled.


✔️ Premium Italian coffee with High-quality Arabica and Robusta beans

✔️ Variety pack with four different flavor profiles


❌ Plastic capsules are not recyclable

❌ May be too bitter for smooth coffee lovers

8. Caffe Borbone Respresso

Caffe Borbone capsules are made from high-quality coffee beans roasted in Italy. Caffè Borbone Respresso has an intensity level of 11 and delivers a strong, full-bodied taste perfect for espresso or latte.

Caffè Borbone Respresso
Key FeaturesCaffe Borbone Respresso
Type of BeansBlend of Arabica and Robusta
RoastMedium roast

They come in packs of 100, ensuring that you’ll always have a delicious cup of coffee on hand.

The price per pod is very affordable, making Caffè Borbone Respresso a great option for those on a budget.


✔️ Rich and full-bodied taste (Perfect for strong coffee lovers)

✔️ Available at a much affordable price


❌ Plastic capsules are not easily recyclable

❌ Not much variety available

9. Rosso Capsules
(most affordable Aluminum Option)

Rosso Nespresso compatible capsules would be a great choice if you are on a budget and looking for an aluminum capsule that is also environmentally friendly. These capsules are carefully crafted from a blend of high-quality Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, resulting in a captivating coffee experience.

Rosso Cafe Nespresso Capsules
Key FeaturesRosso Cafe Nespresso Capsules
Type of BeansAll Light, Medium, and dark roasts of coffee are available
RoastAll Light, Medium, and dark roast coffee are available

Rosso offers a wide range of flavors from very strong to mild, However, it’s important to note that some customers complain about the weak or watery taste of coffee.


✔️ Wide range of variety is available from the intensity level 5 to 10

✔️ Available at a much more affordable price and made of aluminum material


❌ Occasional issues with consistency

❌ The taste is somewhat watery and weak

10. Starbucks for Nespresso Vertuo Line
(only Vertuo Compatible Capsules)

Starbucks for Vertuo line are the only 3rd party capsules that are compatible with Nespresso Vertuo machines. These capsules come in packs of 40 and include a range of popular Starbucks blends, such as Pike Place Roast, Blonde Espresso, Single-Origin Colombia, Sumatra, and Espresso Roast.

Key FeaturesStarbucks for Vertuo Line
Type of Beans100% Arabica Beans
RoastAll Starbucks signature roasts are available

It’s important to note that while the taste and convenience are highly regarded, they are not cheaper than branded Nespresso capsules.

Nonetheless, for avid Starbucks fans seeking the distinctive flavors and quality they love, these capsules offer an excellent opportunity to indulge in a Starbucks coffee.


✔️ All of Starbucks’ popular coffee blends are available

✔️ The only compatible option for the Nespresso Vertuo line


❌ The price is much higher – more or less the same as branded Nespresso

Factors to Consider while Buying Nespresso Compatible Pods

Here are some factors to consider while choosing the best Nespresso-compatible capsules.

1- Affordability

Many of us are seeking alternative Nespresso capsule options because the Branded ones are excessively expensive. Paying over $1 for a shot of Espresso doesn’t seem like a budget-friendly choice.

Bestpresso and Lavazza offer the most budget-friendly Nespresso-compatible capsules, starting at around 50 cents each.

Both brands offer a wide variety of flavors and blend to choose from, so you’re sure to find something to your liking.

Another way to enjoy Nespresso affordably is by using reusable pods. Check out the Best Nespresso reusable Pods

2- The type of Machine

You may already know that Nespresso offers two lines of machines i-e the Vertuo line and the Original line and the coffee capsules for these lines are not interchangeable.

You can easily use other brand capsules in Nespresso Original line machines, a huge variety is available from the most reputable coffee bean brands such as Illy, Peets Coffee, and many more!

Vertuo line capsules use a unique barcode technology that is exclusively developed by Nespresso. This limits the availability of alternative options, as only Starbucks is authorized to manufacture Vertuo capsules besides Nespresso itself.

3- Roast and Intensity Level

Different coffee brands offer a range of roast levels and intensity levels, so you can find the perfect cup for your taste buds.

Nespresso Intensity level, rated on a scale of 1 to 13, determines the strength and boldness of the coffee. For those seeking an intense and powerful espresso shot, higher-intensity level capsules are the way to go. 

And if you prefer a smoother and milder flavor profile, capsules with a lower intensity level will better suit your taste.

When purchasing alternative Nespresso coffee capsules, consider your preferred roast and intensity level to ensure that each cup exceeds your expectations.

4- Lungo vs Espresso

When looking for Nespresso capsule alternatives, it’s important to consider your personal preference for lungo or espresso shots.

As a Nespresso owner, I know that the flavor and strength of each shot can vary depending on the type of capsule used.

So, if you prefer a longer shot, it’s recommended to choose capsules that are specifically designed for lungo shots.

And if you prefer a shorter and stronger shot, you should go for capsules that are specifically designed for espresso or ristretto shots.

The difference between lungo and espresso shots is all in the water. Lungo shots use more water, resulting in a milder flavor. Espresso shots use less water, resulting in a stronger and more concentrated flavor.

5- Recyclability

Most alternative Nespresso pods are made of plastic (especially the affordable options), which is not easily recyclable.

If sustainability is important to you (Why it shouldn’t be?), look for brands that offer recyclable options.

Read a guide on recycling Nespresso pods

Final Thoughts

Personally, I have tried several of the alternative Nespresso-compatible pods mentioned in this article and have been impressed with their quality and taste. 

Illy and Peet’s Coffee are my top picks for their rich and bold flavor, which are comparable to branded Nespresso capsules. Starbucks by Nespresso is another excellent option, especially for those who prefer a milder coffee taste.

Looking for a way to store Nespresso Pods? Check out the Best Nespresso Pod Holders

Also Check out


Where is the cheapest place to buy pods for Nespresso?

The cheapest place to buy pods for Nespresso is usually directly from Nespresso’s website. They offer a variety of discounts and promotions throughout the year, such as bundle deals and free shipping. 
Additionally, Amazon is also a perfect place to buy 3rd party compatible and branded Nespresso capsules

Can you use your own Coffee in Nespresso?

Yes, you can use your own coffee grounds in Nespresso. For that, you have to buy refillable coffee pods that are easily available for Nespresso original line machines.

Do 3rd party capsules damage your machine?

3rd party Nespresso capsules don’t damage your machine in most cases, but it’s important to be cautious and only use capsules from well-reputed brands.

Do compatible pods compromise on flavor?

Not at all! Nespresso compatible pods can deliver full flavor without the high costs. Brands like Peet’s, Starbucks, and Illy offer quality capsules with a wide variety of bold, nuanced flavors to choose from.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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