Can you use your own coffee in Nespresso?

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Johny Morrisson

Nespresso machines are convenient, but convenience comes at a cost. Nespresso coffee capsules are significantly more expensive than regular coffee grounds.

Can you use your own coffee in Nespresso

Let’s discuss how to use your own coffee grounds in Nespresso and whether it is even feasible to do this. Keep reading till the end to find out why I don’t recommend it!

How to use your own coffee in Nespresso

You will need reusable coffee capsules to brew your own coffee grounds with a Nespresso machine. These capsules are available for both the Vertuo and Original line machines.

Follow these steps:

1- Fill the reusable coffee capsule with 5-7 grams of your desired coffee grounds

2- Tamp the grounds to flatten the surface and cover it with aluminum foil.

3- Insert the capsule into the machine and brew as usual.

There are two types of capsules you can buy for your Nespresso machine:

Types of reusable pods for Nespresso

Plastic capsules

Plastic capsules are the cheapest and can work well with Nespresso machines.

However, some users have complained that plastic capsules dilute the taste of coffee and also, they don’t last long.

These capsules must be discarded after 8 or a maximum of 10 brews.

Plastic capsules for Nespresso

Metal Capsule

My recommendation is to buy a Metal reusable capsule as they last longer and are similar to the original aluminum Nespresso capsules.

Metal capsules are available with both sticker closure and screw top closure.

If you buy one with a sticker closure you have to change the sticker every time.

If you buy one with screw top closure you should clean and descale it regularly as it gets clogged with time.

Metal capsules for Nespresso

Check out a detailed guide on Best Nespresso Refillable Capsules

how many grams of coffee in a Nespresso pod?

The amount of coffee in a Nespresso pod can vary depending on the specific type of pod.

The Espresso pods have around 5 to 7 grams of coffee grounds, the Vertuo Coffee pods have around 12 to 13 grams of coffee grounds and the Lungo pods have 7 to 8 grams of coffee grounds.

Keep these numbers in mind while filling the reusable capsules with coffee grounds.

What grind you should use in reusable capsules?

You should use Fine or Medium fine grind sized coffee grounds while filling Nespresso reusable capsules.

It shouldn’t be too fine as it can clog the reusable coffee pod and it shouldn’t be too coarse either otherwise you will end up with a weak or watery espresso.

Here’s a detailed guide on coffee grind sizes.

Can you reuse Nespresso pods with your own coffee?

Technically, you can reuse Nespresso pods and fill them with your own coffee, but I won’t recommend it as it will deliver quality and consistent tasting drink

Here’s the trick to do that effectively.

  • Remove the aluminum foil of the used capsule: With the help of a sharp knife, cut away the aluminum foil from the top of the coffee pod
  • Empty & clean capsule: Now, discard spent coffee grounds from the capsule and thoroughly rinse the capsule with warm water to remove any residue left behind and let the capsule dry.
  • Fill the capsule with ground coffee beans: Now fill the capsule with about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of your desired coffee grounds. It is recommended to use a fine grind.
  • Now slightly press the grounds to equal them out, but you don’t have to tamp them down as in the case of the Espresso machine.
  • Cover the capsule with aluminum foil: Cut a piece of aluminum foil large enough for the capsule and entirely wrap the capsule top with it.
  • Brew the coffee: Now, put the capsule back in the machine and enjoy freshly brewed coffee with your Nespresso machine.

However, remember that you have to do some experimentation with the coffee grind size and amount of coffee grounds to achieve the perfect taste.

Benefits of using your own coffee with Nespresso

1. Cost Effective

Coffee grounds are way more cost-effective than Nespresso capsules.

Let’s do some Maths to see how much money you can save.

Branded Original line Capsules cost around 0.7 to 0.9 dollars per capsule and Vertuo line capsules cost around 0.9 to 2 dollars depending on the size of the Nespresso capsule.

Nespresso coffee capsules contain 5 to 6 grams of coffee. That means 1 kg of coffee grounds from Nespresso capsules will cost around 150 to 200 dollars depending on the capsule.

On the other hand, you can easily buy good quality coffee grounds for 20 to 40 dollars per kg.

Also, add the cost of reusable coffee capsules and lids still you can save around 100 dollars per kg of grounds or per 200 cups of coffee.

2. Environmental friendly

Although Nespresso has a good recycling program and they have recycling centers spread across the globe still most coffee pods end up in waste.

According to reports, only 29% of Nespresso pods are recycled.

So, saving the environment might be a good reason to start using reusable coffee capsules.

3-     Use your favorite coffee grounds

Everyone has their own favorite coffee mine is Illy and Lavazza.

The best thing about using reusable Nespresso pods is you can use your favorite coffee grounds.

And also, you can increase or reduce the amount of coffee grounds according to your preference.

Drawbacks of using your coffee with Nespresso

In my opinion, the drawbacks of using your own coffee in Nespresso outweigh the benefits.

1- May cause compatibility issues

Nespresso doesn’t manufacture any kind of reusable capsules for its machines and why should they? They are actually earning more by selling coffee pods than by selling the machines themselves.

So, the only option you have is to use reusable capsules manufactured by third-party companies. And these coffee capsules are not compatible with every Nespresso machine.

It’s very likely that you to buy a reusable capsule that isn’t compatible with your machine and you end up wasting the money or damaging your machine in the worst case.

When buying reusable capsules, always make sure the name of your Nespresso model appears in the description and reviews.

2- Coffee may taste weak or bad

Several users have complained that their coffee tastes weak and bad when they use reusable capsules. And I have noticed it myself too.

The best thing about Nespresso capsules is consistency in taste and you can never achieve it while using reusable capsules.

3- The machine may start to leak

As stated earlier Nespresso doesn’t manufacture reusable capsules and also doesn’t recommend using them. So, you have to use them at your own risk.

There are cases when the plastic reusable capsules burst inside the machine and clogging in the metal capsules might cause your Nespresso machine to leak.

That’s why I never recommend using reusable capsules, especially during the 1 year warranty period.

4- It’s much hassle

Let me ask you a question Why have you bought the Nespresso machine?

For convenience and quick brewing time. Right?

Then what’s the point of measuring and grinding coffee beans, tamping them, and cleaning refillable pods again?

If you like this process, you should have bought the traditional Semi Automatic Espresso machine instead for the same price. At least you can brew a better-tasting Espresso with a traditional Espresso machine.

That’s why in my opinion using refillable coffee pods with a Nespresso machine doesn’t make sense. You should keep it simple; Put the pod in, push the button, and drink.

Final thoughts

I hope after reading this guide you can easily use your own coffee in Nespresso.

Nespresso machines are designed keeping convenience and user-friendliness in mind and in my opinion that purpose can only be fulfilled if you are using disposable Nespresso capsules.

You can get a decent Espresso shot using reusable capsules but in my experience, it’s always weaker and less consistent than Nespresso capsules.

Sure you can give it a try and see if it works for you or not. It’s much more cost-effective than using Nespresso capsules anyway.

Read a detailed guide on Whether the Nespresso machines are worth it


Can you reuse Nespresso pods twice?

It’s OK to use Nespresso pods twice if you want. However, the taste, aroma, and flavors will be affected and you will end up with a very bitter and weaker cup of coffee.
Here’s a detailed guide on whether can you use a Nespresso pod twice

Does Nespresso use only coffee capsules

Yes, Nespresso machines can only work with coffee capsules. There is no mechanism for using coffee grounds in Nespresso.
If you want to use coffee grounds, you have to buy separate refillable coffee capsules as described in the article.

Can you use other coffee pods in Nespresso?

Yes, you can use 3rd party Nespresso Compatible coffee capsules in original line machines. However, you can’t them in Nespresso Vertuo line machines as they have a special barcode scanning system.
The important thing to note here is Nespresso machines only brew coffee with aluminum capsules designed specifically for Nespresso machines. You can’t use other coffee pods such as K cups in Nespresso.

Can you run a Nespresso without a pod?

Yes, you can run Original line machines without a pod to get just hot water from Nespresso. But you can’t run Vertuo line models without inserting the pod as they only work after reading the barcode imprinted on the pod.

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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