10 Best Nespresso Compatible Capsules (Off-Brand Pods)

By Shabbir
Last update:

While my preferred espresso machine is a simple machine with a pressure brewer and a frothing wand, some of my family members do have Nespresso machines and the coffee those machines make is just amazing.

However, Nespresso capsules can get very expensive very quickly, as you can see in this comparison between VertuoLine and OriginalLine. Both cost about $0.75 to $1.00 per pod, which can add up, especially if you drink 2-3 cups per day like I do. The solution is to use one of the capsules from this list of the best Nespresso compatible pods.

The superb coffee brewed by Nespresso machines and the high relative cost of the pods has led to an increase in manufacturers making Nespresso compatible capsules.

These capsules cost about $0.50 or so on average per pod, which can be much less than the cost of the Nespresso capsules. Over time, this will add up to significant savings over some time.

Incredibly, there’s a lot of off brand and generic Nespresso pods to choose from.

The one catch is that these generic pods only work with OriginalLine machines.

VertuoLine machines have a barcode system that is proprietary and can’t be copied by other manufacturers, so if you have a VertuoLine machine, sadly, you’ll be stuck with Nespresso capsules(more on that below the list of alternative pods).

Best Overall
Illy Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Illy Nespresso Compatible Capsules

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Peet’s Coffee Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Peet’s Coffee Nespresso Compatible Capsules

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Lavazza Nespresso compatible capsules

Lavazza Nespresso compatible capsules

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Cuban Roaster
Don Francisco's and Cafe La Llave Nspresso Compatible Capsule Variety Pack

Don Francisco's and Cafe La Llave Nspresso Compatible Capsule Variety Pack

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Gourmesso Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Gourmesso Nespresso Compatible Capsules

  • High quality coffee beans
  • No preservatives, no sugar or flavoring added
  • Top quality
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HiLine Coffee Nespresso Compatible Capsules

HiLine Coffee Nespresso Compatible Capsules

  • From Latin America, South America, and Africa
  • All of their business is conducted online
  • Has less caffeine than traditional espresso
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Good Value
Bestpresso Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Bestpresso Nespresso Compatible Capsules

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From India
Coffeeza Nespresso Compatible Coffee Pods

Coffeeza Nespresso Compatible Coffee Pods

  • Recyclable aluminum capsules
  • Five flavor profiles ranging in intensity from 6/12 to 12/12
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Best Value
Café Romano Coffee Organic Nespresso Pods

Café Romano Coffee Organic Nespresso Pods

  • Recyclable aluminum capsules
  • USDA certified organic
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Meseta Bio Organic Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Meseta Bio Organic Nespresso Compatible Capsules

  • PREMIUM ORGANIC COFFEE: Meseta Bio Organic Espresso Gold Coffee Capsules are made from high-quality organic Arabica beans, carefully selected from some of the best coffee growing regions in the world.
  • COMPATIBLE WITH NESPRESSO MACHINES: These capsules are compatible with all Nespresso OriginalLine machines( Essenza, Pixie, Citiz, Inissia, Lattissima, Creatista, Expert, Maestria, Prodigio), making them a convenient and easy way to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at home, at work, or on the go. This product is NOT compatible with Nespresso Vertuo Line. Please contact us if there are any questions regarding your model.
  • RICH, SMOOTH FLAVOR AND EASY TO USE: These capsules offer a rich, smooth flavor with notes of chocolate and caramel, making it the perfect choice for coffee lovers who prefer a medium roast.Simply pop a capsule into your Nespresso machine and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee in minutes.
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: The capsules are made from compostable and biodegradable materials, making them an eco-friendly choice. Also, these capsules are certified organic and meet the highest standards of sustainability and ethical sourcing.
  • MADE IN ITALY: Meseta Bio Organic Espresso Gold Coffee Capsules are proudly made in Italy, a country renowned for its coffee culture and tradition. The capsules are crafted using the finest organic beans and roasted to perfection, ensuring a delicious and authentic Italian coffee experience.
  • PERFECT FOR ANY OCCASION: Whether you're starting your day, taking a break, or entertaining guests, Meseta Bio Organic Espresso Gold Coffee Capsules are the perfect choice for any occasion.
  • 10 CAPSULES PER PACK: Each pack contains 10 capsule; with 10 packs, you get a total of 100 capsules, ensuring you have plenty of coffee to enjoy whenever you need it.
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Best Nespresso Compatible Pods: Our top 10 picks

1. Illy Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Illy Espresso – Nespresso Compatible Coffee Capsules. All 5 Blends Variety Pack: Intenso, Classico, Forte, Lungo, Decaf

Another well known Italian company is Illy. They have been making coffee since 1933 and have a great reputation. They built their business on pregrinding and packaging coffee to maintain freshness.

They offer a limited number of roasts, but you can count on Illy quality and consistency for each of them. Their pods are sturdy and made from aluminum so you won’t have to worry about the not holding up.

The downside for Illy is that their prices are comparable to Nespresso unless you buy a pack of 100 pods. You’re looking at around $0.80 per pod for the variety pack of 50 pods as of this writing. Once you’ve dialed your favorite flavor, you can buy packs of 100 for $0.57 – $0.59 per pod.

Available varieties by Illy:

  • Classico: light roast with lingering sweetness and delicate notes of caramel, orange blossom and jasmine
  • Intenso: bold roast coffee has a pleasantly robust finish, with warm notes of cocoa and dried fruit
  • Forte: extra bold roast coffee has a enduring richness with notes of dark chocolate and an intense aroma of toasted bread
  • Decaf: smooth and mild taste with delicate notes of caramel, chocolate and toasted bread, with a sweet aftertaste
  • Classico Lungo
  • Intenso Lungo

Our recommendation: We love the Forte for a strong flavor that really comes through the milk. For a milder espresso favor without milk, choose the Classico.

2. Peet’s Coffee Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Peet's Coffee Gifts, Espresso Coffee Pods Variety Pack, Dark & Medium Roasts, Intensity 8-11, 40 Count (4 Boxes of 10 Espresso Capsules)

Peet’s Coffee is very well known in the coffee world and their Major Dickason’s blend is fabulously dark roasted and earthy. Sometimes, coffee roasters drop the ball between their coffee beans and their pod offerings but Peet’s Coffee makes superb alternative pods for Nespresso machines.

If you’re into Peet’s Coffee and you love your Nespresso, perhaps you’ve found a match made in heaven.

There are four coffees available in this sampler. You’ll get 10 of each:

  • Nerissimo: darkest roast with bittersweet, brulée, indulgent notes
  • Ristretto: dark roast with flavor profile of crushed spice, rich fruit, chocolate
  • Crema Scura: medium roast with flavor profile of earth, roasted nut, cream
  • Ricchezza: medium roast with plush berry and brown sugar notes

Our recommendation: Stick to the sampler. Peet’s Coffee is really good and we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy all of their offerings, so you may just like to get the sampler every time you run out to have a nice variety on hand.

3. Lavazza Nespresso compatible capsules

Lavazza Espresso Capsules Compatible with Nespresso Original Machines Variety Pack, 10 Count (Pack of 6)

Lavazza is another very well known brand in coffee. The good news for Nespresso and Lavazza lovers is that they make capsules compatible with the Nespresso OriginalLine series. VertuoLine owners will have to stick with Nespresso.

Lavazza capsules are typically sold as a variety pack.

  • Lavazza Armonico Espresso: dark roasted, cereal and caramel
  • Lavazza Decaffeinato Ricco Espresso: dry, fruity
  • Lavazza Avvolgente Lungo: dark roasted, spicy
  • Lavazza Leggero Lungo: medium roasted, fruity and floral
  • Lavazza Deciso Espresso: dark roasted, cocoa and earthy

Our recommendation: Lovers of Italian coffee rejoice! These Lavazza pods are really nice. In fact, they were some of the first Nespresso compatible pods that I tried, and the dark, rich flavor won me over right away. I had tried the Armonico, which tasted really pleasant in an espresso shot. 

4. Don Francisco’s and Cafe La Llave

Don Francisco's and Cafe La Llave Espresso Capsule Variety Pack - 50 Count Aluminum Recyclable Pods, Compatible with Original Nespresso Machines

Don Fransisco’s Coffee is family owned and operated that originated in Cuba. They’ve been in business for 4 generations and currently operate in southern California.

They get their coffee from all of the major regions, favor high altitude Arabica beans.

The price per pod will be around $0.51 and there’s enough of a variety to satisfy everyone:

  • Cafe La Llave: True Latin-style espresso. Dark-roasted, intensely aromatic
  • Clasico: traditional European style espresso with spicy dark chocolate notes
  • Old Havana: Nutty and sweet with hints of citrus and a smooth finish
  • Organico: Sweet, floral, with hints of caramel and a well-balanced flavor. USDA Certified Organic

Our recommendation: We love the Clasico, which happens to be a rich and earthy coffee with lots of chocolate tones. These go really well with frothed milk for extremely rich and decadent lattes and cappuccinos.

5. Gourmesso Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Gourmesso 60ct Variety Pack INT 3-10 Compatible w Nespresso Pod Machines | 100% Fair Trade | Roast, Medium Roast, Light Roast Espresso Capsules

Gourmesso makes a wide variety of alternative Nespresso capsules. If it’s important to you(it is to us), a lot of their coffees are Fair Trade certified, which means their suppliers are treated fairly and paid well.

Gourmesso is based in New York, NY(my hometown!)

It’s important to note that not all of their coffees are not Fair Trade certified, though some are organic. You’ll be able to see which is which when you choose your particular pod of preference.

Each pod will cost you around $0.50 – this is an average, of course.

Espresso varieties available

  • Ristretto Blend Forte: Dark roast with Latin American, African, Asian blend and slight spice
  • Ethiopia Blend Forte: Dark roast with Ethiopian, South American, Central American blend and slight citrus
  • Honduras Pura Forte: Dark roast from Honduras with chocolate notes
  • Messico Blend Forte: Dark roast with Mexican, Indian, Asian blend and full body
  • Tarrazu Forte: Dark roast from volcanic region of Costa Rica with bold and spicy profile
  • SFCC House Blend Espresso*: Dark roast organic blend from the San Francisco Coffee Company
  • Nicaragua Mezzo: Medium roast with South American, Asian blend and slight bitterness
  • Colombia Arabica Mezzo*: Medium roast with Colombian, Indian blend and licorice notes
  • Brasile Blend Dolce: Light roast with Brazilian, Peruvian, Asian blend and hint of citrus
  • Decaf Peru Dolce: Light roast from Peru with hints of chocolate

Lungo varieties available

  • Lungo Italico Forte*: Dark roast with Indian, African blend and woody/earthy notes
  • Lungo Arabica Forte: Dark roast with Mexican, Peruvian blend and intense flavor
  • SFCC House Blend Lungo Dark*: Dark roast organic blend from the San Francisco Coffee Company
  • Lungo Latino Mezzo: Medium roast with South American, Central American, Asian blend and fruity aroma
  • SFCC House Blend Lungo Medium: Medium roast organic blend from the San Francisco Coffee Company
  • SFCC House Blend Decaf Lungo*: Medium roast organic blend from the San Francisco Coffee Company

Specialty varieties available

  • Biscottino: Dark roast with South American, Asian blend and cookie flavor with no added sweeteners
  • Soffio Caramello: Dark roast with South American, Asian blend and caramel hint
  • Soffio Cioccolato: Dark roast with South American, Asian blend and chocolate hint
  • Soffio Vaniglia: Dark roast with South American, Asian blend and vanilla hint
  • Soffio Gianduia Caramello: Dark roast with Latin American, Asian blend and caramel nuttiness
  • Soffio Nocciola: Dark roast with Brazilian and Indian blend and hazelnut
  • Soffio Cannella: Dark roast with Latin American and Asian blend and cinnamon
  • Soffio Noce Di Cocco: Dark roast with South American and Indian blend and coconut
  • Soffio Mandorla: Dark roast with Brazilian and Indian blend and almond
  • Soffio Ciliegia: Dark roast with Latin American and Asian blend and subtle cherry notes
  • Decaf Vaniglia: Dark roast organic from Peru blended with vanilla flavors
  • Decaf Cioccolato: Dark roast organic from Peru blended with chocolate flavors

Our recommendation: You can always go with the variety pack. The Lungo Latino Mezzo is one of my favorites as I am a huge fan of Latin American coffee. The flavors are incredibly rich and earthy, and if I can get my hands on some Latin American coffee, I’ll always be daydreaming about having my next cup.

6. HiLine Coffee Nespresso Compatible Capsules

HiLine Espresso Coffee Pods Variety Pack, Medium Roast, 20 Count (Pack of 3), Single Cup Espresso Capsules, Compatible with Nespresso Original Brewers

HiLine coffees come from Latin America, South America, and Africa – some of the finest places in the world to get coffee!

They don’t have any storefronts – all of their business is conducted online. Presumably, this is to keep costs down and pass on the savings to you, the customer!

They make a lot of different products: whole bean, ground, Keurig, and of course, alternative Nespresso capsules. The cost per capsule will vary from $0.50 to $0.60 per capsule depending on the variety you get.

These generic capsules actually have less slightly less caffeine than traditional espresso – while an espresso shot contains about 80 mg of caffeine, these coffees will have about 60-70 mg, which is closer to a normal brewed beverage.

Available varieties:

  • Wall Street: Dark roast from Sumatra with creamy, nutty profile
  • Greenwich Village: Dark roast from Brazil with fudge, orange and vanilla
  • Broadway: Dark roast from Sumatra with fruity, tart notes
  • Liberty: Dark roast from Colombia with raspberry and caramel
  • Times Square: Dark roast from Brazil with chocolate and sage
  • Grand Central: Dark roast from Colombia with caramel and cherry
  • Soho: Medium roast from Guatemala with chocolate and blackberry
  • Brooklyn: Medium roast from Ethiopia with sweetness, walnut and blueberry
  • Chelsea: Light roast from Guatemala with cinnamon, citrus and blackberry
  • Central Park: Decaf from Brazil with cacao nib and nuttiness
  • West Village: Dark roast from Guatemala with notes of cocoa and almond
  • Kona Blend: Dark roast from Hawaii with real Kona coffee

Decadent and flavored varieties:

  • Vanilla Macaron: Dark roast from Ethiopia
  • Creamy Coconut: Dark roast from Brazil
  • Hazelnut Cupcake: Dark roast from Ethiopia
  • Chocolate Donut: Dark roast from Ethiopia
  • Peppermint Bark: Dark roast from Sumatra
  • Pumpkin Spice: Dark roast from Brazil
  • Sea Salt Caramel: Dark roast from Ethiopia

Our recommendation: The Broadway coffee is incredible. Nespresso machines do a great job of producing a cup that just explodes with aromas and flavors in your mouth. The flavor notes of the Broadway coffee will do really well and you won’t be disappointed. Alternatively, just go with the variety pack 🙂

7. Bestpresso Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Bestpresso Coffee for Nespresso OriginalLine Machine 120 pods Certified Genuine Espresso Variety Pack, Pods Compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine

Established in 2013, Bestpresso has been making quality alternatives for Nespresso pods for a long time. Their flavor names are quite similar to Nespresso, but the cost is significantly less.

You’re looking at around $0.35 per pod, significant savings compared to original Nespresso pods.

Available flavors:

  • Ristretto: dark roast with notes of chocolate and hazelnut
  • Intenso: their darkest roast with raspberry and smoky notes
  • Arabica: medium roast with great acidity and flowery notes of lemon and lime
  • Espresso: medium roast with malt, lemon and lime flower, hazelnut notes
  • Decaffeinato: medium roast with soft notes of chocolate and grapefruit
  • Lungo: dark roast with soft notes of almond and brown sugar
  • Verona: dark, well balanced roast with chocolate and almond notes
  • Chocolate: medium roast with great bitterness
  • Vanilla: medium roast with overall sweetness
  • Caramel: medium roast with caramel and maple syrup notes
  • Brazil: dark roast with notes of grain, malt, and overall velvet
  • Colombia: dark roast with chocolate, hazelnut, balanced notes

Our recommendation: Go for the variety pack as your first purchase. You’ll get a whole selection of pods that you can try, and if you’re really into it, you can even do a bit of a cupping session with multiple capsules to get an idea of which flavors you like and which flavors you don’t. Overall, Bestpresso is a very good non-Nespresso pod that works well with Nespresso machines.

Read the full Bestpresso review here

8. Coffeeza Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Coffeeza Coffee Pods Variety Pack of 4, Nespresso Pods Original Machine Compatible, Medium & Dark Roast Coffee Capsules - 40 Single Serve Nespresso Compatible Coffee Pods

Coffeeza Coffee is a relatively new company, launched in 2018. An Indian-based company that uses only beans grown in India. Although they have a wide variety of choices which range from blends to single estate beans, only their blends are available to most western coffee drinkers.

Even though not all roasts and flavors are offered outside of India, they still have a good assortment of pods to choose from. There are 5 difference roasts ranging in intensity from 6 for the Classico to 12 for the Forte.

Their high quality pods are made of recyclable aluminum.


  • Classico: medium body, balanced notes of orange blossom & a distinct Apricot sweetness complemented by hints of cardamom & nutmeg
  • Cremoso: creamy, buttery blend with delicate citrus notes that exhibits enchanting aromas of raisins & orange peel
  • Intenso: dark roast, full-bodied blend, crafted to deliver a long lasting & rich flavour with notes of blueberries & strong dark chocolate
  • Forte: dark roast, full-bodied, punchy dark roast coffee, that displays notes of milk chocolate & walnut with an underlying hint of malt
  • Mysore Nuggets: dark roasted, aromatic, and balanced in sweetness, most premium offering
  • Hazelnut: medium roast that features sweet and creamy notes of hazelnut and hints of spice
  • French Vanilla: medium-dark roasted with sweet and creamy taste of vanilla
  • Peppermint Mocha: medium-dark and finishes with a delicious medley of sweet, minty and chocolaty notes
  • Dark Chocolate: medium-dark roasted with rich dark chocolate notes
  • Tropical Coconut: medium-dark roasted with coconut flavoring, creating deliciously smooth, nutty and creamy tasting notes
  • Caramel: decadent blend of Arabica coffee is rich and exhibits a sweet harmony of vanilla and hints of cocoa
  • English Rose: medium-dark roasted with floral & sweet notes

Our recommendation: I think you’ll be happy with pretty much any coffee you try from Coffeeza. But if you would like a specific recommendation, go for the variety pack with the Mysore Nuggest, which which gives you the full range of intensities they offer.

We’ve linked to the starter pack below for you to try.

9. Café Romano Coffee Nespresso Compatible Capsules

Organic USDA Café Romano Coffee Aluminum Espresso Pods For Nespresso Original Machine 100 Pack Italian Espresso Coffee (Variety pack)

Café Romano is a lesser know roaster, making Italian style coffee. They made the cut since they are one of the few roasters that make organic coffee, which is our preference.

They make blends using 100% Arabica coffee beans. There selection is limited to 5 roasts ranging in intensity from 4/10 for the Lungo Tevere to 10/10 for the Ristretto Navona and Intenso.

They also tick the environmentally friendly box with their recyclable aluminum capsules and organic certification. And they come at a great price as well at only $0.27 per pod!

The variety pack includes the following roasts:

  • Ristretto Navona: medium dark roast
  • Intenso: dark roast embodies Italy’s iconic coffee culture
  • Roma Eterna: medium dark roast, deep woody and cereal notes with the finesse of acidity and elegant aromatics
  • Vellutato Angelo: sweet cereal and malty notes with a trace of light bitterness
  • Lungo Tevere: cereal and malty notes with mild and smooth character

Our Recommendation: If you enjoy organic coffee, these pods are for you. We suggest buying the variety pack to see which one you like the best!

10. Meseta Organic Nespresso Compatible Pods

Nespresso Compatible Meseta Coffee Capsules . 100 Capsules of Gourmet Organic(European certified) 100% Arabica Coffee Espresso Compatible with Nespresso Machine

Meseta is an Italian company and they specialize in alternative Nespresso pods. Since they have such targeted products, they make a small range of pods, but they’re very, very good.

Because they’re masters of their craft, their pods are almost identical to Nespresso in terms of taste.

The best part? The savings, of course! These run about $0.50 per pod.

Varieties available:

  • Ristretto: Energetic and harmonious. 80% Robusta and 20% Arabica
  • Armonico: Balanced and exclusive. 55% Robusta and 45% Arabica
  • Monorigine Brasile: Harmonious body. 100% Brazilian Arabica

Our recommendation: We love the Ristretto blend for a very strong, in-your-face caffeine shot paired with an incredibly intense and dark flavor. But if you’re into something less intense, try the Monorigine.

Alternative Nespresso Pods: A buyers guide


Interestingly enough, capsule coffee is often packed into the capsule freshly roasted and ground. Once the coffee is packed, the capsule is hermetically sealed, which prevents the gases from escaping. Compare this to regular ground coffee, which will immediately lose its freshness once you open the packaging.

Capsule machines are also very fast. You would be hard-pressed to make an espresso as quick as a Nespresso machine. This is because you’re saving a lot of time with grinding and tamping, which is already done for you. The margin of error that can be there in measuring and tamping is also eliminated when using capsules.

As a result, a seasoned barista and a complete novice will make the same level of coffee from a capsule machine like a Nespresso. However, I find it highly unlikely that a seasoned barista would go near a Nespresso machine!

Capsule machines are also very low-maintenance. Most Nespresso machines have a built-in bay which catches the ejected capsules, and you just have to wash the cup you brew in. You should occasionally clean your Nespresso and descale it, of course.

Nespresso has quite a wide variety of flavors already, but if you’re looking to expand your palate even further, you can use the Nespresso compatible capsule brands we’ve listed above.

See our favorite Nespresso Vertuoline pods here

Where to buy (original) Nespresso pods


The biggest disadvantage by far of using capsule machines is the cost. The cost of the machine is one thing, but the capsules themselves are very expensive. Nespresso brand capsules can easily run you one dollar per capsule, and Nespresso compatible capsules such as the ones listed here will still be $0.50 or so.

It’s always going to be cheaper to brew at home with freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee. If you like the no-fuss brewing of Nespresso, you can definitely pick up some reusable capsules and use those with your own coffee.

Additionally, there is a significant environmental cost. You are throwing out a capsule for every drink you make. Normally, you could use coffee grounds in compost or in the garden, but these capsules add to the mountain of garbage in landfills.

How to store capsule coffee

Capsules are quite versatile as far as storage options go. Most high quality capsules are made in a way that you can just store them in their original cardboard packaging.

There are also some storage devices and contraptions that you can use instead, but they’re more for show rather than function.

The coffee is vacuum sealed in the capsule, which prevents it from interacting with anything and potentially tasting stale or weird.

Even then, you don’t want to expose the capsule to unnecessarily severe conditions like heat, moisture, or cold. Store them at room temperature in a dry and dark area.

Do coffee capsules expire?

This is an interesting question. Coffee capsules do in fact expire according to the manufacturer. Most manufacturers state that their coffee capsules remain fresh for 12 to 24 months(depending on the manufacturer).

Coffee grounds don’t really spoil anyway, and when they’re vacuum sealed with an inert gas to prevent oxidation, it’s very unlikely that they will spoil at all.

As long as you’ve stored the capsules properly and they’re not damaged, they should still be ok. Punctured or damaged capsules will go stale very quickly, so don’t use those.

What about Vertuoline compatible pods?

Nespresso’s VertuoLine system is fairly locked into to it’s own ecosystem, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find alternative pods for Vertuo machines. 

As far as I know, nobody makes Vertuo compatible pods, but I did find one manufacturer that makes a refillable Vertuo pod. It seems they’ve copied the barcode from an existing Vertuo pod and that does the trick well enough.


That finishes our roundup of the best Nespresso compatible capsules. Normally, words like off-brand and generic tend to suggest lower quality, but these companies produce very high quality coffee pods.

I hope you’re able to find something you like from this list. Remember, if you’re using OriginalLine machines, you’ll always have the luxury of flexibility since you can use refillable capsules, too.

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shab is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee Brewster. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.