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 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 is almost half the cost of the Nespresso capsules. Over time, this will add up to significant savings over some time.
Incredibly, there’s a lot of variety and options to choose from.
The one catch is that the compatible pods only work with OriginalLine machines. VertuoLine machines have a barcode system which 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.
Alternatives to Nespresso capsules and pods
There are a few companies that make Nespresso compatible pods:
- Bestpresso, which you can read a full review of here
- Cafe Joe USA
- Jones Brothers
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.
- 60 Days Satisfaction Guarantee. . Our Pods are not compatible with VertouLine Machines.
- Kosher certification: this product is certified kosher by the orthodox union.
- Coffee capsules compatible with Nespresso Original coffee machines
- High quality 100% natural & unique espresso in convenient Nespresso compatible pods 6 boxes, containing 2 bags each containing 10 capsules, 120 capsules total
- No preservatives, no sugar or flavoring added, Over 50% Rainforest Alliance Certified Sustainable coffee in support of small coffee producers. Product from Spain
Gourmesso makes a wide variety of alternative Nespresso capsules. Their pods feature both coffees and teas. 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!)
Some of their coffees are not Fair Trade certified, and some are organic, too.
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
- Etiopia 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
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - We promise to go above and beyond to make you completely happy with your coffee for Nespresso* machines - Contact us any time with any feedback or questions
- FAIRTRADE CERTIFIED - Gourmesso coffee capsules source from sustainable coffee farms to provide Fairtrade Certified coffee pods
- OUTSTANDING TASTE WITH LESS EXPENSE - Excellent flavoured espresso with bold taste and great crema - made without any preservatives & naturally gluten-free and no sugar added - Save +30% over Nespresso* pods with our espresso capsules made from BPA-free, food grade plastic and aluminum foil top
- COMPATIBLE WITH ORIGINAL LINE MACHINES that accept Nespresso Capsules* - Our Nespresso* coffee pods alternative are fully compatible with Essenza, Citiz, Pixie, Lattisima, U, Gran Maestria, Inissia, prodigio, KitchenAid, Creatista Nespresso Originalline machines*
- WIDE CAPSULE SELECTION - Gourmesso coffee capsules for Nespresso original* machines are available in over 25 different varieties and 7 different intensities - Check out our Gourmesso Amazon shop to view the full profile
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, Nespresso capsules. The cost per capsule will vary from $0.50 to $0.60 per capsule depending on the variety you get.
These 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.
- 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
4) Cafe Joe USA
Cafe Joe USA, interestingly enough, is actually from Israel and they’re a fresh face in the USA market. They’ve been one of the leading coffee companies there for over 20 years.
They get their coffee from all of the major regions, and coffees are available in lots of different types.
The price per pod will be around $0.45 and there’s enough of a variety to satisfy everyone:
- Joe: Fruity acidity with honey aftertaste
- Decaf: Fruity acidity with honey aftertaste (but dsecaffeinated)
- Extra Strong: Dark chocolate with light cherry undertones
- Ultra Strong: Bittersweet chocolate with light cherry undertones
- Trieste: Hazelnut with slightly bitter finish
- Lucca: Slightly nutty with a subtle honey sweetness
- Chiari: Soft and smooth, though the robusta beans give it some balanced depth
- Cuba: Strong and spicy with notes of chocolate designed to hold its own with milk-based drinks
- Costa Rica: An intense roast with some balanced sweetness and subtly vibrant fruitiness
- Columbia: Robust with balanced bitterness, some spicy notes, and a touch of fruit
- Israel's leading coffee chain, and most popular coffee capsules are now available in the US - over 1 Million capsules sold every month.
- Excellent Caribbean taste. Made with high mountain grown Cuba Serrano Lavado Arabica beans carefully blended with Central American Arabicas and African Robustas, we have developed a truly "Cuban" blend.
- With dark chocolate notes in the body and a bright clean finish, this is a coffee drinkers coffee. Strength: 9/10
- Built with a strong and spicy flavor, this blend is perfect for a morning Cafe con leche or a traditional sweet Cuban coffee throughout the day.
- Unique tamp dome "EXTRA CREAM" technology generates an especially robust crema and extracts the perfect coffee from our gourmet blends. Compatible with all Nespresso Machines (except "Vertuoline" machines).
As the name suggests, Lavica is an Italian company and they specialize in Nespresso compatible pods. Since they have such targeted products, they make a small range of pods, but they’re very, very good.
Since 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.
- Oro: Dark roast with 90% Robusta, 10% Arabica and complex, bittersweet chocolate and hazelnut
- Fortissimo: Dark roast with 90% Arabica, 10% Robusta and sharp, intense flavor
- Italiano: Medium-dark roast with 60% Robusta, 40% Arabica and smooth caramel and hazelnut
- Lungo: Medium roast with 60% Robusta, 40% Arabica with smooth richness
- Amabile: Medium roast with 50% Arabica, 50% Robusta and ideal balance of bitterness and sweetness
- Belgian Chocolate: Medium roast with 60% Robusta, 40% Arabica and smooth, chocolate flavor
- Decaffeinato: Medium roast with 70% Robusta, 30% Arabica and a rich flavor
6) Jones Brothers
Jones Brothers coffee is based out of the Netherlands, in Amsterdam(famous for their “cafes” and coffee shops!). Jones Brothers make this list because their coffees are a good blend(pun intended) of cost and quality.
For the price, you’re getting some decent coffee. It may not knock your socks off every time but you’ll enjoy your beverage.
You’re looking at around $0.45 per pod.
Available varieties by Jones Brothers:
- Gigolo: Very dark and smooth with hints of cocoa
- Noir: Dark roast with strong chocolate flavor and hints of hazelnut
- Enigma: Dark roast with roasted nuts and rich cocoa finish
- Revive: Dark-medium roast with citrusy balance
- Elevate: Medium roast with soft, light profile, lemon zest and sweetness
- Our 100% pure Arabica espresso capsules in this Variety Pack that includes two Ristretto blends (GIGOLO and NOIR), an extraordinary Espresso roast (ENIGMA), and two Lungo blends (REVIVE and ELEVATE).
- Coffee capsules compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine Machines including: Essenza, Citiz, U, Pixie, Lattissima, Maestria, Inissia, Kitchenaid and Prodigio. Our Capsules are NOT compatible with VertouLine Machines.
- Imported from Amsterdam since 2013, all our single serve cups are gourmet espresso, roasted without any preservatives, sugar or flavor added. Every bean in our coffee capsules adheres to world class sustainable farming practices and are UTZ Certified, Rainforest Alliance Certified, and Organic Certified.
- Jones Brothers Coffee delivers a superior single cup coffee pod experience. Try Jones Brothers Espresso Capsules if you've enjoyed products by Lavazza, Starbucks Verismo, Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Solimo, Illy Iperespresso, or Bestpresso.
- Our well-traveled beans in these Nespressso capsules come to you from Central America (Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala), South America (Brazil, Peru, and Columbia) and the rich coffee heritage in Africa of Ethiopia.
Caffesso is based in the United Kingdom. It seems like these alternative Nespresso pods are from all over the world!
Caffesso has a slogan of 3 C’s: coffee, club, and compatibility.
Coffee: These capsules produce coffees with rich, barista-quality crema. It’s quick-and-easy and produces a nice beverage.
Club: Caffesso’s website offers a loyalty program where you can earn points on each purchase and redeem them for future purchases.
Compatibility: There is a really wide range of machines(Nespresso) that support these capsules.
They’re pretty cheap, too, compared to the other 6 offerings we’ve shown here. One pod will be around $0.35.
- Indiano: Very dark roast from India with Arabica and Robusta blend and caramel notes
- Colombian Single Origin: Dark roast from Colombia
- Sidamo Single Origin: Dark roast from Ethiopia with low acidity and floral notes
- Milano: Dark roast with Central American, South American and African blend with full body
- Forza Roma: Dark roast with Arabica and Robust blend from Brazil, Africa and India with wine and woody notes
- Intenso: Dark roast with Ethiopian, Central American and South American blend and citrus bite
- Lungo Forte: Dark roast with Colombian, African, Latin American blend and subtle smokiness
- Aromatico: Medum-dark roast with South and Central American blend and floral notes
- Italiano: Medium roast with South American and Asian blend and caramel notes
- Vanilla: Medium roast with South American and Indian blend
- Chocolate: Medium roast with South American and Indian blend
- Caramel: Medium roast with South American and Asian blend
- Decaffeinato: Medium roast with South American blend and low acidity
Last update on 2019-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API