15 Best Nespresso Original Pods

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Here are the best Nespresso coffee capsules for your Original machines that only makes espresso. See the pods ranked, with info on roasts, intensity, and caffeine level. Plus, get tips on which ones are best for iced coffee and with milk.

Five Nespresso Original Line pods and capsules.

Nespresso Pods

Nespresso machines use capsules/pods that contain ground coffee to make espresso and regular brewed coffee, depending on the machine.

There are 2 types of Nespresso machines and 2 types of capsules for those machines.

Nespresso capsules for Original machine and Vertuo machine.

Nespresso Original capsules
Original capsules can only be used in Original Nespresso machines. The capsules are shaped like a top hat. The Original machines make ristretto, espresso, and lungo.

Nespresso Vertuo capsules
Vertuo capsules can only be used in Vertuo Nespresso machines. The capsules are dome shaped. The Nespresso Vertuo machines make espresso, double espresso, lungo, and mug-sized regular brewed coffee like from a drip coffee machine.

RELATED: 15 Best Nespresso Vertuo Pods

Nespresso Original Machines

You can use Original pods on these Nespresso Original machines:

Nespresso Original Machine Pick

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Nespresso Original Pods

There are over 40 Original capsules, and each one has a different tasting profile and makes a specific type of espresso.

Roast
The roast tells you how long the beans were roasted and it ranges from light roast (or blonde roast) to dark. The darker roasts will have a nuttier, deeper roasted taste.

Intensity
Nespresso rates the intensity of each capsule going from 1 to 13 for Original capsules. The intensity is based on the roast, body, bitterness, and concentration of the coffee. The higher the intensity score, the stronger the coffee will taste.

Caffeine
Caffeine levels for most Nespresso Original pods are medium range (50-80 mg) for espresso. For comparison, a standard Starbucks single shot of espresso has 75 mg of caffeine.

Type of coffee
Many coffees on this list are Arabica but some have Robusta combined to create a particular flavor profile. Starbucks Nespresso pods only use Arabica beans.

Aromatic notes
Nespresso clusters aromatic notes into 3 types. There’s fruity and flowery, balanced, and intense.

Cup sizes
Nespresso Original machines make just 3 types of espresso. Ristretto (short shot), espresso, and lungo (long shot). The difference between the cup sizes are in how much water is added to make the coffee. Ristretto uses the least amount of water, which creates a smaller cup of coffee.

RELATED: Best Nespresso Machines

Original Pod Tips

1 pod = 1 shot
To make a drink with 1 espresso shot, use 1 pod. To make a drink with 2 espresso shots, use 2 pods. Most coffee shops use 2 shots of espresso in a drink.

Using the same pod twice
Nespresso pods are designed for single use but people do use the same pod twice with varying success. It’s not recommended though since reusing a pod will give you a weak second shot and the capsule may get stuck in the machine and require repair.

Using pods NOT made by Nespresso
Brands like Peet’s Coffee and reusable pods are sold on Amazon but it’s not recommended since you may void your machine’s warranty or damage it. Starbucks pods for Nespresso are made by Nespresso so they can be safely used in the machines.

15 Best Original Nespresso Pods, Ranked

1. Firenze Arpeggio

Nespresso Firenze Arpeggio pod.

Roast: Dark roast
Intensity:
9 out of 13
Caffeine:
Medium (63 mg)
Type of coffee:
Arabica
Aromatic notes: Intensely roasted, Creamy, Cocoa
Cup sizes: Ristretto
(0.85 oz), Espresso (1.35 oz)

Hands down, Arpeggio is a crowd favorite and takes the number one spot as it’s a clear winner to so many. It’s intense and creamy but smooth and not too bitter, perfect for making all kinds of espresso drinks like lattes, cortados, flat whites, and cappuccinos.

2. Roma

Roast: Light roast
Intensity: 8 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (63 mg)
Type of coffee: Robusta + Arabica
Aromatic notes: Balanced, Woody
Cup sizes: Ristretto (0.85 oz), Espresso (1.35 oz)

Roma is especially a favorite to make iced drinks like Iced Caramel Macchiato. If you love Indonesia, you’ll probably love Roma since they have similar flavor profiles. Those who don’t like it say it tastes like burnt coffee due to its smoky flavor.

3. Napoli

Roast: Dark roast
Intensity: 13 out of 13
Caffeine: Very High (109 mg)
Type of coffee: Robusta + Arabica
Aromatic notes: Intensely roasted, Creamy, Cocoa
Cup sizes: Ristretto (0.85 oz), Espresso (1.35 oz)

With intensity at 13 out of 13, Napoli is loved by many. It makes great lattes since the coffee will come through even after adding milk. It’s strong without being bitter and it’s equally good hot or iced.

4. Palermo Kazaar

Roast: Dark roast
Intensity: 12 out of 13
Caffeine: Very High (120 mg)
Type of coffee: Robusta
Aromatic notes: Intense, Spicy, Woody
Cup sizes: Ristretto (0.85 oz), Espresso (1.35 oz)

Kazaar is rich and packed with caffeine (higher than others) so it’s good on those days you need an extra boost. The intense flavor shines through drinks made with milk, like lattes and cappuccinos. It has a smoky note that lingers.

5. Ristretto Italiano

Roast: Medium dark roast
Intensity: 10 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (75 mg)
Type of coffee: Robusta + Arabica
Aromatic notes: Intensely roasted, Berry
Cup sizes: Ristretto (0.85 oz), Espresso (1.35 oz)

Rounding out the top 5 most popular capsules, Ristretto is good hot or iced. The official name of this pod is Ristretto Italiano, which is a little confusing since it makes both ristretto and espresso. All Nespresso Original capsules can make ristretto, espresso, or lungo but they’re designed to taste best in their recommended cup sizes.

6. Scuro

Roast: Dark roast + Light roast
Intensity: 6 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (73 mg)
Type of coffee: Arabica
Aromatic notes: Intense, Balanced, Roasted
Cup sizes: Ristretto (0.85 oz)

Scuro has an intensity score of 6 out of 13, so it’s good if you like a milder coffee that’s not too strong. It’s great with and without milk.

7. Starbucks Blonde

Roast: Light roast
Intensity: 6 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (65 mg)
Type of coffee: Arabica
Aromatic notes: Balanced, Smooth, Sweet
Cup sizes: Ristretto (0.85 oz), Espresso (1.35 oz)

This is the clear winner out of all the Starbucks Nespresso pods with tons of people who absolutely love it. Make all your homemade Starbucks copycat drinks at home with this pod. Since Starbucks capsules are made by Nespresso, you can recycle the pods in the Nespresso bags. If you like this, you’ll probably like Chiaro.

8. Cape Town Envivo Lungo

Roast: Medium dark roast
Intensity: 10 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (70 mg)
Type of coffee: Robusto + Arabica
Aromatic notes: Intense, Roasted, Woody
Cup sizes: Lungo (3.7 oz)

Out of all the lungos, Envivo Lungo is the one everyone loves over the others and one that some people drink every single day, with and without milk.

9. Indonesia

Roast: Medium roast
Intensity: 8 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (72 mg)
Type of coffee: Arabica
Aromatic notes: Rich, Woody, Tobacco
Cup sizes: Espresso (1.35 oz), Lungo (3.7 oz)

If Napoli and Kazaar are too intense for you but you like the taste, you’ll most likely enjoy Indonesia. Also, Envivo Lugo fans like this one too.

10. Capriccio

Roast: Light roast
Intensity: 5 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (70 mg)
Type of coffee: Robusta + Arabica
Aromatic notes: Rich, Distinctive
Cup sizes: Espresso (1.35 oz)

Capriccio is not really complex but it’s a good capsule for everyday, especially when it’s made with just a little milk, like in a cortado. Because the intensity is on the lower end, it won’t be as good in a latte, which is made with a lot of milk. It’s great if you like your coffee a little weaker.

11. Chiaro

Roast: Light roast
Intensity: 6 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (49 mg)
Type of coffee: Arabica
Aromatic notes: Smooth, Caramel
Cup sizes: Ristretto (0.85 oz)

If Scuro is too strong for you, Chiaro would be a good one to try since it’s a little lighter. Chiaro means “light” and Scuro means “dark.” If you like light roasts with a little sweetness, this pod may be your new favorite.

12. Corto

Roast: Dark roast
Intensity: 11 out of 13
Caffeine: High (103 mg)
Type of coffee: Robusta
Aromatic notes: Dark roasted, Spicy
Cup sizes: Cortado Cappuccino (1.35 oz)

Best with milk, Corto is strong and has some bitterness. If Chiaro was too weak for you, try Corto.

13. Cosi

Roast: Light roast
Intensity: 4 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (59 mg)
Type of coffee: Arabica
Aromatic notes: Mild, Citric, Delicately toasted
Cup sizes: Espresso (1.35 oz)

Cosi is a good option if you like your coffee light and and fruity. If you don’t like your coffee to be strong or too intense, try this one. Use Cosi to make a cup that tastes a bit like a cafe au lait. If you like Ethiopia or Chiaro, you’ll probably like Cosi.

14. Colombia

Roast: Light roast
Intensity: 6 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (72 mg)
Type of coffee: Arabica
Aromatic notes: Fruity, Vibrant, Berry
Cup sizes: Espresso (1.35 oz), Lungo (3.7 oz)

A fruity and vibrant light roast, it’s a good one to have as an Americano or with a splash of cream.

15. Starbucks Caffè Verona

Roast: Dark roast
Intensity: 10 out of 13
Caffeine: Medium (69 mg)
Type of coffee: Arabica
Aromatic notes: Dark cocoa, Burnt sugar
Cup sizes: Espresso (1.35 oz)

Some consider the Starbucks Verona to be the best Starbucks Nespresso pod. If you’re not sure which Starbucks Nespresso capsules to try, get the variety pack to sample them all. (Make sure you get the Original pods for your Original machine.)

Questions You May Have

What kind of pod should I use for my Nespresso machine?

Nespresso makes 2 types of pods. One type for the Original machines and another type for the Vertuo machines. The pods are not interchangeable because they are shaped differently. Check to see what kind of Nespresso machine you have to figure out what type of pod you need.

What does intensity mean?

Nespresso has their own intensity rating that goes from 1 to 13. 13 is the highest intensity. A higher intensity score means that the coffee is in the pod is more roasty, fuller bodied, and more bitter. Higher intensity doesn’t mean the caffeine content is high.

How much caffeine is in each cup?

Nespresso says that most of their espressos contain between 50-100 mg of caffeine per cup, but that those with certain Robustas, like the Original Kazaar, have a higher caffeine content of 120 mg per cup. Most of the coffee on this list have between 50-80 mg, which is a common caffeine range for espresso.

How are Starbucks pods different than pods from other companies?

Starbucks partnered with Nespresso to create the Starbucks pods unlike pods rom other companies like Peet’s Coffee. This means you can recycle Starbucks pods in Nespresso bags. You can’t do this with Peet’s Coffee pods since they’re not made by Nespresso.

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