Are all Nespresso pods the same? (Are all Nespresso pods designed the same + more information)

Nespresso pods are great when you want to make instant coffee, although not all pods are the same. Make sure to read this article to find the answer to this question: do all Nespresso pods work in Nespresso machines?

While Nespresso pods work well in Nespresso machines, they are not all the same and specific Nespresso pod types will only work in compatible machines. You can only get some pods in one size, while others are in different sizes, which makes them better for certain drinks than others.

I remember the first Nespresso machine I got, as it was a gift when I was moving out on my own. While I valued it greatly and still use it to this day, I learned quickly that not all Nespresso pods could work in my machine, and neither could I use them in multiple drinks. The mistakes I made when using different pods led me to write this article – the ultimate guide to a Nespresso pod. By the end of this post, you will also discover why you cannot use them interchangeably in all Nespresso machines.

Do all Nespresso pods work in Nespresso machines?

No Nespresso pod works in all Nespresso machines, because it depends on the pod’s size and use. The OriginalLine pods, for instance, are meant to make single shots of espresso, while Vertuo pods come in different quantities and can be used to make small espressos and larger coffee drinks.

Additionally, the pod designs accommodate different coffee extraction methods to influence the crema you achieve from different Nespresso pods, as well as the coffee flavors. For instance, the OriginalLine pods use a pressure-based system to produce smoother coffee, while Vertuo pods use a spinning system to extract the coffee and produce a rich crema.

Your preferences in coffee flavors and extraction are subjective, and these will determine the Nespresso machines you choose as well as the pods you want.

How many types of Nespresso pods are there?

There are two types of Nespresso pods you can get depending on your coffee preferences – such as whether you enjoy single-origin coffees or bold mixes. These types are:

Nespresso Original

Are all Nespresso pods designed the same ?
Nespresso Original. Image source: Nespresso

This is the most common pod and has a length of 30mm and a width of 37mm. Most machines that you will find on the market will make two sizes of espresso cups if you are using an OriginalLine Nespresso pod. The quantities of pods you use will depend on your brewing preferences though, as well as the strength of the cup you want and the drink you are making.

It is also worth noting that Original Nespresso pods use a coffee-extraction system similar to Keurig cups – that is extracting the coffee using a pressure system. The machine pumps water into the pods at 19 bars, which will pulverize the coffee and create a smooth cup of espresso.

Many people prefer the Original Nespresso pods because they are cheap, and the machine is versatile enough to accommodate generic third-party Nespresso pods. This allows you to use the same machine to brew pods that differ in roast, blend, and density, and make the most out of your brewing experience.

Vertuo pods

Are all Nespresso pods the same?
Nespresso Vertuo pods. Image source: Nespresso

This is a newer development in Nespresso pods, and it offers much more variety in brewing different coffee drinks. This is what makes it different from Nespresso’s Original pods – while the Originals can only work for espresso brewing or coffee drinks with small amounts of water, the Vertuo pods allow you to make bigger drinks without sacrificing caffeine strength.

However, unlike OriginalLine machines, Vertuo machines can only use Nespresso-branded Vertuo pods – no third-party or generic versions are compatible. This makes Vertuo pods expensive for many people, although they can be valuable if you like experimenting with your coffee drinks and making different options such as lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, and espressos.

You will also notice that Vertuo brewing machines also use a different mechanism to extract the coffee, as they will spin the pod at very high speeds (7000 rpm) to produce a crema-rich coffee. Additionally, the machine will have extra functions to allow you to make drinks like lattes, such as including a frothing functionality.

Unlike Original pods that come in a single serving size, Vertuo pods come in different sizes, which results in varying flavor intensities. If you are making milk-based coffees, there are also specific Vertuo pods for that purpose.

What are the best compatible Nespresso pods?

Since it is difficult to get Nespresso Vertuo pods from third-party manufacturers, all the best compatible Nespresso pods cater to Original machines. Some of these include:

  • Nespresso capsules OriginalLine Colombia Master Origin: These pods use a medium-roast coffee originating from Colombian beans, and a very well-balanced flavor profile that is not too strong.
  • Starbucks Nespresso pods: This comes in a pack of 6 flavors that mix up single-origin and blended coffees. These flavors are single-origin Colombia, Starbucks Blonde espresso roast, Single-origin Sumatra, House blend, Espresso roast, and Caffe Verona.
  • L’OR Espresso Coffee Ristretto Decaffeinato: These coffee pods are great for people who take decaf coffee, and remain intense without tasting bitter.
  • Podista Nespresso: For fans of sweet chocolate-like flavors, this is the best Nespresso-compatible pod you can get.
  • Moccona Barista Reserve Latte: These offer you a Robusta-Arabica mix, which makes it intense in its flavor profile and excellent for milk-based coffee drinks.

Are all Nespresso pods the same strength?

No, they are not all the same in strength. This strength refers to the intensity of the drink, which is not the same as caffeine content (Nespresso does not state the caffeine levels of the pods).

Nespresso has a general outline of the strength the coffee pods offer, which is about 13 on the marker scale. Pods with lower intensity will have a lower ranking while stronger pods will have a higher ranking, and Nespresso outlines these rankings on the pods. Therefore, the most intense pods will have a rank of 13 outlined on them, while the least intense will have a ranking of 1.

If you are unsure, the espresso pods are your best chance of getting the most coffee strength. Other pods will produce drinks varying in intensity.

Final thoughts

The two varieties of Nespresso pods offer you variety in your brewing process, as they are not the same. Original pods are great for flavor and brand variety, while Vertuo pods are great for making different drinks. Both Nespresso pods will provide opportunities to customize your coffee brewing experience, so the information in this article should help you choose the right one for your needs.


Do all Nespresso pods taste the same?

Yes, since they all use single-origin, dark-roast coffee. The only difference you will notice is in the strength of the espresso.

Are there generic Nespresso pods?

Yes, there are generic Nespresso pods, which you can mostly find in online stores and certain coffee stores, although the catch is that you can only use them in an OriginalLine machine.

What is the material for Nespresso pods?

Aluminum comprises most of the capsule’s material because it is recyclable and maintains the coffee’s quality.

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