Best Nespresso Compatible Capsules in the UK [2022]

Owning a Nespresso gives you unparalleled convenience when it comes to making an espresso. But what are the best Nespresso compatible capsules you can buy?

Fortunately, there are many different options beyond buying directly from Nespresso and our team have had the pleasure of testing and reviewing some of the best Nespresso compatible capsules available.

Our definitive guide is made up from a mix of our own reviews whilst factoring in thousands of consumer reviews too.

1. Nespresso Original Coffee Capsules

It should go without saying that the best Nespresso compatible coffee capsules are going to be made by Nespresso themselves.

The Nespresso Original Coffee Capsules come in a box of 50 and vary from the full and balanced Roma to the intense and syrupy Palermo. You’re truly spoiled for choice with this selection and it’s a great way to find out which flavour suites your palate best.

Nespresso are incredibly precise about which coffee beans make the cut and whilst you may think that’s a bit overkill what it really means is that every cup has a consistent quality about it.

To give you an idea of how serious they take their coffee, it’s said that their Nespresso taste testers are trained, certified and re-certified every 3 months just to make sure their ability to identify quality hasn’t gone AWOL!

What we like about this coffee

  • The consistency is second to none
  • Great range of different coffees to try
  • Nespresso offer a recycling scheme

What customers like about this coffee

  • Is good value for money
  • Convenient home delivery
  • Cafe-level taste

Final Verdict

If like me, you hit the snooze button a few too many times in the morning, Nespresso pods are a convenient way to get your coffee hit despite being in a rush. The original capsules from Nespresso are about as close to a cafe espresso as you’re going to get.

Check Price on Amazon

2. Starbucks Variety Pack (Best Nespresso Compatible Capsules Runner Up)

Starbucks’ variety pack is the runner up in the best Nespresso compatible capsules category. With 8 different roasts and blends to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice.

Whether you like a lighter body and mellow roast or something with robust, bold flavours, this variety pack contains many options to help you find the best flavour for you.

Our personal favourite from the bunch is the Caffè Verona. It’s well balanced and lands in the medium roast range. Tasting notes include a consistent dark cocoa that gives the coffee a degree of sweetness.

If you already have a good idea of what kind of coffee you like, all 8 options are available to buy as a standalone coffee. For some, Starbucks might be a little bit expensive but for the quality of the coffee we think it’s good value for money overall

What we like about this coffee

  • The variety pack caters to all taste palates
  • It’s created specifically for Nespresso
  • The espresso shots can be diluted without compromising on taste

What customers like about this coffee

  • The aluminium pods make for a better tasting coffee
  • Suitable to drink any time of the day
  • Good selection of light and dark roasts

Final Verdict

As some of you may know, Nestle have the distribution rights for Starbucks coffee outside of Starbucks locations so essentially, this is a Nespresso product with Starbucks’ great coffee.

Check Price on Amazon

3. L’OR Espresso Variety Pack

You might be starting to notice a theme here. Number 3 on our list is the L’OR Espresso Variety Pack. You might be wondering why we’re including variety packs on this list – the answer is that everyone’s palate is different so the best way you can find out what’s best for you is by trying different roasts and blends.

With that being said, L’OR is a fantastic tasting choice, minus the price tag of some of the other coffee capsules on this list. Some of the coffees in the variety pack include the light bodied Splendente and the intense Onyx which is perfect for those who prefer a fuller body and rich taste.

Our personal favourite from the bunch is the Forza option which has a complex nutty taste with a delicate crema that leaves a lasting amber aftertaste.

What we like about this coffee

  • The flavours of each roast and blend are incredibly unique
  • The espressos have a beautiful crema
  • They’re cheaper than other brands but don’t sacrifice on taste

What customers like about this coffee

  • Excellent value for money
  • Works perfectly with Nespresso machines
  • The aluminium capsules help to keep the coffee fresher for longer

Final Verdict

Whilst perhaps not as good tasting as Nespresso’s original pods or Starbucks, L’OR have the upper hand when it comes to price and perhaps overall value for money. If you want high quality but don’t want to pay too much, these are the pods for you.

Check Price on Amazon

4. CAFEPOD Craft Coffee

A Great Taste Award winner in 2020, CAFEPOD have a variety of Nespresso compatible capsules to really blow you away. The diversity of their coffee ranges from the lighter Brunch Blend to the ultra dark and bold Supercharger Espresso.

Our favourite was the Supercharger Espresso which gives strong hints of a caramel chocolate without the bitterness you’d expect from such a strong coffee. Whilst robusta beans are typically considered to be the ‘cheaper, lower quality’ coffee bean, CAFEPOD have done remarkably well at combining it with the smooth, balanced Arabicas from Latin America and Southern India to give an incredible taste.

If you like bold coffees, the Supercharger Espresso is great but we’d recommend trying the variety pack first to get a feel for the variety of coffees they offer – you won’t be disappointed.

What we like about this coffee

  • The taste is on par with Nespresso
  • They have a variety of different strengths, perfect for making different coffees
  • The pods are aluminium meaning you can recycle them

What customers like about this coffee

  • They’re great for when you have friends or family round
  • The packaging looks classy
  • Enjoyed having different strengths to try

Final Verdict

If you prefer buying your coffee from independents as opposed to bigger brands, CAFEPOD should be at the top of your list. With a variety of different strengths to choose from, you will easily be able to find something that suits your palate.

Check Price on Amazon

5. Jacbos

Jacobs’ Espresso 12 Ristretto is one of the best Nespresso alternatives you’ll find, as backed up by its average rating of 9.4/10 based on almost 300 reviews.

Luca, who is one of our coffee aficionados, is a big fan of darker roasts and he was particularly impressed with this one. It’s strong, balanced and has a complex taste. Like CAFEPOD, the beans are made up from a blend of both intense robusta and high-quality Arabica which make for intense, hearty notes.

Jacobs is more of a continental European brand rather than strictly British (made by the same creators of L’OR by the way) but it’s easy to see why our friends across the border rave about this stuff. Whilst slightly behind L’OR’s quality, when on offer, Jacobs offers the best value for money.

What we like about this coffee

  • If on offer, as it is frequently, they’re the best value pods on the market
  • It’s very smooth but also strong
  • Has a lovely full bodied flavour

What customers like about this coffee

  • They’re comparable to L’OR
  • Nice depth and full of flavour
  • Works seamlessly with Nespresso machines

Final Verdict

If you’re more of a light to medium roast drinker, move along – this isn’t for you. If you prefer dark roasts, this one might be worth a shot (pun intended).

Check Price on Amazon

6. Eden Project (Best Eco-friendly Nespresso Compatible Pods)

Eden Project get our vote for the best eco-friendly Nespresso Compatible Pods but don’t be misled by that – the coffee is still fantastic.

There’s a host of reasons eco-warriors would choose these pods. Firstly, they come in 60 plastic free coffee pods meaning they won’t end up at landfill polluting the environment. Secondly, the packaging is made out of recyclable cardboard whilst the ink is vegetable-based which emits significantly fewer emissions during their production than petrol-based ink.

Finally, the coffee itself is biodegradable and can even have enrich your soil is composted in your garden.

Speaking of coffee, you might be wondering whether a company who sells itself on their eco-credentials actually have great tasting coffee. Simply put, they absolutely do. Our advice would be to go for the Costa Rican & Guatemalan mix. They are both made from 100% Arabica coffee beans and in fact, it’s illegal to produce non-100% Arabica beans in Costa Rica which shows you how seriously they take the harvesting of coffee beans!

What we like about this coffee

  • 100% Arabica beans is a good sign of overall quality and these beans more than hold their own against ‘better’ coffees
  • The light roasted Costa Rican coffee have a variety of interesting tasting notes including toasted barley and black walnut
  • You don’t have to break the bank to drink this coffee often

What customers like about this coffee

  • Completely plastic free coffee
  • You can make great tasting espresso coffee
  • Customer service seems helpful and reliable

Final Verdict

For eco-warriors, there’s not a better choice currently available. While you’re not going to get the boldness or very high quality taste of some of the other coffees on the list, the difference isn’t so great that you should abandon your ethics.

Check Price on Amazon

7. Gimoka

Gimoka’s Vellutato coffee pods are one of the cheapest options out there coming in at just under 20p per capsule. Don’t let the cheap price tag fool you however, the Vellutato is a 100% Arabica that can hold their own when it comes to taste and quality.

Whilst not made specifically for Nespresso machines, Gimoka pods have been independently certified to ensure 100% compatibility with the machine. In terms of the coffee, expect something delicate, aromatic and not too intense. The ground coffee is made up of a blend of Colombia, Brazil and Honduras beans resulting in a typically full-bodied coffee and tasty crema on top.

Whilst it’s not quite in that upper category when it comes to overall taste, for those working with a budget it might be a trade off you’re willing to make.

What we like about this coffee

  • The crema left on top leaves a sweet aftertaste
  • Pricing plays a big role in choosing coffee and this is bang on the money
  • The pods work perfectly with Nespresso machines

What customers like about this coffee

  • One review mentioned that her husband is now surgically attached to his Nespresso machine because of these pods. I’m not sure there needs to be any more pros?!

Final Verdict

The taste of these coffees aren’t going to blow your mind but for a very reasonable price, they’re going to be a good option if you want to keep something in stock for guests and save the good stuff for yourself!

Check Price on Amazon

8. CRU Kafe

CRU Kafe base their identity on sustainability with their very good coffee being completely organic and grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides.

The Discovery Pack contains blends across the coffee spectrum from light roasted to intense and everything in between. They’ve also included Colombian and Indian single origin coffees within the pack which are nice additions to try.

On the whole, the coffees taste nice and the variety of different coffees are useful to help you find something you like. They also have a £10 off voucher when you sign up to their newsletter making your first coffee pods good value for money.

What we like about this coffee

  • £10 off makes your first order much cheaper
  • Everything is either recyclable or compostable
  • The coffee is Fairtrade

What customers like about this coffee

  • The aluminium cap pierces well and so gets a lot of flavour out of the coffee grounds
  • Can be put in your home recycling
  • Enjoyable taste

Final Verdict

Whilst we’re not necessarily raving about CRU Kafe, the coffee is nice and if you can get a voucher code from their site, they’re worth trying.

Check Price on Amazon

Is Nespresso worth it?

Many coffee aficionados struggle to sleep at night knowing there are people out there using anything other than fresh coffee beans for espresso. However, for the convenience they offer, Nespresso machines are definitely worth it.

Admittedly you’ll get a better espresso from fresh coffee beans that are ground just before you start making it. But a lot of people don’t have a developed palate where they can notice the subtle nuances of high quality coffee beans anyway.

If coffee isn’t a hobby for you then don’t worry what the coffee snobs tell you. Nespresso machines are minimal effort, minimal fuss and are good for creating good quality coffee.

Summary

You’re probably not going to get the highest quality coffee possible from Nespresso machines. What you will get from this list of the best Nespresso compatible capsules though is high quality coffee at a click of a button and minimal effort. And when you think about it, that might be even better.

Want to learn more about different coffees? Feel free to take a look at our recent “best coffee for cafetiere” article!