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Today, Nespresso coffee machines are very popular in the world. We all long for a good espresso. Nespresso gives us the possibility to make it very fast, easy, and single-serve us through these capsules. No grinding beans, just insert the capsule and make sure there’s enough water and you’re good to go.

Because of the popularity, there are a lot of options available for the consumers. You don’t have to buy a Nespresso capsule but could also opt for a Nespresso compatible capsule. We at Golden Sin have made a list of the 10 best Nespresso compatible capsules.

Don’t want to read the whole article? We at Golden Sin Coffee think that you’ll love the variety pack of Peet’s Coffee. They have a range of medium-dark roasts and even a decaf, ideal to start with. Click here for the link to Amazon!


You can click on subtitles to view the products on Amazon.

#1. Solimo Ristretto Capsules (Amazon Brand, 50 capsules )

These capsules are a brand from Amazon and are very cheap when compared to the original Nespresso capsules. A low price isn’t always equal to a low quality. These pods don’t look as nice as the original ones but it’s all about the inside right?

Thanks to this approach, you won’t lose as much when you should’ve ordered the original capsules. You can also try 4 different types: Espresso, Espresso Intenso, Lungo and Ristretto Intenso.

The Ristretto is rich and strong and you’ll taste a bit of acidity and chocolate. You might add some milk.

The pods are UTZ-certified. This means that the farmers have used better farming practices with respect for the people and the planet.


  • Cheaper price
  • Less is more
  • Very popular
  • UTZ-certified, so coffee made with respect to humans and environment


  • User reviews state that there are some complaints about quality compared to the original capsules.

#2. Starbucks: Variety Pack (50 capsules)

This pack of 50 capsules contains a wide range of roast intensities, varying from Starbucks Blonde roasts (intensity level: 6) to dark roasts (intensity level: 11). In this pack, there’s something for everyone. This pack contains the most popular capsules.

Starbucks is an established brand in the world of coffee. They source their beans and can deliver the same with consistency. They heavily invest in the best gear. See this article about the mastrena.

In this pack you’ll get the following:

  • Starbucks House Blend: Medium roasted and has flavors of cacao and Toffee.
  • Starbucks Colombia (single-origin coffee): Single-origin doesn’t come around a lot when it comes to Nespresso capsules. This is made from medium roasted Colombian beans and has a balanced taste with a nutty flavor.
  • Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast: Blonde Espresso roast is a lighter roast, with smooth and sweet notes.
  • Starbucks Caffé Verona: This is a darker roast and has a higher intensity level. It’s a blend and is sweetly roasted with notes of dark cacao.
  • Starbucks Pike Place Roast: Medium roasted and has notes of chocolate and nuts. This is smooth and balanced.


  • Popular Starbucks tastes and flavors
  • 5 different tastes, a taste for everybody
  • Ideal to get to know the most popular tastes of Starbucks.


  • The wide range also means you won’t like them all as much.

#3. Café Bustelo Espresso Dark Roast (40 capsules)

Café Bustelo is known for its darker roasts. Their dark roast for espresso has an intensity level of 11 and comes in 4 boxes of 10 capsules.

Café Bustelo is around for more than 100 years. It has a strong aroma and rich-bodied flavor. Normally you won’t need extra sugar or milk to drink this espresso but feel free to add some if you’d like. If you like a good dark roast, you can try these.

It’s advised to brew them on espresso size.


  • Great taste
  • No need for extra sugar or milk


  • The taste might not be for everyone, but this shouldn’t be a big problem because if you buy Bustelo, you generally go for the darker roasts.

#4. Café La Llave Espresso Capsules (80 capsules)

La Llave is a Cuban brand that’s more than 150 years old (Since 1870, 4 generations). Cubans love coffee and Cuban coffee is considered a great coffee in the world. La Llave might not be a brand that’s very known in the Western world but don’t let this fool you, this is great coffee.

They come here with the espresso, a full-bodied espresso. It’s a dark roast and has an intensity of 11. It’s a blend and the 80 (!) capsules can be recycled through TerraCycle.


  • Cuban coffee, high standards
  • Authentic
  • Capsules can be recycled (
  • A great dark roast
  • They come in 80 capsules


  • Not so known, thus not many people order it, a shame.

#5. Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules Nerissimo (50 capsules)

Peet’s Coffee is a brand that’s becoming more and more popular. For 50 years it’s been introducing coffee in the US and beyond.

They come with the espresso, Nerissimo, a dark roast with an intensity level of 11. This is a black espresso that still has a sweet taste. It has a brûlée topping. You can add milk or cream to it and enjoy a great cup of coffee.

The coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans and certified Kosher. You can also send the capsules back through their mail-back program (see their website).


  • A dark roast with a sweet taste (brûléé topping)
  • Intensity level 11
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Certified Kosher
  • Capsules can be recycled (website)


  • No notable cons to note

#6. Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules Variety Pack (50 capsules)

This time, Peet’s Coffee comes with a variety pack, offering something for everybody. The beans are 100% Arabica.

They offer 5 of their most popular high-intensity blends, 10 capsules from each blend. With a variety pack, you can try different things and order after this a more specific blend from Peet’s Coffee. The intensity levels vary from 8 to 11, the darker side of the spectrum, which makes sense because we’re talking about espresso here. The 5 blends are (from low-intensity level to high-intensity level):

  • Richezza: A medium roast with an intensity level of 8 and the lowest in intensity from 5. It has flavors of blossoms, berries, and brown sugar.
  • Crema Scura: A medium roast with an intensity level of 9, full-bodied and has earthy and nutty notes.
  • Decaf Ristretto: A medium roast with an intensity level of 9, velveted body, and tastes to roasted almond.
  • Ristretto: A dark roast with an intensity level of 10 and flavors of spice, fruit, and chocolate.
  • Nerissimo: A dark roast with an intensity level of 11, a sweet topping of brûlée (see product #5 above).


  • Something for everybody, the 5 best blends from Peet’s within reach
  • Ideal for tasting the 5 blends
  • Something for everyone, even Decaf!
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Certified Kosher
  • Capsules can be recycled (website)


  • The wide range also means you won’t like them all as much.

#7. Lavazza Espresso Capsules Compatible with Nespresso Original Machines (50 capsules)

Lavazza is an Italian brand and is established in 1895, in Turin. They come in a variety pack with something for everyone. The level of intensity varies from 4 to 10. The beans are made from 100% Arabica. The 5 packs, each containing 10 capsules, are the following (ranged from low to high-intensity level):

  • Lavazza Delicato: Has an intensity level of 4. It’s made from beans from Brasil and South America, giving us a sweet blend and flowery scent. Is the mildest choice from the 5.
  • Lavazza Avvolgente: Has an intensity level of 5. It’s a high-intensity coffee that has notes of spice and coconuts.
  • Lavazza Decaffeinato Ricco: Has an intensity level of 6. It’s decaffeinated and has tasting notes of cereals and dry fruits.
  • Lavazza Armonico: Has an intensity level of 8. It has darker flavors of caramel and roasted cereals.
  • Lavazza Deciso: Has an intensity level of 10. It has darker flavors of cocoa, wood.


  • Something for everybody, the 5 best blends from Lavazza
  • Ideal for tasting the 5 blends
  • Something for everyone, even Decaf!
  • Might be more suited for the household because of the wider range


  • It’s not for everyone. You might not like everything. Fans of very dark roasts probably won’t be satisfied with this

#8. Don Francisco’s Espresso Capsules (80 capsules)

Don Francisco, what a name. You might think of the great Godfather movies. More or less you’re close. Don Francisco is a Cuban brand that’s over 150 years old. They come with “Old Havana”, referring to classic Cuban Coffee.

It comes from the same roaster as Café La Llave (see #4 in our list) and is a decaf. The Old Havana is a medium-dark roasted blend with an intensity level of 8, made from 100% Arabica beans. The beans are sourced in different parts of the world, like South America and Asia. The coffee has notes of toasted nuts, with a bit of citrus and a smooth finish. The capsules can, after use, be recycled through


  • Cuban coffee, high standards
  • Intensity level of 8
  • Capsules can be recycled (
  • A great medium-dark roast
  • A fruity touch (citrus)
  • They come in 80 capsules


  • Not so know in the western world, great products are often not known

#9. L’or espresso ristretto pods (40 capsules)

L’OR is made by Jacobs Douwe Egberts, a very popular brand that’s been around since 1753. Since 1978 the European company was owned by the American company Sara Lee. Since 2012 organized under D.E. Master Blenders 1753 NV. In 2019 the company fused with Peet’s Coffee and is now organized under JDE Peet’s.

L’OR Espresso is a dark roast with an intensity level of 11. These capsules are renewed and will taste great. It has an expressive, powerful, and spicey aroma. The beans are 100% Arabica and UTZ-certified.


  • Strong brand
  • Dark roast
  • Intensity level of 11
  • Expressive, powerful and spicey aroma
  • UTZ-certified


  • Not for everyone, pair with milk if it’s too strong

#10. Douwe Egberts L’OR Espresso Forza (30 capsules)

Another product from L’OR espresso. The Forza has an intensity level of 9 and is a dark roast. In this espresso, you’ll taste notes of oak, nuts, and spices.


  • Strong brand
  • Dark roast
  • Intensity level of 9
  • Tasting notes of oak, nuts and spices
  • UTZ-certified


  • No notable cons


We’ve all seen it before, the ads on tv with celebrity George Clooney. The story of Nespresso began in 1959. Around that period, they were testing with coffee pills. They wanted to sell coffee and reduce the amount of work that the consumer has to do when making a coffee. This became soon very popular in households and the workplace.

Eric Favre, a Swiss employee from Nestlé, learned from an Italian barista why the coffee tasted so great on a holiday. He learned, by questioning the barista, that the coffee was aerated multiple times, but shorter. That’s where the story begins.

At that time, others products like Nescafé did very well so they didn’t follow directly on Favre’s idea of an espresso machine. Eventually, about 10 years later after this aha-moment, Nespresso was founded under the supervision of Eric.

The products became very popular in 1998 and took off. Nespresso became known as coffee capsules. It improved the coffee experience of the consumer and reduced the time needed for brewing one and doing the cleaning afterward. Simply empty it, clean it a bit out after time, and throw the empty capsule in the bin.



#1. Speed

Speed is king. In less than 1 minute, you’ll have a nice cup of coffee and won’t be losing a lot of time cleaning it up or grinding the beans. Just put it in the machine and follow the process.

#2. No filter

You don’t need to use new filters, no-filter-needed. Cleaning is simple, put away the capsule and insert a new one. So you don’t have to pay for filters.

#3. No scale

Everything is already measured and limited in your capsule. You won’t have to measure so you don’t need a scale.

#4. Compact

The machines are compact, see this article. The capsules don’t need a lot of space in your bin. It’s simple, these things are optimized and give you a shot of coffee and taste.

#5. No selection

You don’t have to select your beans or blend them yourself. Just choose from the product ranges Nespresso has. If you’re not satisfied or want something new, you can go for a compatible capsule.


#1. Budget

The downside to all this is that Nespresso capsules are that they’re expensive. Generally, they won’t be cheaper than $ 0.70 and can cross $ 1. If you use Nespresso compatible capsules, you might have at least 2 times the amount of coffee.

#2. Small product range

The product range from the Nespresso pods can be limited so you’ve might try almost all of them after an amount of time. There are a lot of Nespresso compatible capsules that can give you a broader range and satisfy your needs.


Nespresso is making a lot of profit when it comes to capsules. That makes sense since they’re a recurrent income, compared to the machines they sell. That’s the same for a lot of other areas, think about printers and cartridges. The money is in the recurring products.

The capsules are trendy, high quality, made of great materials, and of course, they have to make money so there’s a margin involved. It’s a marketing cycle. The products look high quality, they’ve made ads on TV with George Clooney, etc… People, consumers are “brainwashed” into this. We all know how the world works, big companies want big profits.

Luckily, you can try other Nespresso compatible capsules that will be at half the price and will serve you well.

See also: Nespresso by Breville


When you’re thinking about buying Nespresso compatible capsules, please make the following considerations:

#1. Budget

This one is always on top of our list. We want a great ratio between quality and price.

#2. Compatibility

Look out for compatibility with your Nespresso machine. A lot of people just read Nespresso and think they will be good. There’s a wide range of Nespresso machines available on the market. The brand is known for multiple years and has newer products.

#3. Flavor

The name of the game, getting the most flavor in your cup for the ultimate experience. Since we’re talking about capsules, there’s no grinding involved. We advise you to start with the bigger brands, as they also can make a lot of money. Remember, they all want customers to return. You can try smaller brands but be aware of this consideration. In the end, all these companies want to give us the best experience. We’d like to order these from bigger brands and try smaller brands when grinding and using other brewing methods.

#4. Intensity

There’s a gradation when it comes to taste: intensity level. It’s heavily based on the roasting factor but there are other factors involved as well: body, tasting notes…! There are up to 13 levels according to Nespresso. 13 isn’t used as much and was more for the limited edition. Generally, we’ll find levels of 11 as high. That’s the highest level on our list.

  • The higher the intensity level, the darker your roast will be, the more they’re concentrated and their taste will be less sweet and more bitter.
  • The lower the intensity level, the milder and sweeter your taste will be.

#5. Roast

The higher the intensity level, the darker your roast will be and thus the longer the roasting time. Remember, the roast level scale is another scale than the intensity level, that’s based on other factors. They’re indicators.

#6. Single-origin vs Blends

Nespresso talks about espresso, thus the dark side of the spectrum. When we grind our beans, we think about single-origin or blending different beans to get the best result. In the world of Nespresso, blends are more common.

Blends tend to have a bad reputation but that’s not true. It’s the same for most discussions, like Arabica vs Robusta. A pro for a blend is that it can reduce the price a bit and give you the best of both worlds.

There’s a false assumption that when blends are used for brewing coffee, the quality will be lower when compared to using single-origin. When it comes to Nespresso and coffee, there’s no need to worry some blends can give the best results.



There are a lot of brands that offer these compatible capsules. Since they’re offering a wider range and more variety when compared to the Nespresso product range, it’s hard to answer that question. We at Golden Sin think that buying these from larger brands like Peet’s, Douwe Egberts, Lavazza, and so on…, is the best choice you can do. Think about what you like, don’t buy a high-intensity level if you don’t like a bitter taste and vice versa.


Yes, there are a lot of capsules available. You must pay attention to the fact if they’re compatible with your generation of Nespresso machines. There’s a wide range available from a lot of brands.


Yes, of course. As with most products, there will be fans and haters. We think they can be a great alternative to the Nespresso capsules because you have more flexibility in choice and the price is much lower. You can buy 2x or 3x for a Nespresso price. The fact that there’s such a wide range available means they’re good and stay around in the market to buy.


No, you can’t if you want the same quality. These capsules exist for 1 singular purpose: serving single-serve coffeemakers from Nespresso. As with brewing from freshly ground beans, you don’t use that again for making the same great cup. If you use them a second time, please consider that the taste won’t be as good.


A lot of brands are compatible with Nespresso. This makes sense because it’s a huge market and everyone wants a piece of it. Brands featuring our lists are Lavazza, Peet’s Coffee, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Café La Llave, DonFrancisco, Café Bustelo, Starbucks, and even Amazon. There are many other brands out there that are also great, think about Illy, Java…


The best Nespresso compatible capsules are the ones that can give you a wide range to choose from. We at Golden Sin think that you won’t do wrong with the variety pack of Peet’s Coffee. It gives you the flexibility to choose from each day. If that won’t suit you try the variety packs of Lavazza or Starbucks.

Enjoy your coffee!