Nespresso pods are the new “it thing” in the world of mouth-watering espressos. It is said to have outdone its peers in pod-based espresso-making with Nespresso taking the lead and changing the face of espresso brewing for good.
In this article, we will explore the world of Nespresso pods to help you choose the best Nespresso capsules.
Nespresso History / Background
Quite the name in the coffee maker industry is Nespresso. The Swiss brand has long been a household name in the coffee industry, and for good reason.
Having revolutionized the capsule brewing technology, Nespresso seeks to provide authentic coffee drinks and espressos that are bursting with flavor and intensity.
The Nespresso Capsule comes in two different types:
- Original Nespresso Capsule
- Virtuo Nespresso Capsule
Let’s take a close look at them, and see which one fits you the most.
Virtuo vs Original Capsules
The OriginalLine and VertuoLine use different Nespresso pods. The difference does not end here – it simply begins. It is the differences and contrasts in their features and offerings that make these Nespresso capsules truly special.
Nespresso has tried to cater to the changing consumer taste with its new-in-range VirtuoLine capsules. Whether it has lived up to customer expectations is what we will uncover now.
Virtuo v/s Original capsules: what is the better choice?
Knowing the differences between them is a great place to start. We will now take a look at the differences between them to help you choose the best Nespresso pods:
Different in size and shape:
The original line has traditionally cup-shaped pods whereas the Virtuo coffee pods are dome-shaped with 3 different size variations.
The original capsules come in three different capsule ranges which is capable of brewing:
- .85 oz ristretto
- 1.35 oz espresso
- 3.7 oz Lungo
Virtuo capsules come in three different sizes brewing:
- 1.35 oz espresso
- 2.7oz double espresso or 5oz Gran Lungo
- 7.77 oz Coffee or 14 oz Alto XL respectively
Different flavor offerings:
Both Original and Virtuo coffee pods have different flavor offerings.
Flavor ranges that come with the Original Nespresso Coffee Capsules are:
- Master Origin
- Crafted for Milk
Flavor ranges that come with the VirtuoLine Nespresso Coffee Capsules are:
- Double Espresso
- Gran Lungo (Americano)
- Alto XL
- Crafted for Milk
VertuoLine capsules make more crema while the OriginalLine doesn't:
For those who don’t know, crema is a foam-like substance with small bubbles that form on top of an espresso shot. The Vertuo coffee capsules produce more crema than original coffee capsules that produce less concentration of crema.
The crema is a point of debate among coffee lovers with equal numbers ‘for’ and ‘against’ it.
While some prefer a frothy mountain of crema on their espressos, others prefer the earthy undertones of a traditional espresso with minimal to no crema.
If you prefer the more robust taste of authentic espresso shots, then the Original capsules are custom-made for you. They are said to have a richer, more authentic espresso taste which beats the shrill attraction of thick crema that is characteristic of a cup of coffee that is brewed using a Vertuo coffee pod.
Arabica and Robusta Beans: Their difference, how it affects your coffee, and why it determines the Nespresso pods you should choose:
The Original Nespresso pods produce a thin layer of crema. This is believed to be closer in taste & texture to the original crema that you will get from arabica beans. This is of interest to us because:
- Arabica beans contain almost 60% more lipids and almost twice the amount of sugar than your average coffee beans. A combination of these factors directly affects the flavor, aroma, and body of the coffee.
- Arabica beans generally taste better because the increased sugar concentration strikes the perfect balance between bitter and sweet, thus giving your coffee a better taste and moderate bitterness.
- Arabica beans are rich in antioxidants and low in calories. Because of its natural sweetness, you don’t need to artificially sweeten it which means that it is good for health.
The Vertuo Nespresso bean pods produce a thick blanket of crema, which can mean the following things:
Too much crema (as found in espressos made using the VertuoLine coffee pod), is a sign that robusta beans were most likely used in the brew to make the espresso. This is problematic because robusta beans are considered inferior in quality to arabica beans.
Type of Drink
If you are passionate about authentic espresso but don’t want to invest in real espresso machines just yet, the OriginalLine pod-brewing machine is the coffeemaker for you. You can make both espresso, lungo, and milk-based drinks with these machines. All you have to do is toss the capsules in the pod coffee maker and your magic coffee is ready for you.
On the contrary, if you prefer mug-filling drinks without adding milk or extra water, the VertuoLine is a better fit for you. This machine caters to both your espresso and coffee cravings with great dedication.
The best part? You can enjoy the best of beverages without having to spend exorbitantly on an espresso machine. With these VertuoLine Capsules, you will have delicious espresso, lungo, and straight coffee at your disposal in no time – that too at a pocket-friendly price!
Brewing Technology: How are they different?
Most of us will agree that Nespresso makes the best pod-based coffee. These coffee pod machines are a cheaper alternative to most coffee makers and are thus seen as a feasible investment for coffee lovers.
There are two types of Nespresso machines:
- OriginalLine Machine
- VertuoLine Machine
The OriginalLine Machines are the earlier versions of pod-based coffee makers while the VertuoLine Machines is the latest version of pod-based coffee makers.
Both of these Nespresso machines use a unique brewing method or technology.
The OriginalLine Nespresso Machine uses a classic pump-based, pressure-driven technology for coffee brewing. They work like a conventional espresso maker. Hot water and pressure are applied to ground coffee which is brewed under high temperature. Since it uses a high temperature, more oils are extracted from the coffee pods, which makes the coffee more flavorful and strong.
On the other hand, the VertuoLine Nespresso Machine uses a centrifugal extraction method to brew your coffee capsule. It extracts your beverage through rapid capsule spinning under a lower temperature, which sometimes yields a lukewarm, weak-tasting, and under-extracted beverage with a foamier crema.
Top 5 Product Reviews for OriginalLine Pods
The single biggest advantage of buying the OriginalLine Nespresso pods is that you won’t need to buy pod-based coffee machines from Nespresso to brew them.
Guess what? other well-known companies manufacture them too. This means that you can explore markets and machines outside of Nespresso to brew your precious OriginalLine capsules. This is a perk that the VirtuoLine does not enjoy. This is one great reason to choose these OriginalLine pods over the VirtuoLine pods.
So if you have made up your mind on buying them, here is a quick review of the top 5 OriginalLine pods:
Nespresso Variety Pack for OriginalLine
Inspired from Italian roasting techniques, the Nespresso Original Line offers a wide range of inspiring espresso coffee options to give you energized mornings and focused days. Stay sharp and alert throughout the day with this exquisite range of the best-selling Nespresso capsules.
Experience the joy of floating in the fruity undertones of Ristretto on one day just to surf in the well-roasted caramel river of Livanto beans in the next. No two days have to be identical with this five-in-one variety pack. This pack consists of the 5 best Nespresso capsules that hold the promise of uplifting your day with bursting flavors and rich cocoa every day of the week.
This blend drives its inspiration from Florence and deep dives into the enchanted forest of divine flavors to give you the best coffee in a strong intense flavor. If you’re up for a cup of rich grilled yet subtle coffee with a tinge of chocolate and malted fruity undertones, this blend is designed for you.
This is a variation of arabica beans that uses a long roasting process to make this incredible coffee blend. This means that the coffee beans undergo extremely fine grinding to prepare the finest cup of coffee for you.
Inspired by Italy’s iconic drinking tradition, the Ristretto OriginalLine can be considered one of the best Nespresso capsules for coffee lovers who love nothing more than a dash of fruity goodness in a strong cup of coffee.
This coffee capsule is a dark roast Nespresso coffee with a level 10 intensity. Extremely strong and contrasting, it is slightly acidic and fruity with a hint of chocolate to counter it. While some may call it balanced, others might call it confusing.
So before investing in a ristretto, we advise you to do a sample trial first.
The India Master Origin Dark Roast Coffee is coffee at its finest. The combination of Robusta and Indian Arabica unites in this blend to give an intense, woody, and spicy aromatic flavor to your espresso transforming it into a delightful cup of fragrant coffee.
Rated 11 on the Nespresso intensity scale, this coffee is not for people with a mild or traditional taste preference.
Inspired by the lifestyle in Palermo in the quaint Italian countryside, the Kazaar range of OriginalLine Nespresso stands at a level 12 intensity in the Nespresso intensity scale. As an Espresso, Kazaar shines with its dark, buttery notes – there is no bright acidity in this one.
If you love nothing more than the toasty taste of a strong cup of coffee, this is it. Its buttery taste and powerful bitterness combined with its dense and creamy texture with a hint of pepper makes this blend a ‘coffee with a bite’,
If you want to experience the exotic taste of strong soul-stirring cocoa floating in your mouth, give this blend a try.
Top 5 Product Reviews for VirtuoLine Pods
The one downside of buying VirtuoLine Pods is the limited range of options in pod-brewing machines. Since they are relatively new, no other company (except Nespresso) has produced pod-based coffee brewing machines for these pods yet. This means that if you decide to buy these capsules, you will have to buy the brewing machine from Nespresso itself.
This minor setback aside, these pods are wonderful for the modern coffee lover. If you insist on buying them, here is a review of the top 5 VertuoLine Pods to help you choose thebe:
Variety Pack for VertuoLine
The variety pack brings the best blends of VertuoLine coffee to diversify your coffee options and pamper you with a range of 3 different flavors for an energized coffee experience. All three blends are between the intensity range of 5-10 which means that the coffee won’t be too strong or too bland for your liking.
The mildest blend in this pack of 3 is Melozio (intensity 6) – a smooth, Brazilian bourbon and central arabicas blend. Then comes the Odacio (intensity 7), this is a slightly stronger blend with a smack of fruity flavoring. Made from Guatemala beans, Stormio (intensity 8) is sprinkled with a dash of spiced and woody undertones that gives a rich texture to this strong coffee.
The Altissio VertuoLine Coffee is a blend of highly roasted Arabica coffee from Costa Rica and South America that boasts of a well-balanced texture with refined flavoring.
Packed with the goodness of cereal, this blend is tailor-made for coffee lovers who love nothing more than the taste of old fashioned milky coffee. To get the most of this blend, mix it with milk to enhance the full-bodied taste of this rich nutty coffee.
Packed with an incredibly dense flavor, the Intenso VertuoLine is a thick blend of Nespresso coffee that offers the best of Guatemalan Robusta and Mexican and Latin American Arabicas.
A dash of caramelized brown sugar and strong toasted flavors is incorporated into this dark roasted coffee to give you a rich-tasting espresso. This blend makes the best of both arabica and robusta coffee beans to leave you a lasting aftertaste of bursting flavors which is perfect for coffee lovers with a strong coffee preference.
As with all Nespresso pods, the Intenso VertuoLine is available in multiple pack sizes.
Standing at an intensity 6 rating on the Nespresso intensity scale, the Melozio VertuoLine Coffee Blend is a medium roast, toasty rich, well rounded, strong yet mellow coffee that strikes the perfect flavor balance. If you don’t like sour notes to your coffee, this is perhaps the best Nespresso capsules in the range for you.
Made from the best of Brazilian Bourbon and Central American Arabica beans, this coffee blend brings the best of both worlds to give you a perfect cup of your everyday espresso. Choose this blend to enjoy the smooth textures of a coffee that is dripping in the rich undertones of biscuit and honey.
Sourced from Central America, the Stormio VertuoLine is a high-roast Nicaraguan and Guatemalan Arabica coffee that tastes woody and spicy with a touch of cereal. The coffee beans are roasted dark and long to bring out an intense burst of strong-flavored espresso.
While some prefer to mellow down this coffee with milk, others prefer the authentic taste of this rich coffee blend and prefer to take it without milk.
You have reached the end of this article. Quite frankly, we can’t tell you which blend of Nespresso capsules you should buy. After all, it depends on your own personal taste and preference.
If you like strong coffee flavors, you can choose a blend that is high on the Nespresso intensity scale.
High-intensity coffee blends do not necessarily have more caffeine content than the milder blends but they have a combination of high roast, body, and bitterness.
So if a high-roast bitter coffee is the coffee for you, then you should choose the following from among the two pod lines;
- OriginalLine Pod: At intensity 12, the Kazaar is the best in the OriginalLine Pods for dark coffee drinkers.
- VirtuoLine Pod: At intensity 9, Intenso and Altissio are the best in the VertisioLine Pods
On the contrary, if your taste buds prefer a low-roast coffee with a mild taste, then you should choose the following pods from the two Nespresso lines:
- OriginalLine Pod: Choose the VertuoLine Variety Pack for the best range of mild brew pods.
- VirtuoLine Pod: At intensity 6, Melozio is the best in the VertisioLine Pods for your mild taste preference.
However, if you belong to the third group of coffee lovers and relish your coffee in all seasons and flavors, we highly recommend that you get the variety pack in either the OriginalLine or the VertuoLine to enjoy the best of all blends.
If none of these options are for you – check out our best nespresso compatible capsules here for 3rd party nespresso capsule brands)