How to use Nespresso reusable capsules ?

As François Etienne explains in his book “Le guide pratique du café”, Nespresso has done good to the world of coffee. This great brand has managed to make (with their varied range of capsule) realize to the general public that coffee does not have a single taste. They paved the way for the concept of “coffee for oneself” and people began to take an interest in the different possibilities that a cup of coffee can offer.

Some of the consumers (including me) who can be categorized as “disappointed with Nespresso” have begun to return to conventional extraction systems with the sole purpose of creating a good coffee. But there was in my case an intermediate step that was to use reusable Nespresso capsules. I relighted my old Nespresso machine to explain step by step how to use it with reusable capsules.

Like my tutorial on the use of moka pot, I will start with some generalities.


Where to get Nespresso reusable pods?

There is a large number of reusable Nespresso capsules available for sale including Amazon.

Reusable pods are available in plastic or stainless steel. Personally, for having tested both, I advise you to opt instead for stainless steel. They are much stronger and it is certain that there are no bisphenol A in their compositions (unlike plastic capsules).

Plastic capsules are more fragile, sometimes they deform under the pressure of water. It happened to me, it does not break the machine, but the distorted pod are hard to extract.

Some capsules are sold with a small tamper. It is a practical accessory for slightly brewing coffee. It is not essential (we can easily replace it with a cork for example) but who is nice to have.

Using Nespresso Reusable pods does not bother machines anymore. Finally, it was true until Nespresso was caught up by the authorities who forced him to make their machines compatible with the competing capsules. So, if your machine was manufactured after 2010, you will not have any problems.

Do Nespresso reusable pods give the same coffee as the original Nespresso?

No, you will not have the same coffee. Two reasons for this:

  • The coffee used to fill the capsules is different.
  • Reusable capsules can hold about 0.5g less coffee than the original Nespresso capsules. It is the shape of the capsules that make them contain less coffee.

These are two factors that make the resulting coffee close, but not the same.

Do we save money by using Nespresso reusable capsules?

Yes, we save money. The shot of the capsules you buy will be quickly amortized.

  • A Nespresso pod costs approximately $ 0.35 (for 5.5g of coffee). So at the rate of 3 coffees a day in one year you will have spent $ 383,25 for one person.
  • With a reusable capsule, if you buy 1 kg of ground coffee at $ 15 per kg, you can make about 200 coffees with (5g of coffee / capsules). Each coffee costs around $ 0.075. So in one year, at the rate of 3 coffees a day, the cost is about $ 82 with a reusable capsule. The investment is quickly profitable.
  • Another advantage is that you have the freedom to choose the coffee you want.

This little demonstration shows that in addition to the ecological benefit, there is an economic advantage to using reusable Nespresso capsules.

How to use Nespresso reusable pods?

  • Fill the capsule with ground coffee. Personally, I invested at the time in a small hand coffee grinder. The interest of the coffee grinder is that we can really refine the coffee grind (so it’s easier to adapt for a good extraction) and it’s better because the coffee is freshly ground. A manual mill corresponding to this use costs about 30 $.
  • The ideal coffee grind is as fine as that used for espresso. It should not be too thin (at the risk of clogging the capsule) or too big (the water will pass too easily). If you do not have a grinder, you will have to buy different bags of ground coffee until you reach a suitable grind.
  • As soon as the capsule is filled with its coffee, pack it with the tamper (or with a cork). Do not hesitate to supplement if necessary with coffee.
  • Once the coffee is packed, close the capsule. She is ready to use.
  • The capsule is used as a normal capsule.
  • I have not used a reusable Nespresso capsule for many years. So I completely forgot how to adjust my mill for this use. It is possible to have a better extraction than what I got.
  • That’s the result.

My selection of Nespresso reusable pods


  1. Don’t forget to add an electronic scale that allows you to easily replicate the amount of coffee needed when you find the balance between grind and weight to your liking

  2. I have a sunbeam conical burr coffee grinder have been trialing settings on it to get perfect grind for my Nespresso creatista plus machine my grinder has settings from 0 to 25 0 being fine 25 being coarse have been testing fine settings still getting a not very strong coffee can you please give me a suggestion .are using podstar Nespresso compatible reusable stainless steel pod

    1. Hello, with reusable Nespresso capsules, the only solution to have “strong” coffee is to use heavily roasted coffee. Italian roasts.
      But the capsules do not give a result comparable to espresso coffee because the amount of coffee is small.
      Hope to have helped you 🙂

    2. Hi I use two pods using the shorter ristretto setting, works much better and now you use the same amount of coffee as an espresso making does for a single shot around 8g.

  3. Hi, so if we have a machine older than 10 years, like the c190, there is no reusable capsules for this? The normal 1.3oz capsules fit the machine they don’t have special different nespresso capsules. I got some of the metal ones but then lid doesn’t close. Any suggestions ?

  4. I have tried many many different coffees including several Espresso types. All fine grind. They ALL come out as a brown coloured liquid that tastes insipid. Any suggestions?

  5. All this is good for people who drink black coffee but how does it work for people that like white coffee. Can we put milk or powdered milk into the pod then put it into machine?

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