Before buying me a real espresso machine, I had a Nespresso machine. And quickly I became aware of the ecological problem of the pods, but also of their significant costs. I ended up interested in rechargeable pods for these two reasons: no longer use aluminum/plastic unnecessarily and reduce my coffee budget. Today I have the necessary hindsight to be able to share with you my opinion concerning the rechargeable Nespresso pods.
The different types of reusable pods
And yes, there are different types of rechargeable pods.
The cheapest reusable pods are in plastic. To try, before buying metal pods, I started with plastic pods. However they have major drawbacks.
The first drawback I found is that after a few uses, the pods exploded in my machine. Plus, I have no idea what kind of plastic they use to make them. It is therefore possible, see probable that there is the presence of endocrine disruptors in the plastic used.
With “sticker” closure
The metal pods that close with a sticker are pods that I have not tried. However, I know that they were designed to generate the kind of “pop”, the sound of the pods that pierces. So these are pods that come closest to the original Nespresso pods.
The problem for me, as with the Nespresso pods, is the presence of aluminum. Usually it is not really recommended to cook with aluminum.
It should also be considered that stickers must be bought regularly.
With screw closure
I have several metal pods of this type. However at the end of a number of uses they end up not getting clogged. I highly recommend to descale them from time to time. We do not see it because the pods is closed, but there is a small metal yarn inside that prevents the coffee from clogging the holes. The presence of this yarn is absolutely paramount. For this to work better, I’ve overlayed several.
How to use Nespresso reusable capsules
I recently wrote an article that explains how to use Nespresso reusable capsules. You can find it at this address.
The conclusion I can give is simple: it is difficult to make good coffees with reusable Nespresso pods. When you get there, coffee is not bad, it is even good (relatively close to what you can find with the original pods), but much lighter.
The origin of this “light coffee” is simple. Reusable pods do not allow to add the same amount of coffee as the original pods. This is due to the fact that the set of reusable pods will be shorter and therefore the usable volume is less large. I had measured we put between 0.5 and 1g of coffee less. A simple test to find out is to open a Nespresso pods, put the coffee in the reusable pods and you will see that there is no room.
For the use of reusable pods, I recommend not to overpack the coffee. I cup it lightly, but without pushing too much (I do not apply 20kg of pressure as for a real Espresso and on the contrary, if you do, the water may not pass despite the 19 bars). Reusable pods are much like pressurized filters, so do not over-pack.
I use fine ground coffee. I had finally bought myself a coffee grinder: The Porlex Mini and tall. The mill greatly facilitated the filling of the pods because I could do size tests for ground coffee. I do not remember the setting used, but it seems to me that it was 3 or 4 clicks starting from the tightest.
If you want to buy Nespresso reusable capsules, you can find them on Amazon or Aliexpress.
Nespresso VS espresso ?
The title Nespresso vs Espresso is more applicable in the frame where Nespresso machines with rechargeable pods are used. For testing both, I can assure you that you will waste more time making Nespresso coffees with reusable pods than espresso coffees.
If you are thinking of buying a Nespresso machine for use with reusable pods, I will stop you immediately. It will be more interesting for you, for the same budget to buy an espresso coffee machine. The coffee will be better, more regular in taste and less annoying to create.
You also have to be aware that you will never have a real espresso with a Nespresso machine. It’s something I didn’t know at first.
If you ever have a Nespresso machine and want to change your use by switching to reusable pods, I highly recommend using metal pods despite the price difference with plastic ones. I got a plastic pods that broke in my machine.
Despite my somewhat critical opinion towards the reusable pods, I must admit that the time I spent optimizing my coffees with was a precursor to my passion for good coffees. I ended up completely abandoning this system to buy me a real espresso machine.
At the moment I saw that there is a demand for participatory funding to create a device that fills all the Nespresso reusable pods by itself. In itself the design is interesting. The appliance grinds the coffee, puts the right amount of coffee and closes the pods. However as I indicated in a previous article, I remain septic regarding the daily utility of this machine.
Honestly, I ask to see, because with all the worries I had to optimize my coffee with reusable pods, I think that perhaps the machine will not also have the same regularity.