Review of Nespresso Reusable Pods

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.

Plastic pods

The cheapest reusable pods are in plastic. To try, before buying metal pods, I started with plastic pods. However they have major drawbacks.

Example of reusable plastic pods.

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.

Metal pods

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.

We close the metal capsule with a sticker.

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

Type de capsules réutilisables en métal.

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.

General Conclusion

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.

The model of “Tamper” that I use for my Nespresso pods. Very good quality, it is made of a stainless steel part.

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.

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.

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27 comments Add yours
  1. Excellent article. My Gaggia classic has been pushed out to my garage by a lattismo touch as a resuit of refurbing the kitchen and wanting something smaller. I still use the classic when I get the chance, mainly when I roast my own beans and yes this is a better and a more enjoyable process. However the lattismo has allowed my wife to make her own coffee. So I ordered a mycoffeestar stainless steel capsule shortly folliowed by 2 copy versions from eBay or Amazon. I make my wife a 3 shot latte flask for work each morning, having three pods makes the process more efficient. I will admit I can’t get the right grind my krups burr grinder to work with my pods. However, I have been successful with segafredo ground coffee but better still the lidl supermarket deluxe range is perfect with the pods. I bought the capsule holder tool with the mycoffeestar which fits the copies to. If I were starting from scratch I’d go for the waycap capsules as their egg cup funnel looks a far easier means of filling. You make a good point that the stainless steel pod has less capacity but it I’ll take the stainless steel over aluminium and plastic pods every time. I don’t know about other pod machines but the lattismo allows for reprogramming the quantities, something that I couldn’t understand as it would allow users to overdraw on the coffee. The reason for it is to allow users to increase quantity to fit their chosen glass but many users wouldn’t realise they are compromising the coffee. However, this is great for my reusable pod, where as the espresso button would in effect overdraw the coffee as there is less grind within, reprogramming the ristretto button somewhere between ristretto and the espresso quantity means I achieve espresso strength albeit slightly less quantity of a standard espresso. So for me I just make two shots of my custom quantity, the other buttons are left default for when others use the machine or when I am gifted Nespresso pods.

  2. Thanks for the great research. I have a Pixie and a Tassimo which I have been using for years for my cappuccinos, my morning drink of choice. I’m just curious…what espresso machine do you have?

      1. I had a Pavoni for 20 years before it failed. The problem with any ” real espresso machine” is having it repaired. Nespresso solved that problem by sending a replacement immediately. As far as the coffee, Nespresso has expensive and some not so expensive. The nice thing about the pods is that they are always fresh and the machine never fails at making the perfect cup.

  3. Thomas, great article. thanx a lot. You mention device that would fill the reusable capsules. I am curious. Can you please point some link where to find it? My search has not been successful 🙁
    Thanx again

  4. Yes, I cam to the same conclusion: a refillable cup will NEVER EVER take up 6 g of coffee. Most of the times 4 grams, sometimes 4,5g.
    But there is a good way!
    I buy Nespresso, drink it and reuse its capsules. Yes, it makes a hole, but if you have a careful look, you see a thick membrane underneath, which is not punched. Thus you can reuse a capsule at least 30 times with simple aluminium foil, which one can already call reasonable. Positioning the capsule with forceps, carefully always at the same position one can even avoid multiple punching. And the coffe is as great as the original – just much cheaper.
    Greetings from Berlin,
    Gabi

    1. Why? The object here is communication is it not? Why put demands on anyone and conditions that they need to follow to please you? And I’m not apologizing. To me you are rude and in my opinion anyone who writes a comment like the one you wrote is an example of being arrogant.

      Now about the review and the reviewer. Good work and I appreciate the effort that went behind it. You made logical sense. Well done.

    2. Ok English is not his first language. But I understood it perfectly. It must be you that has a poor grasp of the language if you can’t fill in and correct a couple of mistakes for a guy who is giving you free information. Unbelievable rudeness.

      1. Hello 🙂

        my language is french. for the English translation I used an automatic translator and tried to correct the imperfections sentence by sentence. but english is not my native language i have difficulty.
        despite the mistakes I hope you understand the meaning of the article.
        translation by a professional translator is expensive and I don’t have the budget.

        1. Amazing you even had the patience and temper to reply such rude comment :D:D #LoveIt!!

          By the way, I just got my waycap and still trying to adjust to make acceptable espresso. So far, I would say that the environmental aspect of it and waste reduction compensates the lightness 🙂

  5. Thanks for the very useful overview!
    Ignore trolls who complain about your English – it’s perfectly comprehensible. I always find it commendable when non-native English speakers take on the challenge of writing in English, especially given how few non-native English speakers even bother to learn any other language.

  6. Thank you for the article and sharing the experience, it was just what I was wondering. I wonder and would like to ask what real espresso machine at the same price of a Nespresso would you recommend? Thank you

  7. Finally the truth about reusable pods. I love my Nespresso machine but wanted a reusable pod. Not as good as the real thing. I love Nespresso pods, the choice is fantastic. The flavor is great. I wonder if the illy brand pods are good??

  8. Keurig uses K-Cups and reusable pod attachments of any kind while Ninja Coffee uses a standard conical filter. Keuring has a focus on standard or rich brewed coffee, so if you want more concentrated offerings, choose Ninja.

  9. I use klapcap, it is easy no mess, you reuse their plastic capsules for at least 60 times, and the capsules are wrapped by an aluminum foil that is the only disposable part. https://klapcap.com
    I used the plastic from the article and they are too rigid and they break after little usages. The metal ones put too much pressure over the machine…

  10. so, i just got an essenza mini, it’s great, i’m not a “snob” when it comes to espresso – i really just want a good taste and a nice thick crema. that’s the main reason i got myself this, to make the dirty iced chai i spend too much money on at my local coffee store at home: meaning it’s gonna get mixed into a drink anyway half the time i make it (the other half, i just wanna feel that nice crema as i enjoy it and feel like paulie walnuts).

    i bought the really cheapskate pods on amazon (assume not to share the link, but “5 Pack Nespresso Reusable Capsules Stainless Steel Lids Refillable Coffee Pods For Nespresso Machines (OriginalLine Compatible)” is the listing – not recommending by any means anyway!), they’re barely usable, so i did a bit of digging this morning and i’m thinking the waycap one is the way to go. your FAQ is great, and it seems like you’re interested in a bit more out of your cup than i am out of mine, and that also based on everything you wrote, the waycap would be a good fit for me for my purposes and tastes. just wanted a bit of extra validation before i drop the 40 or so on it, anyone?

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