Before buying a real espresso machine, I had a Nespresso machine. And quickly I became aware of the ecological problem of pods but also their significant blow. I ended up interested in rechargeable pods for two reasons: no longer use aluminum / plastic unnecessarily and reduce my coffee budget. Today, I have the necessary recess to be able to share with you my opinion concerning the refillable Nespresso pods.
The different types of reusable pods
And yes, there are different types of refillable pods.
Plastic Nespresso Pods
The cheapest reusable capsules are plastic capsules. To try, before buying metal pods, I started with plastic capsules. However, they have major disadvantages.
The first of the disadvantages I found is that after a few uses, the pods exploded in my machine. In addition, I have no idea what kind of plastic they use to make them. It is therefore possible, likely to see the presence of endocrine disruptors in the plastic used.
Nespresso 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 typical Nespresso Pods that persists. These are pods that come closest to the original Nespresso capsules.
The problem for me, as for Nespresso pods, is the presence of aluminum. Usually it is not really recommended to cook with aluminum.
Also we must consider that it is necessary to regularly buy stickers.
With screw closure
I own several metal pods of this type. However after a number of uses they do not end up clogging. I highly recommend descaling it from time to time. We do not see it because the pods is closed but there is a small metal spun on the inside that prevents the coffee plugs the holes. The presence of this yarn is absolutely essential. and for that to work better I superimposed several.
The conclusion I can give is simple: it is difficult to make good coffee with reusable Nespresso pod. When you get there the coffee is not bad, it is even good (relatively close to what you can find with the original Nespresso pods) but much lighter.
The origin of this “light coffee” is simple. Reusable pods do not add the same amount of coffee as the original Nespresso pods. This is due to the fact that all reusable capsules will be shorter and therefore the usable volume is smaller. I measured it puts between 0.5 and 1g of coffee less. A simple test to notice is to open a Nespresso capsule, put the coffee in the reusable capsule and you will see that there is no place.
For the use of reusable capsules, I recommend not over-packing the coffee. Me I cup slightly but not too much pressure (I do not apply 20kg pressure like a real Espresso and on the contrary, if you do, the water may not pass despite the 19 bars). Reusable capsules are a bit like pressurized filters, so do not pack too much.
I use fine ground coffee. I ended up buying a coffee grinder: the Porlex mini and tall. The coffee grinder greatly facilitated the filling of the pods because I could make size tests for the ground coffee. I do not remember the setting used but it seems to me that was 3 or 4 clicks from the tighter.
Nespresso VS espresso?
The title Nespresso vs Espresso is rather applicable in the context where Nespresso machines are used with refillable pods. For testing both, I can assure you that you will lose more time making Nespresso coffee with reusable pods than espresso coffee.
If you are thinking of buying a Nespresso machine for use with reusable capsules, I will stop you straight away. It will be more interesting for you, for the same budget to buy an espresso machine. The coffee will be better, more regular in taste and less boring to create.
You also need to be aware that you will never have a real espresso with a Nespresso machine. It’s something that I did not know at first.