Starbucks® Expands Nespresso Range with House and Milder Blends
Expansion to 8 Starbucks® Nespresso Pods / Capsules
A year or two ago, Starbucks® experimented by partnering with Nespresso to produce four different Nespresso capsules: the Fairtrade Espresso Roast, Kenya Single Origin, Colombia Single Origin and Guatemala Antigua Single Origin.
Following the success of these blends, Starbucks® have been inundated with requests to include a broader range of coffees. Specifically, Nespresso comparible lighter blends were recommended by a lot of customers, and while it’s taken quite a few months, Starbucks® have responded!
There are now four new Starbucks® Nespresso capsule flavours: the Veranda Blend, Blonde Espresso Roast, House Blend and Decaf Espresso Roast!
Starbucks® Nespresso Veranda Blend
One of the new Starbucks® Nespresso pod blends is called the Veranda Blend. It primarily sources coffee from Latin America, where lush coffee groves grow in the unique climate there.
The Veranda Nespresso blend has a very mellow and flavourful taste, which comes across as quite soft. It is very lightly roasted, contrasting with the older blends.
Starbucks® Blonde Espresso Roast
The Blonde espresso roast is another light roast, but here Starbucks® draws out brighter, sweeter flavours to go into this Starbucks® Nespresso pod.
Rather than being a single origin, this is a lighter blend of different coffees to get the result that Starbucks® was looking for. The resulting cup of coffee is rather balanced and can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Starbucks® House Blend Nespresso Lungo Pod / Capsule
Alongside the lighter blends, there has also been a more traditional roast added to the Starbucks® Nespresso pod range. The Starbucks® House blend is the very first one that they created back in 1971.
The beans here are also Latin American but are roasted to a much further extent than the lighter roasts above, to a dark chestnut colour. Very flavourful, balancing notes of cocoa and nuts.
Starbucks® Decaf Fairtrade Espresso Roast
The final new addition to the Starbucks® lineup is another classic. Starbucks® first foray into this decaf blend began in 1975, and has basically not changed since.
This roast is very caramelly with some nice, deep, sweet notes.
Where Can I Buy Starbucks® Nespresso Pods / Capsules?
The newest additions to the Starbucks® Nespresso range are not yet available on Amazon, but all of the four original flavours plus the Decaf Fairtrade Espresso Roast coffee pod are available in variety packs. You can check them out below!
What is Nespresso OriginalLine and Nespresso VertuoLine?
Nespresso now produce different types of coffee pods – Nespresso Virtuoline are the newcomers on the scene compared to Nespresso OriginalLine, which is what we would call the ‘original’ Nespresso capsules. The original capsules were shaped like the coffee pods we have seen since they became commonplace. They have slightly angled straight sides with a shallow angle at the top.
The new Nespresso VertuoLine capsules are dome shaped and as a result, look rather different! These capsules will not fit into Nespresso OriginalLine machines. Similarly, OriginalLine capsules won’t fit into the new VertuoLine machines.
Nespresso VertuoLine machines were originally developed for the American market, where people wanted to see capsules that would fill larger sizes of coffee cup beyond Nespresso’s Lungo size – for a quick explanation of Nespresso’s coffee sizes Espresso, Ristretto and Lungo, visit our coffee size guide here
When were Nespresso VertuoLine Machines Released?
The VertuoLine machines were first released in the United States in 2014, and were initially not available in Europe. The launch date in Europe was October 2016, with the Nespresso VertuoLine launching in France and expanding to the rest of Europe as well. Nowadays, the machines are available globally.
So what’s the difference between the two? Aside from having different ranges of machines, the main difference is how they are brewed.
Nespresso VertuoLine Brewing Method: The Difference Compared to OriginalLine
The Nespresso VertuoLine capsules brewed coffee differently to the OriginalLine capsules, which focused on puncturing the capsule and extracting the coffee under 19 bars of pressure. VertuoLine capsules are instead spun inside the Nespresso coffee machine, at speeds of about 7,000rpm. As a result, the coffee is extracted by a centrifuge, compared to using direct pressure – and has a different flavour profile. There is also a larger layer of foam / crema that is produced this way, compared to Nespresso OriginalLine capsules.
Does Nespresso VertuoLine Taste Better than Nespresso OriginalLine?
We should advise that the taste of VertuoLine coffee has not been met with universal acclaim. Many people have found they prefer the OriginalLine capsules when making a coffee, especially consumers in Europe. If you enjoy having enough intensity in your coffee pod to comfortably fill a larger cup, though, we think VertuoLine may provide you with a more enjoyable experience. At the end of the day, everyone is different! One great way to tell is to walk into a Nespresso shop on your nearest city high street or similar, and ask to try coffee from both. That would let you make a decision based on your taste so that you buy the right one!
Vertuo Coffee Pod / Capsule Sizes
One of the big design decisions made when introducing the VertuoLine range was larger coffee cup sizes. Particularly in America, consumers were eager for a capsule solution to larger cups and mugs. As a result, Nespresso Vertuo capsules come in five (5!!) different sizes:
Espresso – the smallest Vertuo coffee pod, this is simply designed to be blended with 40ml of water.
Double Espresso – as suggested by the name, doubling the amount of water to 80ml
Gran Lungo – 150ml of water is used to make a coffee with this capsule
Mug – this is still small by western ‘mug’ standards, but 230ml of water is used to blend with this coffee pod, making it larger than any standard size offered by the OriginalLine range
Alto – at 414ml, this is by far the largest coffee that a single Nespresso Vertuo pod can make as standard
VertuoLine Barcode Recognition Helps Pod Sizes but Blocks Third Party Pods
Nespresso have designed a unique barcode system using the outside rim of their VertuoLine coffee pods. There is a barcode included with each capsule that tells the machine how large the coffee is going to be (from Espresso to Alto), which means the correct amount of water gets added.
There is also a secondary reason for this – because Nespresso machines officially recognise different Vertuo coffee capsules, it may block the recognition of some third party Vertuo capsules. As a result, it makes buying non-Nespresso capsules a bit trickier. Even if you end up finding a capsule that works, there’s no guarantee it will work indefinitely! Updates to Nespresso machines could end up blocking these in the future For this reason, many OriginalLine third party capsule makers have steered clear of making third party VertuoLine capsules to date. They could well exist en-masse in the future, though!
Conclusions: Nespresso VertuoLine vs Nespresso OriginalLine
We will always recommend you taste the coffee from both types of Nespresso machine yourself before deciding what to buy, but there are a few obvious pros and cons to selecting each:
Nespresso VertuoLine coffee machines are designed to cater to larger cup sizes. If you’re looking for a much larger size of cup to put your coffee in on a daily basis, chances are a coffee pod designed for that size would naturally taste nicer than a more concentrated ‘shot’ of coffee that you’d have to dilute!
Nespresso OriginalLine machines are compatible with far more third-party coffee pod manufacturers because there is no barcode verification technology written into OriginalLine capsules. If you are a fan of a specific third party coffee capsule, then you would probably want to stay with these for now.
Nespresso VertuoLine Centrifusion technology allows Nespresso to play around with subtler flavours, extracting aromas via spinning the capsule rather than using pure pressure. This brewing method also produces a larger crema / foam, so if you’re a fan of this in your coffee then we think you’d enjoy the new VertuoLine machines!
We will shortly be publishing a full guide to Nespresso VertuoLine machines and a top line review of our favourites. and in the meantime you can compare our Nespresso OriginalLine series of machines with our Nespresso OriginalLine Comparison Guide here. You can even choose based on prize & capacity to filter down to the machine that’s most suited to you!
Looking for Nespresso Christmas gifts? 2017 promises to be the biggest year yet for Nespresso, with more machines and coffee variations than ever before.
There is plenty of hardware to choose from if you’re looking to buy a Nespresso coffee machine for Christmas: from entry level machines for the newly-introduced to beautiful top-of-the-range machines that you can even practice your latte art with!
Nespresso have also released three new Christmas variations for 2017, and we’ll take a look at these as well. Let’s dive in and help you decide what the best gift is this festive season for the coffee-loving Santa in your life!
Nespresso Gift Guide: The Types of Nespresso Machine
There are many different types of Nespresso coffee machine, but they broadly fit into three categories:
Advanced Nespresso Machines
The ‘cream of the crop’ Nespresso ranges include coffee machines that are designed with higher build quality and more features. These machines could have all-metal casing, cup warmers, more temperature and texturing options for water and milk respectively, and have additional advanced features that other machines wouldn’t have.
These machines include the following ranges:
KitchenAid – premium materials and iconic KitchenAid design
Creatista – the Nespresso machine you can texture milk and practice latte art with!
These are slightly more advanced Nespresso coffee machines that may suit users who have had an entry level Nespresso machine or other basic coffee machine before. They typically include a few additional features such as the ability to make milk-based coffees, have different water temperature and volume settings or even offer phone connectivity via an app.
Prodigio – Nespresso’s first Bluetooth enabled connected coffee machine!
Entry Level Nespresso Machines
These Nespresso machines are mainly designed for people who are new to Nespresso and their ranges. They typically provide few options for what coffee you want, but will produce a consistently strong water-based coffee. The most basic machines generally offer an espresso and lungo size, but a few also offer a ristretto option (for more information about what these sizes mean, check out our lungo, ristretto & espresso blog post).
Christmas 2017: Which Nespresso Coffee Machine Should I Buy?
Now that we’ve explained basic categorisation, we can go ahead and break down which Nespresso machine might work best for the person you’re buying for. Please remember that while we do our best to inform and recommend, everyone is different and you might decide that a different model of Nespresso machine is the right one for you – which is great!
The High End Coffee Enthusiast
For the person who really enjoys his or her coffee and likes to take time to create the perfect cup, we recommend the Nespresso Creatista coffee machine. It is the top of the line machine Nespresso currently offer, and the only one with a dedicated milk texturing steam pipe as well.
The Creatista has a large number of built-in water volume and temperature functions, as well as dedicated settings for you to choose how to texture your milk. It is the ultimate Nespresso machine in terms of customisation, and it is also made from premium materials with a fantastic build quality.
Many of us have a friend or family member who demands the very best in whatever they buy, and put great emphasis on getting the highest quality and best looking things for use at home. For these people, we would recommend the Nespresso KitchenAid. KitchenAid is an iconic brand with a wonderful and long history – the shape of the Nespresso KitchenAid is unmistakable and the timeless design would fit in well with a high-end kitchen.
For someone who enjoys their gadgets or is an early adopter, we recommend the Nespresso Expert & Milk. Nespresso’s latest addition to their connected coffee machine range is their most advanced yet. It incorporates an app that lets you make a brew at a scheduled time as well as notify you if the number of capsules you have is running low, or your machine needs maintenance.
If you’re buying a Nespresso machine for someone who enjoys their milk-based coffees but you don’t want to splash out on a top-of-the-range Creatista, you may appreciate the simpler but consistently high quality Lattissima Pro. It’s at a lower price point, has ready-made milk options and the touch screen on the top (which is the biggest day-to-day difference between the Lattissima Pro and Lattissima Plus models) makes it a joy to use on a regular basis.
For a basic coffee machine that’s small / convenient and also fun, we recommend the Pixie. The Pixie range can be stylised by buying custom side plates to suit or accent the room you put it in. It’s a lot of fun, but also quite simple and very easy to operate. This is ideal for a busy professional who wants basic black coffee but appreciates quality and style.
Finally, if you know someone who is making their very first foray into Nespresso (or perhaps coffee at all!), or someone who you know only wants a consistently good espresso and nothing else – we would recommend the Nespresso Inissia coffee machine.
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend the Inissia for anyone who already has a Nespresso machine (as there are many that you could ‘upgrade’ to), but for a pure espresso experience this could be your perfect ticket!
Nespresso have also released three new coffee pod variations for the festive season! They are called the Confetto Snowball, Confetto Licorice and the Confetto Orangette.
The three new variations have colourful, candy-inspired capsules associated with them. Craig & Karl helped Nespresso design these, and they look beautiful! But more importantly, what’s inside and how do they taste?
Nespresso Confetto Snowball
The Snowball is a really fun pairing of subtle coconut (!!) notes on top of a sweet, vanilla espresso. It’s really quite delicious and perhaps ideal as a standalone fun flavoured coffee (possibly with a sweet cake as well it could be a bit much for some people). Nespresso has this at an intensity rating of 6.
Nespresso Confetto Licorice
The Confetto Licorice is more than the flavour of the sweet candy, combining the flavour with a variety of spices to really give this espresso variation a bit of a kick. The notes are still subtle so it won’t overpower the coffee itself. This is one best enjoyed perhaps as a complement to a snack, to help you best enjoy the spicy contrasting flavours. The intensity here is a 6 on Nespresso’s scale.
Nespresso Confetto Orangette
The Confetto Orangette capsule isn’t just (although it is mainly!) about orange – to contrast the flavour of the peel, which is actually slightly bitter, Nespresso have also put a hint of chocolate into this variation. The intensity of this final Nespresso variation is also a 6.
You can try these new seasonal variation capsules now:
Nespresso are now starting to attract attention from some of the world’s largest coffee brands – and Starbucks® has entered the ring with new Starbucks® Nespresso compatible capsules.
Duncan Moir, who is the EMEA vice-president for channel development, says “Our customers value convenience and expect excellent coffee wherever they are. The single-serve coffee capsule market is growing fast, and by launching these new espresso capsules we have a great opportunity to bring the Starbucks® quality coffee experience to even more consumers right where they want it, at home.”
There is no information about the level of collaboration between Starbucks® and Nespresso, as some third party manufacturers in the past have reported compatibility issues when Nespresso produced new machines. We can only assume that some collaboration has taken place, given the size of these companies and the production capacity they both have.
Starbucks® have launched four distinct types of Nespresso compatible capsule. In their marketing they avoid the use of the Nespresso name as other brands can also take the ‘K-Cup’ type capsules. Instead, they refer to these simply as Starbucks® Espresso capsules, or Starbucks® Espresso pods.
Let’s take a look at the four types of coffee capsules that Starbucks® have launched in more detail: the Fairtrade Espresso Roast capsule, Guatemala Antigua Espresso capsule, Kenya Espresso capsule and Colombia Espresso capsule.
Starbucks® Fairtrade Espresso Roast Capsule
Starbuck’s® signature espresso roast comes home with you in a capsule that can be described as their ‘baseline’ offering as they venture into coffee capsules and coffee pods.
The Fairtrade Espresso Roast capsule is a rich blend with a hint of caramel, which is the same house roast that Starbucks® use in their coffee as standard. To quote Starbucks®, “a recipe for caramelly sweetness so right it’s never been changed.”
The Starbucks® Guatemala Antigua espresso capsule is a medium roast single origin coffee.
It’s farmed from the Antigua Valley in Guatemala where farmers take pride in traditional cultivation methods. It is more complex in flavour compared to the standard Fairtrade Espresso Roast, with flavours including lemon, chocolate and soft spice.
Starbuck’s® Kenya Espresso capsule is a single-origin capsule that is much brighter in flavour than the rest of the range.
There is a lot of acidity that can be tasted in this coffee, with more pronounced citrus flavours and wine-like notes that make it taste distinctly different. Notes of grapefruit and blackcurrant in particular can be spotted, and these get more pronounced as the coffee cools as well.
The Starbucks® Colombia Espresso capsule is a pretty traditional single origin Colombian coffee, but that doesn’t detract from the signature flavour you get.
The farms that produce these coffee beans are at high altitude in the Latin American countryside. The result is a very round body with still a decent amount of juicy taste – but where you can tell it’s different is the nutty finish which is the signature taste of this particular coffee. This is a medium roast with rich undertones and a walnut-like finish.
Starbucks® espresso capsules work with all normal Nespresso machines that you would buy for home use. The only machines that Starbucks® Espresso Capsules do not work with, are built-in units such as those in a Miele integrated unit or a business solution Nespresso machine. For 99% of us, it should be no problem at all.
Please also note that Starbucks® manufacture their own brand of capsule coffee machine called Verismo. These have different and unique pod styles and don’t take the ‘standard’ K-cup sizes seen here, so these will not be compatible.
Conclusions and Where to Buy Starbucks® Espresso Capsules / Starbucks® Espresso Pods
You can buy these Starbucks® coffee capsules from participating Starbucks® stores, where they are rolling out the product range throughout the first half of 2017. You can also buy variety packs of these coffees online through the links below. We hope you’ve enjoyed this review of all four types of Starbucks® Nespresso compatible capsules!
Back in 2015 we wrote a guide to Nespresso coffee capsules – you can find the old Nespresso coffee capsules guide here. When originally released, there were sixteen varieties of the Nespresso coffee capsule. Recently, eight more Nespresso coffee types have been released, upping your total number of choices to twenty-four. Not sure which are right for you? Here is a Nespresso coffee guide to help you make your choice and get to know these new capsules.
The 24 Nespresso Grands Crus capsules are are split into six ranges:
Espresso capsules are the shorter coffees that most people are used to drinking. Just because they are typically ‘short’ coffees does not mean they’re very strong. Some are, but there is a good variation of intensity among these capsules. Most of the coffees that go into this have blended origins.
Intenso capsules have split out (previously some of these were in the Espresso category) and contain some of the fuller flavour, more intense Nespresso coffee flavours. These are again typically blended in their origins.
Pure Origin capsules have their beans typically sourced from one location. These are very specific in flavour to where the capsules originate from and have a very unique taste.
Lungo capsules are especially designed for longer drinks where a larger volume of water is added to the coffee. These have the potential to bring out more complex flavours and allow you to enjoy subtler tastes, without detracting from overall intensity as some of these are still quite strong in flavour.
Decaffeinato capsules do what they (almost) says on the tin – some of the great coffees from other categories but with the naturally occurring caffeine taken away. Ideal for those who have poor reactions to caffeine and simply enjoy the taste of coffee.
Variation capsules are typically based on the Livanto (Espresso) capsule, but with specific additional flavours to give your coffee that little extra kick of contrasting flavour.
Nespresso Grands Crus Coffee Chart
Below you can find a handy chart of the intensity and flavours of each of the 24 Nespresso Grands Crus capsules. This is a current list for 2016 Nespresso coffee capsules and of course may change in the future. Feel free to look at and download the larger version! You can link directly to the larger Nespresso coffee capsules chart from here.
Nespresso Espresso Grands Crus Capsules
Capriccio Grand Cru
With this capsule, you will get a strong, grainy cereal note, from one of the most aromatic espressos in the collection. It contains both Arabica and Robusta coffee, but only a bit of the latter. Both are from South America, with the Arabica coffee grown at high altitude to lighten the acidity.
Sweeter and nuttier than many of our other Nespresso coffee types, this capsule uses only the very best South American Arabica for a little bit of acidity and fruitiness. A mixture of lightly roasted and pure coffee goes into this Grand Cru, which allows a bit of fruitiness to shine through.
For a delightful blend of fruitiness and cereal notes, choose this capsule. Delicate, but intense, it uses Aravicas from all over the world to achieve its unique flavour. The Cosi Grand Cru uses a blend of Costa Rican and Kenyan coffee beans, lighted roasted, to create its unique flavour.
Taking hints from Costa Rican coffee, this capsule offers a strong flavour, with just a touch of chocolate. Both creamy and intense, it is a great choice. Fine grinding combined with very intense roasting is what gives the Arpeggio its taste.
The height of luxury, Roma is both sweet and aromatic, lingering on the palate long after the last sip. A lighter roast than many of the other options, it still has the intensity you expect from Nespresso. The Arabicas from Central America that are used in this blend are specifically of the high altitude variety, which brings more subtle flavours to the aromatic profile.
Combining the best of Eastern African and South American Arabicas, this espresso is both intense and fruity, with a fully body. Both South American and East African Arabica coffees are present in this Grand Cru which gives it a light acidity, in addition to a small amount of Robusta which adds a kick to create a fantastic profile.
Roasted for much longer than other espresso, over a lower heat, this capsule provides an intense flavour, with a subtle note of cocoa and a slightly nutty flavour that combine to be both silky and sophisticated. There are four different origin coffees present here which contributes to a really strong and complex flavour.
This is a blend of two of the best Robustas on the market, both from South America. Perfect for those who enjoy a bitter espresso, it is both creamy and boasting peppery notes. The Brazilian Robusta that contributes to the Kazaar is sun dried, and the Guatemalan Robusta is washed – so you have the intensity of flavour but without some of the harshness that you might otherwise expect from a Robusta.
Made from Arabicas derived from the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia, this blend is slightly musky, with a hint of wood. The Sidama beans are gently washed and dried in the sun before roasting. These are mixed with a western Ethiopian bean which is unwashed and naturally processed.
Created to embody the very best flavours of Indian coffee, this espresso has a full body and spicy notes that remain on the palette, making it distinct from all other flavours. It uses a combination of an Indian Arabica and Robusta bean to bring a big breadth of flavour. The Arabica is only roasted lightly while the Robusta is intensely roasted, and these combine to form the Indriya Grand Cru.
This blend made only from the very best coffee beans in Colombia, has the acidity and wine notes that are typical of Colombian coffee. The coffee that goes into the Rosabaya are predominantly from smaller coffee farm owners at high altitude.
Smooth and creamy, this capsule has slight cereal notes. It is made only from the very best Bourbon coffee beans that Brazil has to offer. Sun drying to allow the mucilage sugars to adopt the flavour of the bean combined with light roasting means the natural sweetness is maintained.
Created to be one of the most balanced blends in the collection, it combines the robustness, smoothness, and intensity of many different regions. Lightly acidic, subtly floral, and slightly bitter, it is a unique flavour.