Nespresso Capsule Review for Original Line: Coffee Pods for 2022

Welcome to the ultimate Nespresso capsule guide / review for 2022: focusing on Original Line! Over the years, Nespresso have chopped and changed their capsule ranges extensively. Many new flavours have been added, some have been retired, and whole new line of Vertuo Line capsules have been introduced.

This page focuses on the Original Line capsules, which are extracted using the traditional pressure method:

Nespresso Original Line vs Vertuo Line Coffee Pod Capsules

The Nespresso Original Line Grands Crus coffee pod capsules are are split into several 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.
  • 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. Note many of these are now discontinued, but there are some close approximations that we would recommend.
  • 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. The main ones of these are now discontinued, but we have some excellent recommendations for you if you’ve enjoyed these in the past.

Nespresso Range

Coffee Capsule NameProfileIntensityOrigin

Espresso

Firenze ArpeggioDense and Creamy9Costa Rica

Espresso

Ispirazione RomaRoasty, Woody, Cereal notes8Brazil

Espresso

RistrettoIntense with Fruit & Acidity10Brazil, South India, East Africa

Espresso

Dharkan (Discontinued)Intense roasted notes, cocoa11Latin America & Asia

Espresso

Ispirazione Palermo KazaarIntense, bitter, peppery, syrupy12Latin America

Espresso

CapriccioCereal notes, light acidity5South America

Espresso

VollutoSweet and fruity, biscuity4Brazil, Colombia

Espresso

Ispirazione Genova LivantoCaramelised, Toasted cereal notes6Central & South America

Espresso

CosiLight and lemony4East Africa, Central & South America

Pure Origin

Bukeela ka Ethiopia (Discontinued)Floral, musk & wood notes3Ethiopia

Pure Origin

Indriya from India (Discontinued)Full bodied, powerful & spicy10India

Pure Origin

Rosabaya de Colombia (Discontinued)Blackcurrants, redcurrants & cranberry notes6Colombia

Pure Origin

Dulsao do Brasil (Discontinued)Honey, maple syrup, malted cereal4Brazil

Lungo

Vienna Linizio LungoMalted cereal, Balanced, Smooth4South America

Lungo

Tokyo Vivalto LungoRoasted, Woody, Sweet Cereal, Floral, Complex6South America, East Africa

Lungo

Stockholm Fortissio LungoRich aroma, Malt, Toasted cereal8Central & South America

Lungo

Cape Town Envivo LungoSpicy, Woody, Intense10Mexico, India

Lungo

Buenos Aires LungoSpicy, Aromatically woody4Colombia, Uganda

Lungo

Shanghai LungoFruity, Berry notes, Acidic5Kenya, China, Indonesia

Decaffeinato

Arpeggio DecaffeinatoDense and Creamy9Costa Rica, Latin America

Decaffeinato

Ispirazione Ristretto DecaffeinatoIntense with Fruit & Acidity10Brazil, South India, East Africa

Decaffeinato

Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato (Discontinued)Roasted, Woody, Sweet Cereal, Floral, Complex6Colombia, Ethiopia

Decaffeinato

Decaffeinato Intenso (Discontinued)Grilled, Chocolate notes, Intense body7South America

Decaffeinato

Decaffeinato VollutoRound body, Biscuit, Fruity notes4Brazil, Colombia

Variation

Vanilio (Discontinued)Balanced, Cereal, Malt, Caramel notes6Central & South America

Variation

Caramelito (Discontinued)Balanced, Cereal, Malt, Caramel notes6Central & South America

Variation

Ciocattino (Discontinued)Balanced, Cereal, Malt, Caramel notes6Central & South America

Nespresso Firenze Arpeggio Coffee Pod Capsules

Nespresso Original Line Espresso Range

 

Nespresso Firenze Arpeggio Capsules

Intense and creamy: A dark roast of pure South and Central American Arabicas, Arpeggio has a strong character and intense body, enhanced by cocoa notes.

Intensity: 9

Roastiness: 4/5
Bitterness: 4/5
Acidity:
2/5
Body:
4/5

Size of Cup: 25ml / 40ml

Firenze Arpeggio Capsule Taste and Notes

Aromatic Profile: Cocoa
Origin: A selection of the best South and Central American Arabicas, with fruity or malted profiles, characteristic of Costa Rican coffees.
Roasting: This pod is roasted intensely to bring out the characteristics of each origin. Its full body develops from the fine grinding of the beans.
Aromatic Profile: Intense, dense and creamy with bold roasted notes.

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Nespresso Ispirazione Roma Coffee Pod Capsules

Nespresso Ispirazione Roma Capsule

Full and balanced: The balance of lightly roasted South and Central American Arabicas with Robusta, gives Roma sweet and woody notes and a full, lasting taste on the palate.

Intensity: 8

Roastiness: 3/5
Bitterness: 4/5
Acidity: 4/5
Body: 3/5

Size of Cup: 25ml / 40ml

Ispirazione Roma Capsule Taste and Notes

Aromatic Profile: Woody
Origin: Natural Arabica beans from higher altitude Brazilian plateaus are balanced with a small amount of Robusta coffee for a lightly woody note. There are also Arabicas from Mexico that add a lot of the aromatics for this Italian style blend.
Roasting: Light roasting and fine grinding help to bring finesse to the blend and create a short espresso, which is not too strong.
Aromatic Profile: Woody, cereal notes, delicately balanced with the strength of the roastiness. Lots of aromatics with strong acidity as well.

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Nespresso Ristretto Italiano Coffee Pod Capsules

Nespresso Ristretto Italiano Capsules

Powerful and contrasting: The Ristretto Italiano capsule is a blend of South American and East African Arabicas, with a touch of Robusta, roasted separately to create the subtle fruity note of this full-bodied, intense espresso.

Intensity: 10

Roastiness: 4/5
Bitterness: 4/5
Acidity: 3/5
Body: 4/5

Size of Cup: 25ml / 40ml

Ristretto Italiano Capsule Taste and Notes

Aromatic Profile: Strong roasted notes softened by notes of chocolate. A subtle contrast between strength and bitterness, acidic and fruity notes.
Origin: Composed of some of the best South American Arabicas from sources such as Colombia and Brazil, Ristretto also contains the great, lightly acidic East African Arabicas and a touch of Robusta for added zing.
Roasting: The beans are roasted slowly and separately to obtain an original bouquet bringing together acidic, fruity, and roasted notes. Its finely ground texture creates an Italian-style coffee: intense, with a rich flavour and full body.

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Nespresso Dharkan Coffee Pod Capsules

Nespresso Dharkan Capsule (Discontinued)

Note: The Dharkan coffee pod capsules have been discontinued by Nespresso, although they are still sold in some variety packs. We recommend some similar alternatives below.

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.

Intensity: 9

Size of Cup: Espresso (40ml)

Aromatic Profile: Intense, bitter cocoa powder, toasted cereals

Alternatives to the Nespresso Dharkan Capsule

Nespresso have discontinued / are discontinuing the Dharkan capsule. There are some Nespresso variety packs that include Dharkan capsules where you can still pick some up, but these are expected to be phased out over time. If you would like, you can try some of these variety packs and also pick up some other flavours you might just fall in love with!

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Recommended: Nespresso Palermo Kazaar Capsule

Because of the way the Dharkan capsule is roasted for much longer, it’s an extremely dark and intense. The most similar capsule that we would recommend is the Kazaar coffee pod, which is also very dark and intense.

Nespresso Ispirazione Palermo Kazaar Coffee Pod Capsules

Nespresso Palermo Kazaar Capsules

Clean taste and creamy texture: A blend of four different coffees – a washed Robusta which is a rare find, that balances out three Latin American Arabicas to help lend this coffee pod a natural sweetness. The intensity from the Robusta gives a massive impact to intensity, but the blend helps soothe some of the harshness that you might otherwise expect from a Robusta.

Intensity: 12

Roastiness: 5/5
Bitterness: 5/5
Acidity: 1/5
Body: 5/5

Size of Cup: Ristretto (25ml), Espresso (40ml)

Ispirazione Palermo Kazaar Taste and Notes

Aromatic Profile: Rich, roasted, peppery notes, creamy. Very syrupy body.
Origin: Normally, brute strength in coffees comes from unwashed Robusta beans. Here, a washed Robusta is used which gives the Palermo Kazaar coffee pod a really clean taste and creamy texture. This is blended with three Arabica varieties from Latin America to make the aroma and taste sweeter.
Roasting: The Palermo Kazaar coffee capsule is split roasted to bring out different qualities. Both the Arabica and Robusta beans are intensely roasted, but to bring out some of the finer aromatic notes, some unwashed Robusta is used which is only roasted lightly. This gives the coffee the Arab and African influence that you see across southern Italy’s very intense and dark coffees.

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Nespresso Capriccio Original Line Coffee Pod Capsule

Nespresso Capriccio Capsules / Coffee Pods

Rich and distinctive: Blending South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta, Capriccio is an espresso with a rich aroma and a strong typical cereal note. A classic, balanced espresso.

Intensity: 5

Roastiness: 2/5
Bitterness:
3/5
Acidity:
3/5
Body:
2/5

Size of Cup: 40ml

Capriccio Capsule Taste and Notes

Aromatic Profile: A typical cereal note balanced with a light acidity.
Origin: The presence of South American Arabicas grown at high altitude gives this blend a light acidity, which is balanced with the perfect amount of Brazilian Arabica and a touch of Robusta.
Roasting: The light roasting of this blend creates a rich character and preserves a light acidity.

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Nespresso Original Line Volluto Coffee Pod Capsule

Nespresso Volluto Capsules

Sweet and fruity: A pure and lightly roasted Arabica from South America, Volluto reveals sweet and biscuity flavours, reinforced by a little acidity and a fruity note.

Intensity: 4

Roastiness: 2/5
Bitterness: 2/5
Acidity: 3/5
Body: 2/5

Size of Cup: 40ml

Volluto Capsule Taste and Notes

Aromatic Profile: Quite present and diverse: fruity notes harmoniously balanced with sweet and biscuity notes.
Origin: The Brazilian and Colombian Arabicas that go into making Volluto come from small plantations that produce very high quality coffee. They are grown in respect of the environment and local traditions.
Roasting: A light roasting preserves the cereal note of the Brazilian Arabica and the fresh and fruity note of the Colombian coffee.

Nespresso Ispirazione Genova Livanto Capsules / Coffee Pods

Nespresso Ispirazione Genova Livanto Capsules

Caramelised, Toasted Cereal Fragrance: The smell of coffee beans fresh out of the roaster are what you would pick up the most here – a northern Italian coffee, an Arabica-centric blend with malty and fruit profiles.

Intensity: 6

Roastiness: 3/5
Bitterness: 3/5
Acidity: 3/5
Body: 3/5

Size of Cup: 40ml

Ispirazione Genova Livanto Capsule Taste and Notes

Aromatic Profile: Smooth coffee that is delicately aromatic. Finer aromas are present from the lighter roast but with a touch of toasted cereal and sweet caramel.
Origin: A blend of Brazilian Arabica and Central & South American high-grown Arabicas, with rounded taste and delicate aromas that develop during roasting, giving a distinctive Northern Italian style.
Roasting: A medium roast that’s still dark enough to develop caramel and toasted cereal notes, but light enough to have a rounded mouthfeel with delicate acidity.

Nespresso Cosi Capsules / Coffee Pods

Nespresso Cosi Capsules

Light and lemony: Pure, lightly roasted East African, Central and South American Arabicas make Cosi a light-bodied espresso with refreshing citrus notes.

Intensity: 4

Roastiness: 2/5
Bitterness: 2/5
Acidity: 3/5
Body: 2/5

Size of Cup: 40ml

Cosi Capsule Taste and Notes

Aromatic Profile: Lightly toasted and mild cereal notes, but with some subtle fruity notes present as well.
Origin: A blend of Arabicas from Costa Rica give this coffee its cereal and toasted notes, with some Kenyan Arabicas also adding fruity flavours. A final addition of Latin American Arabicas harmonises both.
Roasting: A light roasting, perfectly executed by the Nespresso Master Roasters, enhances the fragile citrus note of Cosi. This Grand Cru provides an outstanding freshness and lightness.

Nespresso Bukeela ka Ethiopia Coffee Pod Capsules

Bukeela ka Ethiopia Grand Cru (Discontinued)

Note: The Bukeela ka Ethiopia coffee pod capsules have been discontinued by Nespresso, although they are still sold in some variety packs. We recommend some similar alternatives below.

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.

Intensity: 3

Size of Cup: Lungo (110ml)

Aromatic Profile: Floral, notes of musk & wood

Alternatives to the Nespresso Bukeela ka Ethiopia Capsule

The Bukeela Ethiopia coffee capsule is light and fruity. Its composition is two different Ethiopian Arabicas, which are roasted in a two part process. One part is roasted darker and shorter to enhance the coffee’s body, and the other is roasted lighter but longer to bring the perfume and aromatic profile to the coffee. The result is a coffee that’s both fresh and floral.

The Bukeela ka Ethiopia still exists in variety packs, but is becoming phased out. If you would like, you can try some of these Nespresso capsule variety packs and also pick up some other flavours you might just fall in love with!

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Recommended: Nespresso Tokyo Vivalto Lungo Capsule

The floral notes of the Bukeela ka Ethiopia are quite characteristic of this coffee pod. The Tokyo Vivalto Lungo also has a similar profile, with a complex, floral aroma. It is somewhat stronger and roasted a bit darker than the Bukeela ka Ethiopia, but the delicate array of flavours makes for a similarly lovely tasting experience. We highly recommend trying it!