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Buying guide for Best Nespresso OriginalLine capsules

Coffee pod machines continue to rise in popularity, not only because of their convenience but also because of the high quality of coffee and the efforts by companies to improve sustainability. Leading this surge is Nespresso, a Swiss-based coffee brand launched in the 1980s that produces impressive machines that use single-serve coffee capsules. The OriginalLine capsules were Nespresso’s coffee pods for its first machines.

Nespresso’s diverse coffee machines cater to all tastes and lifestyles, and the company’s coffee is flavorful, rich, and unique. While the more recent VertuoLine machine uses its own unique capsule, the OriginalLine remains popular, especially for people who love espresso. If you favor espresso-based coffee drinks, this is the option for you.

Our buying guide details how Nespresso OriginalLine capsules work, many of the ways you can enjoy them, and what you should consider before buying them. If you’re ready to buy, our recommendations include a variety of our favorite OriginalLine products.

Espresso isn’t just for morning. It’s often enjoyed after every meal, especially in the evening to help digestion and relaxation.

Key considerations

OriginalLine v. VertuoLine

Nespresso makes two distinct types of machines and compatible capsules. The two lines of capsules are quite varied and meant to serve different coffee tastes.

OriginalLine: These capsules are designed to be punctured by the machine, with coffee removed under 19 bars of pressure to produce high-quality espresso. The OriginalLine system, now also referred to simply as Original, caters to lovers of traditional, classic espresso. This system is best for those who also enjoy espresso-based drinks like lattes or cappuccinos. Each capsule produces a thick, rich layer of crema on top of the espresso.

VertuoLine: In these machines, the coffee is spun, extracted by a centrifuge instead of removed by pressure. The capsules allow for five different sizes of espresso or coffee drink, with the machine scanning a unique barcode to recognize the amount of water required for each. As opposed to the Original, the VertuoLine system uses innovative technology and caters to unique tastes, particularly consumers who like drip coffee

Capsule type

OriginalLine capsules fall into one of four categories, with over 20 unique flavors in all.

Ispirazione: Inspired by classic Italian coffee, the options in this category are rich and strong. Their origins vary, but the capsules are offered in both caffeinated and decaf, with the most popular being Roma, a simple, balanced cup of espresso.

Espresso + Lungo: Selections in this group offer a flavorful, generally lighter cup of espresso. Intensity and origin vary, with decaf options included as well.

Master Origins: These somewhat “higher-end” choices offer unique tastes and flavors. Promoted as masterfully crafted to be distinct, the coffees in this category typically have a potent flavor or aroma while varying in origin and intensity.

Barista Creations: The products in this category are a bit different. They are meant to be combined with milk (or milk substitute) in order to recreate the fancy drinks made by baristas around the world. These are typically creamy, rich, and flavorful and include options featuring chocolate, vanilla, and caramel.


Intensity describes the extent to which the beans have been roasted and not the amount of caffeine included. Nespresso capsules fall on an intensity scale ranging from 1 (weakest) to 12 (strongest). Most options are between 6 and 10.

Cup size

All Nespresso OriginalLine capsules are the same size, but the cup that’s brewed from them may vary depending on the amount of water used. There are three different size options, but not every capsule offers all three options because too much or too little water will result in a drink that’s too weak or too potent. As each pod is expertly and exactingly crafted, you’ll want to stick to the recommended cup size.

Ristretto: At 0.84 ounces, this smallest cup of espresso is ideal for those looking to enjoy a coffee that’s quick and intense. Only certain capsules produce Ristretto cups.

Espresso: Most capsules offer the Espresso size, which is 1.34 ounces. This may be enjoyed quickly or sipped slowly.

Lungo: For those who want to enjoy a larger cup, similar to drip coffee, look for capsules that offer Lungo, which is 3.7 ounces.


You typically buy Nespresso OriginalLine capsules in sets: they may feature specific selections from a certain OriginalLine type or have a larger variety for those interested in sampling everything. These boxes usually come in sets of 30, 50, or 100 capsules, but in most cases, you won’t get a break in the price by buying in bulk.

Did You Know?
Adding hot milk or milk alternative to your drink is a great way to create a larger, sweeter beverage that balances out the intense coffee flavor.


Aroma notes

Nespresso divides its capsules into three categories of aroma notes (the scents that you smell first).

Fruity and flowery: These coffees have aromas like citrus, cherry, or orange blossom.

Balanced: These options have a roasted quality to them, with notes of honey and cereal. They aren’t too powerful or sweet.

Intense: The “intense” comes from the roasting. These rich, potent coffees may have scents that evoke woods, spice, or cocoa. These are best for sipping.


Some Nespresso OriginalLine capsule sets come with cups and saucers and may feature unique designs and artwork. Espresso is traditionally enjoyed in small cups, typically served with a saucer and spoon, so you might want to opt for a set.

Did You Know?
For regular espresso drinkers, you can schedule weekly or monthly OriginalLine deliveries to your home or office so you never run out.


Nespresso machine: Essenza Mini Coffee Machine
In order to enjoy your Nespresso coffee, you need the proper machine. We love this energy-saving Essenza model because it’s compact and heats quickly.

Coffee mugs: Better for Your Mugs
You need the right mugs for enjoying your coffee drinks at home. We like this pair of elegant and durable stainless steel mugs from the Better for Your Store.

Sugar bowl: Newness Sugar Bowl
Many people enjoy a little sugar in their coffee or espresso. We like this generously sized stainless-steel bowl because it’s dishwasher safe and comes with a clear glass lid and serving spoon.

Did You Know?
Nespresso capsules have a packaged date and an expiration date. They can usually be stored for six to nine months before use.

Nespresso OriginalLine capsule prices

Most Nespresso OriginalLine capsules cost between $0.70 and $0.80 each, which remains consistent regardless of the number of pods you buy at once.

Inexpensive: You can find a few options with 30 capsules that cost around $20 to $25.

Mid-range: Most Nespresso OriginalLine capsules come in packs of 50 that cost $35 to $40.

Expensive: Avid coffee drinkers can opt for a pack of 100 capsules that costs $70 to $80.


  • Clean your machine. For the best-tasting coffee, it’s important to clean your OriginalLine machine regularly and as directed in the owner’s manual.
  • Use filtered water. The quality of the water influences the taste of the coffee. If possible, use filtered or bottled water when making espresso.
  • Try all the flavors. There are lots of different flavors available, so it’s worth trying as many as you can to find out what you like best. Try different sizes, too.
  • Savor the coffee. Espresso doesn’t travel well, so it should be brewed and enjoyed in small amounts. Take the time to enjoy your coffee’s unique aroma and taste.
The coffee inside OriginalLine capsules is harvested from all over the world, from Nicaragua to Mexico to India to Indonesia, to produce rich, varied flavors.


Q. Are Nespresso OriginalLine capsules good for the environment?

A. With the growing popularity of single-serving coffee pods, concerns increased over the added plastic waste, especially since coffee grinds and paper filters can be composted. Nespresso capsules are made of aluminum and can be recycled in a few different ways. Used capsules can be dropped off at a collection point or Nespresso store. Nespresso started recycling capsules, in Switzerland, in 1991, and since then has opened 14,000 collection points around the globe. In the United States, Nespresso has partnered with UPS, Staples, and Office Depot to offer collection points and drop-off locations.

Q. Can I use aftermarket capsules in my OriginalLine machine?

A. Some companies sell capsules that fit and work in OriginalLine machines. However, the quality and sustainability can’t be guaranteed. As Nespresso capsules are specifically designed for Nespresso machines, you may find your alternative capsules lack the flavor, richness, and potency of the genuine product.

Q. How much caffeine is in an OriginalLine capsule?

A. Caffeine content varies by type, but you can expect a pod to have around 80 milligrams of caffeine. Typically, it’s advised that you not consume more than 300 to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.

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