There are numerous reasons why either switching to or occasionally using reusable Nespresso pods is a great idea.
For one, using reusable coffee capsules allows you to completely customize your brew as you are no longer going to be limited to the blends that come in pre-made and single use capsules, whether these from Nespresso’s own brand or from one of its compatible competitors in the coffee capsule market.
Another pro of using refillable coffee capsules is that this is a cheaper option, particularly in the long run. While single-use coffee pods are not outrageously expensive, there might still be times where you either have to or prefer to lower your monthly coffee spend – and switching to reusable pods will help you achieve it.
Finally, reusable pods, which are typically made from high quality stainless steel and can be used again and again and again, are much better for the environment than their plasticky single-use counterparts.
Of course, Nespresso is a brand that places great emphasis on sustainability and is on a journey to making every single cup of Nespresso carbon neutral by 2022. What this means in practical terms is that Nespresso is aiming to counter-balance the brand’s CO2 emissions from crop to cup by removing as much CO2 from the atmosphere as they emit. While this is a noble and ambitious goal, nothing beats the sustainability and climate-friendliness of switching to or even just occasionally using reusable stainless steel coffee capsules.
In this article, we are going to be delve deeper into what a reusable Nespresso pod is, how it works, and how to pick one of the best ones that is guaranteed to be compatible with your Nespresso machine and help you achieve your aim – delicious, sustainable coffee at a much lower cost.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
The lowdown on refillable Nespresso pods
There are many good reasons why you should grant yourself the gift of a few stainless steel reusable pods, and only one counter-argument as to why you shouldn’t. For the sake of fairness and balance, we are going to be looking at both sides of the argument, so that all of the cards are on the table, enabling you to draw your own conclusions.
What they are
Reusable Nespresso pods are shaped exactly like their single-use plastic pod counterparts. What distinguishes reusable pods and makes them, well, reusable, is the fact that they are made from stainless steel rather than plastic.
Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials you could possibly imagine, so when you buy a reusable pod, you don’t have to worry about it breaking on you any time soon – in fact, your stainless steel reusable pod is likely to outlast you! How is that for a comforting thought.
There are slight varieties between reusable coffee pods from different brands, but the typical reusable coffee pod consists of three moving parts – the pod itself, which will have one or more holes for the coffee to drip through and be roughly the same shape and size as a disposable pod, an insertable filter with a number of holes in it to filter your chosen coffee grounds, and a reusable lid. Most stainless steel refillable capsules come with a few different filters included with varying numbers of holes in them for different coffee blends.
A reusable coffee pod filter consists of a round stainless steel filter which fits perfectly inside the refillable pod. The edge ensures that not a single spec of ground coffee makes its way into your cup of delicious coffee.
Stainless steel reusable pods are very easy to use in your Nespresso machine – though admittedly, they are not quite as easy as simply pacing a disposable pod inside the machine and pressing the brew button. Reusable pods are also wonderfully easy to keep clean. It’s as simple as holding your reusable Nespresso pod under a tap and letting the water pressure dislodge the wet, used grounds. If you have stamped the grounds down particularly hard with the tamper, you might have to help dislodge the used grounds using either a coffee spoon or a finger. Once you have cleaned your filter and refillable Nespresso pod, simply dry them off with a kitchen towel or leave them to air dry. Of course, stainless steel refillable Nespresso machines are also dishwasher safe, so you don’t even have to wash them manually – at least you don’t if you are not in a rush.
Although refillable capsules and filters don’t take long to dry, it is still practical having more than one reusable Nespresso pod – particularly if you have guests around and want to be able to prepare several cups of delicious coffee back to back in a matter of minutes.
Where to get them
If you have assumed that you will be able to get reusable Nespresso pods directly from the Nespresso brand, you are, unfortunately, mistaken.
Practical as it would be for us consumers to be able to purchase reusable Nespresso pods from the same brand that sold us our Nespresso machines, we have to contend with the fact that the Nespresso coffee brand makes a considerable amount of its revenue by selling single-use disposable coffee Nespresso pods. Also selling reusable Nespresso pods would somewhat undermine this business model, which explains why you can’t get reusable Nespresso pods directly from Nespresso.
Fortunately, plenty of other coffee brands have noticed the demand for reusable Nespresso pods and have stepped in to fill it. As of this writing, there are any number of coffee brands that sell both disposable and refillable capsules that have been developed specifically to work perfectly with all of the different Nespresso machines that are on the market.
Many of the best reusable Nespresso pods are available from manufacturer-sellers on Amazon.
While most of these refillable pods are of very high quality and expertly crafted, there are differences between the different available options, so you should always take your time reading the specifications and the reviews on disposable pods listings to make sure the reusable Nespresso capsule you are about to buy is going to fit your specific Nespresso machine. It is always better to do your due diligence upfront instead of risking ending up with the wrong product, which could be both frustrating and delay you being able to enjoy your favorite artisan coffee blends brewed by your capsule coffee machine.
What they cost
Now that you have absorbed just about everything you need to know about durable stainless steel Nespresso capsules, you are probably bracing yourself for the price tag.
But here is yet another pro of switching from single use pods to reusable Nespresso pods – they are super affordable! Exactly how much a reusable stainless steel coffee pod costs is going to differ from brand to brand, but you can expect to pay around £15 for a single capsule, and a little more if you decided to purchase a set consisting of multiple capsules and other coffee making accessories, such as tampers and extra silicone rings.
How to use a reusable Nespresso pod
Of course, no article about reusable Nespresso capsules would be complete without explaining, step by step, how to actually brew your own coffee using a reusable metal pod.
Always make sure you wash your new stainless steel reusable Nespresso capsule before taking it into use. Now, there are plenty of other elements to consider, as well. A good place to start is by selecting the coffee blend or coffee beans you want to turn into a delicious, barista-quality espresso drink. If you have been using the disposable pods up until now, you’ll be absolutely amazed at the level of freedom and choice that reusable Nespresso pods are going to afford you. Now you are no longer limited to pre-selected, pre-made blends, but have the freedom to branch out and experiment and try out any coffee beans or pre-ground coffee that grabs your fancy. Whether you opt for your favorite coffee shop blend or decide to try something entirely new is up to you.
Of course, the brewing process is a little different when you use an environmentally friendly stainless steel pod than when you use a disposable plastic pod. When you use pre-made single use pods, most of the brewing process is automated for you – but when you use a stainless steel pod, you are going to have to put in a little more work and effort. Trust us though, it’ll be more than worth it.
First of all, if you want to enjoy freshly ground coffee rather than the pre-ground stuff you inevitably get when using disposable pods, you are going to have to start by selecting and grinding your beans. Of course, this requires a bean grinder – something we hope you have already thought of before deciding on coffee beans over a pre-ground blend.
There is one hard-hitting and undeniable reason to opt for beans over a pre-ground blend: You’ll never get a more fresh or aromatic espresso than one that has been brewed on freshly ground coffee beans.
If you are grinding your own beans, it is important to note that medium to fine grinds work best with refillable Nespresso pods, as coarse coffee grinds may impede the water flowing through properly.
Once you have ground your beans (Or simply opened the bag containing your preferred coffee blend), you want to fill your reusable pod with finely ground coffee. Make sure you don’t fill your capsule too much or pack it too forcefully – if you do, the water won’t be able to flow through properly. Use the tamper to even out the surface of the ground coffee in your pod, but don’t press down very hard. The coffee grounds need to be loose enough to allow some space for the water to pass through.
Now that you have prepared the capsule, the next and final step is to insert it. The rest of the coffee brewing method is the same as when you are using single use capsules.
Top three reusable coffee pods
Now that you possess all of the basic knowledge on what reusable capsules are, how they work and why they’re great, you are probably wondering where you can find the best reusable Nespresso pods. As luck would have it, we can help you with that.
When it comes to selecting the right refillable pod, there are many great options on the market, so don’t sweat it too much. Still, here are our top five suggestions. All of them are available on Amazon.
MOTTI® Reusable Nespresso Coffee Pods
MOTTI reusable Nespresso coffee pods are made from high quality stainless steel and are 100% eco friendly and sustainable. Not only that, MOTTI reusable Nespresso pods are so good at what they do that they have been recommended in the Financial Times – if that isn’t a stamp of approval, we don’t know what is.
MOTTI reusable Nespresso pods can be purchased as part of three different sets – the Essential set, the Premium set and the Professional set. The difference between the sets is that the Essential set contains one reusable MOTTI Nespresso capsule, a stainless steel tamper and a brush, which is all you really need when you are just getting started. The Premium set contains the same tamper and brush, and two reusable pods. Finally the Professional set contains the tamper, the brush and no less than four reusable coffee pods.
If you are planning to just use your MOTTI reusable Nespresso pod set at home, we recommend opting for the Premium set. Why? Because it is nice to have an extra reusable capsule as a backup, while most people won’t need the extra capsules that come in the Professional set.
Note that the MOTTI stainless steel coffee pod is compatible with the original line of Nespresso machines, but not with the Vertuo line of machines. This is an important detail to keep in mind if you are the owner of a Vertuo, a VertuoPlus or a Vertuo Next.
SEALPOD Reusable Nespresso Capsule
Another great option is the SEALPOD reusble Nespresso capsule, which is compatible with any Nespresso machine from the Original line of machines.
The SEALPOD capsules are crafted in Thailand from high-quality stainless steel and are built to last. In fact, the SEALPOD brand ethos is that you shouldn’t have to compromise on coffee quality when switching to reusable pods. This is why SEALPOD has been specially designed for use with Aluminium Espresso Lids which allow pressure to build inside in order to extract all of the richness, aroma and flavor of the ground coffee of your choice.
The SEALPOD reusable Nespresso capsules are available in a number of different pack sizes containing different numbers of pods and varying accessories, from clear acrylic filling stations and extra lids.
Our recommendation for most people is the Classic pack, which contains two stainless steel reusable pods and 120 aluminium lids.
If you decide to go with SEALPODS, keep in mind that they are only compatible with any Nespresso Original line machine, but not with the Vertuo line machines.
CAPMESSO Reusable Nespresso Capsule
If you are the owner of a Nespresso coffee maker from the newer Vertuo line of machines, you’ll be delighted to hear that there are stainless steel reusable pods that are compatible with the Vertuo machines, although they are a little harder to come by. The CAPMESSO reusable Nespresso capsule is one of them, and just like the two other reusable capsules mentioned here, it is available on Amazon.
The CAPMESSO reusable capsule is available in two different sizes – 2.5oz and 8oz. Capsules can only be purchased individually rather than in sets, and they are sold with or without extra silicone rings. We recommend always going for an option that includes the ten extra optional silicon rings, as you can never have too many of them – they can, after all, get broken or disappear, so it is always a good idea to have a backup at the ready.
Reusable Nespresso pods Q & A
We have covered a lot of ground in this article – we’ve discussed what refillable Nespresso pods are and what makes them such a good choice for coffee customization, as well as for sustainability and your personal economy. We’ve also looked at how reusable Nespresso pods work, and given you some specific reusable pod suggestions.
Even so, you might find yourself with some unanswered questions about reusable Nespresso pods. Hopefully, you’ll find the answers you are looking for in this brief Q & A section.
Does Nespresso make a reusable pod?
Unfortunately, Nespresso doesn’t offer their own branded stainless steel reusable capsules. The reason for this is quite understandable – the pre-made single use coffee capsules is how Nespresso keep making money after the initial coffee machine sale. Selling you single-use Nespresso pods is part of Nespresso’s business model, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon.
In other words, if you want to use refillable capsules instead of single-use plastic pods, you are going to have to buy them from a different brand. Luckily, there are plenty of great coffee brands out there that have developed stainless steel pods that are compatible with any Nespresso machine in both the Original and the Vertuo line of coffee makers.
Are reusable Nespresso capsules good?
Switching to refillable coffee pods over single-use disposable coffee pods is a fantastic way to lower your monthly coffee budget, and to be able to customize your coffee experience with more variety since you can add any coffee blend you want to a refillable coffee pod instead of being limited to the pre-made selection available in the plastic pods.
Ditching disposable pods in favor of stainless steel refillable pods is also better for the invironment, as you can use each reusable pod over and over again.
Can I use refillable pods from other coffee brands in my Nespresso machine?
Yes, you absolutely can. In fact, the Nespresso brand doesn’t produce its own reusable coffee pod, so if you want to start using stainless steel reusable coffee pods with your Nespresso machine, you have no choice but to get your reusable pod from another brand.
This shouldn’t worry you, however. There are numerous brands out there that have developed high quality stainless steel reusable capsules specifically to be compatible with the Nespresso machines in both the Original range of coffee makers and the Vertuo line of coffee makers.
Final thoughts on reusable pods
If a stainless steel reusable pod isn’t already among the accessories you have for your Nespresso machine, you have been missing out on three things: A greater variety of coffee flavors and blends (Since you can put any coffee grounds you want into reusable pods, rather than having to go with one of the pre-prepared blends that come in the single-use plastic pods), a smaller monthly coffee overhead and a more sustainable coffee drinking experience.
All in all, the reason for purchasing a few refillable Nespresso pods are many and the objections are non-existent, as far as we can tell. So, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on one or some of the best reusable Nespresso pods (We have made some suggestions earlier in this article) and unlock a whole new dimension of coffee enjoyment.