Learn How Nespresso Capsules Work

One of the best ways to get a perfect espresso with foam at home is to use a Nespresso machine. Nespresso offers a vast flavor profile available to use on their machines to give you that exact coffee flavor you want. There’s no need to worry about coordinating a giant machine when all you have to do is press a button for your perfect espresso.

Nespresso capsules work differently depending on the machine you are using. The Original machines have a commonly used brewing function while the Vertuo uses patented technology to brew a perfect cup of coffee. There are also reusable capsules available for both machines.

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Nespresso machines and capsules don’t work the same as other pod or capsule coffee makers. Nespresso is unique to these because they also add in the foam when they are made. There are two machines that Nespresso currently sells that create delicious coffee, but not every flavor is available for both machines.

How Nespresso Capsules Work

Nespresso capsules are very different from other capsules or pods that are available on the market. For starters, they are made of a different material. Nespresso capsules are made of aluminum. You can also recycle the Nespresso capsules in your regular recycling, or if you have a Nespresso store near you, you can bring them to the store to be recycled.

Each Nespresso capsule is tightly sealed immediately after the coffee is ground to ensure the freshest cup of coffee possible. When you put the coffee capsule into the machine, you will hear a pop to know that the capsule is now open and ready for use. You also never have to worry about coffee grounds being in your cup because of the filter in the capsule and machine.

When you put a Nespresso capsule into one of the Nespresso machines, you are starting a simple process to create an amazing cup of coffee. After placing the capsule into the Nespresso machine and closing the top, the capsule is punctured. Next, place your coffee mug under the spout and press the button to start the process.

Hot water that is heated by coming in contact with a curled heating element is pushed through the capsule when you make a cup of Nespresso coffee. The coffee is brewed As the hot water is pushed through the capsule, the process will be slightly different depending on the model that you’re using.

How is the Foam Created with a Nespresso Machine?

Nespresso coffee is known for the foam that comes from each cup of coffee that other instant coffee machines don’t offer. 

The foam that results from the Nespresso machines is due to the pressure inside the Nespresso capsule. Any time coffee is brewed under such pressure, a frothy top will always result.

Do the Capsules Work Differently in Each Machine?

Nespresso currently has two lines– Vertuo and Original. Each model is different because they have different pods and are loaded differently. You also have different sizes available for each model. Since each model is different, the capsules work differently. The capsules for each model are not compatible with each other.

Vertuo Models

The Vertuo is Nespresso’s newer model. Their capsules come in different sizes, from 2.7 ounces to 14 ounces. When you use the capsules for the Vertuo, you’ll notice some black markings around the edge of the capsule. These black markings tell the machine what size cup and a blend of coffee to make for you.

The Vertuo models blend the coffee with Nespresso’s patented Centrifusion technology that will spin the capsule up to seven thousand times per minute while the hot water is sent through the machine. It will be slower depending on the blend and capsule that you use.

Original Model

For Nespresso’s other model, the original, only one size is available for the capsules. This doesn’t mean that there’s only one size available for your cup of coffee, though.  You will use the same capsule for different-sized coffees, from ristretto to lungo

The Original Nespresso models don’t use the Centrifusion technology that the Vertuo models use. Rather, the Original models push the hot water through the capsules to brew the coffee closer to a traditional espresso machine.

Can you Get More Than One Cup of Coffee From a Capsule?

If you’re looking to save money and make more coffee from a tiny capsule, can you reuse the same capsule for another cup of coffee or stretch the coffee? It may seem tempting, especially because the Original line’s capsules don’t make as much coffee as a Vertuo does.

While you can get more than one cup of coffee or stretch the coffee coming from the Nespresso capsule, it isn’t recommended. The Nespresso capsules have the exact amount of ground coffee in them needed to create the perfect cup of coffee. Reusing the capsule will water down the coffee and ruin the flavor.

Are There Nespresso Capsule Alternatives?

Many other machines that use capsules or pods on the market have capsule alternatives, whether it’s to be eco-friendly or to be able to make some coffee that isn’t offered by the machine manufacturer. This allows more flexibility in your cup.

Currently, there are different reusable Nespresso capsules for both models. For the original model, there are refillable Nespresso capsules that you just need to replace the filter for. The Vertuo also has refillable capsules available in each cup size by Campesso.

Do the Reusable Nespresso Capsules Work the Same?

Since Nespresso capsules have a unique outcome compared to other coffee machines, do the reusable capsules still give the same delicious cup of coffee with the foam at the top?

Yes, the reusable capsules function the same as the Nespresso capsules you would buy directly from Nespresso. You do have to use specific grinds to ensure that the capsule works well with the machine to make your perfect cup of coffee. Most reusable capsules don’t work with coarse or extra-fine ground coffee.

Before buying a reusable capsule for your Nespresso machine, ensure that it is compatible with your specific model. While the reusable capsules can work for most of the models in a line, they won’t work with all. For example, the reusable capsules from Campesso won’t work with the Vertuo Next.


Nespresso not only offers an amazing flavor profile and variety of coffee for Nespresso machine owners, but it gives them the essence of getting an amazing cup of coffee in a restaurant or cafe. Their unique design helps them create a distinct cup of coffee that will make your morning so much better without having to go out for that perfect cup of coffee.

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