Cappuccinos are required to taste more of coffee because of the ratio of the recipe: at least 1/3 should be coffee. That’s the rule of thirds that has been passing around since decades in how to make a proper cappuccino: 1/3 coffee, 1/3 milk and 1/3 froth. For stronger cappuccinos, the best Nespresso capsules for cappuccino would be those who more closely resemble the original italian/austrian recipe: medium-dark roast, bitter, cocoa hints.
Top 10 best nespresso capsules for cappuccino in 2021
Here are my three recommended Nespresso capsules for cappuccinos.
Ristretto is one of the most popular Nespresso capsules on the market. These capsules are made using a blend of two Robustas sourced from Brazil and Guatemala, giving them a creamy taste. These are the best Nespresso capsules for smooth, neutral-tasting lattes and cappuccinos.
For the most part, you can use the same capsules to make cappuccinos as you would for lattes. The “rules” are exactly the same: use a 40mL espresso capsule like the Ristretto, Kazaar or Cosi capsules and you’ll get the best mix of smooth, rich coffee and foamy milk.
Just like making a latte, you’ll need a Nespresso machine, the right capsule and a milk frother or French press. However, for a cappuccino, you’ll want to cut the amount of milk you froth down to approximately three ounces.
The most popular Nespresso capsule for cappuccinos is the Ristretto capsule, which is also one of the best capsules for making lattes. Ristretto capsules have the best mix of intensity (they’re rated 9/12 on Nespresso’s intensity scale) and smoothness for milk-based coffee. Just like with lattes, if you like your cappuccinos to taste like what you’d get in a café, the Ristretto capsules are the best option.
2. Barista Chiaro
Just as for a latte, the Barista Chiaro capsule is an excellent choice for cappuccinos. The sweetness and biscuity flavor combine really well with the frothy milk in a cappuccino. The coffee beans’ light roast level for this capsule means it delivers a very mild flavored cappuccino.
3. Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Venezia
This blend of Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans is perfect for a cappuccino, latte, or any milk-based coffee drink, frothed or not. Tasting notes include caramel and cereal, as well as a light fruitiness. With an intensity rating of eight, this capsule provides just enough coffee flavor when mixed with milk but won’t overpower the sweeter elements that make for a great cappuccino, like cinnamon, brown sugar, etc. Nespresso even uses the Ispirazione Venezia capsule to make a special tiramisu cappuccino—a recipe that can be found on the company’s website.
The Venezia capsule is relatively new to the Nespresso line and isn’t as readily available as other varieties, but it comes at the same price point and can be ordered in any desired quantity off the brand website. Note that these capsules are not compatible with Nespresso VertuoLine machines, only OriginalLine.
Arpeggio — it has a nice sound to it, partially due to its association with music. It’s long roasted with a very fine grind.
These beans come from South and Central America, making it intense. You’ll distinctly taste cocoa and woody hints.
This Nespresso capsule can make you an 0.8 ounce ristretto or a 1.35 ounce espresso — whichever your 6-am heart desires.
Which Nespresso pod is strongest? That’s for sure Diavolitto. This popular Diavolitto Nespresso capsule is only compatible with Vertuoline Nespresso machines. When you purchase, you get 50 capsules. Each capsule can make a 1.35-ounce drink, which is a medium-sized espresso cup. It is the intensity that makes this product one of the best Nespresso pods in this review. Indeed, Diavolitto’s intensity is 11 out of a maximum of 13. This means that this product is very intense and strong. If you need strong morning coffee, fragrant and easy to prepare, this product is a great choice. Also, the aluminum capsules used in this coffee are 100% recyclable and therefore environmentally friendly. The only caveat with this Nespresso is its rather high price. Another thing to note is that this product is only compatible with Vertuoline Nespresso machines.
6. Original Nespresso Capsules
Number one on our list is the official Nespresso coffee capsules. This collection features 5 different blends; Ristretto, Roma, Livanto, Arpeggio & Capriccio all with varying degrees of strength and flavour.
The strongest of the bunch is the Ristretto, which means it is perfect for those mornings where your gonna need all the help you can get to get you through the day. This coffee originates from South American & is both strong in flavour and in body.
The Roma is an intense, yet balanced blend that offers sweet and woody notes leaving a long lasting, great taste on your tongue.
Livanto is a blend of both South & Central American coffee that delivers a roasted caramelized note upon being brewed.
With a distinctive character & full body blend from South & Central America, the Arpeggio delivers an intense mix of coca & roasting notes. This one is our personal favourite within this collection!
Last but not least the Capriccio. The Capriccio is a South American blend that delivers a rich aroma centering around a strong cereal note.
All in all, this collection of Nespresso compatible coffee capsules is great. They each deliver different tastes to suit your mood perfectly & can really help to kick start your day.
You get 10 of each capsule in this package and 50 capsules in total.
7. Nespresso Altissio
Nespresso Altissio is our Editor’s Choice for a reason.
It’s a balanced but strong espresso blend that works in the Nespresso VertuoLine system. Which means it, unfortunately, will not work in Nespresso OriginalLine machines. The great thing about the VertuoLine capsules is that they are all printed with a unique barcode that is read by the Vertuo machine, ensuring the perfect temperature, amount of water, and therefore a cup of coffee is brewed.
Each capsule brews a 1.35-ounce cup of espresso which is the base for a latte, though the VertuoLine machines are designed to offer larger cups of coffee if the user desires.
The Nespresso Altissio capsule is highly roasted, making for a full-bodied espresso from Arabica from Costa Rica and South America. It has a hint of Robusta which contrasts with smooth cereal notes. If the user adds milk, it will complement its natural full body.
Altissio is shortly roasted which leads to an intense, yet full-bodied and creamy espresso, though some users might find it taste too burnt or over-roasted, and drinking it more than twice a day (which is generally true for any sort of coffee) may cause stomach upset if you have a sensitive stomach. The capsules, when brewed, will contain between 70 and 100 mg of caffeine.
All Nespresso Altissio capsules are part of the AAA Sustainable Quality Program which empowers farmers and protects the environment. The capsules are made from 100% recycled aluminum, which effectively protects the contents of the capsules.
What we liked:
- Great for waking you up and keeping you awake
- Bold without being super bitter
What could be better:
- May seem too intense for some
8. Nespresso Melozio
If you like a larger cup of coffee that isn’t quite as strong as espresso, while still giving you that kick start in the morning, the Nespresso Melozio may be the best Nespresso Virtuoline capsules for you. This coffee brews a cup of almost 8 ounces, so you can savor it for as long as you like before it runs out. This coffee is made from Central American Arabica beans, which give some balance to the coffee. They are combined with Brazilian Bourbon coffee beans that contain notes of sweet honey to enhance the Arabica, giving it a unique flavor. The Brazilian Bourbon beans are split-roasted, which brings out the rich, sweet cereal notes and adds a smooth texture. The second split roast of the Arabica then soften the character and add the balance this coffee is known for. Though lighter roasts usually have a lot of acidity to them, the acidity level is quite low in the Nespresso Melozio, as is the bitterness. It also has a full body to go with the smooth flavor and rich aroma. Though you can drink this coffee black if you like, it is enhanced when milk is added. This brings out the soft, sweet side, as well as bringing out those biscuity notes. The Melozio works well as a latte, a cappuccino, or a macchiato, so you can enjoy this coffee a different way every morning, or stick with the one you like best.
What we liked:
- Full body
- Rich aroma
- Smooth flavor
What could be better:
- Not for bold coffee lovers
9. Nespresso Kazaar Dark Roast Espresso
Kazaar is another great dark espresso from Nespresso. Kazaar has some spicy and bitter notes, so if you are really looking for a good kick, it is a great choice.
This may not be for everyone, since it does have a very unique flavor.
10. Nespresso Vertuo Decaffeinato Ontuoso
Here’s one way to enjoy a nice and warm cup of joe even when you are about to sleep.
The Nespresso Decaffeinated helps you relish three great tasting coffee flavors while limiting your caffeine intake.
This bundle offers the flavors Espresso Decaffeinato Ontuoso with 7 intensities.
You’ll need to have a VirtuoLine machine and the pods are not compatible with the OriginalLine.
- Decaffeinated variety that you can enjoy at any time of the day
- Offers three different flavors with 10 capsules each
- Made in Switzerland
- Not compatible with OriginalLine machines
How to choose best Nespresso Capsules For Cappuccino?
With the many varieties of Nespresso, you have a pretty good place to start. But maybe you want to explore other flavors or the capsules made by others than Nespresso (there are some fantastic brands out there).
If that is the case, it’s good to know about somethings you might encounter:
Lattes are meant to be brewed with milk. If the coffee from your Nespresso capsule isn’t strong enough, you won’t taste the coffee. The milk you add will dilute the taste of the coffee to a point where you are left with more of a warm milk drink rather than a latte or a cappuccino.
You want to make sure the coffee you brew has flavors that are bold enough to stand up against the addition of milk.
Dark roast refers to the coffee beans’ roasting process used to make your capsules. A dark roast is what it sounds like: long, hot roasting resulting in a dark brown coffee bean. Dark roasted coffee has a strong coffee flavor with pronounced bitterness and caramelization.
Don’t make the mistake to only choose capsules that mention dark roasted coffee beans, though. It is a mistake many people make. But medium roasted or even light roasted coffee beans can deliver intense flavors just as much as dark roasted coffee beans. Dark roasting risks burning off all the delicate (and strong) flavors in the coffee bean. Dark roasting is sometimes even used to mask the inferior quality of the coffee beans used.
So, dark roast is excellent, but be careful of bad quality. And don’t discount medium or light roasts.
Another way to ensure your coffee flavor can stand up against the adding of milk is to get capsules rich in flavor. Richness is not always a part of the flavor of the coffee beans themselves. Sometimes additional ingredients (like spices) are added to enhance or change the flavor of the capsule’s contents.
Think of things like vanilla, cinnamon, or hazelnut flavoring. These heavily flavored coffees can handle the addition of milk very well. They make a great (albeit usually pretty sweet) latte or cappuccino.
Lattes and cappuccinos are made with espresso. Not with lungo, not with an americano. Only with espresso. My advice is to only choose capsules that say that they are suitable for making espresso.
Intensity Rating Or Intensity Level
The intensity rating or level describes how strong the coffee from the capsule is. The intensity level can help you determine which capsule is for you and which isn’t. If you are into a latte or cappuccino with a strong coffee flavor, choose an intensity level of 8 or higher. If you prefer a milder taste, my advice is to stick with an intensity level of 4, 5, or 6.
In order to make the perfect cappuccino with your Nespresso machine you will need: an espresso coffee capsule of your choice, cold milk, white sugar and cocoa powder as the main ingredients. You will also need either an Aeroccino milk frother, your Nespresso machine’s steam nozzle, or the Lattissima Plus machine. Cappuccino’s are easy to make, and can be created in only 3 minutes!