12 Best Nespresso Pods for Latte Lovers + Alternative Brands to Try

by Mama Loves A Drink

The best Nespresso pods for latte and alternative espresso capsule for home made latte.

Love the idea of making your own latte at home?

Whilst many will suggest it’s “easy” to make a Nespresso latte home – which it is – actually getting the perfect flavour and blend is an art form.

It is something you will want to experiment with until you find the prefect blend and espresso size for you.

Each persons taste and preferences will be different so we’ll walk you through here exactly how a Nespresso coffee maker makes a latte for you, and therefore, which nespresso pods, nespresso latte pods or capsules are best – plus we’ll throw in a few ideas for the perfect latte machine for your home!

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A glass of cafe latte - text what are the best type of nespresso pods for latte

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Exactly how a Nespresso makes a latte

A latte – of caffé latte – at its simplest is a milky coffee. It has 1-2 shots of espresso, with steamed milk added and a velvety layer of foam on top.

You Nespresso machine can make both the espresso shot for you, and the steamed milk with froth (you can learn more about the difference between steaming and frothing here).

Note that you don’t purchase pods that have both coffee and milk in them, there are two separate processes involved here. Even with the most highly automated of systems, you, the home barista, will have to do a little bit of work!

latte cup with foamy milk being poured in close up

The espresso coffee part of a Nespresso latte

The espresso in a Nespresso machine is made by placing a pod or capsule of pre-ground coffee into a compartment then letting the coffee machine automatically force hot water at high pressure through the coffee grounds.

The size of the shot of espresso will depend on the setting you use on your Nespresso machine. Nespresso machines will come with at lease two settings; espresso (40ml/1.35 oz) and lungo (3.7oz/110ml).

Some machines may also have a ristretto setting (25ml/0.85ml) – a much quicker, more intense aromatic and fruity shot preferred by many coffee connoisseurs.

The preferred Nespresso setting for making a latte is the lungo.

The lungo – Italian for long – has the water pressed through the ground coffee for a longer period of time than a standard espresso shot. This results not only in a larger coffee shot being extracted, but means you are extracting more of the coffee’s taste and aroma. It’s also a little more bitter, but this is compensated for with the milk.

Therefore for the perfect latte, we recommend you look for Nespresso capsules of coffee pods that specifically state “lungo”, however, there is nothing wrong with choosing an “espresso” brand of capsule, you can always have a double shot.

The milk part of a Nespresso latte

Depending on what sort of Nespresso machine you’ve purchased, there are two different methods for making the milk for your latte.

The most common method with a Nespresso is an in-built Aerocinno, others will have a steaming wand. The former is easier for the user, a simple press of the button and your milk steams and froths.

flatlay view of a flat white in a ceramic cup

With a wand, you will need to manually steam, though in some top-end models this process is also automated at the press of a button (more on our favourite latte Nespresso machines below!)

NB – you can buy an Aerocinno as a stand alone frother to go with other espresso coffee makers too if you prefer the convenience off a push button over manual frothing.

Putting your Nespresso latte together – Original Nespresso machines

There’s no fixed quantity of coffee to milk in a café latte but GENERALLY SPEAKING in a Nespresso it is:

  • 1 part lungo espresso
  • 2 parts steamed milk
  • 1/2 part milk foam

Note while you’re coffee shop may give you a double shot of espresso, the lungo is much greater in quantity; unless you’re filling an extra large mug you likely only want shot of lungo, topped with milk up to the maximum capacity line in the Aeroccino.

Once you have a shot of espresso or your lungo poured directly into your cup, gently pour the steamed milk over the top, holding back the foam until the end to gently layer on top – yes you can still make latte art using an Aeroccino steamed milk, but that’s a whole other topic!

What are the best Nespresso pods to use for a latte?

Which bring us to the pertinent question – which are the best Nespresso capsules or coffee pods should you buy for a latte?

As we mentioned above you need to look not just for the type of coffee shot the capsule will make (a “lungo” pod is make from a coarser ground for the longer extraction process), but also the strength and flavour – the actual beans that have been ground to make your coffee pods.

If your coffee pod is too weak, you’ll not be able to taste the coffee beneath the milk; too strong and you may end up with a bitter finish, not normally the preference of a latte drinker.

It really is a personal preference how strong you like your coffee but we recommend you go for a pod with strength or intensity between about 7 and 11 to get the balance right for a latte.

a close up of a breve latte with wooden spoon

Pod brands compatible with Nespresso machines

It’s important to note that not all coffee pods are created equal!

When you’re looking for instant coffee pods or capsules, make sure the packaging actually says “Nespresso compatible”. There are larger coffee pods, called K-cups, that only work with Keurig coffee makers.

Many of you when you purchased a Nespresso machine no doubt received a sample pack of Nespresso capusules to try. The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to use Nespresso branded products with your Nespresso machine (unless you’ve bought a Nespresso Vertuo – more on the difference between Nespresso machines below – these are a fatter, more circular pod).

You’ll find many international coffee chain stores such as Starbucks and Costa make their own brand of capsule, as do the likes of Movenpick, L’or, Peet’s, Lavazza that are compatible with original Nespresso machines.

Our warning would be to spend that little more for aluminum pods over the plastic ones with foil lids.

So let’s take a look at some of the actual coffee capsules:

Original Nespresso brand capsules that work best with latte

NB they can be called Original or OriginalLine

European Version Nespresso Barista Creations

Specifically designed to be drunk with milk, the Baristas Creations Scuro is an excellent choice for the latte drinker. A light roast from Colombia and Ethiopian Arabica beans, inspired by baristas of Melbourne.

Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine, Medium Roast Espresso Coffee

The Livanto capsules sit well with those who don’t like the coffee flavour in their latte too strong, a happy medium intensity rating 6, they work best in Ristretto and Espreso shots rather than Lungo but still a great companion to a creamy latte.

Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine Vienna Linizio Lungo

A less intense flavor roast, this Arabica light-medium is made from a Brazilian/Columbian blend, perfect for those who only like the subtle tones of coffee in their milky latte.

Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine, Kazaar Intenso

Alternatively, those who want the coffee flavour front and centre in their latte will enjoy this South American blend of Robusta’s from Brazil and Guatemala. Intensity 12 it will definitely keep you on your toes!

For a flavoured treat try these Nespresso Original Line

Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine, Barista Flavored Pack

Perfect for those who like to add a little flavouring with their latte, hold of the syrups, your Barista flavoured coffee capsules come in a variety pack of crème Brule, cocoa truffle and vanilla éclair (Medium roast – Intensity 6)

Non-Nespresso capsule brands to try with your latte

Starbucks by Nespresso for Original Line System

A variety of both House Blend (Intensity 8), Colombia (Intensity 7) and the smooth, chocolate notes of Pike Place (Intensity 8).

Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules Variety Pack

A good selection of intense flavoured coffees, medium and darker roast (intensity 8 to 11) these are great if you like to mix up your strengths and have different flavours every day or cater for guests with different tastes. High quality aluminum with their own recycle program

Jacobs Nespresso OriginalLine Compatible ALUMINIUM Capsules

A respectable Nespresso alternative, Jacobs aluminum pods for come in a variety of intensities, lungo 6 and lungo 8.

Best Decaf pods for latte

Not forgetting our decaf drinkers, why not try these coffee pods:

Nespresso Original Line Variety of Decaffeinato

Perfect for Espresso shots, these European variety decaf capsules still deliver a robust flavour with bold roasty and cocoa notes, give them a try with your latte.

L’OR Espresso Capsules, 50 Capsules DECAF Ristretto

The best Nespresso alternative we’ve found with a great intense flavour is L’or Ristretto – intensity 9.

Which Nespresso Vertuo pods are best for latte?

So far we’ve only looked at OriginalLine latter capsules, but what about VertuoLine capsules to make that awesome creamy latte? Remember, only Nespresso VertuoLine capsules will work in a VertuoLine machine.

Nespresso Vertuo is extremely advanced home coffee-making technology. You machine will read the barcode on the capsule to determine the exact amount of extraction.

Unlike OriginalLine where you can choose your capsule then set the dial on your coffee maker whether you want espresso or lungo – this is pre-determined for you by the type of capsule you buy.

VertouLine pods come in four sizes; 40ml Espresso (1.53fl oz), 80ml Double Espresso (2.7fl oz), 150ml Gran Lungo (5fl oz), and 230ml Mug (7.7fl oz).

Depending on the size and strength the latte-lover wants, your probably after a strong single espresso or a medium-strength double espresso.

VertuoLine Diavolitto Espresso

Diavlitto is a robust and flavoursome pod for latte lovers who love a strong brew without the bitterness. It’s as close as you can get to real coffee house lattes at home! An intensity 11, each Diavolitto capsule delivers 1.35oz.

Double Espresso Chiaro

A wonderful medium roast double espresso, these vertuo capsules will be the perfect accompaniment to a latte. The double espresso delivers 2.7ox of coffee (intensity 6) then top it up with your favourite steamed milk.

Sweetener or sugar with your latte?

Depending on what type of pod you choose, you may find the coffee is already sweet enough, always give it a quick taste test before adding any additional sweeteners, particularly with the flavoured pods.

You can also add additional flavoured syrups with your latte, but we really prefer to let the flavour of the coffee pod do the talking – subtle is best, and less calorific!

Coffee pods for breve latte

A breve latte – much foamier and richer in texture than regular lattes due to the use of half and half – can use pretty much all the pods we’ve mentioned here equally well.

Remember it naturally has a slightly sweeter finish due to the fat content, so factor this in before going to heavy on the flavoured pods. A medium roast Arabica should do the job well.

Don’t forget Nespresso Pod storage!

Another item that doesn’t need to be Nespresso branded, your pods look great when you have a storage container. Try the Amazon Basics storage drawer which can handily set under your Nespresso machine with 50 capsules, or the stylish Nook & Niche brand Premium Glass Stand with Pod Drawer, able to store 54 Original Line pods.

What is the best Nespresso machine for making lattes?

Now that we’ve got the right coffee pods, remember having the right equipment is essential to making a great latte at home.

We compare many different brands of home coffee espresso makers for latte-lovers over here, but narrowing it down to just those machines that accept Nespresso pods, it’s important to understand the difference between Nespresso Original Machines and Nespresso Vertuo because… you guessed it, the pods aren’t compatible (WHYYYYY!! Nespresso, Why!?).

We’re going to focus on Original Nespresso machines which are compatible with many different brands of coffee pods, including those we’ve mentioned above (Vertuo machines only take Nespresso branded Vertuo pods).

We also think Original Nespresso machines are best for your latte lovers, the Nespresso Vertuo really are for your coffee connoisseurs who take their coffee straight. The Vertuo machines use a different extraction process, and they’re a little more expensive per pod.

Best all rounder Nespresso Original Machine for Lattes: Breville-Nespresso Expert & Milk

This is hands down the best Nespresso latte machine. Totally bias, this is our every day latte making machine at home and it’s been nothing short of life changing! OK, not so dramatic, but think lockdowns and home school – yet still a delicious velvety fresh latte to wake up to every day.

The Expert & Milk model has been designed with exactly the latte and cappuccino drinker in mind. The attached Aeroccino 3 gets to work while you set the exact strength of your coffee, the coffee

Key features for the latte-drinker

  • 19-bar pump for optimal extraction
  • Super fast – reaching your ideal temperature in just 25 seconds
  • Programmable in advance with the Nespresso App
  • 4 coffee cup sizes; Ristretto (25ml/0.85oz), Espresso (1.35oz/40ml), Lungo (110ml/3.7oz) or Americanos (25ml/0.85ml coffee, 125ml/4.2oz hot water).
  • Drip tray is removeable for taller mugs
  • 37.5 oz tank – up to 10 lungos before refilling and emptying the
  • Includes complementary starter set of capsules

Best wand steamer Nespresso machine: Nespresso Creatista Plus Espresso Machine by Breville

If you still like precision control over the texture of your milk, it’s worth taking that extra step up to the Creatista Plus by Breville. Not just lattes, with this more advanced latte machine you will be able to make perfect flat whites and macchiato espresso drinks too.

Key features for the latte-drinker

  • 19-bar pump for optimal extraction
  • 4 coffee cup sizes; Ristretto (25ml/0.85oz), Espresso (1.35oz/40ml), Lungo (110ml/3.7oz)
  • Adjustable magnetic cup stand
  • Heats up in less than 3 seconds
  • Includes complementary starter set of capsules

Best compact value Nespresso machine for lattes: Nespresso Citiz Coffee and Espresso Machine

Short on space or looking to save a little money, this super simple Nespresso machine delivers perfect creamy lattes every time. The Citiz Coffee and Espresso Machine by DeLonghi is fairly compact so won’t take much bench space and offers two settings, while the Aerocinno 3 milk frother is attached as part of the unit.

Key features for the latte-drinker

  • 19-bar pump for optimal extraction
  • Super fast – reaching your ideal temperature in just 25 seconds
  • The drip tray can be removed to fit taller glasses
  • Includes an Espresso (1.35oz) and Lungo setting (3.7oz)
  • Comes with a welcome set of 14 Nespresso Grand Crus capsules.

More Nespresso Latte FAQs

Can a Nespresso Machine make a Latte?

Any Nespresso machine can become a latte-making machine with a Nespresso Aeroccino frother. You will need to choose the right kind of capsules to make the perfect espresso to accompany your steamed milk.

What Nespresso pod do you use for latte?

This will depend on what sort of Nespresso machine you have and how strong you like the coffee element of your latte. With Original Nespresso machines we recommend you look at medium to high intensity lungo. A medium intensity double espresso works well in Vertuo machines.

Finishing up your perfect Nespresso Latte

Although it can feel daunting at first as a new Nespresso owner trying to get that brew just the way you like it form the coffee shop – have some fun!

Experiment with your pods, try different milks (we talk more about alternative milks that work well with coffee over here), try different strengths, different grinds, different origins and different brands.

Happy brewing mamas!

Love coffee? Find all our favourite coffee recipes and equipment guides in our Coffee Connoisseur section!

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