8 Best Nespresso Pods for Lattes and Cappuccinos in 2021

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What’s the most convenient way to make a delicious cappuccino? I’ll give you a hint: It rhymes with “espresso”. Whether you have a Nespresso OriginalLine or VertuoLine machine, it’s about time that you experienced a latte or cappuccino that will make you forget all about that Starbucks habit.

In this article, I’ll tell you how to make a Nespresso latte and how to pick the best Nespresso pods for lattes or cappuccinos. I’ll even tell you about a few of my favorite Nespresso capsules for lattes, iced lattes, and flavored lattes. 

Quick Take: Best Nespresso Latte and Cappuccino Pods

Best Nespresso VertuoLine pod for lattes and cappuccinos

Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine,...image Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Altissio, Medium Roast Espresso Coffee, 50 Count Coffee Pods, Brews 1.35 Ounce Check price

Best Nespresso OriginalLine pod for lattes and cappuccinos

European Version Nespresso...image European Version Nespresso OriginalLine Barista Creations for Balanced Recipes with Milk: Scuro, 50 Capsules Check price

Best VertuoLine pod for iced lattes

Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine,...image Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Diavolitto ,Dark Roast Espresso Coffee, 50 Count Coffee Pods, Brews 1.35oz Check price

Best OriginalLine pod for iced lattes

European Version Nespresso...image European Version Nespresso OriginalLine Barista Creations for Intense Recipes with Milk: Corto, 50 Capsules Check price

Best VertuoLine pod for flavored lattes

Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine,...image Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Hazelino Muffin, Mild Roast Coffee, 30 Count Coffee Pods, Brews 7.8 Ounce Check price

Best OriginalLine pod for flavored lattes

Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine,...image Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine, Caramel Crème Brulée, Mild Roast Espresso Coffee, 50 Count Espresso Coffee Pods, Brews 1.35 Ounce, 10 Count (Pack of 5) Check price

How to Make a Nespresso Latte (or Cappuccino)

What you need

To make a latte or cappuccino, all you need is espresso and frothed milk. You can use any Nespresso machine, although OriginalLine machines make somewhat tastier espresso.

Some Nespresso models, like the high-end Breville and Delonghi Nespresso machines, even come with a built-in frother. Otherwise, you’ll need a standalone milk frother like the Nespresso Aeroccino.

As for supplies, you just need a Nespresso capsule and your choice of frothing milk. We’ll give you some ideas for delicious latte pods below, and we’ve previously covered the best kinds of milk for frothing. Whole milk is always a good option, and oat milk is great for vegans and other fans of non-dairy milk.

Step-by-step process

Once you have your equipment and supplies, making a Nespresso latte or cappuccino is as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Brew a cup of coffee with your chosen Nespresso pod.
A cup of coffee from a Nespresso pod, showing the rich crema
  1. Steam or froth enough milk for your latte or cappuccino. For a cappuccino, you want about 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 milk foam. For a latte, the milk-to-coffee ratio is higher, typically between 3:1 and 9:1, and the layer of foam should be thin compared to the steamed milk.

    If you don’t have a Nespresso with a built-in frother or an Aeroccino, you can also use a manual milk frother or a handheld milk frother for this process.
Using a handheld milk frother to prepare steamed milk for a latte
  1. Pour the milk into the espresso, using a spoon to hold back the foam. Once the steamed milk is poured, you can pour or spoon the foam on top.
Pouring steamed milk into espresso to make a latte

Best Nespresso Capsules for Lattes and Cappuccinos

Before we jump in, one quick reminder: Nespresso VertuoLine and OriginalLine pods are not cross-compatible. Make sure that you buy the right type of pod for your Nespresso machine. You can easily tell the difference visually, as the OriginalLine pods are taller and thimble-shaped whereas the VertuoLine pods are flatter and wider, like a tiny UFO.

Best Nespresso VertuoLine pod for lattes and cappuccinos: Altissio pods

Intensity: 9

Size: Espresso

Compatibility: VertuoLine machines

Altissio capsules are intense enough to keep their coffee flavor when you dilute them with milk. They are medium-roasted and full-bodied, with a smooth flavor that is more balanced than bitter. The cereal notes of Altissio mix incredibly well with the milky flavor of a latte.

These pods are made with South American and Costa Rican coffee beans. That includes both Arabica beans and the more intense Robusta beans. 

Best Nespresso OriginalLine pod for lattes and cappuccinos: Barista Scuro pods

Intensity: 7

Size: Espresso

Compatibility: OriginalLine machines

Scuro capsules are another pretty intense Nespresso variety, although they’re not quite as powerful as Altissio. These pods are great by themselves, but they really shine in espresso drinks. The strong flavor and heavy roasted notes are a delicious counterbalance to the added milk of a latte or cappuccino. 

Barista Scuro is made from a mixture of Colombian coffee beans — known for their smoothness — and Ethiopian coffee beans. All these beans are the coveted Arabica variety, and they are split-roasted to further perfect the flavor.

Best VertuoLine pod for iced lattes: Diavolitto pods

Intensity: 11

Size: Espresso

Compatibility: VertuoLine machines

Okay, it’s time to get serious. If you’re looking to create an iced latte, you need a heavy dose of flavor. Most coffees are completely overwhelmed by the combination of added milk and melting ice. VertuoLine machines don’t offer any real customization options, so the best way to amp up the flavor of your coffee is with a more intense Nespresso capsule.

That brings us to our pick: Diavolitto. Diavolitto is the most intense VertuoLine pod currently available for purchase. Ounce-for-ounce, it’s also the highest caffeine Nespresso pod in the Vertuo line. (Fortado has more total caffeine, but that’s because it’s a gran lungo, which is too large to use for making a regular-sized latte.)

Dark coffees usually bring the strongest flavors, and Diavolitto is a dark roast coffee that has a rich, powerful aroma with notes of oak and leather. It uses a combination of various Latin American Arabica and Robusta beans to create an ultra-intense flavor that can withstand the combined diluting impact of ice and milk.

The real secret ingredient, though, is the Robusta coffee beans from Guatemala, which provide the brew with an incredibly smooth and creamy texture. That texture makes for an absolutely amazing cappuccino.

Best OriginalLine pod for iced lattes: Corto pods

Intensity: 11

Size: Espresso

Compatibility: OriginalLine machines

You might have been expecting me to recommend Palermo Kazaar, the most caffeine-heavy OriginalLine pod. Or maybe Napoli, the most intense pod in the Original line.

Those are both great options, except that they are made for ristretto instead of espresso. You could use them and make a smaller latte or a magic coffee, but you’d need two ristretto pods to make the same size latte you can have with a single espresso pod. For that reason, Corto with its slightly decreased intensity rating still holds the top spot.

Corto was designed for making cortados, which are basically coffee with a dash of milk. But they also make a deliciously intense latte with a dark, spicy flavor. There’s a reason so many Corto reviews contain the words “This is my favorite coffee”.

Best VertuoLine pod for flavored lattes: Hazelino Muffin pods

Intensity: 6

Size: Mug

Compatibility: VertuoLine machines

This one required a compromise. All of the flavored Vertuo line pods are mug-sized, which is bigger than the ideal size for making a Nespresso latte. You’ll probably want to decrease the amount of milk you use with these pods.

The Barista Creations capsules from Nespresso are some of the most delicious flavored coffees you can find. They use a blend of African and Latin American coffee beans that have pastry notes. Then, they add hazelnut flavorings (with no added sugar) during the roasting process to produce this absolutely fantastic result.

Alternatively, you could make a flavored latte by using one of the non-flavored recommendations above and adding flavored syrups. The higher intensity level of the previous pods is better if you want a strong coffee flavor, but it does require one more ingredient, whereas Hazelino is an all-in-one coffee capsule and flavor.

Best OriginalLine pod for flavored lattes: Caramel Crème Brulée pods

Intensity: 6

Size: Double espresso

Compatibility: OriginalLine machines

There are a variety of flavors available for the Nespresso Original line. For regular espresso, I’d recommend you just try them all. For a latte or cappuccino though, none of the others can match the decadence and sweet flavor of Caramel Creme Brulee.

Cups of coffee from these pods are smooth with notes of malted cereal. When mixed with milk, you get that plus a rich flavor filled with caramel, vanilla, and coconut. You’ll be shocked at how much flavor comes out of these pods, especially since they have no added sugar.

Not convinced? You could always grab the Barista Flavored Pack, which contains Caramel Creme Brulee, Cocoa Truffle, and Vanilla Eclair.

Bianco Leggero pods

Intensity: N/A

Size: Double espresso

Compatibility: VertuoLine machines

If you’re planning to make a larger latte or cappuccino (Starbucks fans, think Grande or Venti), you want to start with a double espresso capsule instead of espresso or ristretto. 

Bianco Leggero is the kind of pod that you just know was designed to be used with milk. It releases a heavy aroma of sweet biscuits and caramel the moment you pour milk into it.

Nespresso didn’t use any added flavorings to get that effect, either. It just comes from the unique Indonesian and Kenyan coffee beans combined with a simple, light roasting method. That’s all it takes to make one of the lightest, creamiest Nespresso coffee pods.

Decaffeinato Intenso pods

Intensity: 7

Size: Espresso

Compatibility: VertuoLine machines

I hate it when these lists fail to include decaffeinated coffee. Decaf drinkers should be able to enjoy the same morning latte as drinkers of regular coffee.

Nespresso apparently agrees because Decaffeinato Intenso brings a deliciously intense flavor that is perfect for a creamy, sweet latte. The fruity notes and cocoa notes come alive with a splash of milk, providing an experience that any coffee drinker would be envious of. 

Final Verdict

The perfect latte starts with great espresso. While you could go out and buy an espresso machine, there’s no reason you can’t make creamy lattes and decadent cappuccinos with your favorite Nespresso machine. You just might have to go higher up on the Nespresso intensity scale.

If you’re still comparing Nespresso machines — looking for the best one for your coffee, espresso, and lattes — I’ve got a few recommendations.

If you want both coffee and espresso, you need a VertuoLine machine, so check out the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe. I’ve compared the VertuoPlus vs Vertuo and VertuoPlus vs Vertuo Next, and the larger, movable water tank of the VertuoPlus Deluxe makes it a pretty consistent fan favorite.

And if you just want amazing espresso, a Nespresso OriginalLine machine is probably the way to go. The highest-end machines — like the Lattissima One and Creatista Plus — have built-in frothers for making lattes and other specialty drinks. You can also get some of the best budget Nespresso machines, like the CitiZ, as a package with a milk frother.

One last time, here are my suggestions for the best Nespresso pods for lattes and cappuccinos.

Best Nespresso VertuoLine pod for lattes and cappuccinos

Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine,...image Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Altissio, Medium Roast Espresso Coffee, 50 Count Coffee Pods, Brews 1.35 Ounce Check price

Best Nespresso OriginalLine pod for lattes and cappuccinos

European Version Nespresso...image European Version Nespresso OriginalLine Barista Creations for Balanced Recipes with Milk: Scuro, 50 Capsules Check price

Best VertuoLine pod for iced lattes

Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine,...image Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Diavolitto ,Dark Roast Espresso Coffee, 50 Count Coffee Pods, Brews 1.35oz Check price

Best OriginalLine pod for iced lattes

European Version Nespresso...image European Version Nespresso OriginalLine Barista Creations for Intense Recipes with Milk: Corto, 50 Capsules Check price

Best VertuoLine pod for flavored lattes

Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine,...image Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Hazelino Muffin, Mild Roast Coffee, 30 Count Coffee Pods, Brews 7.8 Ounce Check price

Best OriginalLine pod for flavored lattes

Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine,...image Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine, Caramel Crème Brulée, Mild Roast Espresso Coffee, 50 Count Espresso Coffee Pods, Brews 1.35 Ounce, 10 Count (Pack of 5) Check price

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