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Review: Nespresso Compatible Coffee Pods from CafePod

BY Boon Koh
Published 1 June 2013

I’ve had a Nespresso machine for almost two years now, and have been loving it. A great cup of coffee, every time, within a minute of turning on. What more could you ask for when you’re rushing to have breakfast so you’re not late for work?

The only two gripes I had were that the Nespresso coffee pods could only be bought directly from Nespresso, either at their high street stores or online. And they are quite expensive, around 30 pence per pod/capsule! Doesn’t sound like much, but if you have it everyday, that works out to £9 a month. For coffee at home!

I’d looked around online before for Nespresso compatible pods, but for some reason was unable to find any (at least in the UK)… until now. When I first heard of CafePod, I was ecstatic! The selling points: get pods from your local supermarket, and also because they’re third party, it ought to be cheaper. Only they weren’t that much cheaper – CafePod worked out to 28p per pod at my local Sainsburys. At that price, I’d rather go with Nespresso pods! So I gave up on them at that time.

However, I was recently offered a free box of CafePod coffee pods. It was through Klout or PeerIndex – I can’t remember which one – and decided to check them out. Why not, since they’re free?

cafepod box

Well, first impressions – the CafePod pods/capsules come in individual sealed packaging, which is different from the Nespresso pods – not too environmentally friendly.

cafepod individually wrapped capsules

I was a bit concerned, the pods being plastic, that they wouldn’t perform the same way in the machine as the aluminium pods. And that fear was justified – the flow rate of the hot water through the pod was extremely slow, so it took longer for the cup to fill. I don’t know why they’ve chosen to go with a plastic pod and a film with holes – but its so far removed from the Nespresso capsule design that it feels like they’re needlessly trying to reinvent the wheel complete here. So definitely a pain point there!

plastic cafepod pods capsules

cafepod in nespresso machine

cafepod coffee in a cup

As for the taste – it definitely doesn’t have the nice creamy rich coffee aroma that you get from the Nespresso pods. More the bitter, sharp taste of instant Nescafe Gold – unfortunately.

I still have the rest of the box of pods left – not sure what I’ll be doing with them as I have gone back to using Nespresso pods (and having to schlep down to the Nespresso Regent Street store for a top-up every so often. But I can’t recommend the CafePod pods – not when they are this price.


  • Jackie

    you can’t beat Nespresso for quality of their coffee