12 Best Nespresso Flavors Ranked

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Espresso is the drink of choice for those who want to drink stronger and blacker coffee, but want it to feel like taking a shot of whiskey. Espresso isn't exactly the most sippable caffeine source when it's drank straight up on its own, hence why barista-crafted creations are as popular as they are. And then there's Nespresso, which makes drinking espresso less complicated and more flavorful with no fancy machine or recipe required. With its Keurig-style pods and petite yet modern design, Nespresso has made enjoying authentic espresso as easy as a click of a button for quick caffeination right at your fingertips.

Nespresso is beloved for many reasons, beyond just the obvious convenience. The company is highly praised for its sustainability efforts, as well as its globally inspired espresso offerings. Nespresso makes dozens of flavors of espresso in a wide range of styles and strengths, from dark and nutty to bright and fruit-forward, highlighting different coffee beans and blends from around the world, from Italy to Indonesia and even Miami. It can be overwhelming trying to navigate all the different options, and figure out exactly what belongs in your cup. If you're looking to give your mornings a jolt and try out Nespresso, Mashed has you covered with our ranking of the top 12 Nespresso pod flavors for all types of coffee lovers out there. 

12. Ethiopia

Nespresso's master-crafted Ethiopian coffee is one of the most unique and distinct flavors available. It's also one of the least intense blends, lightly roasted with minimal bitterness. Its bright acidity and vibrant floral notes make it an enjoyable yet delicate coffee experience. Made from 100% Ethiopian Arabica beans, this flavor offers a unique yet refreshing way to enjoy a cup of joe from one of the most prominent coffee-producing countries in the world.

According to The Green Pods, Nespresso's Ethiopia pods have only 64 milligrams of caffeine, making this one of the weaker espressos in the lineup. On the nose, there are fragrant floral notes and a strong aroma of orange blossom. Ethiopia's taste is described as highly citrusy with hints of white wine, and its light body makes for a perfect entry-level espresso for beginner aficionados. This flavor profile is not for everyone though, since some espresso drinkers may not like such light and fruity flavor in their morning cup of caffeine. 

11. Istanbul

Every espresso pod has its own unique characteristics, and some are made even better when prepared certain ways. And Nespresso's Istanbul espresso pods, from the brand's World Explorations line, are perfect for blending with a splash of milk or cream. One coffee lover on Reddit commented that the sweet yet bitter flavor of these pods also makes them perfect for macchiatos. Made from a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, Nespresso's World Explorations Istanbul pods have strong fruity and nutty notes. This particular flavor is medium roasted and overall described as well-balanced, making it an ideal go-to for your morning cup. 

Nespresso Guide's product review of the Istanbul espresso pods highlights their bright acidity and discernable bitterness. The flavor profile is complex and borderline spicy, with notes of pepper, paprika, grapefruit juice, and toasted almond that becomes especially noticeable as the espresso cools. It is a less intense version of Nespresso's other Istanbul-inspired pod, Café Istanbul, but with more intricacies and mildness than many other espresso blends.

10. Ispirazione Napoli

Inspired by the traditional roasting methods of Naples, Italy, Nespresso's Ispirazione Napoli espresso pods are the darkest and most intense blend you can get, maxing out the intensity scale at 13 out of 13. Unlike many of Nespresso's other flavors, the heavy-bodied texture of this blend feels almost thick like velvet. Despite its intensity and strong bitterness, there are creamy cocoa notes  that help bring some balance and light acidity to the palette.

Coffee Capsule Guide's review of the Ispirazione Napoli pods found that they had a similar flavor profile that one might use to describe spicy food –– salty and bitter but very craveable. These pods pair best with rich desserts like chocolate croissants to help bring out their rich, roasted flavor. Foodology praises the Ispirazione Napoli blend for its low acidity, full-bodied mouthfeel, and creamy taste, making it an ideal espresso for cocktails like the trendy espresso martini. This blend also pairs well with lattes thanks to its standout flavor notes that are able to shine against any mixer.

9. Cape Town Envivo Lungo

Nespresso's Cape Town Envivo Lungo roast is another incredibly flavorful addition to the World Explorations line. It takes inspiration from the original Envivo Lungo Nespresso flavor, with a blend of Indian Arabica and Mexican Robusta. The Cape Town Envivo Lungo has a full-bodied texture and low acidity, along with a strong aromatic notes of wood and freshly roasted coffee beans.

Nespresso Guide says the flavors that stand out in this blend include caramel and licorice with notes of dried wood and a strong maltiness. A lack of sweetness and acidity makes for a deep and rich coffee experience. Another review claims the Cape Town Envivo Lungo blend is more potent in terms of flavor and aroma than Nespresso's original version, but misses some of the sweetened caramel and ginger notes of its predecessor. Overall, this blend still offers a strong yet balanced sip that tastes good with milk or on its own, making it a great and diverse option for a straight-forward espresso with a powerful punch.

8. Coconut flavor over ice

It can be hard to perfect a light and balanced coconut coffee without turning to flavored syrups full sugar and additives. However, Nespresso's coconut-flavored espresso pods achieve just that –– a refreshing yet frothy espresso that is best enjoyed as an iced Americano or latte. This blend has hints of vanilla, caramel, and toasted coconut.

Nespresso Guide praises this summertime limited-edition blend with its strong coconut-forward aroma and subtle notes of roasted coffee. For the best flavor experience, drink this coffee cold. When poured hot, these pods exhibit more of a nutty and bitter aftertaste and hints of raw coconut on the palette as opposed to sweetened coconut milk. There is also a slight woodiness and earthiness that Nespresso Guide described as tasting like the exterior of a coconut. Overall, this flavor is best enhanced over ice as Nespresso recommends. Nespresso Guide also suggests adding sweetener to this coffee to help elevate the coconut flavor and refreshing acidic taste.

7. Ispirazione Roma

Similar to the Ispirazione Napoli espresso in terms of style, Nespresso's Ispirazione Roma is a modern twist on a classic flavor, inspired by the complex, ancient character of Rome, Italy. It has a mild intensity that's more balanced in acidity and bitterness compared to the Napoli espresso pods. This blend is defined by woodsy and cereal notes.

Fans of Ispirazione Roma say its mild yet bold characteristics make it the perfect espresso blend for lattes, thanks to its naturally "creamy and rounded texture" (via Reddit). One Influenster review explained that they enjoyed these Rome-inspired espresso pods' above-average intensity and well-balanced bitterness, adding that drinking a cup makes you feel like you are sipping espresso in a quaint Italian cafe. And The Green Pods claims that what this blend lacks in aroma, it makes up for in flavor. Overall, it's an authentic take on an Italian espresso, with a rich and full-bodied texture, and a lower caffeine content that encourages enjoying multiple cups. This flavor is great for espresso fanatics and those who can't afford frequent trips to Italy.

6. Vanilla Éclair

Nespresso's Barista Creations are like Starbucks-worthy flavored coffees that don't compromise on that natural coffee taste. Some of the popular flavored espressos in this lineup include the coconut flavor over ice, cocoa truffle, and caramel créme brûlée. However, nothing tops Nespresso's Vanilla Éclair, because who wouldn't want to enjoy a luxurious pastry for breakfast each morning? With these coffee pods, you can experience that flavor in every cup.  

This sweet, caffeinated treat isn't anything like the artificial French vanilla found in coffee creamers. Vanilla Éclair is made with a rich blend of Brazilian and Columbian Arabicas mixed with fresh vanilla for a velvety texture and floral taste. It's best used for the base of cappuccinos with regular or almond milk to bring out the espresso's naturally nutty essence. The Green Pods describes this blend as a delicious light roast espresso that really pops with a splash of milk and sugar. It has a warm and malty mouthfeel, and the flavor profile is similar to the cream filling inside an éclair. It lacks that intensity and bitterness found in many of Nespresso's flavors, making it a wonderful alternative to sugary craft coffee drinks, and a good starting point for beginner espresso connoisseurs.

5. Volluto

Light roast coffees don't have to sacrifice flavor for a lack of intensity. Nespresso's Volluto coffee pods are one of the brand's lighter roasts, made from a combination of Brazilian and Columbian Arabicas. The flavor profile is naturally sweet and bright, with hints of fruit and sugary biscuits.

Capsulogy describes Volluto as an incredibly well-balanced espresso with just the right amounts of acidity, sweetness, and bitterness. There are a plethora of rich, complimentary flavors present in this blend, including sweet cherries, dark chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, and almonds. At the same time, there are also strong notes of sweet and acidic citrus flavors, like lime, bergamot, and grapefruit, with every sip (via Capsulogy). This espresso is a well-rounded crowd-pleaser for dark and light roast lovers alike and can be enjoyed a number of ways, from Americanos or cappuccinos to sweet cream iced lattes, or even poured straight from the machine.

4. Ispirazione Palermo Kazaar

Be warned –– this espresso is not for the faint of heart or the sensitive of caffeine. Nespresso's Ispirazione Palermo Kazaar espresso blend is intense and extremely bitter, with a full-bodied texture and an almost syrupy mouthfeel. According to Easy to Espresso, the Italian-inspired Palmero Kazaar also has the highest caffeine per serving of Nespresso's original lineup, at 120 milligrams per ounce — at least double the amount of the brand's other espresso pods.

Since it's hard to mask the intensity, fans of Palmero Kazaar say it is a great espresso to mix with milk or cream because it still holds on to its bold flavor (via Reddit). Reviewers on Amazon rave about the espresso's versatility, flavor, and full-body warming feeling. One customers says the lack of acidity makes the buttery notes stand out in this blend. Another review praises the strong notes of tobacco and roasted coffee beans, which make it perfect for cappuccinos — light on the milk. Palermo Kazaar is the perfect option for a traditional and stereotypical espresso that will put some pep in your step and hair on your chest.

3. Ispirazione Ristretto Italiano

Nespresso's Ispirazione Ristretto Italiano pods are an all-around slap in the face when it comes to flavor, intensity, acidity, and bitterness. This medium-leaning dark roast has a complex and contrasting profile that is both fruity and acidic while also being full-bodied and bitter. This blend is also available in a decaffeinated version so you can get that same strong espresso gusto, but without the caffeine-induced jitters.

The Ristretto Italiano pods are the highest rated and reviewed Nespresso flavor on Amazon. They've got over 23,000 reviews and more than 20,000 5-star ratings, suggesting this flavor is a fan favorite for any espresso drinker. Coffee Review delights over this espresso's rich and chocolaty flavors, with hints of lemon and cedar, describing it as rich and syrupy with a surprisingly fresh finish. Adding milk or cream mellows these flavors without overshadowing Ristretto Italiano's unique intricacies. It's one of those espressos that can be enjoyed any way and every way for an energetic coffee adventure.

2. Inspirazione Firenze Arpeggio Decaffeinato

It's impressive that a decaffeinated espresso has climbed its way to the number two spot in our Nespresso flavor ranking. That being said, what makes it so special is not what it lacks, but how amazing it tastes despite that. Nespresso's Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio Decaffeinato is more than just a tongue twister — it's a full-fledged espresso masterpiece that is the ideal compromise of bitterness, acidity, and bold, intense flavor. It's a dense and flavorful coffee, with notes of roasted coffee beans and cocoa powder, despite missing a key ingredient found in most espresso –– caffeine.

One customer on Amazon claimed they could find no difference between the caffeinated and decaffeinated Firenze Arpeggio pod in terms of flavor, allowing for a relaxing night cap without the late-night energy. Fans of the flavor on Reddit explained how the Firenze Arpeggio pods, despite their low caffeine content, are also an ideal and versatile base for any espresso drink. And according to The Green Pods, Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio Decaffeinato is more acidic and less bitter than its caffeinated counterpart, but with the same bold and creamy flavor. We're betting you'll love this pod so much, you'll forget it's decaf (or won't even care).

1. Columbia

Nespresso's Columbia flavor may not be the most adventurous, the boldest, or the most bitter. In fact, it pretty much sits squarely in the middle ground, equally balancing bitterness, acidity, intensity, and body. That being said, it stands at number one in our ranking specifically because of that said balance, and for its ability to be the best of all espresso worlds. Nespresso Columbia is the perfect mixture of light and dark, bitter and sweet; it's bright and acidic, yet full of body and texture. It can wear many hats and be incorporated into any coffee drink or java cocktail your heart desires with consistently delicious outcomes.

The Columbia pods are a part of the Master Origin espresso collection, highlighting coffees from all across the world. This particular flavor is vibrant and smooth, with notes of blackcurrant and cranberry, as well as sweet red wine. According to Nespresso Guide, the nose is nutty and fruity, with a juicy sweetness that lingers on the palette. Overall, the versatile Nespresso Columbia is a leisurely, universal espresso that is sure to please almost any coffee drinker.