Iced, caramel, hazelnut, matcha, vanilla, mocha… latte options are endless. A Nespresso machine lets you make espresso for lattes easily. But a good latte is tricky to make.
A latte requires a strong coffee, so its flavor comes through even with milk. It also can’t be too bitter. This rules out most of the weak Nespresso pods because their taste is lost with milk.
I’ve made countless lattes with different Nespresso pods, and I’ve played a barista for my friends to get their opinions as well. Here’s the ultimate list of the best Nespresso capsules for latte lovers.
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Individual Reviews: Best Nespresso Capsule for Latte
Altissio is my top choice of the best Nespresso pods for lattes if you have a Vertuo machine.
Altissio has a coffee blend from South America (Robusta) and Costa Rica (Arabica). It has low acidity levels, a creamy cereal note, and a dark chocolate finish.
Its intensity level is pretty high, so it’s an excellent choice if you want a latte with a caffeine kick. It’s highly roasted for a short time, so you get a full-bodied, creamy espresso that pairs nicely with milk.
If you’re used to milder espressos, Altissio may be too much, especially if you drink it twice a day. One Altissio pod has between 70 and 100 mg of caffeine, so keep this in mind if you drink lattes more than once a day. However, there’s also a decaf version, which is great if you want a latte in the late afternoon.
Each Altissio capsule brews 1.35 oz espresso, which you can use as a base for your latte.
Who is it for? Altissio is the best choice if you want a bold coffee flavor in your latte but not too strong.
Provides a caffeine kick
Bold profile which pairs nicely with milk
Can be too strong for some people
2. Bianco Doppio and Forte
If you’re a latte lover like me, you’ll find Nespresso’s Bianco pods, both the Doppio and Forte varieties, to be a delightful experience. These are two pods of similar flavors, varying in size, characterized by a dark roast with a lovely touch of cereal notes.
These pods are filled with coffee beans from Colombia and Kenya that are dark roasted to accentuate cereal flavors. When it comes to making lattes, the Bianco pods really stand out, and adding milk, as Nespresso suggests, brings out the best in these pods.
The Doppio comes in a medium 5 oz size, while the Forte offers a larger 7.77 oz size. Don’t be surprised to see a 12 oz marking on the pod – that’s just Nespresso’s way of reminding you to add milk for that perfect, creamy latte. They still come in the typical Vertuo sizes.
When I’m in the mood for a larger, milk-based beverage, these pods hit the spot. The rich, dark flavor and cereal notes harmonize beautifully with milk, making for a truly enjoyable latte experience.
two different sizes of similar flavors
guidance on milk amount
Cereal notes aren’t as sweet as other pods
Diavolitto is a very intense espresso. It has oak wood and leather notes and a smooth and creamy texture.
Diavolito is a dark roast with 11 intensity. You can’t go much higher than this (Nespresso intensity range goes up to 13), so it’s perfect if you need a caffeine kick to jumpstart your day.
This coffee has oak and leather notes that come from Latin American Arabica. Guatemala Robusta smooths it out and adds creaminess. This results in a strong and dark flavor.
This Nespresso pod has one of the highest caffeine levels — 150mg of caffeine, so you shouldn’t have more than two Diavolitos a day.
Diavolito brews 1.35oz espresso and has low acidity with roasted chocolatey notes.
Who is it for? Diavolito is best if you want a high-intensity espresso with a high dose of caffeine and you have a VertuoLine Nespresso machine.
Roasted flavor comes through well with milk
High dose of caffeine isn’t for everyone
4. Ristretto Italiano
I loved Ristretto Italiano on its own as an espresso shot, so I tried blending it with steamed milk, and I wasn’t disappointed. It creates a creamy latte with a fruity coffee aroma that’s noticeable when you sip the latte. It’s a great base for different espresso drinks.
Each Ristretto Italiano pod has a strong mix of flavors. The coffee comes from Brazil (Arabica), South India (Robusta), South America (Arabica), and East Africa (Arabica). There’s the fruity aroma, but the overall flavor is smoky with some dark-chocolate bitterness. The coffee is split roasted, so each batch is roasted at its optimal temperature. This keeps the acidity and fruity notes noticeable and gives it richness and depth.
This Nespresso pod has an intensity of 10 out of 13, so the strong flavor remains even when you mix it with milk. Plus, you’ll get your caffeine kick (each pod has 75mg of caffeine). But, if you want to avoid too much caffeine, you can go for the decaf version.
You can use this Nespresso pod to make 0.83 oz ristretto or 1.35 oz espresso.
Who is it for? Ristretto Italiano is the best pod if you have an OriginalLine Nespresso machine and you want a high-intensity latte. It’s also a good choice if you don’t mind bitter coffee.
Comes in a decaf version
Has fruity flavors
Too bitter for some coffee lovers
5. Inspirazione Palermo Kazaar
Palermo Kazaar is another intense Nespresso pod. In fact, this is one of the most intense OrignalLine Nespresso pods. It has an intensity of 12 out of 13, which tells you a lot. You’ll get a dark cup of coffee.
Kazaar coffee pods are dark-roasted coffee beans. The mix has coffee from three kinds of beans: two come from South America, and one is from Central America. Nespresso used washed Robusta to give the coffee clean taste and a creamy texture. This espresso is extremely bold and has a very rich, syrupy body.
What sets Palermo Kazaar apart from other Nespresso pods is mild spiciness and a bitter aftertaste, similar to when you eat dark chocolate. This coffee reflects African and Arab coffees.
Palermo Kazaar has 113mg of caffeine, and you can make a ristretto and espresso with this pod.
Who is it for? This is the pod for you if you want a latte that’ll wake you up in the morning. Also, if you want to taste coffee in your latte even when you add sweeteners, Kazaar is a great choice.
Extremely bold flavor
Has spicy notes
Can be very bitter
6. Inspirazione Italiana Venezia
Venezia coffee pods contain freshly roasted coffee beans from Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans, and African-washed Robusta.
The flavor notes are caramel, cereal, and lightly fruity, which pairs excellently with milk-based drinks. The acidity is low, and there’s some bitterness, but much less compared to Palermo Kazaar.
Venezia has an intensity of eight, which is a strong enough coffee flavor when mixed with milk. You can also mix brown sugar, syrups, and coffee creams, without fearing they’ll overpower the coffee.
You can make both ristretto and espresso with Venezia pod. One pod has 77mg of caffeine.
Pro tip: Check out Nespresso’s delicious tiramisu cappuccino recipe with Venezia coffee pods.
Who is it for? Venezia coffee pods are a great choice if you don’t want too much caffeine and bitter flavors but still want a latte that’ll wake you up in the morning.
Not too dark profile
Too mild for coffee lovers who want a lot of caffeine and a dark body
Toccanto is light to medium roast coffee. These coffee beans are Latin American Arabica, specifically from Brazil and Nicaragua, which have candied and winey fruit notes.
Toccanto has a slightly acidic body roast (level three out of five). The intensity is five, and the caffeine content is 84mg per pod.
Overall, Toccanto is a good choice if you don’t want too much intensity in your latte and if you don’t want dark roasted coffee beans. You’ll still get your caffeine kick, but with a light roast.
Who is it for? Toccanto is great if you don’t want too strong coffee, but a blend of a dark and light roast. It’s also a good choice if you want espresso with an acidic body.
Makes a well-balanced latte
Not too strong flavor
Too acidic for some
Voltesso has the lightest roast coffee beans on this list. It has a blend of creamy biscuits and a subtle sweetness. The intensity level is four out of 13.
Voltesso coffee beans are South American Arabicas that give the espresso a biscuity aroma. Voltesso has a sweet and mild taste with slight acidity. The roast level is a mix of light and medium roasts. Overall, the flavor is noticeable but not too overwhelming. However, if you add a lot of sweeteners, such as syrups and creams, you may lose the taste of coffee altogether.
Voltesso pod brews 1.35 espresso and has 85mg of caffeine.
Who is it for? Voltesso is great if you want a mild coffee flavor in your latte. It’s also a good choice if you like sweet coffee.
Sweet and mild flavor
Low acidity and bitterness
Too mild for some people
9. Vanilla Eclair
Vanilla Eclair is a flavored coffee pod. As the name says, it has a vanilla flavor with hints of malted cereal.
On its own, the pod makes smooth, velvety espresso. It also combines well with steamed milk for a latte.
Vanilla Eclair has an intensity rating of six and medium roast coffee beans. The coffee comes from Central and South American Arabicas. Each pod has 62mg of caffeine, so you can make a double espresso without fearing you’ll have too much caffeine.
The coffee tastes sweet because of the vanilla flavoring.
Who is it for? Vanilla Eclair coffee pods are a great choice if you want a sweet and not too strong latte. Pro tip: Use these pods for a homemade pumpkin spice latte.
Flavored Nespresso pod
Too sweet for some people
What to Consider When Buying Nespresso Capsules for Lattes
A handful of considerations before buying multiple sleeves of capsules.
Compatibility: OriginalLine or VertuoLine Machine
There are two kinds of Nespresso machines: OriginalLine and VertuoLine.
OriginalLine makes espresso and lungo, and VertuoLine brews espresso and larger coffee drinks. Each machine requires its own kind of Nespresso capsule, which isn’t interchangeable, so you have to know what device you have before buying pods.
Nespresso OriginalLine machines use a pressure-based system to brew espresso, similar to traditional espresso machines. OriginalLine capsules are all cup-shaped and one-size. You can get OriginalLine pods from Nespresso or third-party manufacturers (where they’re usually cheaper).
Nespresso VertuoLine uses centrifusion. Each pod has a barcode. The machine reads the barcode on the pod and automatically adjusts the brewing settings. The pod spins 7,000 times per minute. VertuoLine pods are dome-shaped and come in different sizes. Only Nespresso manufacturers Vertuo pods.
Intensity Level/Roast Type
Nespresso has a scale of 13 intensity levels. The lower part of the scale is for lighter intensity and light roast, and the higher part is for bigger intensity and dark roast.
There are three kinds of roasts: light, medium, and dark. The roast profile all depends on how long you roast the beans. The longer the roast time, the bigger the Maillard reaction and fewer volatile compounds. There’s a lot to that sentence, but in practice, the fruity notes are more present in light roasts, while the burnt and chocolate notes are present in dark roasts.
Light roast usually has more acidity and bright flavors. The medium roast has medium acidity and balanced flavors. Dark roasts are dark brown beans with the lowest acidity and dark flavors.
Nespresso always states each pod’s intensity level and roast, so you can always check it. Experiment with different intensities to find out what works for you.
Go for a dark or medium-dark roast and intensity of eight or above if you want to taste coffee in your latte, or a light roast and intensity of four to six if you don’t want something mild.
Milk in lattes dilutes the coffee, so you won’t pick up the individual notes if your coffee isn’t strong enough. Choose Nespresso pods with bold flavors that can mix well with milk but not be overpowered by it. This is especially important if you like to add syrups and creams to your coffee.
Generally, dark roast beans are best for lattes because they have a strong flavor with caramelization. However, medium and even light roasts can give you rich flavors as well. Overall, dark roast is a safe choice, but you should try medium and light as well.
Pro tip: Choose Nespresso pods rich in flavors. Flavored pods can especially handle the addition of milk and are a good choice if you want a sweet latte.
How To Make Lattes With Nespresso?
You make a latte by brewing one or two shots of espresso, steaming the milk, and adding a layer of foam on top.
A Nespresso machine brews the espresso for you. You insert the pod into the Nespresso machine and press the button, so the machine automatically forces water through the capsule at high pressure.
However, most Nespresso machines don’t froth the milk for lattes. The Creatista and Lattissima models have an integrated steam wand and milk carafe, respectively. Those models can steam the milk at a press of a button. Otherwise, you need to steam the milk yourself with a separate device.
Nespresso makes the Aeroccino milk frother, which is my go-to for frothed milk. You pour the milk into the Aeroccino, press a button, and the device steams the milk for you. Then you pour the milk from the Aeroccino into your cup with espresso.
Finally, you can add any syrups and creams.
Best Nespresso Pods for Latte: Final Thoughts
There’s a wide range of Nespresso capsules for lattes. It’s always good to experiment and try out different pods. Keep in mind not every espresso will taste good on its own and when paired with milk. Go for darker roasts and higher intensity levels if you want a bold coffee flavor or a light roast and flavored pod if you want a milder coffee taste.
If you’re looking for a new Nespresso machine, check out our comparison of different Nespresso machines.