• Nina

I Switched To a Reusable Nespresso-Compatible Capsule

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

espresso in bed

I finally finished my hoard of disposable Nespresso capsules and mailed them off to be recycled. It was time for the birth of a new era - the era where I use a reusable Nespresso capsule and stop creating waste. I've been talking about it forever, and now that I've gone through my supply, it's time that I switched to a reusable Nespresso-compatible capsule. Let me walk you through my experience trying this out and learning how to use a reusable Nespresso capsule; it was so easy! Using a reusable capsule saves you money overtime, makes your coffee routine low-waste, and allows you to grind whatever espresso beans your heart desires.

I chose to try this i Califas Reusable Capsule.

I think my main concern as far as switching to a reusable capsule was simply the fact that I am lazy; it's extremely convenient to just pick a pod out of the box, stick it in my machine, then toss it into my capsule-recycling bag. I was worried that having to clean a capsule would be too difficult for my lazy self. To my surprise, cleaning the capsule is extremely easy, and filling and using a reusable capsule adds maybe about 2 minutes in total to my morning espresso routine. I am extremely happy with this investment and am never buying disposable pods ever again.

What is the capsule made of?

reusable nespresso capsule review

The capsule and lid that I invested in are entirely stainless steel, and the seal-ring around the lid is silicone. I was confused as to how the capsule was going to work - if there would have to be a filter inside, or how it would work without having to be punctured, and about how many parts it would have. My big brain was shocked when I saw that the capsule was just a cup plus a lid, and nothing more. There are already holes in the lid, which is perfectly okay since you’re not storing your coffee inside the capsules, you add your grinds right before use. The only other thing in the box it came in was a little scoop to measure out your espresso and put it in the capsule.

Why did I choose this particular brand?

reusable nespresso pod review

This particular capsule option just has one reusable lid that bypasses the Nespresso machine’s puncturing function entirely, so no need to worry about that. I saw other reusable capsule options that required you to buy disposable, single-use lids to go along with the capsule; this still seemed like a waste to me, so I went ahead with the entirely solid one. This capsule was pretty affordable at $15.99 when I purchased it.

How to use a reusable Nespresso capsule

All you have to do is pop open the lid (it uses a silicone sealing-ring, all you need to do is grip the lid by the sides and pull it off, super easy), fill the capsule with 1 scoop full of ground espresso beans (use the spoon provided for the correct amount; too little and the brew will be too light, too much and the lid won’t close), pop it in the machine and use it just like a regular capsule. When I purchased my capsule I decided to try it out Lavazza's whole bean Gran Espresso; I must say, it's worth the splurge.

I struggled getting it in the machine at first

At first, I had a bit of trouble placing the capsule into my machine; the Nespresso machine refused to close with the reusable pod in it, I and I started to get worried that I’d purchased one that isn’t actually compatible with my machine. Fortunately, after some shifting around, I was able to get the pod in its place so that I could close the machine and get to brewing (placing the capsule correctly every time has taken a bit of practice for me, there’s a particular way in which it fits, and it takes me a few seconds to juggle it around and get it in the right position). I didn’t force it in or damage my new capsule, I just had to take a few seconds to position it correctly.

Moment of truth, I pressed the button, and it brewed perfectly.

When purchasing the capsule, I read a few reviews stating that it takes a bit of trial and error to determine how fine or course your grinds should be in order to get the best taste with this design. So far I haven’t had any bad brews, but I suppose that will be up to personal preference.


I learned this the hard way. Do not try and pick up the capsule to clean it immediately after you’ve brewed your espresso. It will be extremely hot to the touch. Maybe this is common sense, but I certainly didn’t think about it, so I thought it was worth mentioning as a warning to anyone else thinking of using a reusable Nespresso pod. Wait until after you’ve finished your coffee to go back and clean the capsule; it should cool off enough to touch in a few minutes.

How to clean your reusable capsule

As long as you don’t let it sit there for too long, it will be very easy to clean out this capsule. Just rinse with hot water and a dash of soap; if the grinds are being stubborn, use a small dish brush (or a toothbrush if you like) to scrub the capsule. I don’t recommend putting this in the dishwasher; it’s very small, and if the capsule gets damaged in the dishwasher, it may no longer fit into your Nespresso machine. I was delighted at how easy it is to clean, it takes practically no time or effort whatsoever.

A whole new world of espresso has opened

I think I can confidently state that I won’t ever be tempted to buy disposable capsules again. I’ve been drinking espresso using a Nespresso machine for about four years, and I’ve been pretty constricted as far as brands of espresso that I can try, because I always had to make sure I could acquire them in a Nespresso-compatible form. Now, I don’t need any of that; I can try almost any type of espresso I want to just by using my little machine, because I can buy beans or grounds instead of concerning myself with finding capsule versions. This opens up a whole new world of espresso-exploration for me.

Back to saving the planet while saving money

Now, I can keep living out my espresso fantasies without hurting the planet, and keeping a little extra money in my bank account; buying a 2lb bag of beans tends to be way less expensive per ounce of coffee than buying boxes of capsules, so, overtime, I’ll return the investment on the reusable capsule purchase and start saving in comparison to what I used to spend.

In conclusion: should you get a reusable Nespresso capsule

So, my advice: yes. If you have a Nespresso machine or other machine that uses capsules but are concerned about the waste, you don’t have to buy a whole new machine to use grounds instead, just buy a reusable capsule to end your cycle of wasted pods. Save your money, be kind to the earth, and enjoy your espresso.

sustainable nespresso capsule review

Do you drink espresso? Do you use a capsule-based machine or another brewing method? Let’s chat!

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