Coffee Affection is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Can You Use Your Own Coffee in Nespresso Machines? Expert Tips!

Nespresso Machine

Nespresso coffee machines have been around since 1986 when they introduced the Nespresso C-100, a miniature espresso machine that was an instant (and award-winning) hit with consumers.1 Today, Nespresso manufactures a range of coffee machines that empower consumers to make various coffee drinks at home as good or better than in a cafe. One critical question many coffee lovers have is can you use your own coffee in Nespresso machines? The answer is yes; you can use whatever coffee you prefer in your Nespresso machine, as long as you have the right reusable capsule for your particular model.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to use your coffee in your Nespresso, reusable capsules, or other related coffee subjects, read on. We have answers to many more questions below that will help you enjoy our Nespresso and your favorite coffee brand!

divider 3

How Do You Use Your Own Coffee in a Nespresso Machine?

To use your own coffee in any Nespresso machine, you need one vital tool, a reusable coffee capsule. For example, if you have the Nespresso Essenza Mini or CitiZ, you need this reusable capsule to use your desired coffee. However, if you have a Nespresso Vertuo or their Vertuo Plus, you’ll use this reusable capsule instead, as the two capsules (and machines) are slightly different. Then there’s the Nespresso Vertuo Next, which uses these reusable capsules.

The reusable capsule is critical since you can’t use Nespresso coffee capsules more than once.

putting nespresso capsule to the machine
Image Credit: pixinoo, Shutterstock

Can You Reuse a Nespresso Coffee Pod?

Yes, you can reuse a Nespresso coffee pod, but you can’t refill it. That means you would be reusing the same, already-brewed coffee to make the 2nd (or 3rd, or 4th) cup, which would be weaker than the first cup. Some coffee drinkers reason, and rightly so, that if you use your Nespresso coffee pod to make a small cup of coffee, the coffee inside might still be strong enough afterward to make another. Three cups or more, though, would result in very weak coffee.

One important factor to note is that Nespresso explicitly says you cant reuse a Nespresso coffee pod (likely because they want to sell more of them). However, there’s nothing illegal or dangerous about doing so. One small problem you’ll face is that once punctured, some Nespresso machines might not recognize the used pod and won’t brew another cup of coffee with it. Some java junkies have worked around this problem by pressing the “restart” button immediately after their first cup of coffee is finished brewing. Luckily, some Nespresso machines won’t be as touchy and will allow you to use the used pod again with no problem.

Is Refilling a Nespresso Coffee Pod Dangerous?

We’ve already discussed that even though you can reuse a Nespresso coffee pod, the same coffee will be inside, and the resulting extra cups of coffee will be weaker. Some folks have created a simple workaround for this situation by refilling their Nespresso pod and covering it with aluminum foil. This hack might sound like a genius plan, but it has one major drawback: aluminum.

Aluminum has been shown in some studies to cause various health problems, which makes reducing aluminum exposure critical. Nespresso knows this and coats its aluminum pods (aka capsules) with food-grade shellac so that the coffee and water are never exposed to the aluminum. However, when you reuse a Nespresso coffee pod and cover it with aluminum foil from your kitchen, the coffee and, more importantly, the hot water directly contacts the aluminum. It’s a minuscule amount, to be sure, but worth noting if you’re trying to reduce your exposure to aluminum.

If you use aluminum foil to reseal your Nespresso coffee pods and do it incorrectly, you could end up with a real mess and possibly damage your Nespresso machine. The damage would negate the manufacturer’s warranty, so be careful if you use this method.

white nespresso coffee machine with pods
Image Credit: Nadia Storm, Unsplash

Why Use a Reusable Capsule With Your Nespresso Coffee Machine?

There are several reasons to purchase a reusable capsule, which we’ll look at individually below.

To Save Money

With one coffee capsule you can constantly reuse, you will save money, although it will take some time before you break even. Nespresso and other pre-filled coffee capsules can get expensive in the long run, and you need one for every single cup of coffee you make. On the other hand, a single, one-time purchase of a reusable coffee capsule is relatively affordable. Also, you can use the cheapest coffee in the store, rather than the more expensive Nespresso brand.

To Save the Environment

Protecting the environment is a significant factor for many people when purchasing any product or service, including coffee pods. The pods make it easy to brew a quick cup of coffee but are immediately tossed in the trash afterward and don’t get recycled very often. According to this report, about 29% of Nespresso coffee pods are recycled. The rest, unfortunately, go directly to your local landfill.

To Use Your Favorite Coffee Brand

One last reason to use a reusable coffee capsule is so that you can use your favorite brand of coffee with your Nespresso machine.

Is there a Difference Between Coffee Pods and Capsules?

We’ve used the terms “coffee pods” (from Nespresso) and “coffee capsules” interchangeably. For some, they are the same. Technically, however, coffee pods and coffee capsules are different. Coffee pods are small, disc-shaped paper pods within which coffee is pressed. Coffee capsules are usually made of plastic with an aluminum top. Like pods, they hold coffee inside and fit in certain machines (the Nespresso, of course) while not others. Both come with a precisely measured amount of coffee and are ready to use. Coffee pods, however, are more eco-friendly.

Nespresso coffee pods

Can You Make Tea With a Reusable Coffee Capsule?

Yes, you can if you use a reusable coffee capsule. Instead of coffee, all you do is fill the reusable capsule with tea. Remember that you will probably need to experiment to get the right amount of raw tea leaves to produce the desired hot tea with your machine. Also, some manufacturers make disposable tea pods for the Nespresso machine, but they have the same advantages and disadvantages as their coffee pods.

divider 4

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen today, you can use your own coffee in a Nespresso machine if you have a reusable coffee capsule. There are several different types of coffee capsules made for the various Nespresso machines, and you would need the correct one to brew a cup of coffee using your favorite brand. Using a reusable coffee capsule is relatively easy, financially smart, and good for the environment. Most importantly, it allows you to use your favorite brand of coffee in your favorite coffee machine.

Featured Image Credit By: Mahrous Houses, Unsplash


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

Read more

Related posts

Other Categories