How To Use Coffee Pods in a Nespresso Coffee Machine

So, you’ve made two great life decisions: you’ve taken delivery of a new Nespresso coffee machine, and you’ve purchased some of our fabulous compostable coffee pods. 

That officially makes us best friends.

But what now, I hear you ask?

Well, the next step is to try and get the very best out of this blossoming, symbiotic relationship between pod and machine. Discover what YOU can do to make sure you’re extracting the maximum flavour potential from your compostable pod.

Get your hands on a steaming hot vessel of the brown stuff, and let us hit you with the knowledge. All the very best in tips, tricks and recommendations—everything you’ll need to create the perfect brew.

Ground coffee beans

The Grind

“Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.”

Was Michael Jordan talking about making coffee when he offered this inspirational maxim? Who’s to say. But the truth about getting the basics right is just as applicable to your Nespresso machine as it is basketball. And the grind is just about as elemental as it gets. It’s absolutely everything.

First thing’s first. Steer well clear of an espresso grind. Instead, we would heartily recommend using a mokapot or aeropress. They both offer a slightly coarser texture, which, crucially, will allow more hot water to filter through the pod during the extraction process. It’s all about balance. 

Too coarse a grind, and you’re looking at a sour, acidic, even salty flavour profile—too fine, and you’re left with a bitter coffee devoid of taste. And no-one wants that.

Coffee Pods being filled with ground coffee


Your all-singing all-dancing Nespresso machine is pre-programmed to dispense a certain volume of water—depending on the type of coffee you’re looking to concoct. Either a ristretto, espresso, or lungo. Everyone’s tastes are different, and the coffee to water ratio is imperative to the flavour of your own unique brew. 

Our advice? Bid a polite adieu to your Nespresso machine’s default factory settings, and get familiar with tweaking the device to make it dispense the exact amount of water according to your flavour preferences.

Our pods hold 5.5g of coffee—a rather impressive 10% more than standard supermarket capsules—so this is what we’d recommend for a perfect blend: 

For short coffees, use 25g of water; for long coffees, try 80g.  Before making any adjustments, we’d suggest taking a peruse at your instruction manual, but generally, to reprogramme your machine, you’ll need to press and continuously hold down the short brewing button until you reach the preferred weight. 

Then, simply place your cup on digital scales directly under the coffee outlet, set the scales to a big fat zero, and place the pod into the machine. Now, press and hold down the short brewing button, only letting go when the scales hit 25g (or your preferred volume of water). Hey presto, this button is now set! 

As if by magic, from now on, every time you press the brew button it will dispense the perfect amount of liquid. No need to reprogramme each time you whip up a brew!

It’s a good idea to experiment a few times to find out which volume of water best suits your tastes. A visual check on the colour variances in your coffee as it filters into your cup is also a smart move. Whether that’s a deep reddish-brown, a caramel shade, or blonde—you’ll start to work out exactly when to hit the stop button.

Lady filling coffee pods with ground coffee beans

Water, water everywhere!

If you’ve invested the time, effort and money into finding the perfect coffee blend, it makes perfect sense to make sure the other ingredients are of equal quality. 

Namely: the water.

If bottled mineral water seems like one extravagance too far, why not invest in a decent water filter jug and filter your H20 before introducing it to the Nespresso machine’s water tank. 

A good quality jug filter will neutralise odours and remove chlorine and sediment, while also reducing the hardness of the water. If hard water springs liberally from your taps, a filter will help prevent the build-up of limescale, and, ultimately, leave you with a crisper flavour of coffee.

Always preheat...

It only takes a minute, but preheating your machine’s components is a wildly effective method of improving your coffee pod’s performance. Before slotting a new capsule into your Nespresso machine, simply run some hot water through it with the lid down. This flushes out any old coffee residue and warms up the pod contact points.

By heating these components, pod piercing becomes a much simpler task and the volume of coffee that flows out can be regulated—resulting in a silkier, smoother pour, more coffee in your cup, and a taste that can’t be beat!

Lady placing a coffee pod into a coffee machine

Shake it like a polaroid picture

The key to a consistently good cup of coffee is an even extraction and flow. For optimum results, give each pod a quick but firm shake before popping it into the Nespresso machine. This will help level out the coffee grinds within and ensure a steady, uniform flow. Not much of a shaker? Give the capsule a slight tap on your kitchen worktop for the same result. 

You’ll thank us!

Lady holding a cup of coffee



A classic Cappuccino consists of one-third Espresso, one-third hot milk and one-third third froth. It’s the perfect blend of intense espresso flavour and mellow, velvety milk.


The secret to a good Latte Macchiato is to add the coffee to the milk—rather than the other way around. This results in an aesthetically pleasing three-layered coffee with silky milk froth at the top, and espresso and dense hot milk below. Traditionally served in a glass cup so you can see the layering magic in action!


Macchiato uses the process of ‘staining’ the coffee with a splash of stiffly-frothed milk atop the rich, dark crema of the espresso. An intense yet velvety smooth coffee-drinking experience.


A perfect harmony of espresso, cocoa and milk foam. For those who enjoy the rich potency of espresso, but with a sweeter note of chocolate. A hot chocolate for grown-ups!


Is there a better way to improve coffee than to cream? We’re guessing not. Unlikely to be found onboard your average seaside ice cream van.

Coffee machine with mug

Keep it clean!

A simple piece of advice, but one that will improve the quality of your coffee for years to come. Take the time to regularly clean your Nespresso coffee machine. 

Even using our wonderful 100% biodegradable and compostable coffee pods, after consistent use, you will start to notice a build up of old coffee oils and residue in the machine’s brewing chamber. This, ultimately, will block the nozzle, slow down the pour, and make your coffee taste acrid. If you’ve reached this stage, simply flushing water through the machine won’t have an effect. 

So, here’s the rub. Make sure you run hot water through the flow system after EVERY use.  Then, regularly, perhaps every month or two, use a specialist cleaning capsule to thoroughly clean your brewing chamber and blast away all that unwelcome buildup.

Phew, we made it.

A bounty of tips, tricks and recommendations to help you get the most out of your Nespresso machine and our glorious compostable pods.

Now, I could do with a coffee…

Posted by Mark Shurey on July 29th 2021

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