The Best Nespresso Capsules for Latte and Cappuccino

Nespresso machines are great coffee machines for making lattes and cappuccinos at home and at the push of a button. And, with so many different ways to customize your Nespresso cup, you can fine-tune to your specific taste.

With over 60 different capsule flavors to choose from, there is at least one perfect for you.

But, having 60 options to choose from might also be confusing. So many different flavors, where do you even start?

Enter this Monsieur Coffee breakdown of the best Nespresso capsules for lattes and cappuccinos to help you find the perfect capsule for you.

Let’s go!

collection of the best Nespresso coffee capsules for latte and cappuccino

The best Nespresso Capsules (overview)

I am not in the business of wasting your time. In the rest of this article is a lot of information about Nespresso, capsules, and flavors. But maybe that doesn’t interest you. Perhaps you’re just looking for the best Nespresso capsules for your latte, cappuccino, or americano. Then let’s cut to the chase; here they are:

Best Nespresso capsules for a mild-flavored latte

Barista Chiaro

Coffee made with a Barista Chiaro capsule is slightly sweet and has some biscuit notes. The lighter roast of the coffee beans used for this capsule ensures a mild flavor that complements the milk in your latte.

Intensity rating: 5 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Vanilla Eclair

Coffee made with a Vanilla Eclair capsule has a pretty strong vanilla flavor and has some malted cereal hints.  All in all, this capsule delivers coffee that is smooth, velvety, and decadent. Combined with milk for a latte, it results in a luxurious drink.

Intensity rating: 6 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Hazelino Muffin

Coffee made with a Hazelino Muffin capsule has, as the name implies, hazelnut pastry-like flavor. This means it is sweet with clear nutty and biscuity (if that’s a word 🙂 ) flavors. Cookies (pastry, kinda…) and milk are a classic combination, so this capsule is excellent for a latte.

Intensity rating: 6 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso VertuoLine only

Cosi

The coffee in a Cosi capsule is mildly roasted.  The taste is lightly toasted and fruity. Not nearly as sweet as the three capsules discussed above, but much more like regular coffee. A Cosi capsule is an excellent choice if you want a lighter, milder, and less sweet latte.

Intensity rating: 4 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Best Nespresso capsules for a stronger flavored latte

Barista Scuro

Coffee made with a Barista Scuro capsule has an intense, bold flavor. The strong flavor balances complement the milk and make for a latte with a good amount of coffee flavor.

Intensity rating: 8 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Barista Corto

A cup of coffee made with the Barista Corto capsule has a dark and spicy flavor. For me, it is a cup of coffee that reminds me of winter.  Combined with milk for a latte, the Barista Corto capsule makes for a full-bodied drink. 

If you get these capsules, you should really try making a cortado coffee. A cortado is a cup of coffee (espresso sized) made with this capsule to which you add an equal amount to steamed (not too frothy) milk. Fantastic drink that allows the coffee flavors to shine!

Intensity rating: 11 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Ristretto

Coffee from a Ristretto capsule is perfectly balanced between bitterness and strength vs. acidity. Exactly what you are looking for in a strong cup of coffee. The blend of strong Latin American and East African Arabicas creates a full-bodied coffee. Combined with milk, it will make a drink close to a traditional latte.

Intensity rating: 10 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Kazaar

The Kazaar capsule delivers coffee with pronounced bitter flavors and a peppery aftertaste. The combination of coffee beans of the Robusta variety from Brazil and Guatemala make for a coffee reminiscent of that which you get in Turkey (Turkish coffee). Combined with milk, coffee from this capsule will probably make the most coffee-flavored latte you can get from a Nespresso machine.

Intensity rating: 12 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

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Best Nespresso capsules for a mild-flavored Cappucino

Barista Chiaro

Just as for a latte, the Barista Chiaro capsule is an excellent choice for cappuccinos. The sweetness and biscuity flavor combine really well with the frothy milk in a cappuccino. The coffee beans’ light roast level for this capsule means it delivers a very mild flavored cappuccino.

Intensity rating: 5 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Livanto

The Livanto capsule delivers a well-balanced and round flavored coffee. The medium roast level of the coffee beans used in this capsule results in a mildly caramelized flavor. There is also a fruitiness to this coffee, which comes from the south and central American Arabica beans used for the Livanto capsule. Combined with milk, the Livanto capsule delivered a bright and fresh tasting cappuccino.

Intensity rating: 6 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Barista Flavored

The Barista Flavored capsules are a mix of three different flavors.  Caramel cookie, vanilla custard pie, and hazelino muffin. These coffee beans for these capsules are of a medium-roast. As you can imagine with the varieties’ names, there is a lot of sweetness in the coffee from these capsules. But these combine well with the milk for your cappuccinos. If you are into a cup of cappuccino, of which the flavor hints towards cookies and pastry, this selection is excellent.

Intensity rating: 6 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso VertuoLine only

Ethiopia Master Blend

The coffee from an Ethiopia Master Blend capsule has flavors that are typical for Ethiopian coffee bean varieties. Orange blossom, fruit, and citrus. The light roast on the beans used for this capsule enhances these flavors. It minimizes bitterness—a great capsule for a very light and refreshing cappuccino.

Intensity rating: 4 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Best Nespresso capsules for a stronger flavored cappuccino

Ciocattino

Don’t be put off by this capsule’s relatively low intensity-rating. The dark chocolate flavors in the variety of beans used for the Ciocattino capsule make for a very full-bodied and intensely flavored cup of coffee. The dark chocolate flavors also enhance the natural bitterness of the coffee, so it is quite powerful. And as cholate combines beautifully with milk, it makes for a great cappuccino.

Intensity rating: 6 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only


Barista Corto

The Barista Corto capsule is perfect for a strong latte and very suitable for a stronger flavored cappuccino. Corto capsules are full of dark and spicy coffee flavors, making them extremely ideal for stronger milk-based coffee drinks. As we mentioned before: try making a cortado coffee (half coffee, half steamed milk)  with these capsules at least once; you will not regret it!

Intensity rating: 11 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Arpeggio

Coffee from the Arpeggio capsule has the characteristic flavor of a quality dark roasted coffee. It is intense but with clear notes of fruit and cocoa. Combines very well with the amount of milk you typically use for a cappuccino.

Intensity rating: 9 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Kazaar

The Kazaar capsule is just as suitable for cappuccino as it is for lattes. As said, this capsule delivers coffee with a high level of bitter flavors and a peppery aftertaste. It is as close as you will get to the powerful coffees brewed in Turkey with a Nespresso machine.

Intensity rating: 12 (out of 12)

Compatible with: Nespresso Original Line only

Additional information

In the sections below, we will go into a few related subjects. The first is worth checking out if you want to make your own selection of Nespresso capsules suitable for lattes and cappuccinos. We will also provide some interesting information on Nespresso.

What to look for in Nespresso capsules for Lattes and Cappuccinos?

With the 11 varieties of Nespresso, you have a pretty good place to start. But maybe you want to explore other flavors or the capsules made by others than Nespresso (there are some fantastic brands out there).

If that is the case, it’s good to know about somethings you might encounter:

Boldness

Lattes are meant to be brewed with milk. If the coffee from your Nespresso capsule isn’t strong enough, you won’t taste the coffee. The milk you add will dilute the taste of the coffee to a point where you are left with more of a warm milk drink rather than a latte or a cappuccino. 

You want to make sure the coffee you brew has flavors that are bold enough to stand up against the addition of milk.

Dark Roast

Dark roast refers to the coffee beans’ roasting process used to make your capsules. A dark roast is what it sounds like: long, hot roasting resulting in a dark brown coffee bean. Dark roasted coffee has a strong coffee flavor with pronounced bitterness and caramelization. 

Don’t make the mistake to only choose capsules that mention dark roasted coffee beans, though. It is a mistake many people make. But medium roasted or even light roasted coffee beans can deliver intense flavors just as much as dark roasted coffee beans. Dark roasting risks burning off all the delicate (and strong) flavors in the coffee bean. Dark roasting is sometimes even used to mask the inferior quality of the coffee beans used. 

So, dark roast is excellent, but be careful of bad quality. And don’t discount medium or light roasts.


Richness

Another way to ensure your coffee flavor can stand up against the adding of milk is to get capsules rich in flavor. Richness is not always a part of the flavor of the coffee beans themselves. Sometimes additional ingredients (like spices) are added to enhance or change the flavor of the capsule’s contents. 

Think of things like vanilla, cinnamon, or hazelnut flavoring. These heavily flavored coffees can handle the addition of milk very well. They make a great (albeit usually pretty sweet) latte or cappuccino.

Espresso

Lattes and cappuccinos are made with espresso. Not with lungo, not with an americano. Only with espresso. My advice is to only choose capsules that say that they are suitable for making espresso.

Intensity rating or intensity Level

The intensity rating or level describes how strong the coffee from the capsule is. The intensity level can help you determine which capsule is for you and which isn’t. If you are into a latte or cappuccino with a strong coffee flavor, choose an intensity level of 8 or higher. If you prefer a milder taste, my advice is to stick with an intensity level of 4, 5, or 6.

How long do Nespresso capsules stay fresh?

Nespresso guarantees that their capsules will stay fresh at least 1 year after production. Each box (they call it a sleeve) has both a production date and a best before date printed on it. 

Is Nespresso considered instant coffee?

Nespresso is certainly a quick way to make coffee, but if by “instant coffee,” you mean soluble coffee, the stuff you spoon in a cup, add hot water and drink, then no, it’s not. Nespresso capsules contain only ground coffee (and in some cases flavorings like vanilla or cinnamon). Nespresso. 

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