Nespresso Compatible Capsules Review – Real Coffee.


This is my review of Real Coffee, after going through their ten different Nespresso compatible capsules. I’m not an affiliate of Real Coffee, I have no relationship with the company, it’s purely an honest user review after drinking my way through their range of capsules.

Up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t have a Nespresso machine. I had consumed quite a few coffees via Nespresso, but I didn’t have one at home, the main reason simply being that I don’t want to drink commodity coffee.

Nestle’ are one of the very biggest commodity coffee companies on the planet. They’re at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of the kind of coffee I would usually drink, small batch roasted speciality/artisan coffee. 

The other reason Nespresso wouldn’t have been my first choice of coffee maker is cost, as I know that Nespresso are among the most expensive single serve coffee capsules. If I was going for convenience and cost over quality, then I would probably go for  Tassimo, Dolce Gusto or Douwe Egberts Senseo, as their capsules are cheaper than Nespresso.

I started to consider getting a Nespresso machine though, once I began to realise that there are several suppliers now providing Nespresso compatible capsules, meaning that I’m not tied to Nespresso. The expanding availability of compatible pods provides the consumer with a wide range of options, from competitively priced capsules to speciality compatible Nespresso pods. 

One of the first suppliers of Nespresso compatible capsules I came across was a Scandinavian firm called Real Coffee. One of the most successful brands of compatible capsules in Scandinavia, they opened a UK operation about a year ago.

Real Coffee offer single origin, fair trade and organic coffee via 100% recyclable non-Aluminium Nespresso compatible capsules. What struck me straight away with Real Coffee is it would appear to be decent coffee they’re offering from what I was reading, but the prices are very, very low, from just 20p per capsule which is almost half the price of Nespresso – and is quite a bit cheaper than all bar one of the pods listed in the “which” best Nespresso capsules taste test (and the cheapest was Aldi, I’ve tried the Aldi capsules and I’m not impressed, they’re very cheap but they taste a bit odd to me, although I’ve not tried the Ristretto pods that feature in the which article).

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So, as I had a brand new Nespresso machine, I began to work my way through 100 Nespresso compatible capsules – which didn’t actually take me all that long ;-). 

I tried all of their current available capsules, Ethiopia fair trade single origin espresso, Verona espresso, Napoli fair trade espresso, Bologna fair trade organic espresso, Sumatra Mandheling fair trade single origin organic espresso, Torino decaf espresso, Roma fair trade espresso, San Marino fair trade organic Lungo and single origin fair trade Columbia lungo.

This is a really nice range of different coffees, there’s something here for everyone. When you order your capsules, they offer pick n mix, allowing you to choose from different package sizes and select which capsules you want.

If you’re not sure, I would recommend just going for a mix of all the different coffees, as it gives you the opportunity to taste a wide range of coffees from tasty sweet Ethiopian single origin through to hard hitting Italian espresso blends. It’s also a great thing if you have guests, to be able to ask them what kind of coffee they like and offer them such a wide selection. 


Espresso Roma

This is a strong full bodied coffee, an Italian espresso blend of 70% Robusta & 30% Arabica.  A nice strong kick, but a nice nutty aftertaste. Nice thick crema.

Espresso Venezia

Another Italian espresso blend but with less Robusta, 20%/80%. A dark roast, intense flavour, quite spicy with a slight chocolate aftertaste, nice as flat white. 

Espresso Verona

This is a 100% Arabica, a dark roast with a rich crema, creamy mouthfeel and notes of milk chocolate and caramel. Nice on it’s own or as flat white / Cappuccino / Latte. 


Espresso Napoli

Another 100% Arabica, from higher altitudes in South America. A dark roast, notes of nuts and cocoa. 

Espresso Bologna

100% Arabica, dark roast, again from higher Altitudes in South Amaerica. Velvety mouth feel, medium strength, quite a foamy crema.

Torino Decaf

It’s nice to have some decaf in, I wouldn’t usually drink it but I’d give it my kids if they’re asking for a coffee later in the day. I’m not sure if this is swiss water decaf process, I’ll ask them. 100% Arabica, quite a fruity espresso, light roast. 

Lungo San Marino

100% Arabica, dark roast, quite a strong coffee with a creamy mouthfeel.

Single Origin Lungo Colombia

100% Arabica, grown in the Andes mountains. A nice nutty flavour, strong and full bodied.

Espresso Ethiopia

100% Arabica, single origin Ethiopian, from the Limu district. Wet processed. This is a nice fruity sweet coffee with notes of citrus fruits. One of my favourites among the ten different capsules. 

Espresso Sumatra Mandheling

100% Arabica, single origin Sumatra Indonesia. This is probably my favourite, it has a rich complex flavour, quite a few different taste notes including chocolate and liquorice.

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Conclusion: Brilliant, High Quality, Low Cost Nespresso Compatible Capsules!

I am very impressed with the coffee pods from Real Coffee. They’re at the very lowest end of the price range, but they certainly don’t taste like cheap Nespresso pods. They’re a really high quality coffee pod for a very low price, meaning great value for money.

I’ve tasted some other cheap Nespresso pods including the Aldi ones, and I’ve not been impressed, the Aldi Nespresso pods at 18p each I concluded is just about passable as a backup, or if I run out (as I have an Aldi within a few minutes walking distance), the crema is OK, but  I wasn’t overly impressed by the taste.

I wouldn’t expect to be that impressed with the taste of a compatible Nespresso pod at around half the usual price though, which is why I’m so impressed with Real Coffee, as they’re 20-25p each depending on quantity, and they taste very nice, and there is a good range. 

At this price and this quality, these capsules would seem to me to be the perfect “house capsules” to keep in stock for every day use. That is, some of the small batch roasters are starting to offer very high quality speciality coffee via compatible capsules, which vary in price from around double to quadruple the cost of the pods from Real Coffee.

I think most coffee lovers would enjoy trying these kinds of capsules, and maybe enjoying them on special occasions, but when it comes to stocking up on Nespresso capsules for every day use, most people would probably prefer to go for the highest quality capsules they can get at a reasonable price, and on this basis Real Coffee capsules score very highly!

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My advice if you have a Nespresso machine, is to give these Nespresso compatible capsules a try. If you do, please reply to this post to let me know what you thought. 

You can order online from

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