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Old 12-03-2014, 01:56   #1
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Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Like many cruisers, I have a Nespresso machine on board, which is the killer coffee app for our purposes, in my opinion, at least for boats with a reasonable abundance of electrical power on board. The coffee is terrific, vastly less trouble than other methods (save for bean-to-cup machines, which is what I use at home), the machines are very compact and stowable (and cheap), the pods are easily stowable. The only downside is the cost of the pods. Oh, and the fact that you can't buy the pods anywhere except in Nespresso shops (or online), so you're SOL if you're out cruising somewhere and run out.

I use a Saeco bean-to-cup machine at home, which I love, but this is very bulky, and would be nearly impossible to stow on board. Besides, the multitude of small parts would surely fly around in rough weather and get lost. And you need a ton of power to run them. So I think not a great option for a boat, although the coffee is superb and you can buy beans anywhere.

Nestle have masterfully used their monopoly on the pods, and have done a masterful marketing campaign to position the whole system as a luxury item. My hat's off to them -- it's a business after all -- but it irritates me someone to know that probably 75% of the price of every cup of coffee I drink goes to slick ad campaigns with George Clooney.

Hence I have been trying alternative sources since the patent ran out.

My experiences so far have not been encouraging. Nothing I have tried even holds a candle to the real Nespresso pods. The alternative pods coffee is much less tasty, and the pods don't fit the machine very well. And most irritatingly, the alternative pods are not much cheaper.

It's about that time of year for me to order a case of pods for the summer, and I'm wondering whether something better has appeared in the meantime. Anyone have any experience with this?

I am in France at the moment, in a house on the Corniche, built into the side of the cliff face overlooking the Bay of Angels, loaned to me by a friend. He has a Nespresso machine, but there were no pods in the house, so I just bought a box of "Lobodis" alternative pods. As usual -- cost nearly the same as real Nespresso, not nearly as tasty, although the coffee is better than the last alternative I tried. I'm drinking it as I type this. Anyone have any hot tips?
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:54   #2
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

No alternative in regard of crema. Only saving option is to drink less of your favourite "Roma", but the biggest savour is not telling your visitors what this fancy machine is ... Or hide it. This will save you the most on the capsule expenses.
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:15   #3
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

well ... since your issue is one of cost, and you like your saeco bean-to-cup at home, can I make a suggestion.

Use a moka pot, and a hand burr grinder.

It takes me less than minute to grind enough beans for 2 cups of espresso, during which time I boil the water in my kettle. I then fill up the moka pot with hot water and coffee, the tiniest pinch of salt (seriously, try it), put it on the stove, and empty the remaining hot water into the coffee cups to heat them up.

1 minute later, fresh coffee for 2, all for the cost of a few beans! And its as good as the nespresso, if not better. And it doesn't require inverter power.

Coffee for 4-6? get 2 x 3 cup moka pots and use both hotplates.

Fresh beans are available everywhere, for cheap, and keep well.

The nespresso thing makes good coffee ... but ...
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:52   #4
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Check out Coffeeduck. They make a Nespresso refillable pod which are inexpensive. We bought about 8 pods and refilled with our favourite Illy coffee. It worked well and was about a third of the price of the Nespresso pods. The down side was filling the pods was a finicky project and the crema wasn't as good. Still, this may be a good Plan B to have on board for those times when you may run out of Nespresso.

If you were to try this route, there is some technique to filling which I can share with you.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:30   #5
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Like many cruisers, I have a Nespresso machine on board, which is the killer coffee app for our purposes, in my opinion, at least for boats with a reasonable abundance of electrical power on board.
Yes it is a great machine. Apart from taste and quality, its other great feature is that it is one of the most energy efficient devices you can have onboard.

It uses 400w to make your coffee for about 20 seconds. The big advantage being, that it only heats the exact amount of water at the exact temp required to fill the cup.

It will make you 12 cups of coffee for about 1 amp hr.

I think every boat should have one...especially if the environmentally unfriendly capsule problem could be solved.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:57   #6
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

If you're in France, try "Carte Noire" , they just launched their Nespresso compatible pods.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:43   #7
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

A simple google search for Nespresso compatible capsules yields several companies making compatible refillable capsules as well as coffee brands who make their own Nespresso compatible capsules.

How does $.25 per capsule sound? http://www.ebay.com/itm/800-Espresso..._qi=RTM1562570
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Old 15-03-2014, 04:02   #8
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jannw View Post
well ... since your issue is one of cost, and you like your saeco bean-to-cup at home, can I make a suggestion.

Use a moka pot, and a hand burr grinder.

It takes me less than minute to grind enough beans for 2 cups of espresso, during which time I boil the water in my kettle. I then fill up the moka pot with hot water and coffee, the tiniest pinch of salt (seriously, try it), put it on the stove, and empty the remaining hot water into the coffee cups to heat them up.

1 minute later, fresh coffee for 2, all for the cost of a few beans! And its as good as the nespresso, if not better. And it doesn't require inverter power.

Coffee for 4-6? get 2 x 3 cup moka pots and use both hotplates.

Fresh beans are available everywhere, for cheap, and keep well.

The nespresso thing makes good coffee ... but ...
I used Moka pots for years, nay, decades. How glad I was to throw away the last one. In my experience, they do not make very good coffee, as the brew gets a bit burned at the end. They are messy. And they only make coffee for one or two people at a time. Bleh.

When I run out of Nespresso pods (always occurs sooner than planned!), I use a French press, a nice stainless one with vacuum insulation which I bought on Dartmouth years ago. This makes very good coffee, and enough for four or five people at a time. A bit messy always getting rid of the grinds and washing it up at the end, but nothing like the awful Moka pots. But "very good coffee" is just not good enough, once you've had coffee from a Nespresso machine, or from a good bean-to-cup machine.
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Old 15-03-2014, 04:08   #9
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
A simple google search for Nespresso compatible capsules yields several companies making compatible refillable capsules as well as coffee brands who make their own Nespresso compatible capsules.

How does $.25 per capsule sound? 800 Espresso Italia Nespresso Compatible Capsules 4 Blends Only 25 Cents Each | eBay
Yes, as I said, I have tried several varieties of these, so far without decent results.

$0.25 each is about half of what I pay for the real thing in the UK (30p or about $0.50). That's less than the cost of other substitutes I've used in Europe.
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Old 15-03-2014, 04:13   #10
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

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Originally Posted by Prairie Chicken View Post
Check out Coffeeduck. They make a Nespresso refillable pod which are inexpensive. We bought about 8 pods and refilled with our favourite Illy coffee. It worked well and was about a third of the price of the Nespresso pods. The down side was filling the pods was a finicky project and the crema wasn't as good. Still, this may be a good Plan B to have on board for those times when you may run out of Nespresso.

If you were to try this route, there is some technique to filling which I can share with you.
Sounds good -- might give that a try. But was the savings only 2/3? I would expect that bulk coffee, even very expensive coffee, must be 10% or less of the cost of pods.

Why don't you share your trick on here?
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Old 15-03-2014, 04:28   #11
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Why don't you share your trick on here?[/QUOTE]

IMHO, if you're prepared to go through the trouble of filling and reusing pods with your favourite coffee, it kind of defeats the purpose of choosing a Nespresso machine!
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Old 15-03-2014, 06:23   #12
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I used Moka pots for years, nay, decades. How glad I was to throw away the last one. In my experience, they do not make very good coffee, as the brew gets a bit burned at the end. They are messy. And they only make coffee for one or two people at a time. Bleh.
A Sicilian taught me how to get the best out of a Moka pot . It needs a little care, but makes a world of difference. Determine the level of produced coffee when all the water has evaporated from the bottom section. Make the coffee with the lid open and always take the pot off the heat before the coffee has reached this level. If the opening at the top is even vaguely spluttering rather than dribbling, then coffee has been burned.

You can tell by the aroma when the coffee first starts emerging, so you don't have to watch it continually. I don't find it onerous. Using a beautifully made pot enhances the experience.

If you are using commercially prepared coffee rather than a burr grinder and beans, then Illy expresso is best, followed by Lavazza Arabica in the gold packaging.

4-6 cup pots are available.

It is still not nearly as good as Nespresso, but in my opinion vastly better than the coffee from a French press if prepared as above.

This doesn't answer your question about sourcing pods, but it may help you to make better coffee when you run out .
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Old 15-03-2014, 06:48   #13
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
A Sicilian taught me how to get the best out of a Moka pot . It needs a little care, but makes a world of difference. Determine the level of produced coffee when all the water has evaporated from the bottom section. Make the coffee with the lid open and always take the pot off the heat before the coffee has reached this level. If the opening at the top is even vaguely spluttering rather than dribbling, then coffee has been burned.

You can tell by the aroma when the coffee first starts emerging, so you don't have to watch it continually. I don't find it onerous. Using a beautifully made pot enhances the experience.

If you are using commercially prepared coffee rather than a burr grinder and beans, then Illy expresso is best, followed by Lavazza Arabica in the gold packaging.

4-6 cup pots are available.

It is still not nearly as good as Nespresso, but in my opinion vastly better than the coffee from a French press if prepared as above.

This doesn't answer your question about sourcing pods, but it may help you to make better coffee when you run out .
That's how I make mine too. No complaints from me whether I'm drinking it on my boat or yours! Actually yours is usually better as it always comes with a fantastic cake!
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Old 15-03-2014, 07:27   #14
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Not a trick so much as technique. Using your favourite espresso grind--we like Illy--lightly tamp it into the pod. Don't press it in too hard as it won't go thru the machine properly.

Phoenician, we came to the same conclusion and are no-longer refilling. The system does work though, and if you've run out of capsules refilling from that sealed can you had stashed away may be a viable option for Dockhead. Taking into consideration the high cost of Illy here in Canada, our pods cost about .68 cents and refills were running about .27 if I recall correctly, so a little less than half the price.

We also run a strong pod such as Arpeggio (sp?) thru the machine twice on short shot. It gives less volume than one long shot, but more than a single shot. It works for us in the mornings.
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Old 22-03-2014, 12:49   #15
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Re: Nespresso Compatible Pods?

Love my nespresso machine. I had to change my inverter to a pure sign inverter to make it work. Well worth it. Click image for larger version

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