June 25, 2009

NexPod Review - Load Your Own Nespresso Capsules

NexPodBox.jpg

NexPod is a new pod system for the Nespresso line of makers that allows you to use your own capsules with your favorite espresso coffee. You might even be able to save a little money over the ~$0.55 cost per Nespresso capsule; I paid $23 on eBay for mine that shipped from Switzerland. That puts it at about $0.28 each empty capsule. Adding up the cost of about 4-5g of coffee per capsule, that adds about a dime to the cost of each unit. These can save about $15 - $20 per box of 80 units; not bad.

It arrived in about two weeks. The box is packed with 80 plastic capsules and a bunch of paper disks, the filters the you will load into the plastic capsule.

To make the review as fair as possible, I cut into a Nespresso Ristretto capsule and poured the coffee into the NexPod, and closed it. There was some coffee left over; I didn't realize how packed the Nespresso capsules were! Rest assured, I packed as much into the NexPod as I could and only left a small amount out. The loading of the capsules is easy, but if you were to do several of these, you would want to keep them in an air tight container, as the capsules have the little holes to let the water flow in and the espresso flow out.

NexPodLoading.jpg

I had a little trouble jamming the NexPod into my Nespresso Essenza C-100 and a yet to be launched Nespresso Citiz brewer as it hung up just before getting into position. I gave it a quick tap, and the capsule fell into the bin, opening up and dumping the ground coffee all over the spend capsule bin. After being a bit more precise, I did it again, tapped it and got it into position quickly closing the lever to keep it from falling again.

NexPodBrewed.jpg

Brewing gave it a good head of crema, about half of the level I usually find in the regular Ristretto, and sadly the cup was a bit weak too. I ran through a few of these, and continued to pack as tight as I could, with similar results. It's too bad, because the promise of a decent alternative is there. In the end, with the hassle of making up the pods, the somewhat weaker results and the concern over the pods not quite loading as easily as the Nespresso capsules, I have to say that these are not for me. If you are interested in getting some to pack in your favorite espresso that you just can't match at the Nespresso store, go for it. I just don't see the value in saving up to $20 across a few months' time given the trade-offs.

ReadMore at NexPod

UPDATE: An alternative that I think is a better capsule is the Capsulin' refillable Capsule. See my Review of the Capsulin Refillable Capsule

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Posted by Scott Martin at June 25, 2009 9:41 AM
Recent Comments

The Nespresso is the best. I have found the Outpresso device for removing the coffee from the capsules so that the aluminum can be recycled. You can get it in the United States now from
www.outpresso-usa.com
It works great, and you can use the aluminum capsules with a clear conscience.


Posted by: Andy at March 14, 2011 1:26 PM

why mess around just bite the bullet and use the best, nespresso!


Posted by: wally at December 23, 2010 12:17 AM

I received mine today - I'm in Europe - and I have to say that they're not that bad. (And the company aren't scammers - they were prompt and polite with me.) I like my espresso strong, so anything less than ristretto is a bit weak for me, but I was able to make a drinkable (if not perfect) Illy brew. I'm going to experiment with darker roasts and different grinds, but these things actually do work. Tip: pierce a small hole in the end of the capsule before you fill it. The coffee doesn't fall out because the plastic almost self-heals, and it makes it easier to push the capsule right into the holder.


Posted by: Karen at August 5, 2010 10:24 AM

I just received my 1st shipment, which arrived promptly. My question is: can you use the plastic pod more than once, or will that affect the quality of the coffee? Since 160 filters are included with 80 pods, the implication is that you can use each pod 2 times. If so, this would result in a significant annual savings. Any advice would be appreciated.


Posted by: Marla at July 29, 2010 7:44 PM

Works for me, but I have to use a proper grinder to get a compatible grind with the pods, I don't use a filter, and I reuse the capsules until they start splitting. Occasionally you get a draw that's too weak. I always found with nespresso that one capsule wasn't quite enough anyway, I find that 2 filled nexpod capsules is perfect. I use a top loading Siemens machine, the tk50 and have been using this system for almost exactly a year now. The amount I drink has been on average 2-4 nexpods a day. I have actually survived with ony 80 capsules over that entire period (!) so the cost for me has been very low. It's a bit messy rinsing out the capsules to be honest, but I find I much prefer my freshly ground organic fair trade. According to a quick calculation, if it's $16 per kilo of coffee and $52 for the capsules that will last a year, and I take 4 nexpods instead of 3 nespresso a day, I will save $277 usd a year..... not too shabby :)


Posted by: Kerridge at June 3, 2010 6:02 PM

i just cannot believe i bought this product its a scam , never worked , almost killed my nespresso

cheaters , be careful


Posted by: eliran at March 5, 2010 8:34 AM

I really cannot comment on the NexPod product, because the NexPod service is lacking. While they claim that shipments will be made "the next working day", my order from October 30 was not acknowledged until I wrote them about it on November 5, and shipment is not expected until sometime between November 12 and November 18. While they responded promptly to my emails, the failure to respond to the order initially is disappointing.


Posted by: Sten Drescher at November 9, 2009 12:30 PM

Wasn't the big advantage of Nespresso capsules the fact that the grounded coffee will stay fresh...?
After opening package of self bought coffee the quality will very rapidly decrease. Coffee and oxygen are not really good friends...


Posted by: Sebastiaan Viezee at October 24, 2009 8:57 AM

Am I doing something wrong? I am using the strongest espresso pods yet the result is a weaker espesso than I am used to. Granted, i live in Seattle, the home of "Charbucks", but I'm disappointed by the weakness of the strongest espresso Nespresso makes!


Posted by: jane at October 21, 2009 9:55 AM

Tanks a lot for the review. We find it fair and it tells the status of our product in June/July 2009. We are making real efforts and investments to improve the quality and the points we are working on are:
1. Weaker espresso: We think we have solved this problem with the new edition of the Nexpod, available from 10 July 2009. The new capsules have better sealing capacity and work also with the Citiz machine, this resulting in stronger esperesso.
2. We are working on the easiness to introduce the capsule in the machine, and we hope to solve this problem in a couple of month from now.

3. Costs: we are trying to find distributors and retailers all over the world, to be able to offer Nexpod at a more competitive price.

Again many thanks to the author of this review and the community here, which is helping us a lot in improving our product. Our aim is really to offer a valuable alternative to the original Nespresso capsules.
NexPod, Freedom of Espresso.
G. Alberti, The NexPod Team


Posted by: NexPod at July 16, 2009 8:38 AM

These make-your-own capsules may have a few problems, but I may have to give them a try, given Nespresso's total lack of any really fine coffees, such as a Celebes Kalossi (my favorite), a Mocha Sanani Yemen or a Sumatra Mandheling.

If it takes packing the pods tighter or roasting the beans longer, then that's not a problem. Of course, that's assuming that I can find an answer, at all. At least it's worth a shot, in order to get really decent coffee.

The new Nespresso Indirya (sp?) coffee is a huge step up for Nespresso, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. If these make-your-own pods can be made to work, then they will be well worth the effort.

However, with my luck, about the time I am getting the make-your-own pods to work, Nespresso will announce the release of a Celebes or a Sumatra coffee.


Posted by: John Gaver at July 9, 2009 11:08 PM

Thanks for the review. I suspected the effort wouldn't be worth the savings. I was also suspect when the NexPod company suggested that the capsule only took 5g of coffee when a proper single espresso should be made with 7g. This would explain the leftover coffee you had when you transferred from the Ristretto capsule.

I had thought that as an emergency backup plan, a box of these would be potentially handy. However, neither Philadelphia (where I now live) DC (my previous city), nor any other city with which I'm familiar does regular recycling of the type of plastic used in these, which is #5. With my Outpresso device I can recycle my Nespresso capsules and reduce my guilt for using disposable capsules.


Posted by: GeoffreyM at June 27, 2009 3:25 PM
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