November 17, 2023

Can you use wholesale coffee pods in Nespresso original line brewers?

Today, there are more single-serve coffee options on the market than ever before. For businesses, wholesale coffee pods and capsules are two of the most popular. Both are capable of brewing high-quality coffee at the touch of a button.

However, some may think that coffee pods and capsules are the same thing. And while they might look similar, they’re not cross-compatible. This means that you have to select the right brewer for whichever option you choose.

Read on to learn more about capsule design and whether or not wholesale coffee pods are compatible with Nespresso machines.

Brewing espresso capsules, not wholesale coffee pods, in a Nespresso original line brewer.

What’s the difference between coffee pods and capsules?

Before we look at compatibility, it’s important to break down the difference between wholesale coffee pods and capsules.

Many businesses and their customers use the terms “coffee pods” and “coffee capsules” interchangeably. However, they aren’t the same thing

In the US, we use the phrase "coffee pods" to refer to K-Cups. These are plastic single-serve cups with paper or foil lids. People use them to brew drip-style coffee, and they sometimes contain added creamer, sweeteners, or flavorings.

Coffee capsules, meanwhile, are only compatible with Nespresso original line brewers. Capsules brew shorter espresso-style coffee with a thick layer of crema. 

The main difference between wholesale coffee pods and coffee capsules is their design.

For example, wholesale coffee pods are generally cup-shaped and made of plastic with an internal filter. Capsules, meanwhile, are dome-shaped and can be made from aluminum, plastic, or plant-based materials. Capsules are also more robust, as they need to withstand high pressures during the brewing process.

At Metropolis, we manufacture plant-based sustainable commercially compostable espresso capsules. These are exclusively compatible with Nespresso original line brewers. In addition, because they’re commercially compostable, you can dispose of them at any industrial composting facility in the US.

Brewing espresso capsules, not wholesale coffee pods, in a Nespresso original line brewer.

So, can you use wholesale coffee pods in coffee capsule brewers?

No, and you shouldn’t try. Wholesale coffee pods don’t fit in coffee capsule brewers and vice-versa. If you try to switch them around, you could even damage the brewer.

This is because there are fundamental differences in how coffee pods and capsules are brewed.

Wholesale coffee pod brewers (often Keurig machines) puncture the pod with a sharp needle, before filling it with hot water. The water then percolates through the grounds. After brewing, the coffee then mixes with any creamer, flavorings, or sweeteners, before dispensing into the cup below. 

Conversely, coffee capsule brewers force pressurized hot water through the ground coffee, much like espresso machines. When enough pressure builds up, the heated water ruptures the hermetically-sealed foil lid. Espresso-style coffee then flows through the spout into your cup.

This can then be used as the base of another drink (such as a cappuccino or a latte) or enjoyed on its own.

Metropolis La Cordillera wholesale espresso capsules in a box.

Metropolis Coffee espresso capsules

As mentioned before, at Metropolis Coffee, we offer espresso capsules that are exclusively compatible with Nespresso original line brewers. We have four classic options for both retail and wholesale customers:

We manufacture our commercially compostable espresso capsules with a state-of-the-art filling and sealing machine, which guarantees a shelf life of 12 to 24 months.

As well as offering our retail capsule range on a wholesale basis, we also offer a co-packing service and private label coffee capsules. This provides hospitality businesses with two bespoke options for their espresso capsules.

Our private label and co-packing partners benefit from our decades of experience in the specialty coffee industry. As a result, we can minimize development times and start production quickly – with no need for a high minimum order quantity (MOQ) either. 

Co-packing & private label coffee capsules

For hospitality businesses looking for a signature coffee packaged in capsule format, private label is the best option. For private label customers, we start by working to your specifications to craft the perfect blend for your business. Once that’s ready, we then grind the coffee precisely for capsule extraction. We then dose, seal, flush, and pack the capsules before shipping them directly to your business. 

On the other hand, if you already have a coffee that you want to start offering in capsule format, our co-packing service is what you need. This is where you send us your roasted coffee, and we return it to you in packed, branded capsules – ready to serve to your customers.

Depending on your requirements, we can fill 10-count or bulk boxes. Unlike wholesale coffee pods, all Metropolis capsule shells are manufactured from plant-based sustainable materials, and we have certified Fair Trade and/or organic coffees available.

This means that as well as being commercially compostable, they’re certified by the BPI and CMA. As a result, they meet the highest standards for commercial composting in the US. Instead of dumping your spent capsules in the trash, you can dispose of them responsibly at any industrial composting facility across the country. 

Interested in learning more? Check out our wholesale co-packing and private-label espresso capsule solutions today.

Certified compostable facilities may not exist in your area. To find a composter near you, visit or on all packaging and marketing materials.

Metropolis Coffee is not affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by Nespresso. Nespresso is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé.

Metropolis Coffee

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