Nespresso is launching paper coffee capsules and they're going to change how you drink coffee

It's the moment we've all been waiting for. Here's everything you need to know

Nespresso paper capsules in jars on a countertop with a coffee bag
(Image credit: Nespresso)

Yes, you read it right, Nespresso has launched completely compostable coffee capsules. They're crafted with paper pulp and other completely biodegradable components. It's been three years in the making and, boy, am I pleased they've dropped.

If, like me, you like quick, capsule coffee, Nespresso's launch will be music to your ears. The brand makes objectively the best single-serve coffee machines on the market, but their aluminum pods were always the catch that stopped them from achieving complete coffee perfection.

If you're as thrilled as I am, you've probably got a million questions running through your head. I'm here to give you all the details about what exactly they are when they're launching, where you can find them, and which Nespresso machines they'll work with.

When are Nespresso launching paper capsules?

Nespresso paper coffee pod launch in Italy

(Image credit: Nespresso)

During Milan Design week (April 16 - 21), Nespresso are launching their sustainable capsules which have been in the works, undergoing rigorous R&D for three years.

The brand will be marking the moment with an iconic 'Paper Worlds' installation, designed by Studio Ossidiana from April 16 to 21 in the Brera Design District, which you can see in the image above. The brand describes it as 'a captivating piece or urban design, crafted by the young Italian designers Alessandra Covini and Giovanni Bellotti from Studio Ossidiana.' They've represented the whole story of how Nespresso developed the compostable capsule, showing you the materials used and different stages of innovation. If you're in the area, you can taste the new coffee too.

What is the paper capsule collection?

Nespresso paper coffee pod on a pink surface with jars of coffee pods in the background

(Image credit: Nespresso)

The new paper capsules collection is Nespresso's first completely compostable offering. Their main offering is still the aluminum pods. Whilst these are recyclable, you'll need to be willing to make the effort to dispose of them sustainably. The compostable ones can go in the foodwaste.

Nespresso's paper selection is compatible with all Original models, so if you own a Vertuo, you'll need to wait a little longer before you can pop paper pods. Nespresso promises that their newest offering delivers on 'the same unforgettable taste experience just with an additional option for disposal.'

Nespresso Essenza Mini | $179 at Amazon

Nespresso Essenza Mini | $179 at Amazon
If this news has tipped you in favor of buying a Nespresso machine, the Essenza Mini is a great model. It's compact, quick, consistent, and easy to use.

As if that's not exciting enough, Nespresso has launched these pods in five new coffee flavors. They've been developed by the Nespresso Coffee Masters. According to Nespresso, these experts have selected 'some of the best beans from different countries of origin. They've been chosen specifically for each coffee and accompanied by a tailored roasting process to enhance their characteristics.' 

The new range includes Ispirazione Aosta, Ispirazione Emilia, Ispirazione Sicilia, Decaffeinato and Peru Organic. I'm aware that Nespresso's names don't always tell you exactly what you want to know about your coffee, so I've gone into more detail on the flavor profiles you'll have on offer:

  • Ispirazione Sicilia: Nespresso describes this as a bold, dark, and intense roast. The complex notes come from Arabica beans, grown in Brazil and Colombia. Expect notes of chocolate and aromatic woods, with a hint of grain.
  • Ispirazione Emilia: rich, complex, and caramel-ey, this coffee is crafted from a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans grown in Mexico and Italy. Expect some fresh acidity too.
  • Ispirazione Aosta: this light roast is fruity and sweet, with notes of cookies and fruit. It's crafted from Colombian and Brazillian Arabica beans, perfect for espresso coffee.
  • Peru Organic: this is exactly as the name suggests. It's single-origin, organic, coffee which has come straight from the Peruvian Andes. It's a lightly acidic, fruity medium roast.
  • Decaffeinato: for those who want coffee without the caffeine kick, this promises a dark-roasted blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, mainly from Brazil and Colombia. It's intense and aromatic, with cocoa and fruity notes.

Nespresso paper coffee pod launch

(Image credit: Nespresso)

If you love coffee with unparallelled eco credentials, there's more. The coffee in all of these pods is sourced from Nespresso's AAA Sustainable Quality program. I actually don't think that the brand shouts enough about this. It's been running for 20 years, with more than 150,000 farmers in 18 countries. They work to create a sustainable supply chain of coffee, saying that they are 'dedicated to improving the yield and quality of crops and the livelihoods of communities of origin.' 

Where can I buy the new capsules?

Nespresso paper coffee pod launch

(Image credit: Nespresso)

The compostable capsule collection will be available in 60 selected Nespresso Boutiques from May 2024. We'll update you on the locations when Nespresso officially releases them, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be readily available online shortly after.

More technical information on the capsules

Nespresso paper coffee pod launch on a pink surface

(Image credit: Nespresso)

If you like to know the science and details behind your capsules, we've got all of the details for you. Each capsule is made from 82% paper pulp. Nespresso says 'we use a high precision forming process and proprietary technology to make these capsules. They're outfitted with a thin, 1mm biodegradable layer, which acts as a protective barrier against oxidation, preserving the coffee's flavor profile, maintaining the Nespresso high-quality cup experience.'

The brand has certification from OK Compost Industrial & Home from TUV Austria, confirming that they can be disposed of in your food waste and public organic waste bins.

The brand has been trialing paper capsules in France and Switzerland with great success.

Which Nespresso machines should you buy?

If the only thing that was stopping you from going all-in on Nespresso was the aluminum pods, you'll want some recommendations for which Nespresso machine to buy. I've dedicated a whole buying guide to the best Nespresso machines, but here's my top three from the Original line (which is the one that's compatible with the paper pods).

If you love the idea of compostable capsules and you're not fussed about the brand that you have, there are some other options on the market. Here are the best ones:

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.