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Best Nespresso-compatible coffee pods in the UK: Aldi triumphs

LONDON, UK – Aldi has come up trumps again. A Which? taste test of coffee pods has named Aldi’s Ristretto Alcafe coffee pods as a Which? Best Buy. The pods are compatible with a Nespresso coffee machine, and answer the age old question of how to get a Nespresso coffee for less.

The saving

Coffee pod machines have become ubiquitous in the kitchen – and sales of pods hit £182 last year – up from £158 a year earlier.

If you have a serious coffee shop habit, then even if you buy Nespresso pods, they offer an impressive saving. Because instead of forking out £913 for a coffee every day, a household drinking three cups of coffee a day will spend £340 a year.

It means that if you buy a typical machine, you will be quids in within a couple of months.

Once you have a machine in the kitchen, however, you start to feel the pain of buying these pods. They come in at 31p per pod, which soon starts to add up. There are plenty of other Nespresso-compatible brands available online and in supermarkets, but the prices vary significantly.

The M&S Single origin Columbian coffee capsules, for example, are still 30p per pod, while Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Intense are 25p per cup.

Unsurprisingly, the Aldi pods come in far lower down the price spectrum. Aldi’s Alcafe Coffee Pods cost just 18p. If you were to drink three of them a day between the household that would be £197 a year – a saving of £143 on Nespresso pods.

The taste

The taste also varies dramatically, which is where a taste test comes in handy. Which? tested Nespresso’s Arpeggio, Ristretto and Roma capsules, along with popular compatible pods from brands including Cafédirect, Cafépod, Café Royal, Carte Noire, Dualit, Percol, Starbucks and Taylors.

They also tasted supermarket own-brand pods from Aldi, M&S, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. The Aldi pods came out on top.

The Which? team said: “You’d never guess from the taste that this Nespresso compatible capsule was the cheapest pod we’ve tested – our panel loved its ‘almost velvety’ mouthfeel, and warm fruity flavours that shone through whether or not you add milk.”

Of course, even if you snap up the cheapest pods, it’s still going to be the most expensive way to drink coffee at home – especially if you have invested in a posh machine.

So what do you think? Is it worth it, or should we all be sticking to filter coffee, and a handy thermos flask for when we’re on the go?

Sarah Coles