What Are Nespresso Pods Made Of?

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

What Are Nespresso Pods Made Of?

what are nespresso pods made of? aluminum
Aluminum Nespresso Pods

What are Nespresso pods made of? Aluminum. This metal is the best material to preserve the freshness of the coffee inside. It also makes them easy to recycle. Keep reading to learn about why Nespresso capsules use aluminum.

Why Are Nespresso Pods Made of Aluminum?

Environmental Impact

The raw form of aluminum is the third most common natural resource on the planet. It is also lightweight and easily recyclable around the world. Recycling aluminum uses much less energy that creating new aluminum. That’s why it is so important to give your pods a second life through the Nespresso recycling program!

nespresso pods in recycling bag

Once Nespresso receives the used capsules at its recycling facilities, they separate the coffee grinds and aluminum. The coffee grounds get composted into topsoil that is rich in nutrients. The aluminum gets a second life in other types of products like cans, pens or even new pods. In 2019, Nespresso made a bicycle from 300 recycled capsules to show us an example of what can be done when we recycle!

Coffee Quality

Nespresso tested many other materials but found that aluminum did the best job of protecting the aroma and freshness of the coffee. That’s why these pods have a long shelf life. The aluminum capsule and foil lid form a seal in a way that keeps light, moisture and oxygen out. This helps extend the freshness of the coffee inside. As long as that lid has a bit of resistance when you gently press on it, you can use the pod even past the date on the packaging.


Nespresso found that aluminum also worked best in its machines. Unlike other materials, aluminum pods yielded the most consistent quality of brewed coffee and espresso. It makes sense when you think about how hot the water is that flows through the machine. Plastic probably would not hold up as well. It’d be worse for the environment too.

What Else Are Nespresso Pods Made Of?

Other than the round aluminum capsule, there is a foil lid on top and a coating of food-grade lacquer inside the pod that separate the coffee grinds from the aluminum. These three elements are enough to protect the quality of the coffee inside, which is why additional packaging like an overwrap is not necessary.

What Will Nespresso Pods Be Made Of In The Future?

If the environmental impact is a concern for you, then you may be interested to know that Nespresso has trying to shift away from aluminum. As of Spring 2023, Nespresso is piloting paper-based capsules in France and Switzerland. These pods would be completely compostable. The company spent three years developing this more sustainable option. It is still to be determined if and when these will launch in other countries.

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