Choosing Refillable Coffee Capsules Could Cost You A Tenth Of Standard Nespresso Pods

Creating a good coffee in many people's eyes is simply putting on the kettle and adding the desired amounts of instant coffee teaspoons into your mug. However, many more would argue that making a good quality, delicious coffee is more of an art which requires dedication and care.

In the middle range of coffee consumers, and probably a large portion of Australians, are those who consider the coffee made at home via their Nespresso machines to be great quality, particularly considering its convenience. These machines don’t require you to grind your own beans, roast or blend anything and I personally really enjoy using my own machine. However, I wanted to know if there was some way to reduce my monthly expenditure on coffee capsules whilst also increasing the quality of coffee I was drinking. Good news is, I did!

Refillable Coffee Machine Capsules from Coffee Duck

Personally, I like the Nespresso Kazaar pods which on Nespresso's website cost me 0.78¢ per pod. I usually buy 200 capsules at a time (costing $156) because I like to have a coffee most days during each month. Another perk of ordering this amount is that orders of 200 capsules or more are shipped for free.

Recently though, I discovered an interesting alternative that looks like it's going to save me quite a bit. Coffee Duck's refillable capsules are compatible with Nespresso machines and let me put whichever kind of ground coffee that I prefer into them.

Save $1,270 per annum with Refillable Coffee Capsules compared to Starbucks

This has not only made my coffee cheaper but also improved the quality and allowed me to feel a bit more like a coffee connoisseur (even though I’m really not). Firstly, I had to buy the refillable capsules costing $23.99, usable with all Nespresso machines made after 2010. Secondly, I usually buy 1kg of Aurora Italian Blend coffee beans from the supermarket costing $14.35, and I will explain why I choose to buy from a supermarket later. Finally, I bought a small grinder for $32.95 to grind the beans with. My total outlay on these three items plus the coffee itself ended up costing me $89.49. But as you'll see from the table of comparative costs below, this still ends up being far less than what I'd spend on Nespresso capsules alone over a year. I've also thrown the cost of Starbucks coffees into the mix for good measure, in case you happen to be a loyal Starbucks customer and want to know how much you could save:




Nespresso Capsules

Refillable Capsules

Price per unit

$5 to $8*



Price per 100g

$333 to $533



Price per 1kg

$3,330 to $5,330



Monthly Cost***

$100 to $160



Annual Cost****

$1,300 to $2,080




* Grams of Coffee in a Tall Caffe Americano from Starbucks = 150mg or 1.5g

** Net weight for 10 capsules = 50g. Therefore 1 capsule has 5g of coffee.

*** Monthly cost is based on one coffee per weekday or an average of 20 days per month (Mon – Fri)

**** Annual cost is based on one coffee per weekday or an average of 260 days per annum (Mon – Fri)


Looking at these figures, the refillable capsules are costing me almost 90% less compared with the current Nespresso pods that I buy. Over a year that saving equates to more than $170 and considering that I probably fall into category of low-to-medium level consumers (drinking one pod each working day of the week) this means that other more regular drinkers will probably save a lot more.

Looking at a more extreme example, if you happen to be one of those coffee fanatics who drinks at least five Starbucks coffees each week, then according to the table of figures above you would be looking at saving over $1,100 per year (inclusive of purchasing an Nespresso machine) by opting for refillable capsules instead. This is assuming that you buy regular sized ("Tall") coffees with no extras, such as the Americano. If your preference happens to be for coffees that include milk, cream and caramel, for example, then your savings would rocket up to $1,800+ per annum.

Nespresso Capsules cost more than 10 times the price of using refillable capsules


Now, let me explain why I suggested buying coffee from a supermarket to use in the refillable capsules, as well as why I prefer going for beans over pre-ground coffee. Starting with the quality of the coffee, you could opt to purchase expensive, premium ones, however, unless you have a commercial quality coffee machine ('prosumer' machine) which costs in the region of $800, this premium coffee would be wasted in your Nespresso machine. This is similar to someone buying a Ferrari to drive around in the Australian outback, the cost-to-reward ratio simply wouldn't be that good.

Rubber Duck with Coffee

To add to that, when a coffee bean is roasted it instantly begins degrading meaning the flavour, taste and intensity start reducing. This is partly because the bean's fats and oils begin breaking down. So when you buy pre-ground coffee, then because it has been dried all the fats and oils are removed meaning you won't be able to heat the coffee to the required temperature necessary for creating a ‘prosumer’ quality coffee. This is definitely something your Nespresso machine could never achieve and therefore the reason that decent supermarket quality coffee is more than adequate for the average coffee drinker. The other great thing about supermarket coffee is that Buckscoop regularly features discount codes and vouchers from the likes of Coles and Woolworths so it shouldn't be too hard to buy your coffee for less.


Something else to be aware of when grinding your own coffee beans, is that the although the degradation process begins directly after the beans have been roasted, grinding them increases this 5 fold.

This means that if you chose to buy premium ground coffee, it would sit there degrading every day in your cupboard. The flavour would quickly reduce to the point that it defeats the whole purpose of trying to save money whilst improving quality in the first place. However, some may argue that the terrible coffee quality you get in your franchise café can always be beaten.


To end off with, I wanted to share an interesting discovery during my exploration into finding higher quality, but cheaper coffee. Turns out that the most expensive coffee in the world is ‘Kopi luwak’, which sells for roughly $4,100 per kilogram. Particularly astonishing is the way the beans are harvested, which involves them being collected from the dung of wild civets (a small, lithe-bodied, mostly nocturnal cat-like mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa). Turns out that a wild civets' digestion system removes the bitterness from the bean without changing its compounds or shape too much.

To put the cost of this Kopi Luwak into perspective, a regular sized coffee from Starbucks would cost you anywhere between $5 and $8, but one of these would be somewhere in the region of $50 to $100 for the same quantity. Don't think I'm quite at the level of 'coffee connoisseurship' yet to justify paying that amount for something that come out of an animals behind any time soon!



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