Are Nespresso Capsules Flavored Naturally?

For those who love the convenience and taste of Nespresso capsules, it is natural to wonder if the product is, well, natural. Marketed as a high-end version of the more pedestrian Keurig cups, Nespresso is nonetheless a product that undergoes processing to be sealed away in single-use capsules. With such a literal lack of transparency, questions arise as to whether Nestle — maker of Nespresso — is slipping in chemical flavorings along with the ground coffee. According to the company's FAQ, its capsules contain "no added sugars or preservatives," and the coffee is dressed only with "100% naturally occurring flavorings and extracts." The pods are also vegan, in case that had you worried.

So, there you have it, Nespresso is all-natural ... or is it? If you have a healthy amount of apprehension and skepticism when dealing with information right from a company or viewing the opaque jargon of food marketers, then you probably want a deeper dive into the term "naturally occurring." As per FDA rules, this legally means flavorings derived from plant or animal sources even if those sources are modified with heat or enzymes to create the desired effect. Natural flavorings have thus far been found to be safe, but there are some who feel the term is vague at best and misleading at worst.

Consider adding your own flavor to Nespresso capsules

Nespresso isn't specific about what flavorings go into its capsules or how they are specifically processed. That means we can't fully vouch for the ingredients, just that according to U.S. law, they are "natural." Nespresso drinkers will have to decide for themselves if that stamp of approval and definition jibes with what they prefer to ingest. What we can tell you is which Nespresso capsule flavors we love and which ones fall a bit short.

If "naturally occurring flavorings" are a bridge too far for your diet, consider the fact that many Nespresso pods contain nothing but ground coffee. These are far from boring cups, and they can be personalized in various ways. Consider adjusting the amount of water the machine uses to brew your Nespresso capsule. This easy move can have a big impact on the intensity of your next cup of coffee. You may also want to explore adding your own natural flavorings to your Nespresso with the help of spices. A simple cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon) adds a warm, comforting note, cacao nibs offer a mocha-like flavor, and spicy cayenne kicks that cup up a notch with bursts of heat.