Are Nespresso capsules safe?

Nespresso capsules

Nespresso capsules


Are the Nespresso capsules safe? They are made from aluminum with a food grade shellac coating, not sure if that is safe when hot water forces through it. Any plastic leaching issues?


As far as I know, there is nothing to worry about with the Nespresso capsules. Going on what the manufacturer tells us, the water and coffee comes into contact only with the shellac.

This is more than can be said for the various single-serve cups and discs used with other systems, which all appear to use plastics of some kind.

But wait, you’re not out of the woods yet!

While the capsules used by Nespresso may not be made of plastic, parts within the brewer itself almost certainly are.

To be fair, while I have used a friend’s Nespresso machine, I don’t have one of my own. But I’m guess that the guts of the machine contain plastics which come into contact with the hot water.

I know that with other brewers -including drip brewers and at least two single-serve systems - the first few cups of coffee you brew have an awful plastic taste. With one brewing system I have, I had to run hot water and vinegar through the system 20 times before I got rid of that taste.

Of course, just because I had flushed out the taste didn’t mean that I wasn’t still ingesting lower levels of chemicals which continued to leach from the brewer.

There are two ways of dealing with the issues of toxic plastics in coffee makers. One is to bury your head in the sand and just hope the ill-effects are not that serious. The second is to seek out more simple brewing systems that contain no plastic.

Other pages you might be interested in:

The plastic taste in new coffee makers – Just a bad taste, or toxic too?

Is There an Automatic Drip Coffee Maker with no plastic parts?

Coffee from our new coffee maker tastes bad.

Comments for Are Nespresso capsules safe?

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Aug 18, 2021
Wtf! The is safe or not??
by: Anonymous

Ther is much blabla here and there in this post. There is a serious information about if this capsules are safe or not??? I drink all the times this coffee and I'm scared right now!!!

Nov 03, 2020
Testing Nespresso pods for Aluminum
by: Scientist

We tested nespresso coffee for aluminum in our research lab using a mass spectrometer. It is very clear that there is trace levels of aluminum in nespresso coffee. We did not quantify the levels of aluminum, but there is definitely a clear peak in the spectrum for aluminum. After seeing that I decided not to drink it anymore.

Aug 31, 2020
by: Anonymous

I have gotten really ill this past year. Have had NESPRESSO machine for 5 years . Lately I have bitter taste in mouth. I took capsules to functional immunologist and BINGO . I had high levels of Heavy metals ...cesium , arsenic Aluminum. So. Did my coffee pod . I threw it all away . Never again

Jan 17, 2020
Very bitter and metallic taste
by: Anonymous

After a few weeks of using my new Nespresso machine with the classic (small) pods my coffee and my mouth tasted horribly bitter. There may be "food-grade shellac" on the pods themselves, however I suspect that the thin aluminum covering through which the coffee is extracted does not have such 'protection.' Am giving my machine and pods away immediately. I do not want to be ingesting aluminum. After one day of not drinking Nespresso my mouth has lost the bitter taste and I am enjoying coffee made from my 'old' espresso machine.

Sep 18, 2019
Allergic to aluminum
by: Anonymous

I had one of these. Caused my mouth to swell after I had a cop of coffee. Sent it back. Dr said it was the aluminum in the pods

Jul 28, 2019
heart palpitations
by: Anonymous

I have been suffering from heart palpitations for the last 6 months which is the same amount of time I have been drinking 2 Nespresso pods a day. I gave these up 4 days ago and now the palpitations have gone away!!!

I have a perfectly normal heart and run 50km a week. But at one stage there I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

Feb 20, 2018
Does nespresso impact heart rate?
by: Anonymous

I have noticed heart skipping bits when drinking nespresso from capsules....when changed coffee - no more skipping...very concerned

Jan 09, 2018
Aluminum is bad for health
by: Anonymous

There are many publications in scientific journal starting that aluminum is bad for health. I encourage all of you to just read one of those.

Dec 30, 2017
Aluminum fears
by: AnonymMikeous

Antiperspirants have aluminum. If drinking from aluminum is so bad, are we not drinking from aluminum soda and beer cans? How about plastic straws?

Dec 18, 2017
Bad flavour of batch of nespresso Livanto
by: Anonymous

So dissappointed in the last batch of Livanto coffee capsules bought recently.
No coffee aroma, bad taste, lackng in real coffee flavour.
Anyon else find them not worth the money?

Nov 15, 2017
Lab testing of coffee extracted from aluminum pods
by: Dar

Back in February 2017 someone posted that they sent coffee drawn from Nespresso pods to a lab to be tested for aluminum, but I never saw a post with the results... would be very interested to see the results or find out a lab to send some to myself!

Oct 15, 2017
by: Xiao

I’m using Nespresso coffee for several years and had no problems at all, only thing that I’m worrying if the capsules are safe, because it made by aluminum!

Jun 17, 2017
Nespresso Headache?
by: Coffee lover

I purchased a Nespresso after years of wanting one. I was very excited and made my first cup on my lunch break yesterday. Headed back to work and noticed a slight headache after a few sips of coffee. I figured I needed more coffee so I chugged a bit of my nespresso. By the time I got to work, I had a full-blown severe migraine type headache. At first I thought it was coincidence but on a lark googled "headache from nespresso coffee" and came across this thread, as well as several similar ones. I still have a moderate headache today and am afraid to try another cup. Did anyone in this thread ever figure out if there was truly a problem with nespresso coffee? I am thinking of purchasing the re-usable pods (available on amazon) but also thinking I may just send the machine back. I would love to know if it is the pods, the coffee, or the machine that may be causing people to have headaches. I drink coffee daily and have never had a headache that coincided with my coffee intake (quite the opposite, as a matter of fact).

May 01, 2017
Headaches from Nespresso
by: Kim C.

Each time I drink the coffee from nespresso I get headaches. Not a usual headache that goes away with a couple pain relievers but a serious headache like a migraine. Not sure what is in the nespresso coffee pods or if it has to do with the aluminum pods. I have had to discontinue using my Nespresso machine and I am back to regular espresso and coffee without the headaches.

Apr 02, 2017
accid problems with nespresso coffee
by: Anonymous

I had a Nespresso machine for over five years. I also had stomach problems after drinking the coffee, but I love the coffee!
I also thought it was the coffee, but when I started brewing my own coffee the problem stopped!
Later I started using my Nespresso machine again and the problem was there again. I stopped drinking my Nespresso later in the afternoon, but every night I had to take antacids to calm down my stomach.Now back to my own filter brew and no problems , so it looks as if I better give up my Nespresso and use my Melitta filter and a regular coffee.

Apr 01, 2017
Is it coffee or is it chemicals
by: Adam Anonymous

I just ordered another batch of Virtuoline capsules; they make you buy 50 dollars worth at a time which doesn't make me happy, but that's another story.

What I'm really wondering about is, is it really coffee in those pods? I mean,the pods have all these weird names: Intenso, Diavolo, etc--not a Blue Mountain or Columbian or Mocha Java in the bunch. It could be anything in there--Intenso isn't a type of coffee as far as I know, and I'm inclined to wonder...

I'd have to guess that some of it is coffee, and the rest not-coffee. I'd really like to know, however.

Mar 18, 2017
by: Anonymous

Aluminium is definitely a health hazard. Your body has difficulty in eliminating it and it causes your body to block absorption of magnesium and silica. It may not show up high in a blood test test but over time it will show up on an Oligoscan which shows stored levels in the tissues. You will most likely get more aluminium from tap water than a coffee pod. I suggest you only use fiiltered water to consume at all times.

Feb 27, 2017
Health Issue
by: Anonymous

I am a big coffee drinker. I purchased a Nespresso machine a few years ago and than started allergies problems. Just as dust allergies but worst. At the same time, I acquired a dog, started playing saxophone so I figured that I asking too much to my sinuses but after many medical test, there is it, NO ALLERGIES to environmental factor but maybe to coffee. I think I will ditch the Nespresso machine and go back to a tradtional brass boiler, manual machine.

Feb 22, 2017
Aluminum may be leaching
by: Anonymous

We've been using Nespresso for 8 years and I've noticed some issues only recently with it which has me sending the pods and a sample to the lab to find out if its leaching aluminum into the coffee. I am not even testing against plastics leaching just heavy metals for now. If it comes up positive I am definitely not going to be happy and will make stink. I found out from numerous labs that test food products for heavy metals and aluminum is NOT one that is required to be tested against so how are we so sure that Nespresso is being ethical in this process?

Oct 25, 2016
by: Anonymous

I just did a blood test and very high amounts of aluminum is in my blood. We were trying to figure out where it came from, and i'm thinking my coffee pods. Other than that, I eat all organic. I will investigate further.

May 20, 2016
Sick stomach
by: kathy

Isn't anyone curious what the food grade shellac is made of? Every time I've tried to drink it I get sick to my stomach. I have now discovered that at least 4 of my friends have the same problem bro other coffee does this to me.

Mar 12, 2016
Aluminum toxicity
by: Unanimously Anonymous

If you are concerned with aluminum induced alzheimers, there are a few really healthy foods which you probly should be eating, if not just for their heavy metal chelating('detoxing') abilities. Corrinder seems to be able to bind and remove aluminum. Tumeric,fulvic acid, NAC can all remove heavy metals, including mercuary lead, and the semi metal asernic, i havnt seen any studies about the last 3 regarding aluminum, but im sure they could chelate Al!

Jan 15, 2016
i started getting headaches also
by: Anonymous

...Don't knwo what it is but It happens when I drink this also :(.

Jan 10, 2016
Foam is natural
by: Anonymous

the nespresso capsule spins at 7000 RPM's and this is what causes the cream on top. It's a simple matter of airation, not a chemical foaming agent.

Sep 16, 2015
Safe and healthy - best coffee in the world
by: Anonymous

When my wife and I travel, and have to use Starbucks or other providers for our morning coffee, we can't wait to get back home to our Nespresso machines. We've been using various incarnations of Nespresso since it first went on the market. Bought our first one after a demonstration at Macy's about 12 years ago or so. Delightful coffee -- some of these comments are just really weird about aluminum causing a problem. These are as safe as can be, and a very high quality European produced product. I would urge you to try it first. It's not a technology or machine for the "coffee by the quart" drinker, because the capsules (go with the original, and not the rip-off "VirtuLine" style) will produce at the most a 6 oz to 8 oz beverage. But wow, does it taste good. Very European in flavor. Enjoy!

Sep 10, 2015
by: Anonymous

With my last order of Nespresso capsules I requested "recycling" pouches for the capsules - you deposit all the used capsules into the metallicized bag, and when it's full you send it to some recycling facility using the provided UPS label.

I've been doing this for about five weeks, and this morning I went to seal the bag up and send it off. When I looked inside, all the capsules were covered with some white, soapy looking growth, much of which had already turned quite solid making the capsules into one big hard lump. Didn't smell, but didn't look like any natural mold I had ever seen, and was extremely strange. Thought I would pass this along in case anyone else had experienced this, or knew what it is. Is it something in the capsules besides coffee? Thanks.

Jun 26, 2015
Aluminium Cans
by: Anonymous

people drink out of aluminium all the time never been a problem.

Feb 19, 2015
Good coffee
by: Anonymous

The foam created by the Nespresso machine is from the high spin velocity. That's all. You can get the same effect with milk by pressing or pumping milk thru a French press.35 or 30 pumps will cause the milk to froth. Of course you need a high quality machine to do that with coffee. Enjoy it. It's wonerful coffee. I like my machine!

Aug 30, 2014
Aluminium Poisoning
by: Anonymous

A good friend of mine told me yesterday that her clients wife was very ill and taken to hospital, her blood test came back with very high levels of aluminium, the Dr actually asked her "are you using one of those pod coffee machines" and she is, the Dr told her he has seen this in a few people using Nespresso or other pod coffee systems, not good!

Aug 02, 2014
Are capsules safe after sitting in heat?
by: Anonymous

I ordered some Nespresso capsules through Amazon and they were delivered improperly. They through them over gate onto walkway instead of bringing to front door as BIG sign in driveway directs.

It was 105 degrees that day and I don't even know how long they sat outside before I found them.

I am reluctant to use, especially as my husband has a very fragile immune system.

Too late to return, but maybe should just toss them out?

Jun 25, 2014
Foaming agent in Nespresso capsule
by: Ezio

I had to stop drinking coffee made from Nespresso capsules.
I don't know what's inside the capsules beside coffee. The fact is that every time I drink coffee made from Nespresso capsules, I get stomac pain, Terrible headache that no acetaminofen can take it away. I stop drinking this coffe for few days and then drink it again with the same problems !
I don't know what the hell is inside those capsules but some nasty staff is added. No espresso coffe made wirh a tipical commercial espresso machine make that amount of foam. I drink espresso coffe all my life and never had problems; only with this new cartridges I get health problems!
Same body better go deeper and investigate how we get silently poisoned.

Jun 19, 2014
foaming agents
by: kw

the fat in the coffee can be naturally converted to soap by adding a little hydroxic agent (basic, not acid), all that little amount of agent is absorbed by the coffe fat. just anough to create that crema

Jul 26, 2013
Foaming agents...
by: Yuri

I dont think there's any foaming agents. I have a philco expresso machine which does not use capsules, it has an inox container to put coffee... i buy natural organic coffee and it produces a lot of cream, more even than nespresso...

I buy the coffee in grains and grind it myself so i know there's no foaming agents and yet it has a ton of cream.

Mar 29, 2013
Regarding foaming agents in coffee pods
by: Noel

Foaming agents of some type obviously were included in the coffee sachets first appearing on supermarket shelves several years ago and one would wonder if the coffee pods are just a reinvented method to appeal to the coffee consumer and boost up the sale of coffee product. But this time round aluminium being perforated by 28 holes is an issue as well as the ongoing foamer. How is it that no health authority comments have been made on the safety to humans firstly with the sachets and now the coffee pods. Yes I have tried a coffee pod latte, aerated froth not a bit like a real latte not enjoyable at all.

Feb 04, 2013
Aluminium is a risk for our health
by: Anonymous

Aluminium causes the same symptoms like Alzheimer disease! The body can not handle Aluminium!
The capsules have a food-grade shellac coating inside... But: Puting the cacsule into the machine makes 28 holes into the Aluminium capsule.
Aluminium molecules will in every case go into the coffee! The food-grade coating can not help, when the capsule will be perforated - on several spots! (28)
scientific expertise makes sure today, that Aluminium is a major problem if accumulated in our body! And in our brain. How can nespresso take the responsibility for that???

Aug 05, 2012
Poison Nespresso?
by: Cameron

Exactly, the foam or crema creation is a little suspicious as this is what dictates whether the product is a success or not.normally this is created by pushing high pressure water thru the coffee grounds, in Nesprsso's case it produces large amounts of foam that doesn't have the right texture or taste.I wonder if the same foaming agents used in toothpaste and shampoo is used in this coffee product. Something has been added to Nespresso to change the surface tension to over foam to mimic classic CREMA.

May 16, 2012
safety of nespresso capsules
by: Anonymous

So we got an answer about plastics! What about the chemicals in the capsules, particularly "the creation of foam"?

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