Pricewatch: Value for Money

Coffee machine pods


Nespresso Livanto €3.60

Okay, we love our Nespresso machine. It’s neither the most economical nor the best way to drink coffee, but it delivers a consistently good, hassle-free cup. Until you run out of pods. And therein lies the problem with this brand. These Nespresso pods are very good – the best of the bunch, probably – and have a lovely sharpness and satisfyingly caffeinated hit. There’s also no messing with unnecessary packaging. But we can only get them in Brown Thomas, and there is always a massive queue, which has cost them a star.

Verdict: Great but . . .

Star rating: ****


Bewley’s Prima €3.59 Bewley’s wasn’t the first company to put Nespresso-compatible pods on the market, but these should become the most widely available alternative out there in the coming weeks. The coffee is very good. Some people might be sceptical about the brand, so we have done some research, and people who said they weren’t mad about Bewley’s coffee actually ranked it top spot on blind taste tests. It’s not cheap, but it is handy. Some people find the foil bags a hassle, but we managed to rip them open with our teeth easily enough.

Verdict: Much more convenient.

Star rating: ****


Bellarom Ristretto (Lidl) €1.99

If price was all that mattered, these new pods from the German discounter would win every time. They are certainly a welcome addition to the shelves of our local Lidl, and, while the coffee is not nearly as good as the original or the Bewley’s alternative, it is not terrible. Even the strongest options sold by Lidl are slightly insipid and lack the sharpness and the intensity of a really good cup of coffee.

Verdict: Cheap.

Star rating: ***


All About Pods Aromatico €2.95

As far as we are aware, this was the first company offering Nespresso-compatible pods in Ireland. When we first tried them, a couple of years ago, they cost more than 30 per cent less than the original. The price differential is not as great now, but they still come in cheaper than the mainstream brands. We like the coffee and the variety of pods available. We also like the ethics of the Clontarf-based company, which takes orders at, and promises to deliver within 24 hours, almost as long as you would be queuing if you bought the Nespresso option on a busy day in BT (solicitor’s note: this is a wild exaggeration).

Verdict: Nice coffee, nice company.

Star rating: ****

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