I love my Nespresso machine, and the ease of brewing relatively tasty coffee from a little pod. That said, I don’t always want to drink coffee. In the late afternoon, for example, it’s nice to switch from the high caffeine of espresso to the low-key caffeine of tea.
The good news is that Nespresso machines are surprisingly good at brewing tea.
You can brew tea in a Nespresso maker using tea bags and a simple hack, where you essentially run the machine without a coffee pod and use the resulting hot water to brew tea from a teabag.
One of my favorite recent discoveries, though, is a simple pod from UMatcha that lets you brew a matcha green tea latte in your Nespresso machine with no hacking at all.
Making Matcha in a Nespresso Machine
For those who aren’t in the know, matcha is an especially strong, flavorful form of green tea. It’s usually sold as a powder that you whisk into hot milk or water.
Matcha is the green tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It’s delicious and also has a nice caffeine kick.
It’s also a perfect candidate for brewing with a Nespresso maker. Matcha is best when it’s vigorously whisked, making the tea frothy and thick. With their high-pressure water pumps and milk frothers, Nespresso machines are an ideal platform for making matcha.
Again, you can use your Nespresso machine to brew water and then whisk in matcha powder the old-fashioned way. I’ve done that with off-the-shelf matcha mixes, and it works, though it’s time-consuming.
But with UMatcha’s capsules, the process is way easier.
About UMatcha’s Nespresso Capsules
UMatcha capsules come from the Republic of Tea, which is a respected tea company. They usually make teabags and loose-leaf tea, but they seem to be branching out into creating Nespresso-compatible tea capsules.
You can get UMatcha capsules on Amazon. They come in a pack of 10 capsules. The capsules themselves are designed to be compatible with Nespresso’s Original Line machines.
To brew a Umatcha capsule, you simply pop it into your Nespresso machine just like you would with an espresso capsule. You can use the same brew settings you’d normally use. I recommend brewing with the Lungo setting.
One thing I love about the UMatcha capsules is that they’re sugar free. A lot of commercially available matcha powders are basically pure sugar with a little tea flavoring.
You can certainly still add sugar to your UMatcha tea (I like to sweeten it with simple syrup), but you don’t have to if you want a sugar free green tea. That’s a big advantage, and also means you’re getting a better value, since you’re not paying for a capsule filled with sugar instead of actual tea powder.
Another nice thing about these pods is that the tea itself is organic.
My Test of the UMatcha Capsules for Nespresso
I’ve gotten multiple sleeves of UMatcha capsules for my Nespresso machines, and I’ve been testing them in my home since May of 2022. I use the capsules with my Nespresso De Longhi Latissima Nespresso machine.
Here’s a video of my testing:
Overall, the uMatcha pods work really well. Again, you just pop them into your machine and brew as usual. I like to use the milk frother to create the full matcha latte experience.
The matcha from these capsules looks beautiful as it flows into your cup! It’s got a deep, emerald green color. What a cool thing to see flowing from your Nespresso machine!
I often run the machine once on Lungo and then again on the smaller size to extract all the tea from the capsule. With a single brew, I find I don’t get enough volume of tea vs milk, so the drink feels too weak.
Again, the uMatcha pods are sugar free, which is great if you want a strong and somewhat bitter brew. You can also choose to add in a sweetener once you brew your cup. My top choices are:
- Simple syrup, to keep the smooth consistency of the matcha without the graininess of sugar
- A bit of Splenda, vigorously whisked in
The resulting drink is bold, sweet, creamy and has a lovely green color.
Cons of the uMatcha Pods
Although I enjoy using them a lot, the uMatcha pods for Nespresso aren’t perfect. My main gripe is that the quality of the pods’ packaging feels kind of shoddy.
The box itself is beautiful, but the pods are plastic instead of aluminum, and the foil on top of them feels thinner and router than the foil on a normal Nespresso pod.
Some users report that their uMatcha pods can jam in their machines, and I bet that the relatively low quality of the pods’ plastic and foil is to blame. I think they use this packaging to make the pods easier to recycle at home and reduce the environmental impact, but I’d prefer an in-store recyclable version built with better materials.
Overall, that’s a relatively small gripe, so long as the tea itself tastes good. But for pods that are fairly pricey relative to loose matcha powder, I’d like to see a higher quality of materials used in the pods’ construction.
Another con is that the uMatcha pods work only with Original Line machine. They are not compatible with the Nespresso Vertuo.
uMatcha pods are pricier than loose matcha powder, and the quality of the pods’ materials leaves a bit to be desired. Still, these are a great choice if you want to brew tea with your Nespresso machine in the most convenient way possible.
uMatcha capsules are great if you’re brewing for a group, too. It’s one thing to go through the meditative ritual of whisking traditional matcha when you’re making a single cup for yourself. If you’ve making tea for a bunch of friends, though, you’ll appreciate the convenience of popping in a pod and letting your machine do the work.
Where to Buy
I recommend getting your uMatcha pods on Amazon. They have great prices and tend to ship the pods out quickly.
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