Best-Rated Coffee Pods

Compare coffee pods in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Nespresso, Nescafe and Starbucks were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Aroma, Packaging, Taste, Texture/Consistency, Variety/Range and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Nespresso

Nespresso is the favourite tipple of more than just George Clooney! The coffee pods are the No.1 choice of Kiwi coffee lovers, who have awarded Nespresso Canstar Blue’s 2024 Award for Most Satisfied Customers | Coffee Pods.

How we rate coffee pods

Our review compares coffee pods on customer satisfaction, so you can discover what other Kiwis think about our compared coffee pod brands before you go ahead and make a purchase. Think of it like asking hundreds of your closest friends and family which coffee pod brand they think is best.

Canstar Blue surveyed 237 Kiwis who had bought coffee pods to use at home in the past three months and asked for their feedback on the coffee they bought.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their coffee pods brands from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall Satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a coffee pod brand as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Aroma: the aroma of the product was pleasant and tempting.
  • Packaging: the product packaging was aesthetically pleasing and provided sufficient information and instructions.
  • Taste: true to the flavour description (i.e. smooth, bold, etc.) and tasted delicious.
  • Texture/Consistency: the texture of the product was as expected.
  • Variety/Range: there was a wide range of choices within the product line.
  • Value for Money: good quantity and quality of product for the cost.

The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall Satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall Satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall Satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall Satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Nespresso
  • Nescafe
  • Starbucks

Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.

Best coffee in New Zealand

  1. Nespresso
  2. Nescafé 
  3. Starbucks


Ratings Results

Nespresso pioneered the pod coffee machine, and remains a global leader in great-tasting pod coffee capsules, endorsed by Hollywood stars such as George Clooney. Nespresso’s pursuit of coffee excellence is reflected in the near-perfect set of scores it receives from Kiwi coffee drinkers in our award ratings. It scores 5 Stars in every ratings category except one, earning its lowest score – still a great 4-Star seal of approval – for Value for Money. However, this is understandable, due to Nespresso’s exclusivity and higher price points.

Editor’s Notes

Nespresso’s coffee pod range offers a huge selection of different flavours and styles. It often features seasonal and limited editions, and pods come packaged in distinctive capsule designs. However, Nespresso capsules are not available through supermarkets and are only sold through Nespresso directly, either online or in Nespresso Boutiques. The full Nespresso range is available online here.


Ratings Results

Nespresso’s sister coffee brand earns strong ratings from its legions of drinkers. It scores 4-Star ratings across all categories, except for Value for Money, for which it earns an extemporary 5 Stars. This is understandable, as Nescafé pods are more readily available, and feature on supermarket shelves.

Editor’s Notes

Nescafé is a brand synonymous with coffee. As well as coffee pods, its range of products includes instant coffees, flavoured instant coffees and flavoured latte and cappuccino drink powders.


Ratings Results

Across all of our award categories, Starbucks earns a solid set of 3-Star ratings. However, while 3 Stars is not a top rating, neither is it a measure of dissatisfaction. Rather, it shows that Starbucks coffee capsule customers are happy with the value and flavour delivered by their choice of pod coffee.

Editor’s Notes

Starbucks has to be the best-known global coffeeshop brand. Although it sells whole beans in its stores, Starbucks’ products available in supermarkets are limited to an instant coffee and a range of coffee capsules for use in Nespresso machines.

Other coffee pod brands

Not all brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.

  • Countdown
  • Jed’s Coffee Co.
  • L’Or


Editor’s Notes

The supermarket chain’s own brand coffee includes a range of fresh and ground coffee beans of different intensity roasts. Countdown also sells instant coffees, flavoured milky coffee powders and coffee capsules, all at budget-friendly prices.

Jed’s Coffee Co

Editor’s Notes

Jed’s Coffee Co is a homegrown brand that has expanded its range considerably over the past few years, since it became part of the Dutch company Jacobs Douwe Egberts, which also owns Hummingbird coffee, the winner of our Best-Rated Coffee Beans Award.

Just like Jed’s whole beans, its pod coffees come in four strength levels: ranging from 3 (Strong), for a full, rich roast, to X (Extreme) for coffee that really packs a punch!


Editor’s Notes

L’Or is a coffee brand that is owned by Jacobs Douwe Egberts, one of the world’s largest coffee companies, which also owns the Moccona brand, as well as Jed’s and Hummingbird. In New Zealand, L’Or sells a range of different intensity roast and flavoured coffee capsule for use in Nespresso coffee machines.

Choosing the Right Coffee for You

Coffee tastes are very personal. Some like their coffee milky and sweet, others short, black and bitter. But whether you’re a latte or an instant lover, one thing is paramount, the flavour of the coffee.

Just over a third of respondents in our survey (36%) are faithful to one brand, which corresponds to the biggest factor influencing their choice of outstanding coffee: taste, cited by 33% of our coffee consumers.

Oddly, aroma sits close to the bottom of the list of influencing factors, along with Packaging. Although that’s probably to do with the fact that all coffee smells great!

Here’s the full rundown of what the consumers in our survey say are the main things they consider when rating their coffee picks:

  • Taste: 33%
  • Value for Money: 22%
  • Texture/Consistency: 16%
  • Aroma: 13%
  • Packaging: 9%
  • Variety/Range: 8%

Different Types of Coffee Explained

Black Coffees


Espresso is simply a shot of coffee, with no extra water added. To make an espresso, shoot boiling water under high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans and then pour into a tiny cup. The strong coffees are the purest coffee experience you can get, and while not for everyone, they can be a truly singular experience when you find a good brew.

Caffè Americano

This is simply a shot of espresso coffee with extra added hot water. The coffee style is said to originate from US soldiers in Italy during WWII.

Long Black

A long black is made by pouring a double shot of espresso over hot water. This method retains the coffee’s crema (distinctive creamy head), which is lost if you add hot water to an espresso.


Lungo is Italian for long, and a Lungo is a shot of espresso that’s been pulled for longer – had more water pushed through the coffee grounds over a longer time period. It results in a more dilute, milder tasting coffee, yet with more caffeine and a slightly more bitter taste.

Milky coffees

Flat White

Possibly the most popular coffee in New Zealand. A flat white is made by pouring velvety steamed milk over a shot of espresso, with minimal froth.

Café Latte (Café au lait)

Popular worldwide, though less so here thanks to our preference for flat whites, lattes consist of steamed milk and a small layer of milk froth. It’s like a flat white, only with a little more volume on top.


The frothiest and foamiest of the milky coffee triumvirate, the cappuccino is possibly the most popular type of coffee in the world. A cappuccino consists of three layers: equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foam.

Here in NZ, we tend to use a double-shot of espresso as the basis of all our coffee beverages. So our cappuccinos tend to have a little more kick than cappuccinos elsewhere.

Macchiato (Piccolo Latte)

A macchiato is a shot of espresso that is topped off with foamed milk dashed directly into the cup. Although it’s similar to a cappuccino, it’s usually stronger, as there’s no hot milk added. And it’s also smaller, usually served in an espresso-sized cup.


A mocha is just a latte with added chocolate powder or syrup, sometimes topped with whipped cream. If anything, this is a good entry-level coffee – existing in the world between children’s hot chocolates and adult café lattes.

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

More Information

Key statistics:

Use an espresso machine: 39%

Stick to one coffee brand: 36%

Buy the coffee that’s on special: 33%

Use a plunger: 31%

Have stopped buying takeout coffees to save money: 29%

Use non-dairy milks: 17%

Buy fair trade coffee: 15%

Use a stovetop espresso pot: 12%

Buy organic coffee: 10%

Buy the cheapest coffee brand due to high grocery costs: 13%

Canstar Blue surveyed 5108 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who who had bought coffee beans to brew at home in the past three months. In this case, 237 New Zealanders. Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.

The past winners from Canstar Blue’s Coffee ratings:

  • 2023: Havana

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