This is an article about Colonna’s Nespresso Original Line capsules. If you don’t know about Colonna, this is a company started by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood in Bath UK. They make aluminum nitrogen sealed capsules that are compatible with the Nespresso Original Line machine. The quality of the coffee in my opinion, is comparable, if not better than Nespresso’s coffee. So you will definitely want to try these out!
My original order was the “all 3” package which includes 20 Foundation, 10 Discovery and 10 Rare type capsules. The 4 boxes of 10 were very nicely packed in a nice shaped front opening cardboard box (see picture below).
The boxes on the front have a clear label whether they are Foundation, Discovery or Rare. On the back will be a label like this:
Which shows the particular coffee that they’ve used. On the side of the box is a best before stamp:
It doesn’t tell you the production date (like Nespresso), but at least gives you an idea of the expiry time. Although, these capsules are nitrogen packed (like Nespresso capsules) so they can probably last a very long time.
Inside the box is the standard 10 capsules neatly packed in a cardboard holder:
Although, I did have one package where the cardboard fell down and the capsules were loose. Because they were loose, some of them were slightly dented – but I believe they are fine.
The capsules are completely aluminum, and have an thin aluminum foil protective top. I can see that they are tightly sealed. The shape is almost the same as the Nespresso capsules. They fit perfectly in my machine and there is no water leakage when brewing them.
I live in the United States, so they had to ship from the UK to the US. Including shipping (via Royal Mail in the UK, and USPS in the US), the cost per capsule works out to approximately $0.91 USD. Colonna also has an option to order 12 subscription deliveries and get a free machine.
You can choose from either Lungo or Short capsules. The recommended Lungo cup size is actually less than the standard Nespresso Lungo size. They mention 80g for a Lungo size.
For a Short size capsule, as I understand, this would be similar to a Ristretto. So when you make on your Original Line machine, do half the size of an Espresso size cup for optimum results. Colonna recommends 25g for a Short size cup. See the below video on brewing a Ristretto on an Original Line machine:
You can see their Get the Best Out of Your Capsules page for more information. They also recommend shaking the capsule before brewing it to stir around the coffee inside. This seems like a good idea, and I’m trying it with my Nespresso capsules constantly now to see the results.
Both the Foundation and Discovery type capsules are cheaper than the Rare capsules. I also presume that they use different coffee blends throughout the year – so this is definitely a good alternative to Nespresso. I like to try out different coffees to add some spice to life.
I’m in the US, and Colonna is in the UK. So I was surprised they only charged 3.00 pounds (about $3.63 USD) for shipping.
It took approximately 1 week to ship my order and the boxes arrived completely undamaged. The box was placed in my community mailbox. So I’m very impressed overall.
Now finally, about the coffee… I’ve had a chance to try all three types (Foundation, Discovery, Rare) of the capsules. They are all unique and have an awesome flavor. I’ve previously tried L’Or and HiLine Nespresso compatible capsules, but I found the L’Or coffee tastes terrible and HiLine has a weird caramel like aftertaste (probably from the plastic capsules) to them. But this coffee taste on a level comparable to Nespresso’s coffee, if not better.
You may want to give them a try. I will review each of them individually as I start trying them out.