What do Nespresso intensity levels mean? It’s probably the most common question that arises from every Nespresso machine user, and many wonders if the intensity refers to caffeine content.
Nespresso intensity levels range from 1 to 13. With 13 being the highest in terms of roasting and robustness and 1 being the lightest. In terms of flavors, a rating below 6 is considered smooth and light, while a rating above 8 is considered strong and intense.
- The higher the intensity of the Nespresso Capsule the stronger the Coffee drink it will make.
- Strong doesn’t necessarily mean more caffeine, instead, it refers to body, bitterness, and the degree of roasting of coffee beans.
- IL Cafe is the strongest Vertuo line pod and Napoli is the strongest Original line Pod.
What does Nespresso intensity mean?
The intensity level is defined as a coffee’s degree of roasting, body, and bitterness. In addition, the intensity is due to the concentration of the coffee. It does not refer to the amount of caffeine content in the coffee pods.
The higher the intensity rating of coffee beans, the heavier will be the body, with more bitter coffee, and more robust flavors
A Nespresso pod with intensity between 9 and 13 is best for those who prefer strong coffee brewed with a full body, rich aroma, and bold flavors.
On the other hand, if you prefer light, acidic, and smooth flavors with fruity notes then go for an intensity level below 5.
Understanding the Nespresso intensity scale
Least Intense (Intensity Level ranges from 1 to 5)
A Nespresso coffee pod with intensity levels ranging from 1 to 5 brews a coffee that has smooth flavors, a bright profile, a light body, and a sweet taste.
In these coffee pods, the coffee is roasted shorter and lighter, and the flavor profile of the espresso shot reflects the origin of coffee beans
Low-intense coffee pods are especially great for drinking straight Espresso shots and black or Americano-style coffee (with water).
Medium Intense (Intensity Level ranges from 6-8)
The rating for medium-intense pods ranges from 6 to 8 on Nespresso’s scale These pods typically taste rich and bittersweet compared to less intense coffee pods.
Aroma, taste, acidity, and flavor profile are balanced, enabling you to prepare any drink ranging from black to water or milk.
Strongest Intensity (intensity Levels range from 9-13)
With intensity levels from 9 to 13, Nespresso coffee pods offer strong, intensely brewed coffee with a full body, a lush aroma, almost no acidity, and a bitter taste.
These pods are ideal for preparing milk-based espresso drinks, such as lattes and cappuccinos, and will surely amuse you with a powerful coffee experience.
The coffee in these pods is roasted for very long periods, removing all the acidity and enhancing the bitter flavors.
The high-intensity coffee pods are typically a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. And the Robusta beans increase the bitterness in taste and make the drink more robust.
I personally love Medium intensity pods for straight Espresso shots and strong intensity pods for Milk based drinks such as Latte and Cappuccino as the creaminess of milk pairs well with high-strength coffee pods
Nespresso Vertuo Pords intensity chart
These are the five fundamental sizes of Vertuo Line capsules. A 6th size that is selective to the Vertuo Next is not described here since it’s not as normal and not single-serving.
- Espresso — 1.35 ounces
- Double Espresso — 2.7 ounces
- Gran Lungo — 5.0 ounces
- Coffee Mug — 7.8 ounces
- Alto — 14.0 ounces
Table of Vertuo Pods
|Nespresso pod||Size||Intensity||caffeine content||Flavor|
|Solelio||Coffee||2||100-200 mg||Fruity & Light||View Solelio|
|Voltesso||Espresso||4||60 mg||Biscuity & Sweet||View Voltesso|
|Melozio Decaffeinato||Lungo||4||less than 12 mg||Malty Cereal & Creamy||View Melozio|
|Ethiopia||Lungo||4||120 – 200 mg||Fruity and Floral||View Ethiopia|
|Elvazio||Coffee||4||120-200 mg||Fruity & Delicate||View Elvazio|
|Giornio||Coffee||4||120-200mg||Floral & Velvety||View Giornio|
|XL Dolce Intenso||Alto||4||228 – 350 mg||Caramel & Toasted||View XL Dolce Inteso|
|Half Caffeinato||Coffee||5||90 mg||Sweet & Velvety||View Half Caffeinato|
|Colombia||Coffee||5||170 – 200 mg||Washed Arabica||View Colombia|
|Orafio||Espresso||6||50 – 60 mg||Caramel & Roasted||View Orafio|
|Chiaro||Double Espresso||6||120-200 mg||Woody & Earthy||View Chiaro|
|Arondio Gran||Lungo||6||120-200 mg||Cereal & Lightly Acidic||View Arondio Gran|
|Hazelino Muffin||Coffee||6||120-200 mg||Hazelnut||View Hazelino Muffin|
|Caramel Cookie||Coffee||6||120-200 mg||Caramel||View Caramel Cookie|
|Melozio||Coffee||6||120-200 mg||Honeyed sweetness||View Melozio|
|Vanilla Custard Pie||Coffee||6||120-200 mg||Vanilla||View Vanilla Custard Pie|
|Decaffeinato Intenso||Espresso||7||less than 12 mg||Cocoa & Fruity||View Decaffeinato Intenso|
|Costa Rica||Lungo||7||120 – 200 mg||Malty & Sweet||View Costa Rica|
|Odacio||Coffee||7||120-200 mg||Fruity & Lightly Acidic||View Odacio|
|Intenso XL||Alto||7||228-350 mg||Wood & Dark Caramel||View Intenso XL|
|Scuro||Double Espresso||8||120-200 mg||Cocoa & Vanilla||View Scuro|
|Fortado Gran||Lungo||8||120-200 mg||Cocoa & Oak||View Fortado Gran|
|Stormio||Coffee||8||120-200 mg||Spicy & Woody||View Stormio|
|Altissio||Espresso||9||60 mg||Roasty & Creamy Cereal||View Altissio|
|Altissio Decaffeinato||Espresso||9||Less than 12 mg||Full-Bodied & Creamy||View Altissio Decaffeinato|
|Intenso||Coffee||9||120-200 mg||Roasted Brown Sugar||View Intenso|
|Diavolitto||Espresso||10||150 mg||Oak Wood & Leather||View Diavolitto|
|IL Caffe||Espresso||11||50 – 60 mg||Very Intense||View Il Caffe|
What is the Storngest Nespresso Vertuo Capsule
If you are looking for the strongest Nespresso Vertuo pod in terms of intensity, the IL Caffe pod has an intensity level of 11, making it one of the strongest options available.
It is a blend of Vietnamese and Indonesian Arabica and Robusta coffee beans and is characterized by strong and rich flavors with a subtle sweetness, making it a popular choice for those who prefer bold and intense coffee.
In Coffee drink sizes, the highest-intensity pod is Intenso with a rating of 9. A blend of Guatemalan Robusta with bold and bitter notes is combined with Mexican Arabicas to enhance the sweeter taste.
Original Line Nespresso Pods intensity chart
In original line pods, there are three sizes available.
- Ristretto — 0.85 ounces
- Espresso — 1.35 ounces
- Lungo — 3.7 ounces
For ristretto pods, there are only high-intensity flavors available, whereas, for lungo and espresso, all flavors are available.
Table of Original Pods
|Ethiopia||Espresso||4||55-65 mg||Fruity notes||View Ethiopia|
|Cosi||Espresso||4||55-65 mg||Mild & lighted toasted||View on Cosi|
|Volluto||Espresso||4||55-65 mg||Sweet & Light||View Volluto|
|Volluto Decaffeinato||Espresso||4||less than 3 mg||Sweet & Light||View Volluto Decaffeinato|
|Buenos Aires||Lungo||4||100-110 mg||Sweet and cereal notes||View on Buenos Aires|
|Capriccio||Espresso||5||55-65 mg||Rich & Distinctive||View Capriccio|
|Capriccio||Espresso||5||55-65 mg||Rich & Distinctive||View on Capriccio|
|Nicaragua||Espresso||5||55-65 mg||Honey & Sweet Cereal||View on Nicaragua|
|Shanghai||Lungo||5||75-85 mg||Fruity Blend||View Shanghai|
|Caramel Crème Brulée||Espresso||6||55-65 mg||Caramel||View Caramel|
|Cocoa Truffle||Espresso||6||55-65 mg||Fruity espresso||View Cocoa Truffle|
|Genevo||Espresso||6||55-65 mg||Toasted Cereal & Sweet Caramel||View Genevo|
|Vanilla Éclair||Espresso||6||55-65 mg||Vanilla||View Vanilla|
|Tokyo Vivalto||Lungo||6||75-85 mg||Flowery notes, and refined roastiness||View Tokyo Vivalto|
|Venezia||Ristretto||8||55-65 mg||Intense& Roasted||View Venezia|
|Indonesia||Espresso||8||55-65 mg||Tobacco Leaves & Woody||View Indonesia|
|Roma Intenso||Espresso||8||55-65 mg||Woody & Cerealy||View Roma Intenso|
|Stockholm Fortissio||Lungo||8||75-85 mg||Sweet cereal and malty notes||View Stockholm|
|Firenze Appeggio||Ristretto||9||50 mg||Intense with fruity notes||View Firenze Appeggio|
|Rio De Janiero||Espresso||9||55-65 mg||Sandalwood and Herbal notes||View Rio De Janiero|
|Italiano||Ristretto||10||50 mg||Roasted and fruity notes||View Italiano|
|Ristretto Decaffeinato||Ristretto||10||less than 3 mg||Soft Cocoa & Subtly Fruity||View Decaffeinato|
|Cape town||Lungo||10||75-85 mg||Intense& Roasted||View Cape town|
|India||Espresso||11||55-65 mg||Woody & Spicy||View India|
|Palermo Kazaar||Ristretto||12||110 mg||Powerful Bitterness with notes of Pepper||View Palermo Kazaar|
|Napoli||Ristretto||13||60 – 70 mg||High intense & Roasted||View Napoli|
Which Nespresso original line pod is the strongest
Among Nespresso Original Line pods, the Napoli pod is the strongest with an intensity level of 13.
It is characterized by a strong and intense flavor with notes of pepper and a thick crema, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a bold and intense coffee.
Also read: Nespresso original vs Vertuo line
Do intensity on NESPRESSO means more caffeine?
This question comes to the mind of every Nespresso user whether the more intense pods contain more caffeine or the caffeine content increases with the increase in intensity level.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in tea, coffee, and cocoa plants. In addition, it activates the brain and central nervous system, keeps you awake, and helps to prevent fatigue.
Meanwhile, the intensity level depends on how the coffee beans are roasted, which has the ultimate impact on the overall texture and flavor of the coffee. It also stimulates taste with its dense texture, rich flavor, and savory aroma.
Therefore, a coffee pod’s intensity level only depends on the degree of roasting and has no effect on caffeine levels.
According to Nespresso FAQs
“The intensity is defined by a coffee’s degree of roasting, its body, and its bitterness. In addition, the intensity is due to the concentration of the coffee. It does not refer to the amount of caffeine found in the coffee.”
So please don’t confuse caffeine content with strength, then avoid some types of coffee just because of their strength rating.
In fact, there are Italiano decaffienato pods in the original series and Altissio Decaffeinato in the vertuo series have an intensity of over 10 and a negligible amount of caffeine.
How does Nespresso’s intensity level impact the taste and quality of coffee beans?
Higher-strength level doesn’t affect the amount of caffeine content, but it affects the taste and quality of coffee. Here we explained three essential elements and how they influence the taste, quality, and other coffee standards.
1)Degree of roasting
A coffee’s degree of roasting has a significant impact on its flavor, taste, and quality. There are four types of coffee roast
- Light roasts
- Medium roasts
- Medium-dark roasts
- Dark roasts
Generally, the darker the roast, the more intense and bitter flavors. And lighter the roast more fruity and acidic flavors.
2) Origin of the coffee
The taste and quality of coffee grounds in the Nespresso pods also depend on the origin i-e where the coffee beans were grown.
Coffee is grown in more than 50 countries in the World. These countries are mainly present in the tropical region also known as the bean belt. Some countries are known to produce higher-quality coffee than others because of their geographical characteristics.
Brazil is the largest exporter of coffee beans while coffee from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Colombia is known as the best-tasting coffee in the World.
See our detailed article on What country has the best coffee
3) type of coffee beans
The type of coffee beans whether it’s Arabica or Robusta can affect the bitterness of coffee.
Robusta coffee beans have a higher concentration of caffeine and chlorogenic acids than Arabica beans, which can make the taste of the drink more bitter.
Arabica coffee beans, on the other hand, have a lower concentration of these compounds and are generally considered to produce smoother, less bitter coffee.
Final Thoughts on the Nespresso Intensity Chart
So by reading this guide, I hope now you have a clear idea of What does Nespresso’s intensity level mean?
The Nespresso intensity chart is a useful tool for coffee lovers who are looking to explore the variety of flavors and strengths that Nespresso has to offer.
Nespresso intensity is determined by coffee beans’ richness, bitterness, and the degree of the roast, not caffeine content. Thus, true intense coffee has a bitter flavor, a heavy body, and a solid aroma.
For straight Espresso shots and black coffee, I recommend the pods with an intensity level between 5 and 8, and for the milk-based drinks, I will go for an intensity level between 7 and 11. However, taste is a completely subjective matter.
Can you run a Nespresso pod twice?
Nespresso won’t recommend you to use Nespresso pods more than once. However, you can reuse Nespresso pods if you want. But, the taste, aroma, and flavors will be affected and you will end up with a very bitter cup of coffee.
Here’s a guide on using Nespresso pods twice
What is the lightest Nespresso pod?
Among Original Nespresso pods, Ethiopia (4) and Cosi (4) have the lowest intensity. In Vertuo Pods Solelio (2) and Voltesso (4) have the lowest intensity.
These coffee pods have light-roasted coffee beans with smooth and acidic flavors.