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What Does Nespresso Intensity Mean

The Benefits Of Fairtrade Coffee

What The Intensity Numbers On Nespresso Capsules Mean

While using Fairtrade-certified coffee has no real impact on you or your coffee experience, using it can be a huge deal for the coffee famers who produce the coffee you drink.

This is because Fairtrade works to improve the coffee farmers quality of life, give them fair wages, and enable their children to attend school, while helping to develop local communities. It may not taste different, but its a coffee with a good heart.

Real Coffee saysâ¦

At Real Coffee, 80% of our Nespresso-compatible capsules contain Fairtrade coffee, and we are working on the rest. Just like our organic varieties, we charge no extra for using Fairtrade-certified coffee in our Nespresso pods.

Nespresso Originalline Caffeine Content

If youre drinking Nespresso pods from the original line, then youll discover that those pods tend to have less caffeine than others.

Each of these pods contains just 5 grams of ground coffee.

However, the Nespresso Lungo pods have a bit more coffee in them, with a total of 5.5 grams of ground coffee in the pod.

The average caffeine content of these pods fall in the following ranges:

  • 60mg to 75mg of caffeine in the pods that contain 5 grams of coffee
  • 80mg to 140mg of caffeine in the pods that contain 5.5 grams of coffee

Heres a quick look at the various original line Nespresso pods and their caffeine content, in alphabetical order so that you can easily locate the pods you use daily.


Best For Cappuccinos: Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Venezia

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Possibly too mild for some people

  • Available at fewer retailers than average

This blend of Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans is ideal for a cappuccino, latte, or any milk-based coffee drink, frothed or not. Tasting notes include caramel and cereal, as well as a light fruitiness. With an intensity rating of eight, this capsule provides just enough coffee flavor when mixed with milk but won’t overpower the sweeter elements that make for a great cappuccino, like cinnamon, brown sugar, etc. Nespresso even uses the Ispirazione Venezia capsule to make a special tiramisu cappuccinoa recipe that can be found on the company’s website.

The Venezia capsule is relatively new to the Nespresso line and isn’t as readily available as other varieties, but it comes at the same price point and can be ordered in any desired quantity off the brand website. Note that these capsules are not compatible with Nespresso VertuoLine machines, only OriginalLine.

Category: Original | Intensity: 8 out of 13 | Cup Size: 0.85 and 1.35 ounces | Origin: South America and Africa | Roast: Medium-dark

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What Does Kazaar Taste Like

Well, to put it simply, it tastes like intensity!

Due to the split-roasting process, each of the beans in the blend is able to develop its own character, providing an almost shocking bitterness and a robust body from the Robustas, but also a hint of sweetness from the Arabica.

Indeed, this coffee isnt for the faint of heart. But if you like your coffee to hit you like a slap in the face, Kazaar is the capsule for you but of course there are other options too.

Nespresso Originalline Vs Vertuoline Intensity

What Does Nespresso Mean By

There are many pods to pick across the whole intensity range, whether you have an Original or Vertuo Nespresso machine. OriginalLine and VertuoLine Nespresso pods mostly fall in the light and medium intensity level category. Napoli is the strongest OriginalLine Nespresso pod. Diavolitto is the strongest Vertuoline Nespresso pod. Our comprehensive comparison of the Nespresso Vertuo line vs. the Original line will quench your hunger for knowledge about these two Nespresso lines.

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Is Espresso More Potent Than Coffee

The caffeine content of regular drip coffee is higher than that of espresso shots. One and a half billion dollars are spent on agriculture by the USDA. The caffeine content of a 5-ounce shot of espresso is approximately 90 to 100 milligrams. Consequently, the caffeine jolt is stronger and faster than when sipping a cup of extra-dark roast while relaxing.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats

Donna Currie is a freelance food writer who specializes in product reviews and recipes. Her work has appeared on Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, and her own recipe blog, She’s also the author of “Make Ahead Bread,” a cookbook meant to simplify the bread-baking process.

This piece was updated by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of coffee products, from measuring scoops to commercial espresso machines, and interviews field experts for their insight. At home, he typically makes coffee with the Bodum Brazil French Pressa great budget option, especially for those who prefer non-electric brewers.

Patrick Cotter, the Content Marketing Specialist for Seattle Coffee Gear, was interviewed for this piece. He manages the company’s blog, social media, and content pages. Founded in 2005, Seattle Coffee Gear is a retailer that focuses on coffee education.

Alexander Payne, Manager of North American Public Relations at Terracycle, was also interviewed for this piece. Founded in 2001, TerraCycle is a U.S. organization that focuses on recycling hard-to-recycle waste.

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How To Pick A Pod With More Caffeine

This isnt easy. Firstly lets touch on what factors contribute to the caffeine content.

  • Roast Look the roast info. Generally, the darker the roast, the lesser amount of caffeine. This is because the roasting process actually destroys caffeine
  • Robustavs. Arabica. These are the two distinct varieties of coffee beans, and Nespresso may use one, the other, or a blend the two within each capsule. Robust has much more caffeine than Arabica, so if you find a pod that is predominantly Robusta youll be in for a caffeine hit.

Most pods are of more traditional Italian/Espresso roast which has a lot less caffeine than the city roasts. Blond espresso will give you the biggest buzz. The light city roast is the next best option if you need a bit more flavor in your cup.

Finally, weve written an article cataloguing the caffeine content of every Nespresso pod. You can read it here.

Nespresso Coffee Machines Without Water Pressure

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When a coffee machine loses water pressure when brewing coffee, this is usually caused by excessive calcification. Sediments and limescale are deposited in the internal pipes of the coffee machine, preventing the normal circulation of water . One or more descaling operations can solve this issue.

A completely different situation is if your Nespresso coffee machine has no pressure, i.e. no or very little water comes out. In this case, it is most likely that the pressure pump has broken down. In these situations, you must disassemble the coffee machine and check the pump to ensure it is good. If it is faulty, it should be replaced.

When you disassemble the machine, you should look for a pump like the one in the picture below, Write down the characteristics of the pump and look for a replacement on the internet.

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The Official Definition Of Intensity In Coffee

From the Specialty Coffee Association website:

Coffee shall exhibit a brew strength, measured in Total Dissolved Solids, of 11.5 to 13.5 grams per liter, corresponding to 1.15 to 1.35 percent on the SCA Brewing Control Chart, resulting from a solubles extraction yield of 18 to 22 percent*.

Thats the golden cup standard that a good coffee should achieve. If you want to read more on this, the full pdf is here.

The key parameter for the SCA is TDS, Total Dissolved Solids: this is the amount of solid components that during the coffee extraction end up in the cup. The more they are, the more the coffee is strong or intense.

So it goes for an official definition. Different coffee drinkers will identify as intense or strong according to different cultural and personal perceptions of it. As Perfect Daily Grind puts it, in some countries an intense coffee means a bitter one or an acidic one will be thought of weaker than others .

Others will consider a coffee intense if it has a heavy body, or a crema or an intense aftertaste or if the caffeine kick it gives you is strong.

The definition of what constitutes an intense coffee may wildly vary then. The SCA has selected to think in terms of solids in the coffee, which doesnt help you as a consumer to identify without a measuring tool if a coffee is stronger than another. It is perfect for professionals as they quantify in a scientific way a coffees strength.

Does An Intense Coffee Contain More Caffeine

In this part, we would like to give you some relevant facts about whether an intense coffee contains more caffeine or not.

First and foremost, we all know that caffeine content is a natural stimulant found in tea, coffee, and cocoa plants. Plus, it functions by activating the brain and central nervous system, keeping you awake, and preventing fatigue.

Meanwhile, the intensity level is based on how the coffee seeds are roasted, which has a significant impact on the texture and flavor of the coffee. It also stimulates your taste with its dense texture, rich flavor, and flavorful scent.

As a result, we can conclude that the caffeine content of a cup of coffee has nothing to do with its intensity. Please dont misconceive the caffeine level with intensity, then avoid some coffee types just because of their intensity rating.

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An Introduction To Nespresso Pods

Before we start talking about the numbers on Nespresso pods, lets start talking about what these pods actually are.

Nespresso pods can go by all sorts of different names depending on where you buy them. They can be coffee pods, coffee pots, coffee pods, or Nespresso pods.

Sometimes, you may find that the term coffee pods refers to pods for other coffee brands and not for Nespresso.

Regardless of what you call them, Nespresso pods are individual single-use containers that contain about 5 or 6 grams of ground coffee beans.

The pods come in tons of concentrations, bean types, and flavors.

The capsules are specially designed for coffee machines made by Nespresso. When you place a pod inside the machine, the machine punctures a hole in it.

Then, the machine forces hot water through the pod to produce a cup of coffee.

What About Nespresso Compatible Capsules Intensity Ratings

Nespresso 120 Pack Compatible Coffee Pods Capsules Intensity 6/8/10 ...

Some of the Nespresso compatible capsules we have been reviewing do publish an intensity rating for their coffee. If so, you can find it in the specific review, as with any original Nespresso pods.

Whether this rating means the same as the Nespresso ones it is not known. Most capsules have a different scale anyway, Caffé Vergnano has a 1 to 5 scale that definitely doesnt match Nespressos.

Dont judge then an intensity rating in absolute terms, comparing different brands capsules with each other. A 5 rated capsule of a company can mean extremely intense for them but on the weak side for another company. The various ratings cannot be compared with each other, only within the same brand.

The clearest definition remains the one of the SCAs: how many solids are present in your cup of coffee. It doesnt help much a consumer though, and what you feel its more intense may not be intense for your barista at all.

What do you think defines an intense coffee? Do you agree with the SCA or Nespressos definition? What do you think its the most intense coffee capsule?

If you liked it, please share!

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Nespresso Intensity Levels Vs The Caffeine Content

The caffeine content in a Nespresso capsule cannot be expressed by the intensity level of the coffee blend. The intensity level mainly describes the degree of roasting and the bitterness of the coffee. However normal Nespresso capsules come in a range of 60 to 90 mg caffeine range and also there contains decaffeinated Nespresso capsules too.

What Does Nespresso Intensity Mean

If youre new to the world of Nespresso, you may be wondering What Does Nespresso Intensity mean? The answer lies in the illustration on the pod box. While this may seem like a confusing number, it just refers to how much coffee is used in the brewing process. Essentially, it refers to the ratio of coffee beans to water, as well as the taste of the coffee. Despite the name, its important to know that intensity does not directly reflect the caffeine content of the capsule.

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How Nespresso Defines Intensity

From their official FAQs:

The intensity is defined by a coffees 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.

A definition much closer to what you as a consumer would expect to give but not quite what many would have imagined.

Nespresso has an intensity rating that goes from 1 to 13. It considers coffee below 6, included, as not intense, and above 8 as intense. Intensity for Nespresso is then a mix of how much coffee is concentrated, which may refer to the TDS value of the Specialty Coffee Association, and a degree of how its roasted, its body and its bitterness.

Thus, a heavier body, bitter and with a higher percentage of solids in it is what Nespresso considers an intense coffee. And if you think of the most intense capsules on the Nespresso scale like Kazaar, Napoli or Dharkan, it makes perfect sense as all of them fit the definition from the FAQs.

Coffees Degree Of Roasting

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We can not deny that the coffees degree of roasting has a significant impact on the quality and flavor of the coffee brew. To be more specific, there are four main roasts to adjust the coffee intensity level you like, such as Light roasts, medium roasts, medium-dark roasts, dark roasts.

Generally, the higher the intensity of the brewed coffee, the darker the roast. Dark roasts, on the other hand, are richer and bitterer than lighter roasts.

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Nespresso Intensity Levels & The Caffeine Content

The Nespresso intensity chart shows levels ranging from 1 to 13. Nespresso Pods containing numbers from 1 to 6 are not considered to be intense and anything above this level is dark and intense. The whole process of giving coffee pods a number for their intensity depends on how coffee beans are roasted, the concentration of coffee, the method of brewing it, and the bitter taste.

The caffeine content in a pod does not define the intensity. The Nespresso coffee capsules usually contain 5 grams of caffeine no matter what the intensity level is. The caffeine content just gives coffee the taste and aroma it is supposed to have.

Nespresso Intensity Level Chart & List

  • Latest updated on January 2, 2022

The intensity is defined by a coffees degree of roasting, its body and its bitterness. In addition the intensity is due to the concentration of the coffee.

This is how Nespresso describes the coffee intensity.

With a quick view to Nespresso coffee capsules, we can see that most of coffee pods intensity levels are indicated with their roasting degree.

Coffee with lightest intensity: Solelio

Coffee with darkest intensity: Napoli

However, it is important to note that as roasting degree and intensity level are usually compatible with each other, there are a few exceptions.

That means intensity level is not always = roasting degree.

Anyway, lets get to the point.

As many Nespresso fans know, Nespresso intensity levels are ranged from 1 to 13.

  • Lowest intensity: 1

How about the meaning of these numbers? What do the numbers on Nespresso pods mean ?

To understand the meaning of the numbers of these intensity levels of coffee pods, I directly got contact with Nespresso US specialist via live chat.

According to the response I got from Nespresso, each coffee pods are classified under 3 main groups as per their respective intensity levels .

Low Intensity

These coffees are roasted for less time, light bodied, soft-drinking and elegant.

Feels light on the tongue, leaves little flavor in the mouth.

Leaves a clear taste in the mouth.

As the intensity level range starts with 1, there is no Nespresso coffee pod with intensity level 1.

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What Do Nespresso Intensity Numbers Mean

Now, when you purchase Nespresso capsules, you will notice that one of the distinguishing features of each type of capsule is intensity. The intensity ranges from 1 to 11. Many of the coffees are around 4.

With Nespresso, intensity is used to define the degree of roasting and body of a strain of coffee. It also correlates to bitterness.

Therefore, the greater the intensity rating, the stronger and more bitter the coffee will be.

Original Line: All About That Pressure

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Each Nespresso Original espresso machine has a unique design and configuration, but for the most part, they all work the same way.

With this line of Nespresso espresso machines, you insert a compatible capsule and close the machine. The pod is punctured three times on the top side. When you choose your drink size, the coffee machine pumps the correct amount of water from the water tank to the capsule.

The water line is curled around a heating element, ensuring the water reaches perfect brewing temperature on its journey.

The heated water is pumped into the capsule under high pressure until the broad, foil-covered side of the capsule bursts, releasing rich, crema-topped espresso. A filter inside the capsule ensures that no coffee grounds get into your cup of coffee.

As if using these single-serve brewers isnt easy enough, clean-up is even simpler. When you open any Nespresso machine to insert a new capsule, the coffee machine automatically ejects the used pod into a built-in waste bin.

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