Nespresso intensity levels

This blog will give you a complete overview of Nespresso intensity levels, and it’s the perfect place to learn about the factors affecting the taste and quality of the coffee brew.

In the single-serving coffee market, Nespresso pods have quickly become a household name. Nespresso has made its mark for itself by producing delicious coffee with reliable espresso machines and better-quality capsules.

Do you frequently use Nespresso pods? But do you know about Nespresso intensity? You’ve arrived at the perfect place if you don’t know! This blog will give you a comprehensive guide about Nespresso intensity levels for both Original and Vertuo Line.

Factors affecting the taste & quality of the coffee brew

  • Origin
  • Intensity
  • Aromatic profile
  • Cup size

What do the numbers on Nespresso pods mean?

If you’re a die-hard Nespresso fan, you’ve surely noticed that each capsule has its own serial number. The number represents the level of intensity offered by a pod. The intensity is the only information provided by Nespresso, and the number ranges from 1 to 13. You can check out this number for every capsule on the Nespresso website. This is how Nespresso determines how strongly flavored a pod is.

Numbers on Nespresso pods mean

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What does Nespresso intensity mean?

The degree of roasting, the body, and the bitterness of a coffee is called Nespresso intensity, and it is determined by the coffee’s concentration.

The Nespresso intensity level ranges between 1 to 13, with 1 being the least severe and 13 being the most intense.

Nespresso intensity mean

Light intensity: Levels 1-5

Nespresso pods with a 1-5 strength level are the best if you want a coffee with more taste and a vibrant profile. Low-intensity coffee is ideal for drinking black or in the form of an Americano.

Nespresso Light intensity

Medium intensity: Levels 6-8

The Nespresso pods of medium intensity levels between 6 to 8 will fall somewhere in the middle of the intensity chart. They have a unique deep, bittersweet flavor as compared to other coffees. Aroma, acidity, and flavor profile will all be balanced; that means you can enjoy them with water or milk.

Nespresso Medium intensity

Highest intensity: Levels 9-13

You should use the strongest pods if you want a dark roast coffee with a big body, a rich scent, and powerful hints of bitter flavor. These range in size from 9 to 13 and are ideal for milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

Nespresso Highest intensity

Does “intensity” mean caffeine content?

In rare circumstances, a higher intensity number for the Nespresso coffee capsules may appear to correspond to increased caffeine content; however, this is not the case. The caffeine concentration isn’t factored in because the intensity is determined by the degree of roasting, body, and bitterness of the coffee. Furthermore, the intensity is due to the coffee’s concentration. It has nothing to do with the amount of caffeine in the coffee.

Intensity level vs. caffeine content

When coffee beans are dissolved in water, caffeine is liberated as a colorless and tasteless substance. Caffeine content and intensity level have nothing to do with each other.

Let’s say the intensity level of Cosi from the Original Nespresso series is 4 out of 13, and it includes 55-60 mg of caffeine. That means the higher caffeine content of Cosi pod doesn’t affect its intensity level; if coffee’s intensity level and caffeine content are at a higher level or vice versa, it’s just a coincidence. 

If you’re seeking a comprehensive guide on Nespresso caffeine content, check out our informative article on this subject. I’m willing to bet that it will clarify your perceptions of intensity and caffeine content.

Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine intensity

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.

Original Nespresso intensity chart

Original Nespresso pods are classified by intensity rating in this Nespresso intensity chart. The majority of pods are in the medium intensity category.

Original PodSizeIntensity LevelIntensityCaffeine ContentFlavor Profile
VollutoEspressoLight464 mgWoody & Cereal
Volluto DecaffeinatoEspressoLight41.7 mgCaramel & Cereal
CosiEspressoLight455 – 65 mgMild & Lightly Toasted
Hawaii KonaEspressoLight572mgTropical & Exotic 
Shanghai LungoLungoLight582mgFruitness & Fine Acidity
EthiopiaEspressoLight455 – 65 mgFruit Jam & Orange Blossom
Buenos Aires LungoLungo Light4104Sweet & cereal
VoluttoEspressoLight455 – 65 mgSweet & Light
Volutto DecafEspressoLight4Less than 3 mgSweet & Light
CapriccioEspressoLight555 – 65 mgRich & Distinctive
NicaraguaEspressoLight555 – 65 mgHoney & Sweet Cereal
Freddo Intenso capsulesEspressoMedium650-100 mgBold & Dark Roasted
Vienna Linizio LungoLungoMedium675 mgMalty Cereal & Sweet
Genova LivantoEspressoMedium664 mgCaramel & Cereal 
Tokyo Vivalto LungoLungoMedium682 mgFlowery & Complex
Caramel Creme BruleeEspressoMedium655 – 65 mgCaramel
Freddo DelicatoEspressoMedium650-100 mgFruity & Sweet
Jamaica Blue EditionEspressoMedium762mgWoody & Spicy 
Cocoa TruffleEspressoMedium655 – 65 mgChocolate
Esperanza De ColumbiaEspressoLight553 mgFruity & Sweet
Forest BlackEspressoMedium760 mgWoody & Spicy
ColombiaEspressoMedium655 – 65 mgWiney & Red Fruit
GenovaEspressoMedium655 – 65 mgToasted Cereal & Sweet Caramel
TokyoLungoMedium677 – 85 mgFlowery & Complex
Vanilla EclairEspressoMedium655 – 65 mgVanilla
ViennaLungoMedium677 – 85 mgRound & Smooth
Vivalto LungoLungoMedium677 – 85 mgFloral & Complex
IndonesiaEspressoMedium855 – 65 mgTobacco Leaves & Woody
RomaEspressoMedium855 – 65 mgWoody & Cerealy
VeneziaEspressoMedium855 – 65 mgBalanced & Thick
StockholmLungoMedium877 – 85 mgRich & Full-bodied
Stockholm Fortissio LungoLungoMedium880 mgSweet Cereal & Malty
FirenzeEspressoHigh955 – 65 mgRoasty, Cocoa & Creamy
Firenze DecafEspressoHigh9Less than 3 mgRoasty, Cocoa & Creamy
Cape TownLungoHigh1077 – 85 mgIntense & Roasted
RistrettoRistrettoHigh1055 – 65 mgSoft Cocoa & Subtly Fruity
Ristretto DecafRistrettoHigh10Less than 3 mgSoft Cocoa & Subtly Fruity
Firenze ArpeggioRistrettoHigh963 mgIntense & Creamy
Firenze Arpeggio DecaffeinatoRistrettoHigh92 mgIntense & Creamy
Cape Town Envivo LungoLungoHigh10110 mgIntense & Roasted 
Ristretto Italiano DecaffeinatoRistrettoHigh102 mg Roasted, Berry & Cocca
Ristretto ItalianoRistrettoHigh1075 mgRoasted, Berry & Cocca
CortoEspressoHigh11103 mgDark roasted
IndiaEspressoHigh1155 – 65 mgWoody & Spicy
Palermo KazaarEspressoHigh12125 mgIntense & Syrupy
NapoliEspressoHigh1355 – 65 mgDark & Creamy

Vertuo Nespresso intensity levels chart

The Vertuo pods are categorized by intensity level in this chart. The majority of the pods fall into the medium intensity category. 

Vertuo PodSizeIntensity LevelIntensityCaffeine ContentFlavor Profile
SolelioCoffeeLight2170 – 200 mgFruity & Light
GiornioCoffeeLight4170 – 200 mgFloral & Velvety
ElvazioCoffeeLight4170 – 200 mgFruity & Delicate
EthiopiaGran LungoLight4120 – 200 mgFruity & Floral
Decaffeinato OntuosoGran LungoLight4Less than 12 mgMalty Cereal & Creamy
VoltessoEspressoLight450 – 60 mgBiscuity & Sweet
Dolce XLAltoLight4228 – 350 mgCaramel & Toasted
Half CaffeinatoCoffeeLight590 mgSweet & Velvety
ColombiaCoffeeLight5170 – 200 mgWashed Arabica
DolceDouble EspressoLight5100 – 120 mgCereal & Malted
ToccantoEspressoLight550 – 60 mgBerry & Winey
Jamaica Blue MountainEspressoMedium760-150 mgWoody & Spicy
MelozioCoffeeMedium6170 – 200 mgHoneyed sweetness
Hazelino MuffinCoffeeMedium6170 – 200 mgHazelnut
Forest FruitCoffeeMedium7130-200 mgJuicy & Sweet
Caramel CookieCoffeeMedium6170 – 200 mgCaramel
Vanilla Custard PieCoffeeMedium6170 – 200 mgVanilla
Chocolate FudgeCoffeeMedium6170 – 200 mgDark chocolate
Melozio DecaffeinatoCoffeeMedium62-4 mgBiscuity & Cereal
ChiaroDouble EspressoMedium6100 – 120 mgWoody & Earthy
OrafioEspressoMedium650 – 60 mgCaramel & Roasted
Peru OrganicEspressoMedium650 – 60 mgFruity & Complex
DecaffeinatoCoffeeMedium6Less than 12 mgRound & Malty
ArondioGran LungoMedium6120 – 200 mgCereal & Lightly Acidic
OdacioCoffeeMedium7170 – 200 mgFruity & Lightly Acidic
Fortado DecaffeinatoGran LungoMedium82-4 mgRoasted & Woody
MexicoCoffeeMedium7170 – 200 mgIntense & Spiced
Decaffeinato IntensoEspressoMedium7Less than 12 mgCocoa & Fruity
Costa RicaGran LungoMedium7120 – 200 mgMalty & Sweet
Intenso XLAltoMedium7228 – 350 mgWood & Dark Caramel
ScuroDouble EspressoMedium8100 – 120 mgCocoa & Vanilla
FortadoGran LungoMedium8120 – 200 mgCocoa & Oak
StormioCoffeeMedium8170 – 200 mgSpicy & Woody
Cafecito de Puerto RicoDouble EspressoHigh10120 – 200 mgCocca & Spicy
IntensoCoffeeHigh9170 – 200 mgRoasted Brown Sugar
AltissioEspressoHigh950 – 60 mgRoasty & Creamy Cereal
Altissio DecaffeinatoEspressoHigh9Less than 12 mgFull-Bodied & Creamy
DiavolittoEspressoHigh10150 mgOak Wood & Leather
Il CaffeEspressoHigh1150 – 60 mgIntense & Velvety
Ice LeggeroDouble EspressoN/AN/A120 – 200 mgFruity & Lighty
Ice ForteCoffeeN/AN/A130- 200 mgWoody, Peppery & Woody
Bianco LeggeroDouble EspressoN/AN/A120 – 200 mgNutty & Balanced

How do the Nespresso intensity levels affect the taste & quality of the coffee?

The intensity level defines the degree of roasting, as well as the bitterness of the coffee beans, which have a significant impact on the coffee’s quality and flavor. Another aspect that determines the intensity level, as well as the taste and quality of the coffee brew, is the coffee’s concentration.

Does an intense coffee contain more caffeine?

Caffeine content is completely a distinct criterion that has no bearing on the Nespresso capsules’ intensity level. Intensity is due to the coffee concentration, the degree of roasting, its body, and bitterness. It doesn’t refer to the amount of caffeine found in the coffee. So, when it comes to intensity, don’t consider caffeine content whether it is high or low. 

Does a strong intensity scale coffee contain more caffeine?

Let’s start with the most pervasive myth. The coffee intensity level is simply a measure of how dark the coffee has been roasted. It has nothing to do with the amount of caffeine in the drink. 

Which Nespresso pod has the lowest intensity level?

Buenos Aires Lungo has the lowest intensity level (4 out of 13) in Original Nespresso capsules, whilst Solelio (2 out of 13) has the lowest intensity level in Vertuo Nespresso pods.

 Nespresso pod has the lowest intensity level

Recommended guide: Nespresso Pod Sizes: Everything You Need to Know

Which Nespresso pod has the highest intensity level?

Napoli has the highest intensity level (13) in Original Nespresso pods, Diavolitto (10 out of 13), and Il Caffee (11 out of 13) have the highest intensity level in Vertuo Nespresso capsules.

Nespresso pod has the highest intensity level

What are the different kinds of roasts?

  • Light roasts
  • Medium roasts
  • Medium-dark roasts
  • Dark roasts
 Different kinds of roasts

Final thoughts:

Your increased knowledge of Nespresso intensity will come in handy when it comes to selecting the correct Nespresso pods for your palate. Choose a Nespresso capsule with a number below five if you prefer a light coffee or a pod with a number over eight if you prefer a darker coffee. You can choose your favorite coffee with ease now that you know what the Nespresso intensity level is.

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