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What Do The Numbers on Nespresso Pods Mean?

Nespresso intensity levels range on a number scale from 1 to 13. Nespresso levels are based on the concentration of the coffee, its body, its bitterness and its degree of roasting. The lighter the roast, the lower the intensity. On the other hand, the darker the roast, the higher the intensity. A rating below 6 on the scale is defined as “light”. In contrast, those with a rating above 8 on the scale are “intense“ or “dark” because they undergo a long roasting. This affects the flavor of the pods too.

It is important to note that a higher level does not mean there is a higher amount of caffeine found in the coffee. However, if you are looking for caffeine content you can check out our Nespresso pod caffeine content guide for the amount of caffeine in each pod.

What Does Nespresso Intensity Mean?

Strongest Intensity: Levels 9-13

If you are looking for a dark roast coffee brewed with a full body, a rich aroma and a bold and hints of bitter flavor, then you’ll like the strongest pods. These are between 9 and 13 on the Nespresso number scale. Pods with an intensity of 9 or higher will give you that powerful coffee experience. These are great for drinks made with milk, such as lattes and cappuccinos.

Least Intense: Levels 1-5

If you want a coffee with more flavor, a bright profile, a light body and a sweet taste, then choose a pod with a rating between 1 and 5. This coffee goes through a short and light roasting. As a result, the flavor profile of the coffee will reflect the characteristics of the climate and soil of its origin.

Low intensity coffee and espresso pods are especially great for drinking black or americano-style (with water). These allow the unique flavors of the coffee’s origin to come through.

Medium Intensity: Levels 6-8

Medium intensity pods will fall somewhere in between. They will have a Nespresso level of 6, 7 or 8. Compared to other coffees and espressos, these will typically have a rich and bittersweet taste. The aroma, acidity and flavor profile will be balanced. That means you can enjoy them in any style, black or with water or milk.

There are two buying guides organized by pod intensity level below. If you have an Original line Nespresso coffee machine, then use the buying guide for Original pods. However, if you have an Vertuo line Nespresso coffee machine, you should use the buying guide for Vertuo pods. If you are unsure, then see the following image to help you determine which type of coffee capsules and pod sizes your Nespresso machine uses.

original pod
vertuo pod

Original Nespresso Intensity Chart

This Nespresso chart shows Original Nespresso pods grouped by their intensity rating. The most pods are in the medium intensity level group.

Palermo Kazaar is the strongest Nespresso Originalline pod. The flavor is intense and bitter. The spicy aroma is rich in notes of roasted wood and pepper. One pod has 125 mg of caffeine. That is double the levels of most other pods.

Nespresso Intensity Chart: Original Capsules grouped by intensity levels
Nespresso Intensity Chart: Original Capsules grouped by intensity levels

Shoppable Table of Nespresso Original Pods

Original PodSizeIntensityCaffeine ContentFlavor Profile
CosiEspresso455 – 65 mgMild & Lightly Toasted
EthiopiaEspresso455 – 65 mgFruit Jam & Orange Blossom
VoluttoEspresso455 – 65 mgSweet & Light
Volutto DecafEspresso4Less than 3 mgSweet & Light
CapriccioEspresso555 – 65 mgRich & Distinctive
NicaraguaEspresso555 – 65 mgHoney & Sweet Cereal
Caramel Creme BruleeEspresso655 – 65 mgCaramel
Cocoa TruffleEspresso655 – 65 mgChocolate
ColombiaEspresso655 – 65 mgWiney & Red Fruit
GenovaEspresso655 – 65 mgToasted Cereal & Sweet Caramel
TokyoLungo677 – 85 mgFlowery & Complex
Vanilla EclairEspresso655 – 65 mgVanilla
ViennaLungo677 – 85 mgRound & Smooth
Vivalto LungoLungo677 – 85 mgFloral & Complex
IndonesiaEspresso855 – 65 mgTobacco Leaves & Woody
RomaEspresso855 – 65 mgWoody & Cerealy
VeneziaEspresso855 – 65 mgBalanced & Thick
StockholmLungo877 – 85 mgRich & Full-bodied
FirenzeEspresso955 – 65 mgRoasty, Cocoa & Creamy
Firenze DecafEspresso9Less than 3 mgRoasty, Cocoa & Creamy
Cape TownLungo1077 – 85 mgIntense & Roasted
RistrettoRistretto1055 – 65 mgSoft Cocoa & Subtly Fruity
Ristretto DecafRistretto10Less than 3 mgSoft Cocoa & Subtly Fruity
IndiaEspresso1155 – 65 mgWoody & Spicy
Palermo KazaarEspresso12125 mgIntense & Syrupy
NapoliEspresso1355 – 65 mgDark & Creamy

Vertuo Nespresso Intensity Levels Chart

This Nespresso pod chart organizes Vertuo flavors by intensity levels. There are the most pods available at the medium roast intensity level.

Diavolitto, meaning “devil”, is the strongest Nespresso pod available for the Vertuo line. It has a smooth and creamy texture with oak wood and leather notes. This espresso is made from a blend of roasted Arabica from South America with a touch of robusta coffee beans. It packs 150 mg of caffeine per pod, which is more than other Vertuo line espresso pods.

Vertuo Nespresso Intensity Level Chart
Vertuo Nespresso Capsules grouped by intensity levels

Shoppable Table of Vertuo Pods

Vertuo PodSizeIntensityCaffeine ContentFlavor Profile
SolelioCoffee2170 – 200 mgFruity & Light
GiornioCoffee4170 – 200 mgFloral & Velvety
ElvazioCoffee4170 – 200 mgFruity & Delicate
EthiopiaGran Lungo4120 – 200 mgFruity & Floral
Decaffeinato OntuosoGran Lungo4Less than 12 mgMalty Cereal & Creamy
VoltessoEspresso450 – 60 mgBiscuity & Sweet
Dolce XLAlto4228 – 350 mgCaramel & Toasted
Half CaffeinatoCoffee590 mgSweet & Velvety
ColombiaCoffee5170 – 200 mgWashed Arabica
DolceDouble Espresso5100 – 120 mgCereal & Malted
ToccantoEspresso550 – 60 mgBerry & Winey
MelozioCoffee6170 – 200 mgHoneyed sweetness
Hazelino MuffinCoffee6170 – 200 mgHazelnut
Caramel CookieCoffee6170 – 200 mgCaramel
Vanilla Custard PieCoffee6170 – 200 mgVanilla
Chocolate FudgeCoffee6170 – 200 mgDark chocolate
ChiaroDouble Espresso6100 – 120 mgWoody & Earthy
OrafioEspresso650 – 60 mgCaramel & Roasted
Peru OrganicEspresso650 – 60 mgFruity & Complex
DecaffeinatoCoffee6Less than 12 mgRound & Malty
ArondioGran Lungo6120 – 200 mgCereal & Lightly Acidic
OdacioCoffee7170 – 200 mgFruity & Lightly Acidic
MexicoCoffee7170 – 200 mgIntense & Spiced
Decaffeinato IntensoEspresso7Less than 12 mgCocoa & Fruity
Costa RicaGran Lungo7120 – 200 mgMalty & Sweet
Intenso XLAlto7228 – 350 mgWood & Dark Caramel
ScuroDouble Espresso8100 – 120 mgCocoa & Vanilla
FortadoGran Lungo8120 – 200 mgCocoa & Oak
StormioCoffee8170 – 200 mgSpicy & Woody
IntensoCoffee9170 – 200 mgRoasted Brown Sugar
AltissioEspresso950 – 60 mgRoasty & Creamy Cereal
Altissio DecaffeinatoEspresso9Less than 12 mgFull-Bodied & Creamy
DiavolittoEspresso10150 mgOak Wood & Leather
Il CaffeEspresso1150 – 60 mgIntense & Velvety

Where to Buy Nespresso Capsules Online

In my opinion, Amazon is the best place to buy Nespresso capsules. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. CONFIDENCE: Amazon is an authorized seller of Nespresso pods. You can shop with confidence when the product says “Shipped and Sold by Amazon.”
  2. PRICE: The price per pod on Amazon is usually the same price as when you buy direct from Nespresso.
  3. SHIPPING: If you are an Amazon Prime member, then you’ll get free two day shipping on your coffee pods order. And if you have any issues with your order, Amazon customer service will be there to help.
  4. SELECTION: Amazon carries many of the same capsules that you would find on Nespresso.com. However, Amazon also carries compatible pods from partners like Starbucks. That said, Nespresso does carry some exclusive pods that you won’t be able to find on Amazon or any other site.
  5. SUSTAINABILITY: Pods bought from Amazon are eligible for the Nespresso recycling program. However, you’ll need a recycling bag or be able to visit a Nespresso store near you to recycle them.

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