Nespresso strength levels vary on a numerical scale from 1 to 13. Nespresso levels are based on the coffee’s strength, body, bitterness and degree of roasting. The lighter the roast, the lower the intensity. On the other hand, the darker the roast, the greater the intensity. A rating below 6 on the scale is defined as “mild”. On the contrary, those with a note above 8 on the scale are “intense” or “dark” because they undergo a long roast. This affects the flavor of the pods as well.
It is important to note that a higher level does not mean that there is a greater amount of caffeine found in coffee. However, if you are looking for caffeine content, see our Nespresso capsule caffeine content guide for the amount of caffeine in each capsule.
What does Nespresso intensity mean?
Strongest Intensity: Levels 9-13
If you’re looking for a dark roast coffee brewed with a full body, a rich aroma, and a bold, bitter-tinged flavor, then you’ll like the stronger pods. These are between 9 and 13 on the Nespresso number scale. Pods with a strength of 9 or higher will give you that powerful coffee experience. These are great for drinks made with milk like lattes and cappuccinos.
Less intense: Levels 1-5
If you want a coffee with more flavor, a bright profile, a light body and a sweet taste, choose a tablet with a score between 1 and 5. This coffee undergoes a short and light roast. Thus, the flavor profile of the coffee will reflect the characteristics of the climate and soil of its origin.
Low strength coffee and espresso pods are especially great for drinking black or American style (with water). These allow the unique flavors of the coffee’s origin to emerge.
Medium Intensity: Levels 6-8
Medium intensity pods will fall somewhere in the middle. They will have a Nespresso level of 6, 7 or 8. Compared to other coffees and espressos, they typically taste rich and sweet and sour. The aroma, acidity and flavor profile will be balanced. This 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 own a Nespresso coffee machine from the Original line, then use the buying guide to original capsules. However, if you own a Nespresso coffee machine from the Vertuo line, you should consult the buying guide to Vertuo pods. If you are not sure, see the image below to help you determine what type of coffee capsules and pod sizes your Nespresso machine uses.
Original Nespresso Intensity Chart
This Nespresso chart shows original Nespresso capsules grouped by their strength rating. Most pods are in the medium intensity level group.
Palermo Kazaar is the strongest Nespresso Originalline pod. The taste is intense and bitter. The spicy aroma is rich with notes of roasted wood and pepper. One pod has 125 mg of caffeine. That’s double the levels of most other pods.
Table of original Nespresso capsules that can be purchased
|original capsule||Size||Intensity||Caffeine Content||flavor profile|
|sew||Express||4||55 – 65 mg||Smooth and slightly toasted|
|Ethiopia||Express||4||55 – 65 mg||Fruit and Orange Blossom Compote|
|Voluptuous||Express||4||55 – 65 mg||sweet and light|
|decaffeinated volute||Express||4||Less than 3mg||sweet and light|
|Whim||Express||5||55 – 65 mg||rich and distinguished|
|Nicaragua||Express||5||55 – 65 mg||Honey and Sweet Cereals|
|caramel creme brulee||Express||6||55 – 65 mg||Caramel|
|cocoa truffle||Express||6||55 – 65 mg||Chocolate|
|Colombia||Express||6||55 – 65 mg||Wine and Red Fruits|
|Genoa||Express||6||55 – 65 mg||Toasted cereal and sweet caramel|
|Tokyo||Far away||6||77 – 85 mg||Flowery and Complex|
|vanilla eclair||Express||6||55 – 65 mg||Vanilla|
|vienna||Far away||6||77 – 85 mg||round and smooth|
|vivalto lungo||Far away||6||77 – 85 mg||Floral & Complex|
|Indonesia||Express||8||55 – 65 mg||Tobacco and Woody Leaves|
|Pomegranate||Express||8||55 – 65 mg||Woody and Cereal|
|Venice||Express||8||55 – 65 mg||Balanced and Thick|
|Stockholm||Far away||8||77 – 85 mg||rich and full-bodied|
|Florence||Express||9||55 – 65 mg||Roasted, Cocoa and Creamy|
|Florence Decaf||Express||9||Less than 3mg||Roasted, Cocoa and Creamy|
|cape town||Far away||10||77 – 85 mg||Intense & Roasted|
|Narrow||Narrow||10||55 – 65 mg||Smooth and Subtly Fruity Cocoa|
|Restricted decaf||Narrow||10||Less than 3mg||Smooth and Subtly Fruity Cocoa|
|India||Express||11||55 – 65 mg||Woody and Spicy|
|Palermo Kazaar||Express||12||125mg||Intense & Syrupy|
|napoli||Express||13||55 – 65 mg||dark and creamy|
Table of intensity levels Vertuo Nespresso
This Nespresso capsule chart organizes Vertuo flavors by intensity levels. There are more pods available in the medium roast intensity level.
Diavolitto, which means “devil”, is the strongest Nespresso pod available for the Vertuo range. It has a smooth and creamy texture with hints of oak wood and leather. This espresso is made from a blend of roasted South American Arabica with a touch of Robusta coffee beans. It contains 150 mg of caffeine per capsule, which is more than other espresso capsules in the Vertuo range.
Vertuo capsule purchase table
|Vertuo Pod||Size||Intensity||Caffeine Content||flavor profile|
|solelium||Coffee||two||170 – 200 mg||fruity and light|
|day||Coffee||4||170 – 200 mg||Floral & Velvety|
|Elvazio||Coffee||4||170 – 200 mg||Fruity and Delicate|
|Ethiopia||big long||4||120 – 200 mg||Fruity & Floral|
|decaffeinated ontuous||big long||4||Less than 12mg||Malted and Creamy Cereal|
|I turn||Express||4||50 – 60 mg||Sweet cookie|
|Dolce XL||high||4||228 – 350 mg||caramel and toast|
|half caffeinate||Coffee||5||90 mg||sweet and velvety|
|Colombia||Coffee||5||170 – 200 mg||Arabica Washed|
|sweet||double espresso||5||100 – 120 mg||Cereals & Malt|
|playing||Express||5||50 – 60 mg||Berry & Winey|
|Melozio||Coffee||6||170 – 200 mg||sweetness with honey|
|hazelnut muffin||Coffee||6||170 – 200 mg||Hazelnut|
|caramel cookie||Coffee||6||170 – 200 mg||Caramel|
|Vanilla Pie||Coffee||6||170 – 200 mg||Vanilla|
|chocolate candy||Coffee||6||170 – 200 mg||Dark chocolate|
|Clear||double espresso||6||100 – 120 mg||woody and earthy|
|Orafio||Express||6||50 – 60 mg||caramel and toast|
|Organic Turkey||Express||6||50 – 60 mg||Fruity and Complex|
|Decaffeinated||Coffee||6||Less than 12mg||round and malty|
|Arrondia||big long||6||120 – 200 mg||Cereal and slightly sour|
|odacio||Coffee||7||170 – 200 mg||Fruity and slightly acidic|
|Mexico||Coffee||7||170 – 200 mg||Intense and Spicy|
|Intense decaffeinated||Express||7||Less than 12mg||Cocoa & Fruity|
|Costa Rica||big long||7||120 – 200 mg||Malt & Sweet|
|XL intense||high||7||228 – 350 mg||Wood and Dark Caramel|
|Dark||double espresso||8||100 – 120 mg||cocoa and vanilla|
|Strength||big long||8||120 – 200 mg||Cocoa & Oak|
|stormio||Coffee||8||170 – 200 mg||spicy and woody|
|Intense||Coffee||9||170 – 200 mg||roasted brown sugar|
|Altissio||Express||9||50 – 60 mg||Toasted and Creamy Cereals|
|Decaffeinated Altisium||Express||9||Less than 12mg||full-bodied and creamy|
|Diavolito||Express||10||150 mg||Oak wood and leather|
|The coffee||Express||11||50 – 60 mg||Intense & Velvety|
Where to buy Nespresso capsules online
In my opinion, Amazon is the best place to buy Nespresso capsules. Here are 5 reasons:
- TRUST: Amazon is an authorized seller of Nespresso capsules. You can buy with confidence when the product says “Shipped from and sold by Amazon”.
- PRICE: The price per capsule on Amazon is usually the same price as when you buy direct from Nespresso.
- SHIPPING: If you are an Amazon Prime member, you will receive free two-day shipping on your coffee pod order. And if you have a problem with your order, Amazon customer service is there to help.
- SELECTION: Amazon carries many of the same capsules you’d find on Nespresso.com. However, Amazon also offers compatible pods from partners like Starbucks. That said, Nespresso does carry some unique pods that you won’t be able to find on Amazon or any other site.
- SUSTAINABILITY: Capsules purchased on Amazon are eligible for Nespresso’s recycling program. However, you will need a recycling bag or you can visit a Nespresso store near you to recycle them.