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.

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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.


Nespresso strength table Original capsules grouped by intensity levels

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.

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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.

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Vertuo Nespresso capsules grouped by intensity levels

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:


  1. TRUST: Amazon is an authorized seller of Nespresso capsules. You can buy with confidence when the product says “Shipped from and sold by Amazon”.
  2. PRICE: The price per capsule on Amazon is usually the same price as when you buy direct from Nespresso.
  3. 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.
  4. SELECTION: Amazon carries many of the same capsules you’d find on 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.
  5. 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.


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