How to order Nespresso like a Pro!

When you buy your capsules, the first thing you will find easy to read is the intensity rating.
It can be anything from 2 to 12.
And you may ask, what do they mean?

You can find the intensity rating at the side of your box.
Nespresso intensity











The intensity has a few meanings to it, more values than what people commonly expect.

1. Roasting.
The higher the intensity, the darker the roast.

2. Bitterness.
The darker the roast, the more bitter it gets.

3. Sourness.
The higher the intensity, the less sour it tastes instead.
However, the acidity in PH level remains the same.
Pure origins will taste more sour as the coffee are split roasted to preserve its aroma. They are roasted at different shades then mixed.

4. Grinding.
The grinding is finer as the intensity climbs.

5. Body.
When the grind is finer, water has to pass through more particles to pass; the extraction gets slower, and it, churns out a richer body.

6. Coffee dosage.
Capsules with intensity 8 and above will have about 1 gramme more coffee than those lower.
High-intensity capsules should have about 6 grammes of coffee; that’s not the total weight including the capsule shell and the packaging.

Yes, the labelling box will state it’s 50 grammes for ten capsules whatever the blend is, that is certainly incorrect.

All lungos have 6 grammes of coffee too.

The higher the dose, will, of course, increase the body and flavour of the drink. Cafe made espressos are usually made with 6.5 – 22 grammes per shot.

7. Caffeine
The darker the roast, the lesser amount of caffeine remain.
However, you will still get more caffeine from a high-intensity blend like Kazaar.
There’s because it has more coffee powder used mentioned in point 6, and it’s using more of the Robusta coffee species that has more caffeine.

8. Aroma
There are some coffee profiles which are delicate, particularly those with floral and fruity notes.
They will be quickly burned off when it’s dark roasted.
What remains are the smokey, chocolatey and nutty profiles.

On the contrary, the lighter the roast, the better those fruity and floral notes are preserved.
Do remember that coffee is the seed of a cherry, fruit.
It is naturally sour in most cases unless it’s a mutated species.

To preserve the notes at dark or medium roasting, Nespresso practices split roasting. A portion of the beans is roasted to medium/light and mixed with the darker majorities.
In coffee science, split roasting will bring out the most flavours. Another better way to put out the flavours is by slow roasting, which is tedious. Limited editions are frequently done that way, so is the permanent blend Dharkan.

9. Preparation
Blends with higher intensity are more recommended for milk recipes or drank by itself.
The bitterness in it keeps a milky drink alive.

Low-intensity blends with strength 5 and below, are best enjoyed by itself or with a little milk.



The higher the intensity, the more bitter and less sour it get, the more body in the espresso
This will always be the case except for the pure origins which have a larger ratio of the blend in medium/light roast.

Lower intensity blends can express fruity and winey notes better.
While the darker ones are more nutty, chocolatey and smokey.

Split roasted coffee will have more aroma followed by medium roast. The slow roast will also produce an incredible wider spectrum of flavours.

Blends that are split roasted:
Kazaar, Ristretto, Indriya, Rosabaya, Dulsao, Envivo Lungo, Fortissio Lungo, Vivalto Lungo, Linizio Lungo, Bukelee Ka Ethiopia Lungo, Arpeggio Decaffeinato, Volluto Decaffeinato and Vivalto Decaffeinato.

Blends that are slow roasted:
Dharkan and often the limited editions.(P.S: The Cafezinho Do Brasil limited edition, was slow and split roasted!)


Common misconceptions:

1. A capsule with a darker colour doesn’t mean it has the higher intensity or darker roast. Example: The brown capsule Cosi, is only strength 3.

2. The capsule blend Capriccio is not a blend specially made for cappuccinos. It’s more for making espressos.

3. The capsule Roma doesn’t mean it has more aroma! In fact, it has some robusta coffee in it, making it more bitter and slightly less aromatic. It’s meant to be a moderately robust and bitter blend.

4. Not necessary to avoid Robusta and going for pure Arabica. Robusta though has fewer molecules of aroma; they are more pronounce and are excellent in milk recipes. The bitterness gives a sharper awakening sting and gives a persistent nutty after-taste.
Asians are pretty much used to and comfortable with having Robustas. A mix of both can give a nice blossom of flavours.



Bonus information

1. Do you know that Nespresso was first launched in Japan, Switzerland and Italy? Why Japan where everyone drinks tea?

Eric Favre, a Nestle employee, has an Italian wife. He wants to prove to his wife that espresso can be made at home and done a lot of research. He was sent to Japan for work in 1983, where he had the chance to speak to the CEO of Nestle Japan on his project. With the help of the Japanese, who have much research in instant noodle and coffee. The project materialised.

2. Arpeggio and Livanto are the same blends in different roast; they are pure Arabica.

3. All flavoured coffee launched during Xmas or the Caramelito, Ciocattino and Vanilio. Are in fact Livantos fusion with flavourings.
Livanto is a versatile blend as it is very balanced and round, with very neutral notes suitable for mixing.

4. Do you find that many of the coffee blends taste almost the same? Well, virtually all except the pure origins and limited edition uses approximately 50% of the same Brazilian beans as its base.

5. It’s grossly expensive to use Nespresso! At up to S$7.60 for ten capsules, S$8.80 for limited editions. 200 capsules, which make up 1kg will cost you up to S$176! While roasted coffee beans are usually sold at S$15 to $50 per kg!

Nespresso is more ideal for users with minuscule usage, like 1-2 cups a day. Else it can be a lot better off with a bean to cup machine.

6. Are Nespresso considered authentic espresso?! Why do they taste so different from a properly made espresso made from a cafe?

Here is what the Italians have to say.

Full information.


It should be approximately 25ml in 25 seconds of extraction. Water temperature at 86-90 degrees. The pressure of the machine should be at 8-10 bars.
Amount of coffee used should be at around 6.5-7.5 grammes

Whereas Nespresso is using 5-6 grammes of coffee.
Extraction is done in approximately 10 seconds, considered in professional term, “under-extraction”.

The pressure is also extremely high at 19 bars, and that pushes too much energy and burns of the characters of the coffee! 🙁

From the fact sheets, we can say that Nespresso is not exactly espresso, or at least not the traditional kind. They are a type of convenient coffee drink by itself, they are a Nestle’s style espresso, Nespresso, what else?!


After reading these, you are probably more pro than the staffs at the Nespresso boutiques. ;>

For a full list or to order your capsules, click here: Nespresso Capsules


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