An Introduction to the Different Types of Nespresso Capsule

Update: We’ve published an updated guide The Ultimate Guide to Nespresso Grands Crus Coffee Capsules here.

Nespresso have initially released 16 different types of coffee capsule to use with their home coffee machines. Differentiating between them (and more importantly, working out which ones we’d like the best!) can be somewhat confusing, but to help things along they are first categorised into four different types.

  • Espresso capsules are the high-standard, traditional coffee that most of us enjoy drinking. They are generally a ‘shorter’ coffee, and can come in a variety of strengths. There are six different Espresso capsules in the Nespresso collection. These typically contain ‘blends’ of coffee origin.
  • Pure Origine capsules are also essentially Espressos, but of a specialist variety that can be traced back to a single place of origin. Nespresso have three Pure Origine capsules.
  • Lungo capsules are traditionally a ‘longer’ coffee, designed to use approximately twice the amount of water that is in an espresso. It is also known as a ‘tall’ coffee, although not with quite as much water as what a coffee chain might call an ‘Americano’.
  • Decaffeinato capsules are specialist capsules from Nespresso. There exist three of these which vary by intensity of taste.

If you’ve read this guide before or want to skip to a direct comparison table, check out our summary article on the comparative strengths of Nespresso capsules and where we believe they’ll fit best.

capsules

Nespresso Capsule Terminology

Nespresso capsules are called by different names depending on what store you’re in or website you’re visiting. Typically they are known as coffee capsules, but they are also known simply as ‘coffee containers’ or ‘coffee capsules’ as well. Be aware that all of these names refer to the same thing.

The 16 different types of coffee capsules readily available under Nespresso’s brand banner. On the official website these are known as ‘Grand Crus’, which is a term that people perhaps more readily associate with wines. This is essentially for marketing purposes and the use of this phrase isn’t regulated outside of wines.

Now, let’s head into taking a look at the different capsules that Nespresso has available for us to enjoy.

Nespresso Espresso Capsules

Espresso capsules represent the staple of the Nespresso range of coffee capsules / containers, and also showcase the most common coffee blends that go into their ideal home-made coffee. They range in intensity and come from a variety of coffee-producing regions, and are also the most popular of all the capsule ranges.

Finally, there are seven of these compared to the three in the other ranges, so this range also has the most variety of different tastes. Full details on these capsules are below.

Ristretto Capsule

POWERFUL AND CONTRASTING: A blend of South American and East African Arabicas, with a touch of Robusta, roasted separately to create the subtle fruity note of this full-bodied, intense espresso.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP:  25ml / 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Intensely roasted

Ristretto Capsule: Further Details

Origin: Composed of some of the best South American Arabicas from sources such as Colombia and Brazil, Ristretto also contains the great, lightly acidic East African Arabicas and a touch of Robusta for added zing.

Roasting: The beans are roasted slowly and separately to obtain an original bouquet bringing together acidic, fruity, and roasted notes. Its finely ground texture creates an Italian-style coffee: intense, with a rich flavour and full body.

Aromatic profile: Strong roasted notes softened by notes of chocolate. A subtle contrast between strength and bitterness, acidic and fruity notes.

Arpeggio Capsule

INTENSE AND CREAMY: A dark roast of pure South and Central American Arabicas, Arpeggio has a strong character and intense body, enhanced by cocoa notes.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 25ml / 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Cocoa

Arpeggio Capsule: Further Details

Origin: A selection of the best South and Central American Arabicas, with fruity or malted profiles, characteristic of Costa Rican coffees.

Roasting: Arpeggio is roasted intensely to bring out the characteristics of each origin. Its full body develops from the fine grinding of the beans.

Aromatic profile: Intense, grilled notes alongside subtle cocoa notes and woody hints.

Roma Capsule

FULL AND BALANCED: The balance of lightly roasted South and Central American Arabicas with Robusta, gives Roma sweet and woody notes and a full, lasting taste on the palate.

INTENSITY:  

SIZE OF CUP: 25ml / 40 ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Woody

Roma Capsule: Further Details

Origin: Cultivated at high altitude, the Central American Arabicas bring finesse, whilst the Brazilian Arabicas and Robustas provide body and a lingering taste on the palate.

Roasting: Light roasting and fine grinding bring finesse to the blend and create a short espresso, which is not too strong.

Aromatic profile: Roasted and woody notes are revealed through the light roasting of intensely flavoured beans from different origins.

Livanto Capsule

ROUND AND BALANCED: A pure Arabica from South and Central America, Livanto is a well-balanced espresso characterised by roasted caramalised notes.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 40 ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Cereal

Livanto Capsule: Further Details

Origin: This blend is composed of the most prestigious Central and South American Arabicas, found in Costa Rica and Colombia and is cultivated according to traditional methods to preserve their malted and fruity profiles.

Roasting: A medium roasting, accentuates malted notes, whilst fruity notes evolve to create a complex and delicate caramelised bouquet.

Aromatic profile: A round and balanced profile, typical of freshly roasted coffee results in a combination of cereal, malted and caramelised notes as well as fine fruity notes.

Volluto Capsule

SWEET AND FRUITY: A pure and lightly roasted Arabica from South America, Volluto reveals sweet and biscuity flavours, reinforced by a little acidity and a fruity note.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Cereal

Volluto Capsule: Further Details

Origin: The Brazilian and Colombian Arabicas that go into making Volluto come from small plantations that produce very high quality coffee. They are grown in respect of the environment and local traditions.

Roasting: A light roasting preserves the cereal note of the Brazilian Arabica and the fresh and fruity note of the Colombian coffee.

Aromatic profile: Quite present and diverse: fruity notes harmoniously balanced with sweet and biscuity notes.

Capriccio Capsule

RICH AND DISTINCTIVE: Blending South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta, Capriccio is an espresso with a rich aroma and a strong typical cereal note.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Cereal

Capriccio Capsule: Further Details

Origin: The presence of South American Arabicas grown at high altitude gives this blend a light acidity, which is balanced with the perfect amount of Brazilian Arabica and a touch of Robusta.

Roasting: The light roasting of this blend creates a rich character and preserves a light acidity.

Aromatic profile: A typical cereal note balanced with a light acidity.

Cosi Capsule

LIGHT AND LEMONY: Pure, lightly roasted East African, Central and South American Arabicas make Cosi a light-bodied espresso with refreshing citrus notes.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Citrus

Cosi Capsule: Further Details

Origin: A combination of the finest Arabicas from East Africa gives this blend a characteristic lemon note harmonised by the lightness and sweetness of Arabicas from Central and South America.

Roasting: A light roasting, perfectly executed by the Nespresso Master Roasters, enhances the fragile citrus note of Cosi. This Grand Cru provides an outstanding freshness and lightness.

Aromatic profile: A citrus note with strong hints of lemon. This rare and refreshing character is supported by a light body.

Nespresso Pure Origine Capsules

The Pure Origine range are also considered espressos, but specifically come from a single place rather than as a blend, which is the case with the regular espresso capsules. These are considered Nespresso’s premium coffees. The tastes here can vary between very smooth and delicate all the way to extremely intense: be sure that you try or at least read up on these before you buy. The full details of these are below.

Dulsão Do Brazil Capsule

SWEET AND SMOOTH: A pure Brazilian Arabica, Dulsão do Brasil is a blend of red and yellow Bourbon coffees. Separate roasting of the beans ensures roundness and balance while revealing sweet notes of honey and malt.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Honey

Dulsão Do Brazil Capsule: Further Details

Origin: Delicate and distinguished, the red and yellow Bourbons coffees come from the high altitude plantations of southern Brazil. Hand-picked, the beans are dried in the sun with their mucilage, the nourishing pulp that surrounds it, to add more sweetness to the coffee.

Roasting: Some of the coffee is lightly roasted to bring out its sweet notes whilst the remaining part undergoes a longer roast to balance the blend

Aromatic profile: Sweet notes of honey and maple syrup dominate, on a base of malted cereal.

Rosabaya de Brazil Capsule

FRUITY AND BALANCED: This blend of fine, individually roasted Colombian Arabicas, develops a subtle acidity with typical red fruit and winey notes.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Winey

Rosabaya de Brazil Capsule: Further Details

Origin: The varieties that make up this “Pure Origin” Espresso are cultivated by small coffee growers in the highest region of Colombia. Hand-picked and treated with the wet method to intensify its aromas, the coffee is then dried in parchment and transferred to the Paramo de Letras region, where the cold, dry climate preserves it.

Roasting: Split roasting of the different varieties allows the fruity and acidic notes to come to the fore, whilst adding body.

Aromatic profile: Notes of red fruit, reminiscent of wine: blackcurrants, cranberries, and redcurrants.

Indriya from India Capsules

POWERFUL AND SPICY: Indriya from India is the noble marriage of Arabicas with a hint of Robusta from southern India. It is a full-bodied espresso, which has a distinct personality with notes of spices.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 25ml / 40 ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Spicy

Indriya from India Capsules: Further Details

Origin: The Arabica and Robusta chosen for this blend grow in southern India, in the shade of large trees that also provide shelter for pepper and spice growing. Grown on high altitude plantations, the Robusta we use is a very pure coffee, very intense and slightly bitter. Only absolutely perfect beans, which have passed a rigorous selection process, are used for Indriya from India.

Roasting: The Arabica is lightly roasted, to preserve its subtle aromas. In contrast, the Robusta is well roasted to reveal its intensity and develop a full body. Very fine grinding supports the body and enhances the flavour.

Aromatic profile: Cocoa and dry plant notes, as well as a spicy bouquet reminiscent of cloves, pepper and nutmeg.

Nespresso Lungo Capsules

There are three different offerings for longer coffees so that people with Nespresso machines can enjoy them. They are listed below:

Fortissio Lungo Capsule

RICH AND INTENSE: Made from Central and South American Arabicas with just a hint of Robusta, Fortissio Lungo is an intense full-bodied blend with bitterness, which develops notes of dark roasted beans.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 110ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Intensely roasted

Fortissio Lungo Capsule: Further Details

Origin: A fine and balanced base of Central and South American Arabicas accentuated with a dash of Robusta to bring body and character.

Roasting: Intense split roasting reinforces the character of its different origins and develops its intensity, body and bitterness.

Aromatic profile: A full body and bitter base supports the aroma of intensely roasted beans, along with woody notes, and the typical cereal note that comes from the Robusta.

Vivalto Lungo Capsule

COMPLEX AND BALANCED: Vivalto Lungo is a balanced coffee made from a complex blend of separately roasted South American and East African Arabicas, combining roasted and subtle floral notes.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 110ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Flowery

Vivalto Lungo Capsule: Further Details

Origin: A complex and contrasting blend. The South American Arabicas, grown at high altitude, bring a light acidity, the Ethiopian Arabica adds its floral touch, and the “Cerrado” coffee from Brazil reinforces the character and develops the bitterness.

Roasting: Separate roasting brings out the characters of the different origins. The grinding of the beans results in a coffee best enjoyed in a large cup.

Aromatic profile: The perfect mix of several origins results in a rich and complex character: roasted, lightly woody, sweet cereal and subtle floral notes.

Linizio Lungo Capsule

ROUND AND BALANCED: Pure Arabica from South America, Linizio Lungo is a well-rounded blend made of Brazilian and Colombian coffee.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 110ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Malted Cereal, Balanced

Linizio Lungo Capsule: Further Details

Origin: Arabicas from Brazil and Colombia that go into making Linizio Lungo are handpicked. Treated differently, the Brazil Bourbon beans are washed, then depulped, and dried in the sun with their mucilage; the Arabica from Colombia on the other hand will be fermented with its mucilage and washed afterwards.

Roasting: The split roasting reveals the specificities of each origin. On one hand, longer roasting yields a darker bean that reveals the malted cereal notes of the Bourbon beans. On the other hand, shorter roasting of the Arabica from Colombia yields lighter beans and highlights the softer notes reminding of sugar cane, specific to its region of origin.

Aromatic profile: Cereal

Nespresso Decaffeinato Capsules

Nespresso offer a range of three decaffeinated options for those that enjoy the taste of coffee but are perhaps somewhat sensitive to caffeine. The official details of these are as follows:

Decaffeinato Capsule

FRUITY AND DELICATE: a blend of South American Arabicas reinforced with just a touch of Robusta is lightly roasted to reveal an aroma of red fruit.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Winey

Decaffeinato Capsule: Further Details

Origin: An elegant and precise blend combining several South American Arabicas, Colombian Arabica for a fruity note, and a touch of Robusta.

Roasting: A short, light roasting accentuates the fruity and refreshing character of Decaffeinato. The grinding process is adjusted to obtain a coffee that’s light yet distinctive.

Aromatic profile: Hints of red fruit, typical of certain wines, softened by notes of dried fruits, coffee beans and a “milky-buttery” note.

Decaffeinato Lungo Capsule

LIGHT AND FULL-FLAVOURED: The slow roasting of this blend of South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta gives Decaffeinato Lungo a smooth, creamy body and roasted cereal flavour.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 110ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Cereal

Decaffeinato Lungo Capsule: Further Details

Origin: This is a carefully selected blend of the finest Brazilian and Colombian Arabicas with a touch of Robusta.

Roasting: Slow and sustained to enhance grilled notes.

Aromatic profile: Strong roasted notes.

Decaffeinato Intenso Capsule

DENSE AND POWERFUL:  Dark roasted South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta bring out the subtle cocoa and roasted cereal notes of this full-bodied decaffeinated espresso.

INTENSITY:

SIZE OF CUP: 40ml

AROMATIC PROFILE: Cocoa

Decaffeinato Intenso Capsule: Further Details

Origin: A selection of South American Arabicas enhanced with a touch of Robusta adds a rich and intense flavour to the coffee.

Roasting: A short and intense roasting develops its toasted notes and reinforces its body.

Aromatic profile: Grilled and chocolate notes with an intense body. A very rich aroma is noticeable in both the “crema” and the coffee.

Buy the Nespresso Capsule that’s Best for You

We hope you’ve found this guide useful! If you now have a better idea of what you’d like to buy, you can buy your own Nespresso capsules below.

  Buy Nespresso Capsules