If you’re an avid coffee lover like me, then chances are good that you already know what the Nespresso capsule system can offer in terms of convenience and quality.

Nespresso machines come in Vertuo and Original models, which feature distinctively different flavors crafted from dozens of varieties.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that each type also offers a range of intensity levels for its flavor profiles, all perfectly brewed for any desired brewing strength.

Quick Answer: What does Nespresso intensity mean?

The Nespresso intensity levels indicate how robust and full-bodied the coffee will be after brewing. The range goes from 1 (lowest intensity) to 13 (highest intensity).

Nespresso Intensity Levels (Chart of Vertuo & Original Pods)

In this article, I’ll be charting out all the pod options available for the Original and Vertuo lines to help provide clarity about the differences between all Nespresso capsules available!

What are the Nespresso intensity levels?

As I’ve talked about above, the intensity levels indicate how robust and full-bodied the coffee will be after brewing.

There is quite a range in the intensity levels of Nespresso, which goes from 1 (lowest intensity) to 13 (highest intensity).

The lower end of the scale (intensity 1-5) is generally more mellow, while the higher end (intensity 9-13) leans towards more full-bodied flavors with intense notes.

Nespresso offers two primary types of capsules: OriginalLine and the newer Vertuo coffee pods:

  • The OriginaLine pods range from 1-13 on their intensity scale.
  • On the other hand, the Vertuo Nespresso pods range from 1-11 in intensity.
Nespresso intensity levels as seen on the sleeves.

Some coffee pods don’t have any intensity listed on Nespresso.com. Instead, I’ve listed the roast level, which ranges from 1 to 5.

Coffee pods with a lower roast level will have a less intense flavor than those with a high one, just like the intensity levels.

If you want to learn more about the difference between the Vertuo and Orignal Nespresso machine, have a look at this in-depth article!

Vertuo Nespresso pods intensity levels

To kick things off, you can have a look at all of the intensity levels of the Vertuo Nespresso pods in the Nespresso intensity chart below:

Vertuo Nespresso pod:Intensity level:Coffee size:Flavor profile:
Juicy watermelon flavor over ice3/5 roast level2.7 oz (80 ml)Watermelon flavor
Tropical coconut flavor over ice3/5 roast level7.77 oz (230 ml)Coconut flavor
Roasted hazelnut2/5 roast level7.77 oz (230 ml)Rich & nutty
Whiskey essence2/5 roast level2.7 oz (80 ml)Whisky flavor & sweet
Sweet vanilla2/5 roast level7.77 oz (230 ml)Creamy & sweet
Golden caramel2/5 roast level7.77 oz (230 ml)Creamy & biscuity
Rich chocolate2/5 roast level7.77 oz (230 ml)Creamy & chocolatey
Bianco piccolo3/5 roast level1.35 oz (40 ml)Nutty & balanced
Bianco doppio1/5 roast level2.7 oz (80 ml)Nutty & balanced
Bianco forte5/5 roast level7.77 oz (230 ml)Dark roasted & balanced
Ice forte5/5 roast level7.77 oz (230 ml)Bold & dark roasted
Ice leggero3/5 roast level2.7 oz (80 ml)Fruity & light
Kahawa ya congo6/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Organic & fruity
El Salvador5/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Sweet & jam
Peru Organic6/11 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Fruity & complex
Costa Rica7/11 intensity5.07 oz (150 ml)Maly & sweet
Mexico7/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Intense & spiced
Ethiopia4/11 intensity5.07 oz (150 ml)Floral & complex
Colombia5/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Washed Arabica
Vivida3/5 roast level7.77 oz (230 ml)Cereal & sweet
Melozio boost6/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Smooth & balanced
Stormio boost8/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Rich & strong
Cold brew style intense2/5 roast level12 oz (355 ml)Roasted & caramel
Alto ambrato4/11 intensity12 oz (355 ml)Honeyed & delicate
Alto onice7/11 intensity12 oz (355 ml)Roasted & woody
Pour-over style mild2/5 roast level18 oz (535 ml)Toasted cereal & malt
Pour-over style3/5 roast level18 oz (535 ml)Roasted & smoky
Intenso9/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Deep & sense
Stormio8/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Rich & strong
Odacio7/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Bold & lively
Melozio6/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Smooth & balanced
Melozio decaffeinato6/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Smooth & balanced
Solelio2/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Fruity & light-bodied
Half caffeinato5/11 intensity7.77 oz (230 ml)Sweet & velvety
Il caffè11/11 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Intense & velvety
Diavolitto11/11 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Intense & powerful
Altissio9/11 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Full-bodied & creamy
Altissio decaffeinato9/11 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Full-bodied & creamy
Orafio6/11 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Caramel & roasted
Toccanto5/11 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Berry & winey
Voltesso4/11 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Light & sweet
Double espresso dolce5/11 intensity2.7 oz (80 ml)Cereal & malted
Double espresso scuro11/11 intensity2.7 oz (80 ml)Dark & bold
Double espresso chiaro8/11 intensity2.7 oz (80 ml)Dense & wild
Inizio4/11 intensity5.07 oz (150 ml)Floral & cereal
Fortado8/11 intensity5.07 oz (150 ml)Intense & full-bodied
Fortado decaffeinato8/11 intensity5.07 oz (150 ml)Intense & full-bodied
Orandio6/11 intensity5.07 oz (150 ml)Cereal & mild

Original Nespresso pods intensity levels

Below are the intensity levels of all the currently available Original Nespresso pods:

Original Nespresso pod:Intensity level:Coffee size:Flavor profile:
Freddo intenso5/5 roast level1.35 oz (40 ml)Bold & dark roasted
Freddo delicato3/5 roast level1.35 oz (40 ml)Sweet & light
Corto5/5 roast level1.35 oz (40 ml)Spicy & roasted
Scuro5/5 roast level1.35 oz (40 ml)Roasted & balanced
Chiaro1/5 roast level0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Sweet biscuit
Filter style intense5/5 roast level5.07 oz (150 ml)Roasted & smoky
Filter style mild2/5 roast level5.07 oz (150 ml)Fruity & malted cereal
Vaniglia2/5 roast level3.7 oz (110 ml)Velvety & vanilla
Caramello2/5 roast level3.7 oz (110 ml)Creamy & caramel
Cioccolatino2/5 roast level3.7 oz (110 ml)Creamy & chocolatey
Nocciola2/5 roast level3.7 oz (110 ml)Rich & nutty
Coconut flavor over ice3/5 roast level1.35 oz (40 ml)Coconut flavor
Hawaii Kona5/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Nutty & exotic
Napoli13/13 intensity0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Dark & creamy
Venezia8/13 intensity0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Balanced & thick
Palermo kazaar12/13 intensity0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Intense & syrupy
Ristretto Italiano10/13 intensity0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Powerful & contrasting
Ristretto Italiano decaffeinato10/13 intensity0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Powerful & contrasting
Firenze arpeggio9/13 intensity0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Intense & creamy
Firenze arpeggio decaffeinato9/13 intensity0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Intense & creamy
Roma8/13 intensity0.85 oz (25.13 ml)Full & balanced
Genova livanto6/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Round & balanced
Rio de Janeiro9/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Herbal & sandalwood
Istanbul8/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Ripe fruits & nutty
Paris6/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Cereal & citrus
Miami9/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Cereal
Cape town envivo10/13 intensity3.7 oz (110 ml)Intense & roasted
Stockholm fortissio8/13 intensity3.7 oz (110 ml)Rich & full bodied
Tokyo vivalto6/13 intensity3.7 oz (110 ml)Flowery & complex
Vienna linizio6/13 intensity3.7 oz (110 ml)Round & smooth
Shanghai5/13 intensity3.7 oz (110 ml)Fruitiness & fine acidity
Buenos aires4/13 intensity3.7 oz (110 ml)Sweet & cereal
Capriccio5/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Rich & distinctive
Volluto4/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Sweet & light
Volluto decaffeinato4/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Sweet & light
Cosi4/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Mild & delicately toasted
Kahawa ya congo7/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Organic & fruity
Honduras8/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Cereal & cocoa
Peru organic6/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Fruity & complex
India11/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Woody & spicy
Indonesia8/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Tobacco leaves & woody
Colombia6/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Winey & red fruits
Nicaragua5/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Honey & sweet cereal
Ethiopia4/13 intensity1.35 oz (40 ml)Fruit jam & orange blossom

What does the Nespresso intensity level mean?

The Nespresso intensity level is a marker for the strength that a certain coffee pod has.

Lower-intensity coffees usually produce a milder flavor that appeals to those looking to transition into espresso-based beverages easily.

These coffee pods are recommended for those starting out with Nespresso systems or for lighter espresso drinkers who prefer mildness over boldness.

Brewed Nespresso coffee Mexico with the coffee pod next to it.

As you increase in intensity level, you start to get more flavors that can be described as sweeter and nuttier with brighter acidity, while higher levels often reveal stronger tasting notes such as spice, dark chocolate, and even hints of tobacco.

At around intensities 7-8, coffees will have medium body and some sweetness – this is generally where most consumers tend to find their preference when it comes to espressos or espresso-based drinks like Americanos or cappuccinos.

Homemade Nespresso cappuccino, ready to drink.

Intensities 9-13 offer an intense flavor experience full of bold complexity, typically used for those who enjoy a more robust coffee flavor in their coffee.

Conclusion

After considering all of the pods and their intensity levels, I hope this has been a helpful guide!

Whether you prefer an intense or mild coffee, spending some extra time learning more about the variation in product offerings will help you with decision-making.

In addition to flavor strength, deciding on a coffee can also depend on the brewing process you’d like to use, how much caffeine you need, and your desired price point.

Depending on what type of coffee experience you are looking for, determining these variables may be key in narrowing down your choices.

Hopefully, this article has provided insight into how Nespresso offers varying strengths for people with different needs and taste buds.

Learn more about Nespresso

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Author

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.

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