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What Do The Numbers On Nespresso Pods Mean

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: February 8th, 2024

If you’ve ever taken a minute to closely examine Nespresso pods, you’ll immediately notice that each one has a number ranging from 1 to 13.

But what do the numbers on those Nespresso pods mean and how can you use them to choose your new favorite coffee?

Well, those numbers are the Nespresso intensity levels, also known as the Nespresso number scale. They state the degree of roasting of the coffee and the strength of its flavor.

Still not sure exactly what that all entails? Keep reading to get all the information you need.

An Introduction to Nespresso Pods

Before we start talking about the numbers on Nespresso pods, let’s start talking about what these pods actually are.

Nespresso pods can go by all sorts of different names depending on where you buy them. They can be coffee pods, coffee pots, coffee pods, or Nespresso pods.

Sometimes, you may find that the term ‘coffee pods’ refers to pods for other coffee brands and not for Nespresso.

nespresso pods

Regardless of what you call them, Nespresso pods are individual single-use containers that contain about 5 or 6 grams of ground coffee beans.

The pods come in tons of concentrations, bean types, and flavors.

The capsules are specially designed for coffee machines made by Nespresso. When you place a pod inside the machine, the machine punctures a hole in it.

Then, the machine forces hot water through the pod to produce a cup of coffee.

All About the Numbers on Nespresso Pods

Nespresso pods have an intensity marker level 13. The lighter and less intense a coffee pod is, the lower the number on the Nespresso capsule will be.

The higher the number, the more intense the coffee will be.

Now, don’t get this confused with caffeine content. While most people think that intensity is the same thing as caffeine, that’s actually not the case.

In fact, Nespresso doesn’t specify the level of caffeine in its capsules.

The intensity of the coffee has to do with the flavor of the bean. Dark, strong-tasting beans are considered more intense than light, smooth coffee.

On top of that, intense coffee can actually be lower in caffeine than a less intense roast!!

Why the Intensity of a Nespresso Pod Matters

Now, why does the intensity of a Nespresso pod matter?

Well, it tells you a bit about the roast of the bean and therefore the final flavor of your cup of coffee.

intensity of a nespresso pod

A good roast allows the beans to develop all the flavors and aromas that we love so much in our morning cup of Joe.

The intensity of a Nespresso pod gives you an idea of how flavorful and aromatic your cup of coffee will be!

In other words, knowing the intensity is important for brewing a flavorful and aromatic drink.

What Is the Strongest Nespresso Pod?

If you’re a fan of intense coffee, I hear you. I love a rich, dark brew myself!

So, what’s the strongest Nespresso pod?

Well, it all boils down to the number on the pod. Remember that the intensity level of each coffee sold by the Swiss brand is evaluated on a scale from 1 to 13.

If you’re wanting a super intense, strong cup of coffee, you should be looking for a coffee pod with the number 13 on it.

According to the Specialty Coffee Association, you’ll also want to look for the size of the final drink. That’s because the concentration of the coffee can affect the intensity.

In other words, you might want to pick a highly-concentrated espresso over a tall cup of coffee.

In terms of the strongest Nespresso pod, your best bet is the Kazaar capsule. This is the most intense blend in the Nespresso Intenso collection.

strongest nespresso pod

This coffee from OriginalLine’s Intenso collection is a blend of Robusta beans from Brazil and Guatemala and Arabica beans from South America.

The beans create an exceptionally intense dark roast with spicy notes and a creamy finish.

What Do The Numbers On Nespresso Pods Mean – FAQ’s

Do you have a few more questions about the numbers on Nespresso pods?

I completely understand. Here are a few frequently asked questions about Nespresso pods so that you can clear up this mystery once and for all.

What Do the Lines on the Coffee Capsules Mean?

The stripes on the capsules show you how many milliliters of drink a single pod will prepare. A capsule to make a cortado coffee has 3 lines, so you will get approximately 80 milliliters of coffee.

How Is the Intensity of Coffee Measured?

Nespresso uses a simple scale to define the intensity levels of their coffee. One to four stands for light-bodied coffee with a delicate flavor and five to seven denotes a balanced coffee. Finally, eight to ten signals round-bodied coffee with generous aromas.

What Is an Intense Coffee?

Intensity measures the strength of a cup of coffee based on the acidity of the drink. Coffee that’s more acidic and has a darker, stronger aroma is usually said to be more intense.

What Is the Mildest Type of Coffee?

The mildest type of coffee you can make is an americano. An americano contains a large amount of water, making it sweeter and softer than a standard brewed cup of coffee.

Final Words

So, what do the numbers on Nespresso pods mean?

Well, in general, they denote how strong the coffee will wind up being once you brew up your favorite beverage.

Will you wind up picking a dark, smoky 8-10 or will you go for a soft and light 1-4? Whichever you pick, here’s to happy drinking!

About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a blogger for over 5 years, before that enjoying a number of jobs to fund her passion for travel. She's taught English as a foreign language, a part-time Barista, a waitress, and a tour guide.

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