How Much Caffeine Is In Dolce Gusto Coffee Pods? (All Flavors)

Green Pods How much caffeine in a dolce gusto coffee pod

Dolce Gusto is a popular capsule coffee solution worldwide – chasing the heels of market leaders like Nespresso and Keurig. We wanted to find exactly how much caffeine is in a Dolce Gusto pod so we could best replicate the character with our Green Pods.

This seemed like a simple question at first, however quickly became more complicated as we tried to dissect exactly what is contained in each cup of Dolce Gusto coffee.  Here, we’ll share what we found, and cover every detail on the amount of caffeine in these coffee pods.

Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚

What exactly are Dolce Gusto Pods?

Dolce Gusto coffee capsules are single-serve plastic coffee pods made to use in the range of Dolce Gusto brand coffee machines.

There are now two types of pods:

  • Genuine pods: Made by Nestle and sold under the Dolce Gusto brand.
  • 3rd Party pods: Made by coffee manufacturers like Starbucks which are designed to be compatible with the Dolce Gusto systems.

There are currently 15 different genuine Dolce Gusto capsule varieties to choose from, as well as many more 3rd party varieties.

Dolce gusto caffeine content single capsule in situ edited

What contributes to the caffeine content?

This one tends to confuse most people, and it’s not as obvious as it seems.

The caffeine content of the coffee is influenced primarily by 2 factors, the roast of the coffee and the ratio of Robusta coffee to Arabica coffee beans.

Roast: unintuitively (at least to us), the darker the roast, the less caffeine. This is due to caffeine being destroyed by the extreme heat of the roasting process. Some coffees are roasted’ low and slow’ where others are roasted ‘hot and fast’ – each having a different effect of the caffeine content, but as a rule of thumb, dark roasts have less caffeine.

Arabica vs. Robusta: Arabica coffee is lighter flavored and contains less caffeine. Robusta coffee, on the other hand, has a more intense flavor, is stronger, and contains more caffeine.

This means you can have a dark roasted Arabica with relatively low caffeine content and then have a medium roasted Robusta with a huge amount of caffeine.

Dolce Gusto Pod caffeine content.

So, how much caffeine is there in a standard Dolce Gusto pod?

Each standard capsule contains exactly 8 grams of coffee which deliver 80-130mg of caffeine per pour.

We’ve found the values of caffeine content from the Dolce Gusto website and contacted Nestle directly to get the ones that were missing. We’ve put them into the table below, sorted from strongest to weakest.

Dolce gusto caffeine content

Dolce Gusto Specialty Coffee Range:

Dolce Gusto FlavorCaffeine Content Per Shot
Cappuccino107mg Caffeine
Skinny Cappuccino90mg Caffeine
Latte Macchiato85mg Caffeine
Vanilla Latte Macchiato83mg Caffeine
Caramel Latte Macchiato83mg Caffeine
Mocha45mg Caffeine
Comparing caffeine content of the Dolce Gusto specialty coffee range

Dolce Gusto ‘Coffee Drinks’ Range:

Dolce Gusto FlavorCaffeine Content Per Shot
Grande Intenso Dark Roast130mg Caffeine
Espresso Intenso115mg Caffeine
Medium Roast103mg Caffeine
Café au Lait92mg Caffeine
Lungo Decaffeinato1mg Caffeine
Dark Roast130mg Caffeine
Americano127mg Caffeine
Comparing caffeine content of the Dolce Gusto ‘Coffee Drinks’ Range:

Dolce Gusto ‘Non-Coffee Drinks’ Range:

Dolce Gusto FlavorCaffeine Content Per Shot
Chai Tea Latte34mg Caffeine
Chococino8.1mg Caffeine
Comparing caffeine content of the Dolce Gusto ‘Non-Coffee Drinks’ Range:

As you can see, the Grande Intenso Dark Roast and Dark Roast come out on top with approximately 130mg of caffeine per capsule. Whereas the humble Mocha trails in last place at 45mg of caffeine per espresso shot.

3rd Party Dolce Gusto Capsules.

The most common alternate capsules are the Starbucks range as these are actually stocked through the same distribution channels as the original pods.

Just like for the OriginalLine Pods, factors such as the ratio of Arabica to Robusta Coffee, as well as the distinct bean variations will affect the final caffeine content.

There are many other capsules that fit the dolce gusto machines, however, these vary a lot between countries and markets.

Dolce Gusto ‘Starbucks’ Range:

Dolce Gusto FlavorCaffeine Content Per Shot
Starbucks Caramel Macchiato~80mg
Starbucks Macchiato~80mg
Starbucks Veranda Blend Americano~80mg
Starbucks Blonde Roast Espresso~80mg
Comparing caffeine content of the Dolce Gusto ‘Starbucks’ Range:
[More coming soon!]

What about the pour? Espresso vs. lungo vs. Americano.

The Dolce Gusto machine has the option to vary how much coffee is brewed, from an espresso to a lungo, all the way up to a full cup of americano.

It’s important to note that all capsules are the same size, and look very similar, except they will be designed for a different pour size. Check the packaging for a graphic showing you how much water to use for that specific flavor.

Using more or less water than what the capsule is designed for will alter the caffeine content of the final coffee. Using more water than recommended will pull through more caffeine, and conversely less water will make for a weaker drink. However, this will only alter the final caffeine content by around +/-%10.

What about the markings shown on the capsule?

Do you know that they have a tiny number printed on the packaging? So why are Dolce Gusto pods numbered? We’ve written an entire article discussing what these markings mean. However, to summarise.

  • The numbers on the pods: These levels refer to the “intensity” of the coffee, a straightforward visual scale, similar to the one on Nespresso pods.
  • The bar scale icon on the pods: This literally refers to how much water you need to set your Dolce Gusto machine to use when extracting the coffee.
The Green Pods Dolce Gusto Water requirement rating on the capsule

So can I make a long black or americano using an espresso capsule?

You shouldn’t really make a bigger coffee using an espresso capsule. The coffee blends and their respective flavors are put together specifically with the extraction time in mind. Extracting an espresso capsule super slowly and with more water will just result in a weak, over-extracted espresso that won’t taste like it is intended.

Instead, pour the shot as intended, and then add hot water to top it up to the desired volume. This means the coffee has been extracted perfectly and you’re not altering the flavor at all.

To sum things up.

A common theme across all coffee manufacturers is that finding out the exact caffeine content of each flavor is surprisingly difficult. In this roundup, we hope we’ve been able to help provide the answers you’ve been searching for.

The two main contributors to the caffeine content of your dolce gusto pod are the ratio of Robusta to Arabica coffee and the darkness of the roast. On top of this, extracting for longer will pull more caffeine out of the pod, but will change the flavor profile of your coffee.

The values of a typical Dolce Gusto pod can vary by almost 300%, from 45mg to 130mg. This means if you’re caffeine-sensitive you can know which pods to avoid, and if you’re a caffeine lover, you know how to get the best bang for your buck.

We’ll for sure be stocking up on the Dolce Gusto Dark Roast from now on!

We hope you’ve enjoyed all these details on Dolce Gusto caffeine content, and the choice is a little easier next time you reach for your morning coffee.

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