Nespresso is considered the most popular capsule coffee solution worldwide, and the original line is their most widely adopted range. We wanted to find exactly how much caffeine is in a Nespresso 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 Nespresso coffee. Here, we’ll share what we found, and cover every detail on the amount of caffeine in these coffee pods.
What exactly are Nespresso Pods?
Nespresso Coffee Capsules are single serve aluminum coffee pods made to use in the range of Nespresso brand or compatible coffee machines.
There are now two types of pods: OriginalLine and Vertuoline, which contain different amounts of coffee and therefore different amounts of caffeine. We’ve looked into both types of pod to find out exactly how much caffeine is in each one
There are around 35 different Nespresso capsule varieties to choose from in their OriginalLine and as well as 13 varieties in their Vertuoline.
To start with, let’s clear up a common point of confusion. Nespresso describes the flavor of their coffee using a term called Intensity. The numbers generally range from a rating of 1-11. But don’t be confused, this intensity rating by no means determines its caffeine.
So what does Nespresso mean by ‘intensity’?
This one tends to confuse most people, and it’s not as obvious as it seems. Some are convinced it refers to the strength of flavor, and other think it’s the amount of caffeine. The answer? Its both!
The intensity of the coffee is influenced by 2 factors, the roast of the coffee and the ratio of Robusta coffee to Arabica coffee.
Arabica coffee is lighter flavoured and contains less caffeine. Robusta coffee, on the other hand, has a more intense flavour, is stronger and contains more caffeine. The longer (or ‘darker’) the coffee is roasted also plays a part as roasting for longer destroys the caffeine.
This means you can have a dark roasted Arabica like the Nespresso Roma with intensity of 8 and a relatively low caffeine content and then have a medium roasted Robusta with a huge amount of caffeine like the Nespresso Kazaar.
Nespresso OriginalLine caffeine content.
So, how much caffeine in these in a standard Nespresso Pod?
Each standard capsule contains exactly 5 grams of coffee which delivers 60-75mg of caffeine per pour. Each Nespresso Lungo Capsule contains 5.5 grams of coffee for a caffeine content of around 80-140mg.
We’ve found the values of caffeine content from the Nespresso website, and put them into the table below, sorted from strongest to weakest.
|Type||Intensity||Caffeine Content Per Shot|
|Type||Caffeine Content Per Shot|
|Caramel Crème Brulee||62mg|
|Type||Intensity||Caffeine Content Per Shot|
As you can see, the Kazaar blend comes out on top with approximately 142mg of caffeine per capsule. Whereas the humble Cosi trails in last place at 59mg of caffeine per espresso shot.
Nespresso VertuoLine caffeine content.
Nespresso VertuoLine are larger pods and can only be used with a Nespresso VertuoLine Machine. They contain more ground coffee per capsule than OriginalLine does and come in a variety of sizes. The machine uses a special barcode on the lip of the pod to recognize what capsule has been inserted, and then dispenses the correct amount of water accordingly. Pretty clever huh?
- VertuoLine Espresso – 40ml / 1.35oz
- VertuoLine Double Espresso – 80ml / 2.7oz
- VertuoLine Gran Lungo – 150ml / 5oz
- VertuoLine Coffee (mug) – 230ml / 8oz
- VertuoLine Alto – 414ml / 14oz
Just like for the OriginalLine Pods, factors such as the ratio of Aribica to Robusta Coffee, as well as the distinct bean variations will affect the final caffeine content.
In the market, you will be able to find around 35 different types of varieties in Nespresso capsules in Nespresso OriginalLine. There are currently 13 different varieties of capsules in Nespresso Vertuoline. We’ve listed there specified caffiene content in the tables below.
Gran Lungo (150ml)
Mug / Coffee (230ml)
For brevity, decaffeinated variations of Nespresso capsules have been omitted from this table.
What about the pour? Espresso vs. lungo.
The Nespresso OriginalLine range has 2 distinct families, the standard Espresso capsules, and the nearly identicle in size Lungo capsule. To compliment this, most nespresso machines have 2 buttons (often shown as a single cup or a double cup icon) to dispense the correct amount of water. But what exactly is the difference?
Most of us are familiar with espresso. It forms the base of most of the barista drinks we know and love; such as the Cappuccino, Flat White, and Latte.
However, a lungo is slightly different. It is a longer coffee which more popular in European countries. The coffee is still extracted in the same way as and espresso shot, however, a lungo is designed to fill up more of your cup. What this means is that on the whole they can be a little milder but still maintains the same flavour and intensity.
A lungo is also sometimes called a ‘stretched coffee’, and in French it is called a café allongé. This shouldn’t be confused, however, with an Americano, which is an Italian style coffee with hot water added. Also, not to be confused with a lungo is a long black, where you add a short black directly to the hot water – basically the opposite of an Americano. The reason for this swap around is so you can pour the short black in as soon as it’s extracted, preserving more of the crema.
Now with a longer extraction comes more chance for that precious caffeine to be extracted. Even though the majority of the caffeine comes through in the first 40mls, we typically get an extra ~20% caffeine in a lungo pour.
What’s the key differences between Espresso and Lungo?
- The default pour size of Espresso is 40mls
- The default pour size of Lungo (long) is 110mls.
- The caffeine range is 60-80 mg for Espresso and 75-95 mg for Lungo.
So can I make a lungo using a Nespresso espresso capsule?
You shouldn’t really make an espresso using a lungo capsule or vice versa. The coffee blends and their respective flavours 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. Similarly, it would be impossible to extract the full flavours of a lungo capsule by extracting under higher pressure and for a shorter period of time.
To sum things up.
There is a common misnomer when it comes to the caffeine content of espresso where many people believe that the Intensity number quoted is a measure of the caffeine.
Infact, the 2 main contributors to the caffeine content of your Nespresso pod is 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 flavour profile of your coffee.
The values of a typical Nespresso pod can vary by over double, from 60mg to 140mg. This means if you’ve caffeine sensitive you can know which pods to avoid, and if you’ve a caffeine lover, you know how to get the best bang for your buck.
We’ll for sure be stocking up on the Nespresso Kazaar from now on!
We hope you’ve enjoyed all these details on Nespresso caffeine content, and the choice is a little easier next time you reach for your morning coffee.