While coffee is known for its exotic blends and unique preparations, sometimes you want a straightforward and balanced cup of coffee, and that’s when the Nespresso Vanilio stands out. Released as part of Nespresso’s OriginalLine of capsules the Nespresso Vanilio offers a base of Livanto Grand Cru (which itself is made of Arabica) with a dash of Vanilla for a traditional experience.
Like all flavors in the OriginalLine selection, the Nespresso Vanilio can be bought in boxes of 10 capsules, with an average retail price of 7 to 8 dollars based on your location. The capsules are ideal for an espresso cup of 1.35 oz, but you can also opt to add some milk to complement the vanilla flavoring.
The Vanilio is made of Arabica beans cultivated in Central and South America, with the bulk of the beans coming from Costa Rica and Colombia. Colombia has traditionally been associated with quality coffee for generations, and to this day remains the third-largest producer of coffee in the world. While the size of Costa Rica prevents it from matching the output it still produces 1% of the world’s coffee.
In general, the Arabica beans of both Colombia and Costa Rica are known for their balanced flavor profile. These beans have the traditional bitterness we associate with coffee without losing their fruity profile. Meaning that coffee from these regions keeps a balanced mix of flavors where no particular trait overpowers the rest.
- Roast: Medium
- Flavor: Malted, Caramelized
- Intensity: 6/13
- Quantity: 5 grams
- Brand: Nespresso
- Range: OriginalLine
- Beverages: Espresso
- Price: $0.70 per capsule
Thanks to the relative simplicity of the Vanilio its cups have a great aroma. The Arabica beans provide a strong aroma but one that doesn’t become overpowering, there’s a traditional “morning cup” aroma accompanied with the creamy and sweet tones of the vanilla itself.
As a whole, the Nespresso Vanilio offers a powerful yet subtle aroma. The natural sweetness of Vanilla combines with the hints of malt in the Arabica beans to provide an aromatic profile that reminds you of a light dessert.
As soon as you take a sip out of a Vanilio cup you’ll realize the vanilla is the bulk of the experience. Since the Arabica beans used in this cup are light and balanced to begin with, the vanilla easily becomes the main flavor in the blend. The traditional caramel flavor of vanilla will be everpresent in each sip, and those looking for a complex flavor profile might be disappointed by the simple appeal of the Vanilio.
However, the simplicity of the blend is not a bad thing for those looking for a light cup. The Arabica beans in the Vanilio might be mild, but they still have enough bitterness and fruitiness to contrast with the vanilla. There’s enough of the traditional bitterness of coffee in the Vanilio to keep it from being too sweet. And alternatively, if the warmth and sweet tones of the Vanilio are your favorite part its profile lends itself to making milk coffee with it.
While the Vanilio has a listed intensity of 6 out of 13 ultimately the beverage will feel considerably milder than that. Colombian Arabica Beans aren’t known for their intensity, to begin with, and since the Vanilio opts for a medium roast they retain their balanced profile.
However, the main factor is simply the presence and percentage of vanilla in the blend. The natural intensity of the coffee beans is enough to be perceived below the vanilla extract, but the combination makes the Arabica feel lighter than it would be on its own.
As a whole, it’s a smart combination of flavors, but the Vanilio isn’t meant for those who love a strong flavor profile with a deep intensity.
What we like about the Nespresso Vanilio
- It’s a light blend that works perfectly for breakfast and to start the morning.
- The flavor profile of the vanilla is perfect for sweet lovers and people who don’t like strong coffee.
- It’s a perfect cup to make milk coffee with.
What we don’t like about the Nespresso Vanilio
- While the selection of Arabica beans is of international quality, they are overpowered by the Vanilla. Meaning that fans of Colombian and Costa Rican coffee won’t get to enjoy much of the flavor profile they are used to.