What do the Numbers on Nespresso Pods Mean?

While you may not realize it, each Nespresso pod has an alphanumeric code on the bottom that tells you which type of coffee it’s made with and how strong the brew will be. Do you own Nespresso pods and have wondered what those numbers mean on the bottom? Do you have one of the newer Vertuoline machines and don’t know which pods to use? You’ve come to the right place! In this post, we’ll be covering the different pod types and numbers on Nespresso pods, as well as some tips on how you can find the best deals on Nespresso pods.

The Different Numbers on Nespresso Pods

The numbers found on each pod correspond to how long you should make your espresso. If you want a short, strong shot of espresso that tastes bitter, use a pod with an Intensity level of 1. If you want a longer, weaker shot of espresso with more flavor and sweetness, use a pod with an Intensity level of 3-5. The higher the number, the more intense or bitter tasting your coffee will be. 

It is important to note that there is no correlation between intensity and caffeine levels in Nespresso pods. Some low-intensity coffees contain caffeine, while some high-intensity coffees are decaffeinated. The amount of caffeine depends on the type of beans used, roasting time, and type of roast. A typical cup of coffee ranges from 65-150 mg per 8 ounces; a typical espresso ranges from 75-135 mg per 2 ounces (based on a 20g serving size). 

In general, we can say that it is difficult to predict caffeine content based on the packaging’s intensity because many factors can affect it. However, to maintain consistency and balance all of our varieties, it’s worth keeping these two rules in mind: 

  • The majority of Espresso capsules have three strengths: lungo/Intensity Level 3+, espresso/Intensity Level 5+, and ristretto/Intensity Level 7+. 
  • Nespresso Capsules are not considered caffeine free if they have an intensity level below 5.

The Meaning of the Numbers

Nespresso intensity levels are not a measure of caffeine, but they can help you choose a pod that is right for you. You might be wondering how to read those numbers. Well here’s a quick guide: – The first number indicates flavor, and starts at 1 (1 = Original) and goes all the way up to 16 (16 = Lungo). 

The second number tells you how much water is in each capsule, which starts at 1 and goes up to 9. A higher number means more water in the capsule. So a 6 stands for coffee with 50% milk and 50% coffee, while an 8 stands for coffee with 75% milk and 25% coffee. 

Some people prefer a stronger coffee, others like a milder taste; whichever your preference, finding the perfect intensity level is just one step closer to achieving the perfect espresso. If you want something strong, go with 10 or 12. If you prefer something milder, try 7 or 8. For example, if your morning routine consists of drinking two espressos before going about your day then maybe an 11 or 12 would be best for you.

The Benefits of Using Nespresso Pods

Nespresso pods are an easy and convenient way to make your coffee. They’re affordable, come in many different flavors, and can be found in supermarkets and grocery stores. The numbers printed on each pod represent the amount of intensity, or strength of flavor, you’ll get from that pod. If you’re a fan of strong coffee with a lot of kick, then opt for a high number like 18 or 19.

If you prefer something milder like 1 or 2, then those would suit your needs better.  Just keep in mind that caffeine levels will vary depending on what type of coffee beans were used and how they were roasted. A higher number means a stronger intensity level which usually means there’s more caffeine per cup. 

You should also know that it’s hard to judge how much caffeine is present because espresso machines brew at a much faster rate than drip machines, but most people estimate that Nespresso capsules are about 25% stronger than drip coffee (which translates to about 10-15 mg more). That said if you drink coffee regularly then drinking one 16 oz cup every day won’t increase your risk for health problems like heart disease or cancer.

How to Choose the Right Pod for Your Coffee

It’s all about finding what’s best for you, and with so many different types of pods available from different coffee makers, it can be hard to know which one to choose. So here are some things to consider when choosing a coffee maker: 

Nespresso Intensity Levels – The intensity level of a coffee indicates how much caffeine is in each capsule, but it does not affect the taste. A higher-intensity pod will contain more caffeine than a lower-intensity pod, but they’ll both still taste similar. 

Nespresso Vertuo Pods Chart – With Vertuo pods, you can adjust intensity levels according to your preference.  You can find this information on the front of the pod. If you like strong coffee, opt for either 1 or 2 shots; if you like lighter coffee, go for 0 or 1 shot. 

Nespresso Capsules Range From Mild To Strong – If you’re looking to make a milder cup of espresso, use a low-caffeine capsule (100 mg) such as Ristretto or Lungo Decaffeinato. Conversely, if you want a stronger espresso then go with Cappuccino Decaffeinato Espresso or Amaretto Decaffeinato Espresso capsules (225 mg). You may also want to try combining two low-caffeine pods to get your desired strength.


The numbers on your espresso pods will tell you what intensity of the coffee is inside. A higher number means a stronger coffee, while a lower number means it’s milder. For example, an 18 is a very strong cup of coffee and might be too much for some people. A 19 is medium-strong and is probably better for most people. If you’re looking for the strongest cup of coffee, go with anything over 20 or 22.


Does ‘Caffeine’ Mean ‘Intensity’?

Nespresso is a company that sells coffee pods for home brewing machines. The company claims that the intensity of its pods means a stronger flavor. However, this claim is confusing because there are many different intensity levels and it’s not clear how to tell which one will be stronger. For example, we can’t tell from looking at a pod how much caffeine it has or if it’s an intense flavor pod or a milder one. Plus, other brands such as Dolce Gusto make pods with higher levels of caffeine even though they don’t use this term.

Nespresso does have an intensity chart but it doesn’t list any specific numbers so it’s hard to know what you’re getting into when you buy a packet of pods.

Then What Do the “Intensity” Numbers Mean?

Nespresso capsules have numbers to indicate intensity. The higher the number, the stronger the coffee will taste and contain more caffeine. If you’re looking for a light cup of coffee, stay in the lower ranges. If you want something with more caffeine, go for one of their higher-intensity pods. For example, an intense pod has about 10% more caffeine than a regular pod.

How Do You Read Nespresso Pods?

Nespresso pods come in a variety of flavors, each with its intensity level. The label for each pod has three numbers that correspond to the intensity level, which is typically measured in shots. The higher the number, the stronger the espresso. For instance, a 3-shot espresso will have more caffeine than a 1-shot espresso. If you prefer lighter coffee or have sensitive stomachs, stick with lower-intensity coffee options like 1 and 2 shots (1.5 if you can find it).

What Are the Most Powerful Nespresso Capsules?

The three most common Nespresso intensity levels are Ristretto (the lightest), Espresso, and Lungo. The higher the number of espresso shots in a pod, the stronger it will be. For example, a capsule with five espresso shots will have a higher caffeine content than a capsule with four espresso shots. However, an Espresso pod has more caffeine than a Ristretto pod due to its larger volume of water. A Lungo pod has less caffeine than a Ristretto or Espresso pod because it contains fewer coffee beans.

What Is the Process of Roasting Coffee Beans?

Coffee beans are roasted to produce different flavors and intensities. Roasting coffee beans longer produces a darker, more intense flavor. The longer you roast coffee beans, the more caffeine is removed from them. This is why dark roasts have less caffeine than light roasts. Different roasters use different roasting techniques that change the way the beans look and taste. 

For example, some people prefer their coffees with a little bit of oil left on them because it gives a richer flavor and mouth feel. Other people want coffee that has been as close to naked as possible, so they roast it for as little time as possible. Some people want a smooth cup of coffee without any aftertaste at all, so they will go very light in their roasting process. Some want what’s called City or American-style coffee: sweetened cream mixed with black coffee

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