Easy Nespresso Intensity Levels Guide

What do the numbers on nespresso pods mean?

If you’ve ever taken a close look at your Nespresso pods, you’ll have noticed a number on it. That number represents the different nespresso intensity levels. This is a way that Nespresso measures how “intensely” flavored that pod is. 

What are the nespresso intensity levels?

Nespresso intensity levels range from 1 and 13, with 1 being the least and intense and 13 being the most intense. 

There are three characteristics that play a part in determining the intensity level for your Nespresso: roast, body, and bitterness. Acidity, bitterness, and roast are another way that you can look at how Nespresso groups their pods by intensity. 


On the packaging somewhere, Nespresso rates acidity, bitterness, and roast on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest for each.  

Least Intensity 1-5

Nespresso’s with the lowest intensity levels are between 1 and 5. I noticed that these are a lot have a higher acidic rating than the others. That means that these are going to be lighter roasted coffees. 

Light roast coffees usually have fruity flavor profiles and are more watery in body/mouthfeel. 

Medium Intensity 6-8

These are going to be your medium roasted coffees. The flavor is pretty balanced between acidity and bitterness, giving a nice enjoyable coffee that most anyone will like. 

Strongest Intensity 9-13

Between 9 and 13 are the strongest in intensity, this doesn’t mean that they’ll have the most amount of caffeine. If you were wondering what Nespresso pods have the most caffeine, you can check out the table I created for all of them here. 

The strongest intensity levels for Nespresso all tend to be more bitter. Most of these higher intensity nespresso pods have been roasted to a dark roast. 

What are the strongest Nespresso pods for original and vertuo? 

The strongest in intensity levels for the Nespresso Original line is Ispirazione Napoli and Diavolitto for the Nespresso Vertuo line. 

Chart for Original Nespresso Intensity Chart 

Chart for Vertuo Nespresso Intensity Chart 

Nespresso Intensity and Caffeine

From what I’ve found out by looking at Nespresso pods, the amount of caffeine in each pod does have a connection with the intensity level.

Usually, if a Nespresso pod has a higher intensity level, it also has a higher amount of caffeine. As said before, higher intensity pods are also more bitter. Caffeine is naturally bitter and adds to that higher intensity rating.

If you wanted to know which Nespresso pods have the highest caffeine level, you can check out our chart that goes over every Nespresso pod and also includes intensity levels and ratings for different characteristics of each flavor.

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