Does Nespresso Only Make Espresso?

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Because coffee is such a popular drink, the coffee machine market is very competitive and constantly changing as manufacturers desperately try to sell more machines.

It is no wonder that many of us get a little confused as we are are looking for our next piece of coffee kit.

And so in this post I want to focus on the relationship between Nespresso, a manufacturer of great coffee machines and espresso, possibly the most iconic coffee drink in the world…

[1] What is Nespresso?

Nespresso also, known as Nestlé Nespresso S.A, is an operating unit of the famous Nestlé Group, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Nespresso as a unit sells or licenses a number of different coffee making machines mostly made in Europe. 

The machines bear the names of reputable kitchen-equipment makers such as Krups, Breville, and DeLonghi, but are mostly manufactured by one of the world’s largest coffee-machine producers, a Swiss company, known as Eugster/Frismag.

Nespresso machines brew espresso (which I will talk about soon) and coffee from coffee capsules, or pods in machines for home or commercial use. 

Once inserted into a machine, the capsules are pierced and processed, water is then forced against a heating element at high pressure allowing only the quantity for a single cup to be heated. 

Nespresso by 2011, had recorded an annual sales in excess of 3 billion Swiss francs.

[2] What is Espresso?

Espresso, is a type of strong black coffee of Italian origin made by forcing a certain amount of hot water (nearly boiling temperature) under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.

Espresso is known for its thickness compared to other coffee brewed by other methods, it has a higher concentration of dissolved solids, and it is also characterized by a foamy and creamy top known as crema.

Compared to most coffee beverages, espresso contains more caffeine per unit volume, but due to the usual serving size of espresso coffee, which is much smaller, the total caffeine content is less than a mug of a regular brewed coffee, contrary to a common belief.

In addition, the amount of caffeine content of any coffee drink depends on the bean size, bean origin, roast method and other factors. 

The quantity of caffeine contained in a typical serving of espresso is between 120 to 170 milligrams whereas a typical serving of drip coffee contains between 150 to 200mg.

[3] What is the difference between Nespresso and Espresso?

Nespresso is a Nestle brand kind of coffee-making machine that extracts an espresso shot from the coffee pod.

While, espresso is a small shot of coffee, extracted under pressure on an espresso machine (such as one of the many models made by Nespresso).

[4] How many different varieties of Nespresso capsule are there?

New varieties of Nespresso capsule are being added all the time. Source

Back in 2015 Nespresso coffee capsules were originally released with sixteen different varieties. It was later increased to a twenty-four when an additional eight Nespresso coffee types were released.

As a way of guiding consumers in making the right choice when selecting a coffee capsule for themselves, Nespresso released a guide in which they categorized the 24 different varieties into six ranges.

As of 2015, Nespresso coffee capsules are classified in six different varieties as shown below;

  • Espresso capsules – these are the coffees that most people are used to drinking. Because they are naturally short, consumers believe that they are very strong. Although some are, there is a good variation of intensity among these capsules. Most of the coffees that go into this have blended origins.
  • Intenso capsules – previously some of the capsules in this category were in the Espresso category before they were split out. This category contains some of the fuller flavour, more intense Nespresso coffee flavours. These are again usually blended in their origins.
  • Pure Origin capsules – these capsules have their beans sourced from one location. Its flavour and taste are unique and specific to where they originate from.
  • Lungo capsules – these capsules designed for longer drinks, particularly where a larger volume of water is added to the coffee. While its strong flavour is maintained, it has the potential to bring out more complex flavours and allow you to enjoy subtler tastes.
  • Decaffeinato capsules – this category contains some of the great coffees from other categories but with the naturally occurring caffeine taken away. These capsules are ideal for those consumers who react to caffeine but enjoy taking coffee.
  • Variation capsules are typically based on the Livanto (Espresso) capsule, but with specific additional flavours to give your coffee that little extra kick of contrasting flavour.

Fast forward to 2017, Nespresso again updated their guide for coffee capsules varieties, this time around summarizing it to four different varieties.

The new varieties of Nespresso capsule are as shown below;

  • Espresso capsules are the high-standard, traditional coffee that most of us enjoy drinking. They are generally a ‘shorter’ coffee and can come in a variety of strengths. There are six different Espresso capsules in the Nespresso collection. These typically contain ‘blends’ of coffee origin.
  • Pure Origine capsules are also essentially Espressos, but of a special variety that can be traced back to a single place of origin. Nespresso has three Pure Origine capsules.
  • Lungo capsules are traditionally a ‘longer’ coffee, designed to use approximately twice the amount of water that is in an espresso. It is also known as a ‘tall’ coffee, although not with quite as much water as what a coffee chain might call an ‘Americano’.
  • Decaffeinato capsules are specialist capsules from Nespresso. There exist three of these which vary by the intensity of taste.

[5] Does Nespresso only make Espresso?

Nespresso makes a range of espresso pods. Since many of the most popular coffee drinks are all espresso based (such as lattes or cappuccinos), owning a Nespresso machine will enable you to make a huge range of coffee drinks.

The closest you could get to regular coffee is a Cafe Americano which is espresso diluted to normal coffee strength by adding hot water.

I don’t know the correct ratio for that but I find using the lungo button with an espresso pod tastes good for me. My suggestion is if you want regular coffee a Keurig is really the way to go. If you want espresso to get a Nespresso. These machines are small enough to fit in your kitchen.