Coffee Expertise | Nespresso ™

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Perfect coffee is no coincidence. That means we push the boundaries, without compromise, at every link in the long value chain from tree to cup, purposefully creating our Grands Crus for your pleasure.

Discover the Expertise

Perfect coffee isn’t something
that can be left to chance

Perfect coffee pleasure is no accident: it must be created purposefully, consistently and without compromise, cup after cup, by putting our principles into action.

Along the complex path from bean to cup, there are quicker ways of doing things than the way we do them, and there are certainly cheaper ways. But there is no better way. Knowing that a single faulty bean can taint a whole batch, we take control of quality down to the very last bean – with a deliberate dedication to getting the details right at every step along the way.

We’re often asked why we call
our coffees Grands Crus?

We have borrowed terms from the world of wine, since it is the closest agricultural concept in terms of how we view our coffees. In the wine industry, the designation Grand Cru can be given to wines of the highest quality classification.

At Nespresso, our selection begins with the best raw materials we can find, because only the best beginnings hold the promise of an incredible cup of coffee.We start at origin with fine speciality grade coffees that meet the stringent physical criteria and specific taste profiles necessary to create our distinctive Grands Crus.

Responsible Sourcing Tastes Best

Our approach requires another level of selectivity that relates to the sustainability of coffee trees and the coffee world in general.

To address the issue of the future of coffee, we created the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program in 2003 in conjunction with the non-profit organisation Rainforest Alliance. This approach enables Nespresso to safeguard the future supply of the highest quality coffee, while paying farmers a higher income and protecting the natural environment. But our commitment goes beyond this: it is about a long-term relationship and continued loyalty to the coffee farmers in the programme.

CHRIS WILLEChief of Sustainable Agriculture, Rainforest Alliance

Our certification system positively impacts thousands of farmers, families and the environment.

Nespresso is committed to:


The best quality of coffee


The natural environment


A long-term relationship with our farmers

Harvesting Quality from
the best terroirs

Coffee grows between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, and is actually the fruit of the Coffea Rubiaceae tree.

As with wine, great coffee draws its characteristics from its terroir – the result of harmony between soil, weather conditions, variety, aspect and altitude. We call the tree’s fruit a ‘cherry’ for its luscious red colour when ripe and its cherry-like shape. As with any fruit, coffee tastes best when harvested at its optimal ripeness.


In our AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, we’re learning alongside our farmers about how to improve their farms. At the end of the day, it’s the farmers who best understand their coffee trees.

Coffee is a cherry

Cherries from the same tree will ripen at different rates and should therefore be picked at different times. In order to pick only perfectly ripened fruit, the majority of coffees used for Nespresso Grands Crus are harvested by hand. Though more costly in terms of both time and money, this guarantees the best quality, since beans that are too green, or overripe, are eliminated.

Like wine grapes

From the French word ‘terre’ (soil), a terroir is designated as a defined region where the growing environments are of similar altitude, soil composition and climate (temperature, rainfall, sunshine, humidity, etc.).






Not all beans are created equal...

The better the grading, the more consistent the beans… the more even the roast and, ultimately, the more balanced the cup.

Safeguarding quality throughout the stages of a coffee’s journey from farm to cup means that we have to carry out repeated and systematic physical and taste checks: prior to bagging coffee at origin, prior to transporting by sea or air and, again, upon arrival in Europe. Taste (or ‘cup’) testing ensures only the finest, cleanest coffee is selected.

Nespresso Quality Specialist, Green Coffee

For each one of their Grands Crus, Nespresso only selects some of the best beans in the world.
Just as a perfumer understands the subtle notes of each ingredient, our master blenders know how to create aromatic compositions.

We develop our Grands Crus in a blended composition much like a form of magical alchemy. Nespresso panel cuppers are intensively trained, tested, certified and re-certified every three months in their ability to identify quality. Sensory evaluation looks beyond physical attributes, linking taste to variety, terroir and care in cultivation.

Back in Switzerland, we develop our Grands Crus in a blended composition much like a form of magical alchemy. We select specific coffee origins for their unique characteristics, (aroma, flavour, body, etc.), combining components in proportions designed to enhance their individual brilliance. Just as a perfumer understands the subtle notes of each ingredient, our master blenders understand the transformation of fragrance and flavours. Having practised these skills for over 25 years, quality creation at Nespresso is masterful, not coincidental.

The subtle blending of varieties reveals a wealth of flavours, each contributing remarkable characteristics. The two main commercial coffee species grown, Arabica and Robusta, each bring distinct characteristics to a blend. Coffees of both types must pass physical, sensory and sustainable standards tests of the highest order. Whereas Arabica brings finesse, acidity, clarity and elegance to the cup, Robusta adds heft, body, texture and pure coffee aromatics. Nespresso uses between 90% to 95% Arabicas with some Robustas to either add spice to select Grands Crus or to create unique personalities in others.

Terroir-specific roasting for terroir-specific aromas

Roasting and grinding are vital stages in creating a Grand Cru, since this is where we reveal the full flavour and aromatic potential of green coffee beans.

Correct roasting depends on finding the time, temperature and other parameters best suited to a blend, thereby allowing the origin characteristics to be fully expressed. Whilst poor roasting can ruin the finest coffee, expert technique brings out the best of every ingredient, balancing origin-specific characteristics and allowing each coffee to show its unique personality. That is why Nespresso develops a specific roast profile for each blend.The same coffee can acquire vastly different cup results depending on the roasting technique used. By knowing the character of our beans, we can roast each one with the goal of optimising and maximising its flavour. Origin, type, shipment, batch… all these variables impact roasting. Our expert understanding ensures consistency cup after cup, year after year, irrespective of seasonal fluctuations.

Made-to-measure grinding for optimal extractions

Ultimately, grinding is what allows a coffee’s aromas to be released, making it a critical step in delivering the experience of a Grand Cru. The mastery of a grinding technique thus optimises extraction and end cup quality. As every coffee type or blend extracts differently, our grind approach is not uniform but varied, highly individualised and set up for the best quality cup of each Grand Cru.

Capturing freshness: safeguarding
aromas for your cup

In addition to being able to preserve freshness, aluminium is infinitely recyclable. Nespresso Research & Development aimed to ensure that the material chosen not only locks in the aromatics we’ve worked so hard to secure, but that it is also ecologically sound. Compared to primary aluminium production, recycling aluminium products consumes as little as 5% of the energy and emits only 5% of the greenhouse gases.

Nespresso created the hermetically sealed aluminium capsule as the optimal way to lock in freshness.

Aluminium capsules were designed for their complete barrier capacity, which protects around 900 volatile aromas of coffee. Sealing it in this manner prevents oxidation and guarantees optimal cup freshness. From the completion of roasting onwards, all processing takes place in a controlled environment so that no oxygen comes into contact with the coffee en route to encapsulation. This material was also favoured because it is infinitely recyclable, so not only does it maintain quality and flavour integrity, it is also not a spent resource once used. Compared to primary aluminium production, recycling aluminium products consumes as little as 5% of the energy and emits only 5% of the greenhouse gases. As part of our vision, by the end of 2013 Nespresso had already established used capsule collection for recycling at a capacity above 80%, reaching our target one year earlier than planned.

In extraction, the final quality step for the customer, Nespresso’s comprehensive quality system ensures that finished capsules interact with machines in such a way so as to extract all the flavours that have been so carefully pursued, selected, roasted, ground and packed… in other words, to serve as the ultimate expression of all that has gone before this point. Our brewing systems operate at the right water temperature, quantity and pressure for each Grand Cru design, so that they can deliver our quality promise in the cup.

A selection of 23 Grands Crus

  • Intenso
  • Espresso
  • Lungo
  • Pure Origin
  • Decaffeinato
  • Variations

These multi-blends feature a variety of intense characteristics, best enjoyed in a short 25 ml cup (ristretto) or 40 ml cup (espresso).

  • Kazaar

    A daring blend featuring Robustas from Brazil and Guatemala, specially prepared for Nespresso, and a separately roasted Arabica from South America, Kazaar is a coffee of exceptional intensity. Its powerful bitterness and notes of pepper are balanced by a full and creamy texture.

  • Dharkan

    This blend of Arabicas from Latin America and Asia fully unveils its character thanks to the technique of long roasting at a low temperature. Its powerful personality reveals intense roasted notes together with hints of bitter cocoa powder and toasted cereals that express themselves in a silky and velvety texture.

  • Ristretto

    A blend of South American and East African Arabicas, with a touch of Robusta roasted separately to create the subtle fruity note of this full-bodied, intense espresso.

  • Arpeggio

    A dark roast of pure South and Central American Arabicas, Arpeggio has a strong character and intense body, enhanced by notes of cocoa.

  • Roma

    The balance of lightly roasted South and Central American Arabicas and Robusta gives Roma sweet and woody notes and a full, lasting taste on the palate.

"Four blends explore the range of flavours presented in a mild, round and balanced style, to be enjoyed in a 40 ml cup (espresso). "

  • Livanto

    A pure Arabica from South and Central America, Livanto is a well-balanced espresso characterised by a roasted caramelised note.

  • Capriccio

    Blending South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta, Capriccio is an espresso with a rich aroma and a strong typical cereal note.

  • Volluto

    A pure and lightly roasted Arabica from South America, Volluto reveals sweet and biscuity flavours, reinforced by a little acidity and a note of fruitiness.

  • Cosi

    Pure, lightly roasted East African, Central and South American Arabicas make Cosi a light-bodied espresso with refreshing citrus notes.

Three Grands Crus offering a wide range of taste profiles and intensities, specifically designed to be enjoyed in a 110 ml long cup.

  • Fortissio Lungo

    As in the age of sailing ships, Indian Malabar Arabica beans are exposed to monsoon winds after harvest to reveal a distinguished aromatic profile, rich with cereal notes. We blend these with Latin American Arabica beans to create a lungo with a truly intense character.

  • Vivalto Lungo

    Vivalto Lungo is a balanced coffee made from a complex blend of separately roasted South American and East African Arabicas, combining roasted and subtle floral notes.

  • Linizio Lungo

    Mild and well-rounded on the palate, Linizio Lungo is a blend of fine Arabicas that bring out malt and cereal notes.

Three espressos (40 ml) and one lungo (110 ml) with unique and striking characters. Each sourced, by Nespresso Coffee Experts, from a single country of origin in specially selected territories.

  • Indriya from India

    Indriya from India is the fine pairing of Arabicas with a hint of Robusta from southern India. It is a full-bodied espresso that has a distinct personality with notes of spices.

  • Rosabaya de Colombia

    This blend of fine, individually roasted Colombian Arabicas develops a subtle acidity with typical red fruit and wine-like notes.

  • Dulsão do Brasil

    A pure Arabica coffee, Dulsão do Brasil is a delicate blend of red and yellow Bourbon beans from Brazil. Its satiny smooth, elegantly balanced flavour is enhanced with a note of delicately toasted grain.

  • Bukeela ka Ethiopia

    Composed of two very different Arabicas from Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, this delicately fresh and floral Pure Origin Lungo reveals unexpectedly wild notes of musk and wood.

True Nespresso coffees – each with its own rich aroma and natural characters preserved through the decaffeination process.

  • Arpeggio Decaffeinato

    A dark roast of pure South and Central American Arabicas, Arpeggio Decaffeinato boasts strong character, intense body and notes of cocoa.

  • Volluto Decaffeinato

    A blend of pure and lightly roasted Arabicas from South America, Volluto Decaffeinato reveals sweet and biscuity flavours, reinforced by a hint of acidity and a note of fruitiness.

  • Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato

    Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato is a balanced decaffeinated coffee that perfectly preserves the complexity of separately roasted South American and East African Arabicas, combining both roasted and subtle floral notes.

  • Decaffeinato Intenso

    Dark roasted South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta bring out the subtle cocoa and roasted cereal notes in this full-bodied decaffeinated Espresso.

Three gourmet Variations on the Livanto Grand Cru, flavoured with natural aromas of exceptional finesse. Best enjoyed in a 40 ml short cup.

  • Vanilio

    A balanced harmony between the rich and the velvety aromas of vanilla and the mellow flavour of the Livanto Grand Cru. A blend distinguished by its full flavour, infinitely smooth and silky on the palate.

  • Ciocattino

    Dark and bitter chocolate notes meet the caramelised roast of the Livanto Grand Cru. A rich combination reminiscent of a square of dark chocolate.

  • Caramelito

    The sweet flavour of caramel softens the roasted notes of the Livanto Grand Cru. This delicate gourmet pairing evokes the creaminess of soft toffee.

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