Coffee Expertise | Nespresso UK

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Perfect coffee is no coincidence. Which means we push the boundaries uncompromisingly at every step of the long value chain from tree to cup, deliberately 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 deliberately created, consistently and without compromise, cup after cup, by living our principles.

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

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

As the closest agricultural concept to how we view our coffees, we borrowed from the world of wine. In the wine industry, the term 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 beginning holds the promise of an incredible cup of coffee.

We start at origin with fine specialty grade coffees that meet stringent physical criteria and specific taste profiles, necessary to compose our distinctive Grands Crus.

Our approach necessitates another level of selectivity which concerns the sustainability of the coffee tree and coffee world in general.

To address the issue of coffee's future, we created the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program in 2003 in conjunction with the non-profit, 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 program.

Chris Wille

Chief Rainforest Alliance

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


The best quality of coffee


The natural environment


A long-term relationship with our farmers

The fruit of the Coffea Rubiaceae tree, coffee grows between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.

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 perfectly ripe.

Juan diego
and his father

Farmers since 1982 in Colombia

" The art of combining know-how and modern techniques to attain excellence."

Not all beans are created equal, so we sort every single one of the billions we roast through a series of trays that differentiate first by size, then density.

The final grading step for raw coffee is colour sortation, both by hand and electronics. This is needed because a bean might be the right size and density, but have colours which are indicative of damage or imperfections.

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

Safeguarding quality through all of a coffee journey's stages from farm to cup requires us 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.

Anton Egli

nespresso Quality Specialist, Green Coffee

" For each of their Grands Crus, Nespresso select only some of the best beans in the world."

" As a perfumer knows the harmonics of his ingredients, so our master blenders create aromatic compositions."

We develop our Grands Crus in a blend composition much like a form of magical alchemy. Nespresso panel cuppers are intensively trained, tested, certified and re-certified every 3 months for their ability to identify quality. Sensory evaluation looks beyond physical att ributes, linking taste to variety, terroir and care in cultivation.

Back in Switzerland, we develop our Grands Crus in a blend 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. As a perfumer knows the harmonics of his ingredients, so our master blenders understand the transformation of fragrance and flavours. Having practiced these skills for over 25 years, Nespresso quality creation 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, sensorial and sustainable standards tests of the highest order. Where 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 create unique personalities in others.

Made-to-measure grinding for optimal extractions

Ultimately, grinding is what allows coffee's aromas to be released, making it a critical step in delivering the experience of a Grand Cru. The mastery of grind technique, therefore, 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 for the best quality cup of each Grand Cru.

The schematic illustration on the left shows how oxygen in the Nespresso capsule impacts the loss of freshness markers over time. The schematic illustration on the right shows how the formation of hexal, a marker for coffee oxidation, is impacted by the presence of oxygen in the Nespresso capsule. The dotted lines illustrate at wich concentration the freshness loss ans oxidation can be in the cup.