Most of us probably say our first “good morning!” of the day to our beloved Nespresso machines at home. But before fixing yourself a cup, have you ever wondered how much caffeine is in a Nespresso pod?
I’m also a regular coffee drinker, and a day would not go by without having my favourite pick-me-up.
However, we know that taking in high amounts of caffeine is not good either. Also, some people have certain health conditions that require a regulated caffeine intake.
Read on this short guide then to get a clearer idea about the levels of caffeine in Nespresso pods. That way, you can enjoy every sip without guilt or risk.
How Much Caffeine is in a Nespresso Pod?
Nespresso pods are aluminium coffee capsules made to work with the brand’s coffee machines. However, these single-serve pods have different caffeine levels, about 60mg to 150mg.
Why Does Caffeine in Nespresso Pods Differ?
Several factors contribute to this wide caffeine range. Understanding each should give us clues as to what and how much coffee to drink.
Nespresso Capsule Type
There are two main capsule types by Nespresso: OriginalLine and VertuoLine. Both pod types have several other subtypes with varying caffeine levels.
But on average, OriginalLine capsules contain 5-6g of coffee with 60-80mg of caffeine.
On the other hand, the bigger Nespresso VertuoLine have more ground coffee with 105-165mg caffeine content.
Capsule Pour Size and Variety
We can further analyse how much caffeine is in a Nespresso pod through capsule varieties and the amount of water in your cup.
For instance, the OriginalLine capsules come in two subcategories: Espresso and Lungo. Avid Nespresso coffee drinkers should know these as the single and double cup machine buttons.
Now, the default serving size of an Espresso pod is around 40ml, which contains 60-80mg caffeine. Remember, most of the caffeine yield comes from the first 40ml extraction.
On the other hand, a Lungo pod has a pour size of 110ml, which has around 75-95mg caffeine.
This pod type aims to increase drink quantity without drastically affecting taste and intensity. The concept explains why Lungo is also your long or stretched cup of Joe.
Now, the perfect Lungo pour would mean longer extraction time and more water to your usual Espresso shot. As a result, you get a milder cup with a little more caffeine.
A 2019 study on caffeine in Nespresso pods further supports this.
In this research, the investigators found that a ristretto serve or the 20ml espresso shot contains less caffeine than the two other options.
Decaffeinated Nespresso Capsules
Nespresso also produces decaf pods. And the company takes out 99% of the caffeine from green coffee in two ways: water and carbon dioxide decaffeination.
You can learn more about these methods on their FAQ page.
It’s wrong to think that these decaffeinated pods have no caffeine at all, though. Nespresso stressed that about 0.1% residual caffeine remains in decaf blends, about 3-6mg caffeine per cup.
So, decaf is not zero caffeine. But if you love coffee and need to control your caffeine intake, decaffeinated Nespresso pods is the ideal choice.
If you look at the capsule packaging or box, you’ll see a note about the product’s intensity level. Some say that this rating does not indicate how much caffeine is in a Nespresso pod.
In a way, this claim is correct. That’s because the intensity is more on the coffee’s body, flavour and bitterness. All of which have no direct relation to levels of caffeine.
However, we have to remember that intensity depends on the type of coffee in each capsule. And in Nespresso’s case, that means the ratio of Robusta and Arabica coffee.
Arabica coffee beans have a lighter flavour and less caffeine. On the other hand, Robusta coffee beans have a more intense taste and higher caffeine.
The bean amount and combination in the pod naturally affect caffeine content.
The degree of roasting is another element in coffee intensity and caffeine content.
Reviews even noted that cracked beans may release caffeine in roasting gas and that higher temperatures result in higher caffeine losses.
These correlations further explain why Nespresso Roma with dark roast Arabica, for example, has lesser caffeine than Nespresso Kazaar from medium roast Robusta.
What then is the Safe Caffeine Intake?
Now that we know how much caffeine is in a Nespresso pod, the next likely question would be, how much coffee should you drink?
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) study, 400mg caffeine per day is moderate intake and safe for healthy, non-pregnant individuals.
That means 3-5 cups of Nespresso Original or 2-5 cups of Nespresso Vertuo coffee should be alright.
But what about pregnant and breastfeeding women? EFSA suggests reducing moderate intake to 200mg caffeine per day. That’s 1-2 cups of Nespresso, depending on the blend.
You can read this article on healthy pregnancy for more diet tips.
Drinking coffee is not bad for you. Medical experts even support moderate coffee consumption to gain several health benefits.
But like any food item, anything in excess is no good for you. And this is why knowing how much caffeine is in a Nespresso pod is essential.
Now that we know why some capsules have higher caffeine content, we can make smarter coffee choices and avoid risks.
Best of all, we still have the perfect excuse to continue brewing at home with our trusty coffee pod machines!