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The 7 secrets of the capsule

Nespresso experts select from the finest coffee beans around the world to create our rich and complex blends. In this journey of coffee - from the bean to your cup - our commitment to sustainability is also a journey of continuous improvement, to reach an absolutely best-in-class quality and taste.

Fantastic taste - infinitely recycled

When Nespresso developed its first capsule in the 1980s, numerous materials were tested. Aluminium was found to be the best option, as it was the only material capable of retaining the full flavor of a coffee bean while simultaneously protecting it from light, oxygen and moisture. For this reason, Nespresso capsules need no extra wrapping to ensure the coffee inside maintains its taste. But let’s discover the 7 secrets of the genuine Nespresso capsule, that makes beans to cup possible with the highest level of quality.

Secret #1

The capsule delivers a fantastic taste with a constant quality.


Nespresso coffee experts look for only the finest beans with a particular taste and specific aromatic characteristics, to create our 13 unique blends. Each coffee is evaluated through tasting to ensure that the coffee meets the Nespresso quality standards and matches the exact aroma profiles.

Because of a strict coffee selection process and a sourcing based on select terroirs, only 1-2% of the coffee grown globally meets Nespresso specific taste and aroma profiles, and constant quality requirements.

Technically, Nespresso coffees are very low in calories, with less than 2 calories per cup. They are also relatively low in physical acidity with an average pH level of 5.0. There is no specific high- or low-level acid coffee in Nespresso coffee range. This means that any milk addition is not necessary to reduce the perceived acidity, but it stays – of course – a personal taste preference.

Secret #2

The capsule keeps freshness and aromas.

Nespresso created the hermetically sealed aluminium capsule as the optimal way to lock in freshness and safeguard around 900 volatile aromas of coffee. Sealing in this manner prevents oxidation and guarantees optimal cup freshness.

From the completion of roasting onwards, all processing is under a controlled atmosphere in order that no oxygen should touch coffee en route to encapsulation. The capsule offers an impermeable barrier to light, moisture, and oxygen for 12 months from the date of production.

Secret #3

The capsule offers 13 exceptional varieties to suit every taste, any time of the day.

A Lungo to start the day, an Espresso during the morning meeting, a Ristretto after lunch, and what a delicious Cappuccino to break the afternoon... from Sunrise to Sunset, coffee moments are not equals during the day.

In a professional environment, coffee breaks are key to enriching relationships, and our 13 varieties help transform a quick chat into a quality conversation. Learn more here how Nespresso connects people.

Secret #4

The capsule is economical with the exact amount of coffee - and water.

The innovation of the capsule was designed primarily to guarantee freshness, but it came with some additional benefits. The exact measurement of coffee ensures that there is no wasted grounds: 100% of the coffee of each capsule is used to prepare your cup of coffee. The system also delivers a precise amount of water heated to just the right temperature, reducing wastage on both these fronts.

Each capsule contains 6–7 grams of ground coffee and makes one serving of coffee. Depending on the length of the pour, the capsule can produce a 40 ml Espresso shot, or a 110 ml Lungo pour.

Secret #5

The capsule plays an important role towards the smooth crema.

The foam found at the top of your cup is called "crema", and it comes from the coffee making process.

  • The coffee is prepared in a metal contraption, which you pound down and hot water is pumped through at great pressures.
  • The pressure pushes out the little oils from the coffee beans into the liquid.
  • The oils and the plant carbohydrates from the bean stabilize the bubbles and keep the long-lasting foam, or "crema."

Crema is, in fact, a type of cream, due to the oils that create fats.

Secret #6

The capsule keeps coffee only: no preservatives, no allergens, no GMO, no BPA.

The aromas in the flavors used are extracted from natural sources. Nespresso capsules do not contain any preservatives and the coffee is kept fresh by being hermetically sealed in aluminum capsules.

Nespresso capsules do not contain common food allergens, including dairy, gluten, nuts, soy, and eggs. References to "malt", "milk", or "cocoa" notes are components of the aromatic profile and do not suggest their presence in the coffee.

None of our coffees contain any genetically modified organism. The quality and consistency of Nespresso coffee in and its exquisite crema are the result of the highest quality coffee that is sourced, the way the quality is managed during the whole production process, and the unique interaction between our capsules and machines. Discover here our professional coffee machines.

There is no BPA or other types of Bisphenols - an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins - in Nespresso capsules and they are fully compliant with applicable regulations on materials intended to come into contact with food (EU, FDA, etc).

Secret #7

The capsule is made of aluminium: safe and infinitely recycled.

The aluminium capsules doesn’t pose health risks, they are coated with protective film to prevent any contact between the aluminium and the ground coffee.

But aluminium is mainly a 100% and infinitely recyclable material, and recycling is the final step in a long series of concrete measures towards sustainable development. Like for the home environment, Nespresso developed a recycling solution dedicated to the Professional members: did you already order your professional recycling box? Let’s have a look at a typical recycling factory.

Together with IUCN and other partners, Nespresso initiated the aluminium industry’s first global standard regarding traceability and socio-environmental performance.

Alongside a range of local partners, Nespresso invests in dedicated recycling channels as well as collective schemes, to unlock circular solutions with the aim of achieving sustainable consumption to two sustainable goals of the United Nations: #12 - Responsible Consumption and Production and #17 - Partnerships to achieve the Goal.

Since 1991, with the launch of the recycling program in Switzerland, Nespresso continues to invest in and promote aluminium sustainable usage. The 2020 commitment - The Positive Cup program - incorporates ambitious goals in the areas of coffee sourcing and social welfare; aluminium sourcing, use and disposal and resilience to climate change: 100% sustainably sourced, 100% sustainably managed aluminium, 100% carbon “insetting”.

Unlike “offsetting” (traditional carbon compensation where compensation takes place in a different location using uncorrelated actors and technical activities), “insetting” integrates socio-environmental commitments into the heart of the companies’ business activities and networks.

The Vélosophy project

One of the recent initiatives to promote recycling is called “Vélosophy”. Leading the way with its commitment to recycling, Nespresso has partnered with the Swedish lifestyle bike brand Vélosophy to produce a stylish bicycle made from recycled aluminium coffee capsules.

The result is the RE:CYCLE project - a perfect balance of sustainability and style, designed to illustrate the potential of recyclable aluminium and motivate Nespresso fans to recycle their capsules, until 100% is reached.

Discover all our recycled products.