What do the different Nespresso capsules mean?

Nespresso capsules come in all different colors, and it can be hard to determine what the colors indicate if you don’t have the original packaging and don’t typically purchase these capsules. So, what do the different Nespresso capsule colors and designs mean?

The different Nespresso capsule colors and designs are used to indicate the strength and flavor of the coffee in the capsule. The capsules can be divided into five main categories: Intenso, Espresso, Lungo, Pure Origins, and Variations.

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Here is a description of each of the Nespresso capsules.


The Intenso collection of Nespresso capsules has some of the most intensely flavored coffee sold by the brand, as the name suggests. Nespresso specifically designed these capsules to be enjoyed in a short cup. When you brew one of these capsules, you can either make a ristretto or an espresso. Each type of capsule in the Intenso collection has a different dark but shiny color.

The black Nespresso capsule is Ristretto. The flavoring of this roast has big and exciting contrasts. There are light fruity notes and some acid, but it is also slow-roasted for a more robust and chocolatey flavor.

The dark grey Nespresso capsule is Roma. Roma has a more mild flavor but is still very full. Besides a delicious roasted flavor, you will also detect strong woody notes and some cereal as well.

The dark purple Nespresso capsule, or Arpeggio, is the creamiest capsule in the Intenso collection. It offers a wonderful combination of the intense coffee flavors that are found in the entire collection, with a new creamy cocoa intensity to balance it out.

The navy blue Nespresso capsule is called Kazaar. It may be the most intense of all the capsules. The intensity comes from a woody bitterness and a peppery spiciness that battle for control over the flavor. This intensity is mellowed slightly by a dense and syrupy texture.

The lighter blue Nespresso capsule is called Dharkan and is roasted for a longer period of time at a lower temperature. The long roasting process alongside cereals and cocoa creates a unique bitterness.

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Espresso capsules are best brewed in a 40 ml cup. This Nespresso capsule set includes fun variations on the classic drink.

The gold, or Volluto, Nespresso capsule is the sweet variation of a plain espresso. It has a sweet biscuit flavor that is combined with just a hint of sweet fruit to round out the flavor.

The shiny brown Nespresso capsule, which is called New Cosi, has complimenting flavors of both fruit and cereal and features a very light roast. Coffee from this type of capsule has a very delicate flavor that is suited to those who are new to intensely-flavored coffee.

The brass-colored capsule is Livanto. The flavor of this medium roast coffee is true to the classic smell of freshly roasted beans with some caramel notes to add some balance to the intensity of that roasted flavor.

The dark green Capriccio capsule is balanced in all of its flavors and is quite rich. It has both acid and cereal notes that complement each other and the natural bitterness of the coffee to create a bouquet of flavor.


The Lungo collection has some of the most unique flavorings and adds new interest for those who have grown tired of the classics. This collection is also well suited for those who enjoy a larger cup of coffee in the morning, as it is ideal for a long cup.

The Vivalto Lungo capsule is light and bright blue in color. If there is a red dot in the center, it is decaf. It is one of the few Nespresso capsules that come in a decaffeinated option. Whether you get the full or reduced caffeine capsule option, you will enjoy a unique flowery flavor with the darker roasted flavors while drinking coffee from this Nespresso capsule.

The teal-green capsule is Fortissio Lungo and will capture your attention before you even take your first sip due to its intense and complex aroma. Sweet cereal and toasted malt complement the natural bitterness of the coffee and create a full-bodied flavor.

The reddish-brown colored capsule is called Envivo Lungo. This blend was specifically created to awaken the senses in the morning and get you ready to face the day. A traditional blend of caramel and coffee is made even better with the addition of gingerbread. The gingerbread flavor also gives way to more woodsy notes.

The orange Linizio Lungo is split-roasted, giving the coffee a mild and well-rounded natural flavor. If you have ever had a Bourbon variety coffee, the malt and cereal flavors found in the coffee in this capsule are very similar.

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The Pure Origins collection has four capsules that specifically feature a country.

The pale gold capsule represents flavors from Brazil and is called Dulsao Do Brasil. Red and yellow bourbon beans and grains are specially treated and then separately roasted to allow for mellow sweet flavors to emerge because of the natural sugars in the beans.

Rosabaya De Colombia is a silver-lavender color and prominently features strong fruity flavors, reminiscent of a classic red wine. Wet picking and separate roasting help create a balanced flavor that includes acid to temper the fruit.

The dull green capsule is called Indriya From India and has the same spicy intensity as your favorite Indian dishes. Cocoa, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper can be tasted in this coffee.

The rose gold capsule is called Bukeela Ka Ethiopia. This blend is described as wild because of the addition of floral flavors. These specific florals are reminiscent of jasmine, white lily, orange blossom, and bergamot. Coffee from this capsule also has notes of wood.


The Variations capsules have classic gourmet flavors that everyone loves. These capsules are striped to help distinguish them from the others, and the color changes according to the flavor of the coffee. They are designed to make enough coffee for a short espresso-sized cup.

The vanilla or Vanilio capsule can be described as smooth, silky, and mellow.

The Carmelito Nespresso capsule has caramel-flavored coffee, although you might find the flavor to be closer to toffee. The sweet richness is a welcome contrast to the natural bitterness of the coffee and tempers the strong flavor.

The chocolate capsule is called Ciocattino. The rich bitterness of the coffee beans is complimented by the rich bitterness of cocoa to create a harmonious combination.

Charlie McFarlane

Specialty Coffee Enthusiast. Hungry for knowledge in the art and science behind specialty coffee and decided to document my journey, while sharing it with the public. More than 10 baristas were interviewed; over 21 farms were visited across 5 countries. Almost 100 Coffee Shops. Bean of choice: Pacamara. Preferred coffee country: Panama. Preferred Brewing Method: Aeropress. Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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