If you are new to the world of Nespresso pods, you can get overwhelmed with the available variety and keep track of what you like and don’t like.
Nespresso pods are easily identified by color and name. You can always assume that the darker the pod color, the stronger it will taste.
But for specific pod color meanings, refer to the detailed information below.
Identify Nespresso Pods by Color
Below, I grouped all Nespresso pods by their colors and type (Original or Vertuo Pods) to help you identify any coffee pod you are looking for.
This is why this guide will include:
Arpeggio is the most popular Purple pod that has been around ever since Nespresso existed (almost). It’s a Ristretto or Espresso pod with an intensity level of 9, so it’s quite strong in taste.
If you find the same purple pod with a red dot on it, it means it’s the Decaf Arpeggio (Arpeggio Decaffeinato).
Altissio can be considered the Vertuo version of Arpeggio. It is an espresso pod and has an intensity level of 9. The Decaf version of Altissio (Altissio Decaffeinato) has a red mark around the rim.
Both of these pods are dark in color to identify that they are high intensity pods.
Capriccio, India, Peru, Rio De Janeiro, and Stockholm Fortissio are all Original Line espresso pods.
India has an intensity level of 11 and Capriccio is the lightest with level 5 intensity.
Stormio is a dark green coffee Vertuo pod with an intensity level of 8. It is a favorite among Nespresso users who like a strong cup of coffee.
Mexico and Peru are single-origin pods, one is a coffee serving and another is an espresso shot. They are easily identifiable because the name is written on the pod.
Volluto is a popular, mild-tasting espresso pod that is light and sweet, which explains the choice of gold color for the pod. It has an intensity level of 4.
And if you come across the same gold pod with a red dot, that would be the Volluto Decaffeinato.
All of these gold Vertuo pods are light blend coffee.
- Voltesso is Vertuo alternative for Volluto. They share the same level 4 intensity and light coffee blend.
- Melozio, it’s a mild coffee brew with an intensity level of 6.
- Bianco Doppio is the gold vertuo pod says ‘For Milk’ on top. It’s part of the Barista Creations collection and it’s recommended for milk-based coffee drinks. It’s a double espresso serving size.
- Alto Ambrato XL coffee Alto pod is a mild 12 oz coffee.
- Golden Caramel is a coffee pod that is lightly roasted to bring out a natural caramel cookie taste.
Napoli has a dark red color and it’s an intense espresso blend with a 13-level intensity, the highest Nespresso has.
Shanghai is a lighter red shade with a pattern on it. It’s only 5 on the intensity scale and it’s part of the World Explorations collection.
Blue Nespresso pods vary in shade from light to dark blue.
- Freddo Intenso is a dark roast espresso pod that is suggested to be served over ice. The blue shade on this pod is darker. Freddo Delicato, on the other hand, is a medium roast espresso pod, also made to be brewed over ice. Delicato is light blue to reflect the lightness of the blend.
- Palermo Kazaar is a strong and intense ristretto pod in a dark blue color. This pod has an intensity level of 12, so it’s not for the faint of heart.
- Tokyo Vivalto Lungo is a medium, level 6, Lungo pod.
- Indonesia Single-Origin an espresso pod with a strong and woody flavor.
Blue Vertuo pods come in light or dark blue, too.
- Odacio is a bold yet balanced coffee capsule with an intensity level of 7.
- Diavolitto is a dark blue espresso pod with an intense flavor and intensity level of 11.
- Costa Rica is a single-origin Gran Lungo pod with a medium intensity.
- Ice Leggero a light double espresso capsule to be brewed over ice for a refreshing iced coffee
- Ice Forte is a Dark and intense coffee pod to be brewed over ice.
Ristretto Italiano is one of Nespresso’s classic pods. It’s a robust-tasting ristretto-style pod that can also be brewed as espresso. It has level 10 intensity.
The same pod with a red dot would be the Ristretto Italiano Decaffeinato.
What Do The Squares and Numbers Mean on Nespresso Pods?
If you look at the sleeve, or package of Nespresso pods, you’ll find squares or boxes marked with a number.
What do these mean, exactly?
That would be the Intensity level of said Nespresso pod.
The intensity level is marked from 1 to 13.
It marks the bitterness or strength as well as the roastiness of the coffee pod. So the higher the number, the stronger it tastes and the darker the roast is.
Barista Creation pods don’t have this intensity level rating on them.
Nespresso Intensity vs Caffeine
The level of intensity does not equal how much caffeine a pod has.
Caffeine is measured by the type of coffee grounds used, its origins, and other factors.
A decaf coffee pod can have an intensity level of 11. So it will taste strong and will be dark roasted, but won’t have any caffeine.
The same goes for some milder blends that can have high caffeine content while tasting mild and balanced.
Please refer to my Nespresso caffeine content chart for an idea of how much caffeine each Nespresso pod can have.