One of the many reasons why we love the Nespresso brew technology is because the machines are well made, stable and accurate. However, they do vary from model to model and to get our aluminium Nespresso compatible capsules to work as best as they can, there’s a few things to keep an eye on.
The key thing most Nespresso users aren’t aware of is that their machine is programmable. That’s right, you can reprogram your Nespresso machine and adjust your brew ratio. Our capsules contain 5.5g of coffee which is ground very precisely to work with a specific brew ratio. That ratio is 1:4.5. This means that the ideal shot weight for our capsules is 25g. Why is this important? Well, if you pass more than 25g of water through the capsules (let’s say 50g, for example), too much water will have made contact with the coffee grounds and your coffee will taste weak and bitter. If you don’t pass enough water through the capsule the coffee will be thick, short and also bitter. At 25g the extraction is perfect, and you hit the “sweet spot” where the coffee tastes its best. If you want a longer drink, add hot water (for an Americano) or milk. Never be tempted to brew using the “lungo” button (our capsules just aren’t designed to be brewed that way), or worse yet, run more than one shot of water through each capsule!
Most Nespresso machines come pre-programmed to dose 25g with the “espresso” button, or the “short” button. Get some scales and check. If you’re not getting 25g, it’s super easy to re-programme.
Below are instructions on how to do it.
Simply place the scales under the spout and tare them with a cup. Insert a capsule and hold down the “espresso” button and you’ll hear the pump kick in. keep holding down the button until you’ve reached 25g on the scales (it may be worth stopping the machine a couple of grams before you get to 25g). Releasing the button will stop the machine. Your machine is now reprogrammed and next time you press the “espresso” button you’ll get 25g of coffee!
A couple of other tips:
- Always purge your Nespresso machine before you brew by passing a bling shot through (with no capsule in the machine). This helps clean the internal parts and warm up the brew chamber.
- You’re aiming for an extraction time of between 17 and 25 seconds (depending on the machine).
- Store your capsules in a sensible place. Extreme cold and hot can affect the brew speed.
- Giving the capsules a little shake before brewing can sometimes help with extraction.
- Once the capsule has been used it’s super easy to peel the top lid off, empty out the grounds and recycle. It’s a little messy, but planet earth will thank you!