Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by John Moretti
When it comes to coffee, especially when you are in for a long day, you have to make sure that your cup is quite strong to have the strength to take on whatever is in front of you. So, of course, only the best strongest Nespresso pods can help you get the energy you need early in the morning. That’s why I have listed the best strongest Nespresso pods available today:
- Best Overall: Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Palermo Kazaar
- Best For That Extra Intensity: Podista Double Shot
- Best For That Coffee Shop Experience: Starbucks Espresso Roast
- Best For Value: Lavazza Espresso Ristretto
Best Overall: Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Palermo Kazaar
- What I like: The strongest coffee directly from Nespresso. Despite its intensity, it comes with a syrupy taste that gives it an exceptionally unique taste.
- What I don’t like: Will only work with OriginalLine machines.
If you are looking for a very intense pod coming from Nespresso, then the best should be the Nespresso Ispirazione Italiana Palermo Kazaar. Even Nespresso recognizes this as the strongest and most intense coffee in the entire Nespresso roster, especially if you factor in its intensity level of 12.
As intense as it is, there is no doubt that Kazaar is actually a very delicious coffee pod. You are going to get a full-bodied and bold coffee that is full of bitterness but has notes of syrupy sweetness and hints of pepper, all complemented by its amazing creamy texture. It’s like drinking a cup of hot cocoa that is bolder and fuller than any cocoa you have ever had.
And because Kazaar does have an intensity of 12, you should never doubt how intense this coffee is, as it is said to have a caffeine content of somewhere around 120 mg. So in that sense, it is a good coffee to have early in the day if you are looking for a good energy booster.
Best For That Extra Intensity: Podista Double Shot
- What I like: More intense than any other Nespresso pod out there. Gives you the high-octane jolt you need to start your day at the right foot especially if you need a jolt of energy.
- What I don’t like: If you are not used to such high levels of caffeine, expect some palpitations and jitters.
While Kazaar is the strongest pod that comes straight from Nespresso, arguably the strongest Nespresso-compatible pod you could find today is the Podista Double Shot pod. As its name suggests, this pod gives you two shots of espresso in one single serving, which is why it is as intense as it is.
The Podista Double Shot doesn’t really stand out in terms of its overall flavor profile as it gives you that standard dark roast espresso tastes that you will usually get from most espresso shots. But it does come with that rich crema that you should expect from a good espresso.
On top of how it has two shots of espresso, the Double Shot is naturally enhanced with guarana extract to make it an energy drink wearing the disguise of a coffee pod. But, of course, it has a recorded intensity of 16, and that number alone makes it the most intense the market has to offer. As such, only take this shot if your caffeine tolerance can handle it and if you want to keep yourself awake for extended periods of time.
Best For That Coffee Shop Experience: Starbucks Espresso Roast
- What I like: Comes with the right kind of intensity without being too bold or too bitter. Has a natural sweetness in it. Very good when mixed when steamed milk for that great latte or cappuccino experience you only get from a coffee shop.
- What I don’t like: Not as bitter or as strong in terms of taste as other dark roasts.
If you are someone who is after that coffee shop experience in your strong coffee, then Starbucks gives you its Espresso Roast, which is one of the most intense pods that the world’s most popular coffee shop has to offer for Nespresso OriginalLine owners out there.
I really like this pod because, despite how intense it is, it comes with a dark taste that is perfectly complemented by the sweetness that comes from its caramel notes. In addition, it has a unique natural sweetness that makes it a good choice for those who want to make a good latte or cappuccino to complete that Starbucks experience.
With an intensity of 11, Espresso Roast is just right in terms of what an intense coffee should be, as its caffeine level might be enough for those who are looking for a strong coffee that could make any person awake.
Best For Value: Lavazza Espresso Ristretto
- What I like: Very affordable and great for those who are looking to save money. Not that bitter as it is on the lighter side in terms of its flavor.
- What I don’t like: Lacks the kick in its taste even though it might be high up on the intensity scale.
Your espresso doesn’t have to be expensive for it to be strong. That is where the Lavazza Espresso Ristretto comes in to deliver a good and affordable espresso that is strong, intense, and very affordable at a little over half a dollar per capsule. As such, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good coffee that can wake you up early in the morning.
As intense as Espresso Ristretto maybe, one of the things I like is that it has a somewhat light bitterness that won’t immediately attack your taste buds. That means that it doesn’t have the kind of boldness you should expect from some of the more intense dark roasts out there, but it still is quite strong and bold in its own right.
With an intensity rating of 11, you should expect this cup to be quite intense, especially if you want to wake your senses up early in the morning. As such, it works as a good everyday coffee to have if you are looking for something that can wake you up on a budget.
What To Look For When Buying An Intense Nespresso Pod
When buying an intense Nespresso pod, you have to look at the machine compatibility because Nespresso pods can be compatible with either OriginalLine or VertuoLine, as you will almost never find a pod that can be used for both of those machines. The good news for you is the ones I have on this list are all compatible with OriginalLine machines so that you no longer have to look for a VertuoLine.
The intensity level matters when it comes to your strong Nespresso pod because you want to make sure that the coffee is as intense as it can be. The higher the intensity rating is, the higher the caffeine content is, but that isn’t always the case. Then again, intensity is usually directly proportional to caffeine content because darker roasts tend to have higher caffeine concentrations with respect to their moisture level.
You want your Nespresso coffee to be delicious because of how strong Nespresso pods are usually on the bitter side of the taste spectrum due to how dark they are. But not all dark roasts come with the same taste, as some stand out with a bit of sweetness and creaminess. As such, if the taste is a huge factor for you because you can’t always stomach a bitter coffee, you should choose a strong Nespresso pod that is known more for its taste rather than for its intensity. Then again, it doesn’t hurt to go for something that not only tastes well but also comes with the right intensity rating.
Does Intensity Mean Caffeine Level?
The intensity rating that you can see on most Nespresso pods doesn’t always pertain to the caffeine level of the pod. Instead, intensity, as used in Nespresso pods, pertains to the roast level and the coffee’s overall taste, as higher intensity levels produce coffee that is darker and more bitter than other roasts.
However, you should know that caffeine levels can also be related to roast levels because darker roasts tend to have lower moisture levels and higher caffeine concentrations. As such, a higher intensity rating can still mean a higher caffeine level.
How Many Milligrams Of Caffeine Are In A Nespresso Pod?
There are plenty of factors that can contribute to the caffeine content of a single Nespresso pod because not all pods have the same caffeine concentrations. Lighter roasts are lower on the caffeine level, while darker roasts are more intense and are stronger in terms of their caffeine concentrations. That’s why it won’t be rare for darker Nespresso pods to have a caffeine content of somewhere over 100 mg per pod, while the lighter pods tend to have somewhere between 50 to 70 mg of caffeine per pod.
Are All Strong Nespresso Pods Bitter?
Not all strong Nespresso pods tend to be bitter, but the general rule usually leans towards the bitter side of the spectrum in terms of intensity. That’s because higher intensity levels on a pod usually pertain to darker roasts. And if you know your roast levels, darker roasts tend to have a bitter taste because that is when the cocoa notes and the woodsy flavors of the coffee beans tend to come out. But some intense coffee pods don’t really have that bitter taste because of how they were roasted or the beans used for those pods.
Do You Have To Take A Strong Nespresso Pod As An Espresso Shot?
No, there is no need for you to take a strong Nespresso pod as an espresso shot because you are free to do what you want to do with the shot of espresso you pulled out of those beans. You can turn the shot into an americano if you like your coffee with water, or you can even mix it with milk for that creamy latte or cappuccino. And if you want to shake the bitter taste away, you can neutralize your strong coffee with sugar or caramel and pour it over ice.