10 Reasons Your Nespresso Coffee Tastes Bad(+Fix)

You are brewing your first cup of the day, and the coffee is not tasting as it should. It is not the kind of start you want for your day. You expect your first cup of coffee to be exquisite to kick-start your day. But if it is not so, it can affect your mood, and you definitely don’t want this to happen.

Generally, your Nespresso coffee will taste bad if there is a problem with your pods, your machine is not clean, the extraction time is incorrect, or there is a problem with the extraction itself. To fix this, start by running a maintenance check of the machine and checking the pods.

So let us understand all the possible factors that can affect the taste of your Nespresso brewed coffee. This article will guide you through all the issues and help you fix those so you can enjoy the best coffee your Nespresso can brew. Let’s get started.

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1. You are not using enough pods

The Nespresso Original line pods contain 5 gms of coffee, and the Lungo capsules contain 7gms.

If you check in any coffee shops, they use around 9 gms of coffee grounds to brew one shot.

Now, you should understand why your coffee tastes weak, even if everything seems fine.

How to fix this?

  • The first thing you can try is to brew your coffee with two pods for one cup. Although this is not so economical, this will surely provide you with the strong coffee and perfect aroma you are striving for.
  • Nespresso released its patent in 2012, and since then, third-party Nespresso-compatible pods have been available in the market. These third-party pods have many different varieties with different flavors, which you can use to get the kind of coffee you want, for example, Strong coffee and Deathwish coffee.

2. You are not brewing it at the perfect temperature

The taste of your coffee largely depends upon the temperature at which you brew it.

If you have a Virtuo machine, the ideal temperature for brewing is 170 degrees, and in other Nespresso machines, the temperature varies between 180-185 degrees.

If the temperature is too high, the coffee will be bitter, and if it is too low, the coffee will be weak.

So, as far as the temperature is concerned, you need to hit the sweet spot for brewing a perfect coffee.

How to fix this?

  • If there are issues with the temperature, you need to check if the thermostat is working fine. 
  • Often when there are issues with the thermostat, you face temperature problems.
  • You will need to check the temperature with a thermometer and match it with the coffee taste.
  • If the coffee tastes bitter at higher or weak at lower temperatures, you can conclude that there is a problem with the thermostat.
  • Once you know the thermostat is malfunctioning, you will need to repair or replace it.

3. The extraction time is not appropriate

To brew a perfect coffee usually takes 25 to 35 seconds on average.

Set the timer on your phone to check the extraction time and see whether the brewing takes less or longer.

If you find that the timing is different from the ideal timing, it means the timer in your machine is not set properly, or someone accidentally reprogrammed it.

How to fix this?

  • You can easily reprogramme the timer by reading the user manual because all Nespresso machines are different.
  • You can also factory reset to set the timer at default settings.

4. Your Nespresso needs descaling

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Your coffee can be compromised if you have not descaled it for a long time.

If descaling is not done in time, the calcification can cause many problems.

Old coffee residue and accumulation of minerals like calcium and magnesium can gunk up the interior of your machine.

It can block the pipes and destroy the quality of your coffee.

How to fix this?

  • Descale your Nespresso if your coffee is not tasting good enough and if you have not descaled it already.
  • You will need to use a descaling solution while descaling your machine.
  • It will easily decalcify all the accumulation and remove the old coffee residue from your machine.
  • After descaling, the coffee will be extracted easily and taste perfect.
  • But consider descaling your Nespresso every 3 months or every 300 brews as suggested by Nespresso.

5. Your Nespresso is not clean enough

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Sometimes your coffee might taste stale because your machine’s spout is not clean enough.

If cleaning is not done regularly, the old coffee can build up around the spout where the pod is placed.

How to fix this?

  • You will need to clean that area of your machine where the old coffee can build up at least once a week to avoid stale-tasting coffee.
  • Daily cleaning is required if the machine is being used frequently every day and serves many people throughout the day.

Also read: 4 Reasons Your Coffee Maker Is Dripping Slow

6. You are not using compatible pods

Nespresso always wants you to use their own pods, although their patients are released publically.

So, using any third-party coffee pods might affect the taste of your coffee, especially if you are using biodegradable or compostable ones.

The shelf life of the biodegradable capsule is not so good, and in humid weather, moisture can seep in very easily, making the coffee taste stale or not up to the mark.

But if you are using eco pods, you need to be precise with the grind size and the amount of coffee you put into the pod to get the right balance. 

It can work for you as long as the coffee pods are not opening in the middle of the brewing.

How to fix this?

  • If you are using a third-party coffee pod, you will need to ensure they are not spoiled before using them, especially if you have biodegradable ones.
  • One way to resolve this issue is to use Nespresso coffee pods which are compatible and long-lasting.

7. The validity of your coffee pods expired

The validity of your coffee pods depends on many factors.

Yes, there is an expiry date before which you should use them, but on many occasions, they can go stale and taste bad before their expiry.

If your coffee pods are stored in a hot and humid place, they can get spoiled even before the expiry date.

Many people can make the mistake of storing them in the refrigerator, but there are better places for your coffee pods to be.

How to fix this?

  • Coffee inside the coffee pods is sensitive to the slightest change in the stored environment. So we must ensure it is stored in a cool and dry place.
  • Even the slightest tear or leakage in the seals can instantly spoil your coffee, so ensure the seals are not broken before use.
  • A dry and cool cupboard will work if you don’t have a designated pantry area.
  • But beware of the capsule racks sold by Nespresso, as they might not preserve your coffee well; instead, you can use a Tupperware container.

8. Your pod’s seal is broken

The top part of both Virtuo and classic capsules is the most delicate. 

Once the seal is broken, the coffee will go stale within a few hours.

The only way you can use it then is to cede it to your plants or try exchanging it if there are too many defective pods.

How to fix this?

  • One way to fix this is to keep your coffee pods in a safe place where children cannot reach them, and the seal is intact till you use it.
  • Still, if you find many pods to be defective simultaneously, you can try exchanging them.

9. Your cup is not warm enough

Another reason your Nespresso coffee is tasting bad can be your cup.

Yes, If your cup is not warm enough, it can instantly change the temperature of your coffee once you pour it into the cup.

If your coffee is not at that optimum temperature, it can taste different, which you might not like at all.

Our taste buds work the best when we taste anything between 20°C to 35°C (68 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Anything below room temperature will not taste as good, but above room temperature or hot coffee can still work. 

The coffee will not lose its aroma despite bitterness at high temperatures.

How to fix this?

  • Ensure your cup is warm enough before pouring your coffee into it.
  • Pouring hot water into the cup and keeping it for a while will heat your cup, and it will be ready for pouring your hot coffee.
  • This way, your coffee will taste fine as it will remain hot while you have it.

10. Your Nespresso machine is not warm enough

The first coffee that you brewed tastes weak!

This could be because your machine is not warmed up to extract the coffee properly, so you are getting weaker and relatively cooler coffee.

Nespresso is designed to heat at 93°C, the ideal temperature to brew the coffee.

But when you are brewing your first coffee or after a long interval, the water can lose heat when it travels through the system or the pipeline inside.

This can result in a weak coffee with low temperature.

How to fix this?

  • You can fix this issue easily. You will only need to run the machine without the pod a couple of times.
  • This will warm up the whole pipeline, and then you can brew to have a perfectly hot cup of coffee.

Also read: 8 Reasons Your Nespresso Is Not Working (+Fix)

Final words

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As I have mentioned above, the taste of your coffee depends on many factors, from the number of pods you use to how warm your machine is.

I have mentioned some most common issues due to which your coffee can taste bad.

So, you will need to beware of why your coffee is not tasting as good as it should be.

Once you know the reason, it becomes easier to rectify and brew your perfect coffee.

Also read: 7 Reasons Your Nespresso Blinking Orange Light (+Quick Fix)

Reference: Nespresso Official User ManualNespresso Cleaning & Maintainance Manual.

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Jeniffer Smith

Hi, I am Jeniffer Smith, a housemaker and blogger, and I grew up in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. I have been researching and fixing appliances and other things around the home and kitchen from a young age to help my single mother. Every time something went wrong, I couldn't rest until I fixed it. And ever since, I have enjoyed fixing things around my home, and I am always ready to help my friends and family with advice and hands-on help. Since we were always looking for affordable ways of fixing things, we rarely hired experts and tried to fix most things ourselves. That interest brought me to write for this blog, as I realized my knowledge could help many people trying to fix things around their homes on their own without spending hundreds of dollars.

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