The journey to perfection

Perfect coffee is no coincidence. Which means we push the boundaries uncompromisingly at every step of the long value chain from tree to cup, deliberately creating our Grands Crus for your pleasure.

Perfect coffee isn't something that can be left to chance.

Perfect coffee pleasure, is no accident: it must be deliberately created, consistently and without compromise, cup after cup, by living our principles.

Along the complex path from bean to cup there are quicker ways of doing things than we do, and there are certainly cheaper ways. But there is no better way.

Knowing a single faulty bean can taint a whole batch, we take control of quality down to the very last one - with a deliberate dedication to getting the details right at every step of the way.

In our AAA Sustainable Quality Program, we're learning together with our farmers how to improve their farms. At the end of the day, it's the farmers who best understand their coffee trees.

NESPRESSO AAA Manager in Costa Rica

We're often asked why we call our coffees Grands Crus?

At the closest agricultural concept to how we view our coffees, we borrowed from the world of wine. In the wine industry, the term Grand Cru can be given to wines of the highest quality classification.

At Nespresso our selection begins with the best raw materials we can find, because only the best beginning holds the promise of an incredible cup of coffee. We start at origin with fine specialty grade coffees that meet stringent physical criteria and specific taste profiles, necessary to create our distinctive Grands Crus.

Responsible sourcing tastes best

Our approach necessitates another level of selectivity which concerns the sustainability of the coffee tree and coffee world in general.

To address the issue of coffee's future, we created the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program in 2003 in conjunction with the non-profit, Rainforest Alliance. This approach enables Nespresso to safeguard the future supply of the highest quality coffee, while paying farmers a higher income and protecting the natural environment. But our commitment goes beyond this, it is about a long-term relationship and continued loyalty to the coffee farmers in the program.

Our certification system impacts positively thousands of farmers, families and environment.

Chief Rainforest Alliance

Nespresso is committed to

  • Quality

    The best quality coffee

  • Sustainability

    The natural environment

  • Productivity

    A long-term relationship with our farmers

Harvesting quality from the best terroirs

The fruit of the Coffea Rubiaceae tree, coffee grows between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.

As with wine, great coffee draws its characteristics from its terroir: the result of harmony between soil, weather conditions, variety, aspect and altitude. We call the tree's fruit a "cherry" for its luscious red colour when ripe and its cherry-like shape. As with any fruit, coffee tastes best when harvested perfectly ripe.

Coffee is a cherry like wine grapes

Cherries from the same tree will ripen at differing rates and therefore should be picked at different times.

In order to pick only correctly ripened fruit, the majority of coffees used for Nespresso Grands Crus are harvested by hand. Though costlier in time and money, this guarantees the best quality, since beans that are too green or overripe are eliminated.

From the French word "terre" (soil), terroir designates a defined region where the growing environments are of similar altitude, soil composition and climate (temperature, rainfall, sunshine, humidity etc).

  • Soil
  • Altitude
  • Latitude
  • Rainfall
  • Sunshine

Not all beans are created equal

The better the grading, the more consistent the beans... the more even the roast, and ultimately the more balanced the cup.

Safeguarding quality through all of the coffee stages from farm to cup requires us to carry out repeated and systematic physical and taste checks: prior to bagging the coffee at origin, prior to transporting by sea or air, and again upon arrival in Europe. Taste (or "cup") testing ensures only the finest, cleanest coffee is selected.

Just as a perfumer knows the harmonics of his ingredients, so our master blenders create aromatic compositions.

We develop our Grands Crus in a blend composition much like a form of magical alchemy. Nespresso panel cuppers are intensively trained, tested, certified and re-certified every 3 months for their ability to identify quality. Sensory evaluation looks beyond physical attributes, linking taste to variety, terroir and care in cultivation.

Back in Switzerland, we develop our Grands Crus in a blend composition much like a form of magical alchemy. We select specific coffee origins for their unique characteristics (aroma, flavour, body, etc), combining components in proportions designed to enhance their individual brilliance.

For each of their Grands Crus, Nespresso select only some of the best beans in the world.

Green Coffee

Terroir-specific roasting for terroir-specific aromas

Roasting and grinding are vital stages towards creating a Grand Cru as here we reveal the full flavour and aromatic potential of green coffee beans.

Correct roasting depends on finding the time, temperature and other parameters best suited to a blend, thereby allowing origin characteristics to be fully expressed.

Made-to-measure grinding for optimal extractions

Ultimately, grinding is what allows coffee's aromas to be released, making it a critical step in delivering the experience of a Grand Cru.

The grinding technique, therefore, optimises extraction and end cup quality. As every coffee type or blend extracts differently, our approach to grinding is not uniform, but varied, highly individualised, and adjusted for the best quality cup of each Grand Cru.

Capturing freshness: safeguarding aromas for your cup

Nespresso created the hermetically sealed aluminium capsule as the optimal way to lock in freshness.

Aluminium capsules were designed for their complete barrier capacity that protects around 900 volatile aromas of coffee. Sealing in this manner prevents oxidation and guarantees optimal cup freshness. From the completion of roasting onwards, all processing is under a controlled atomosphere so that no oxygen should touch coffee en route to encapsulation.