Nespresso is known for its excellent coffee and highest quality. But behind your cup of coffee, there is a lot of work. Discover the coffee journey to understand the amazing work and commitment behind your cup.
In order to make the perfect cup of coffee, farmers supported by agronomists are very important, without them it would be impossible. Nespresso works with close to 110 000 coffee farmers in 14 countries. Many of them for more than 10 years.
Behind a great farmer stands a great agronomist. They are experts in soil management, crop production, and environmental conservation, such as composting. The agronomists teach and help the farmers at each step so that they can grow the highest quality coffee in a sustainable way. Gender equality has also always been important to Nespresso and everyone brings their know-how. In 2020, of the 441 agronomists working within the AAA Sustainability Quality program, 31% of them were women!
Just like wines, the coffee gets its unique character, not only from the way of growing and harvesting but also from the terroir. Depending on the soil, weather, altitude and latitude, each coffee will reveal its unique taste profile.
Nespresso produces two types of beans, Robusta and Arabica. Robusta contributes with heft, body, texture, and pure coffee aromas to the cup. Arabica, which represents 90 to 95% of the blends, contributes with finesse, acidity, clarity, and elegance.
It takes about 3-4 years for the coffee tree to start producing cherries. Then in addition 30-40 weeks for the cherry to be ready for harvest. When the beans come to maturity, farmers pick the majority of their coffee by hand.
The cherries are unique and therefore require different harvest times to get perfection. This method is more expensive both in time and money, but it guarantees the best quality. A single bean can ruin an entire batch.
After the beans have been picked, they are placed in water for a fermentation process. Then the beans are peeled, sorted again, and dried, often in the sun. To guarantee the highest quality along the way, Nespresso systematically checks the beans, both physically and taste-wise.
Once in Europe, the beans are blended, roasted, and ground. Different roasting is required for different blends and characters. This pace is important to create a great coffee. It is where all the flavors and aromas will be revealed.
After grinding, it’s time to seal and secure the coffee in an infinitely recyclable aluminium capsule. The capsule protects over 900 volatile coffee aromas from initial oxidation and losing flavour.
Nespresso high-quality standard means dedicated requirement when it comes to coffee culture and overall sustainability. Therefore, the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program was created 2003 in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance. This unique collaboration ensures constant quality while paying farmers better and protecting the environment.
#1 The cherries must be picked at the right time. Not too green then you are too early, and not too dark, then they are overripe. They should be bright red when ready to be harvested.
#2 In some countries, the coffee tree blooms twice a year, depending on the amount of sun, which means two harvests a year.
#3 Since most cherries are picked by hand, farmers need between three and five visits per tree to empty it.
#4 Another method of harvesting is “stripping”. The farmers empty the tree by pulling their hands along the branches. Both unripe and ripe cherries fall on a tarpaulin and are sorted in a machine or by hand.
#5 To simplify the harvest in, for example, large plantations, machines can be used if the ground is sufficiently flat.
#6 Harvesting time is not always sunny days. In some countries, it is during the rainy season. This means that the beans can´t be dried in the sun, but are then artificially dried with really low temperatures.
Each cup of Nespresso is about passionate work, specific know-how and meticulous processes. A permanent commitment to delivering the best taste and freshness, always with the highest quality. If you don't already enjoy a cup, have a look at our Professional machines range.