The choices we make

We make uncompromising choices, one after another, to bring you exceptional coffee.

After all, we are the choices we make aren’t we?

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.

Juan Diego, 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

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 the environment."

- Chris Wille, Chief Rainforest Alliance



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 whe ripe and its cherry-like shape. As with any fruit, coffee tastes best when harvested perfectly ripe.

Coffee is a cherry - just like wine grapes

Offer customers a moment to remember

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 in the growing environments are of similar altitude, soil composition and climate (temperature, rainfall, sunshine, humidity etc).

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 a 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 againm 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 and 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.

Nespresso Quality Specialist, 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 flavor 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 IN-CUP RESULT

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 AND SAFEGUARDING AROMAS

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 in order that no oxygen should touch coffee en route to encapsulation.

As part of our vision, Nespresso has already put in place used capsule collection capacity for recycling above 80% at end 2013, reaching our target one year earlier than planned. In the final quality step to the customer, extraction, Nespresso's comprehensive quality system ensures that finished capsules interact with machines in such a way as to extract all the flavours that have been so carefully sought, selected for, roasted, ground and packed... In other words, to serve as the ultimate expression of all that has gone heretofore.

Our brewing systems operate at the right water temperature, quantity and pressure for each Grand Cru design, so they deliver our quality promise in te cup. Freshness aside, aluminum is infinitely recyclable. Nespresso Research & Development aimed to ensure that the material chosen not only locks in the aromatics we've worked so hard to secure, but that it is ecologically sound. When compared with the production of primary aluminium, recycling of aluminium products consumes as little as 5% of the energy and emits only 5% of the greenhouse gases.

Do you want to know more about our Sustainability commitments?

Learn more