Meaning of the symbols on the Dolce Gusto pods

Coffee brands are making more and more effort to manufacture machines of excellent quality that also make life easier for the user. Among the most complete and easy to use are coffee capsule machines, and one of the most outstanding is Dolce Gusto.

The simplicity of Dolce Gusto coffee pod machines makes it easy for the user to understand how they work. However, it is important to have some prior knowledge about the machine and the pods it uses before operating the coffee machine.

It is also necessary to know how to differentiate between the diverse types of brews made with the Dolce Gusto (ristretto, espresso, lungo, americano…) and to be familiar with the options provided by the settings selector-lever for each brew.

What do the symbols on the Dolce Gusto pods mean?

We have probably held a Dolce Gusto coffee pod in our hands often without paying attention to the symbols on top. It is important to know what they mean if we want to get the best out of the pod and obtain excellent coffee preparations.

The following image illustrates which symbols we are referring to:

Dolce Gusto coffee pod symbols
Dolce Gusto coffee pod symbols

Manufacturer and brand of the coffee pod

In the centre of the Dolce Gusto coffee pod, the most prominent symbol is the brand name. This makes it clear to the user who the manufacturer is, in this case, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, which belongs to the Nestlé group.

Type of beverage and coffee pod colour

Identifying the type of beverage offered by each pod is very simple. Just read what is written just below the brand name. In addition, you can also differentiate the beverage types according to the colour of the plastic that covers the coffee pod.

For example, if it is an Americano, the colour of the plastic lid will be red. If it is a latte, it will be blue, and if it is a cappuccino, it will be green.

It should be noted that, not surprisingly, each pod clearly defines what type of beverage can be obtained from it. For each of these preparations, there is a variation in the type of grind and the grams of coffee inside the pod.

So don’t expect to get a different drink than exactly what it says on the plastic lid of the pod.

Volume of beverage

Just to the left of the brand name, there is a symbol that indicates the volume that the coffee machine must have to prepare the type of beverage of that specific pod. Our example pod shows 7 bars, as seen in the image above (to prepare an americano); the seventh bar must be selected on the coffee machine.

For espressos, between one and two volume bars are marked at the most. The final taste of the beverages is directly related to the volume recommendations indicated on the coffee pod for each preparation. So if you want an excellent coffee, follow these guidelines.

Manufacturing line

This last symbol caught my attention while researching some blogs, and I discovered that everyone thinks that this small number, located to the right of the brand name, represents the intensity of the coffee.

But when I checked a complete box of the same type of coffee pods, I found that this number varied randomly from 1 to 6 in each of them, as you can see in the following image.

Meaning of the numbers printed on the Dolce Gusto pods - Meaning of the symbols on the Dolce Gusto pods
Meaning of the Dolce Gusto pod numbers

To get the correct meaning of this number, I went directly to the Dolce Gusto manufacturer. The explanation they gave me is that the small number is directly related to the manufacturing process of the pod, but it is not relevant information for the user.

Dolce Gusto coffee pod strength indicator

Not all the information on the coffee pods comes in the symbols on the plastic covering each pod. There is also important information on the box containing the pods.

On the outside of the box, you will find the strength level of the coffee contained in each pod. Next to this information, you will also see other information such as the type of roast, coffee flavour and notes, expiry date of the coffee pods, and nutritional and business information.

In the table below, you can see the intensity levels of the Dolce Gusto pods, which range from 4 to 12 in two-level steps:

Roast typeIntensity
Light roastIntensity 4- 6
Medium roastIntensity 7-9
Dark roastIntensity 10-12

In other articles, we will discuss related topics such as coffee beans, roast types, and the intensity Dolce Gusto uses in its pods.

Related: My Dolce Gusto doesn’t pour water.