Nespresso does not make a cup of adequate volume

Before even getting into the problem of a Nespresso coffee machine that serves coffees with too low volumes, it is necessary to understand how much coffee a Nespresso machine serves when we press any of its buttons. It is normal to find two buttons on most models, one for espresso and one for lungo, although models like the Nespresso U or the Prodigio have a third one for Ristrettos.

All Nespresso machines with two buttons have the following default coffee volumes:

  • Small cup (espresso): 40 ml (±7%)
  • Large cup (lungo): 110 ml (±7%)

While Nespresso coffee makers with three buttons have the following default coffee volumes:

  • Small cup (ristretto): 25 ml (±7%)
  • Medium cup (espresso): 40 ml (±7%)
  • Large cup (lungo): 110 ml (±7%)

These values can be modified and customized between 20ml to 200ml with a simple process that we will explain later. Now you should prepare a coffee and check if your Nespresso machine prepares a volume similar to the list above or if it was just your impression.

Reasons why a Nespresso coffee machine serves too short coffees

Once we have verified that the Nespresso coffee machine is serving shorter coffees than it should, we have to start thinking about the possible reasons why this is happening. By following the steps described in this guide, you will get the coffees back to their correct measure, and your coffee maker will work better.

Misconfiguration of the preset coffee volumes

Someone else may use the Nespresso and, by accident (or ignorance), when preparing a coffee, has left their finger on the button for more than 3 seconds; with this action, they have set a new volume for that button.

In some cases, if the button has accumulated a lot of dirt or is worn inside, the action of keeping it pressed may happen without anyone keeping their finger on the button. In this situation, it is necessary to disassemble the casing, reach the buttons, clean them with isopropyl alcohol (special for electronics), and replace it if any button is broken.

To reset the volumes to the factory settings (40 ml / 110 ml), you must do the following:

1) Unplug the Nespresso.
2) Press and hold the lungo button.
3) Switch on the Nespresso.
4) Release the lungo button.

How to reset the coffee volumes in Nespresso
How to reset the coffee volumes in Nespresso

How to set the coffee volumes on the Nespresso

Now that we have explained how to reset the coffee volumes to the factory settings, let me explain how to modify them to your liking:

  1. Prepare the coffee as usual, but instead of a short press, hold the coffee button you want to set for at least 3 seconds to start the programming mode.
  2. Release the button only when the desired coffee fill level is reached.
How to modify the volumes of coffee in a Nespresso machine
How to modify the volumes of coffee in a Nespresso machine

Limescale build-up inside the Nespresso’s components

If you have already read any other article on our blog, you will think that we are a pain in the ass and that we keep asking you to decalcify your coffee machine. However, although it may seem repetitive, limescale build-up is the main culprit in the failure of domestic coffee makers, so keeping your Nespresso free of limescale is very important to avoid future problems.

Limescale build-up can affect three different components that cause coffees to come out shorter:

  • The thermoblock is the part of the Nespresso most sensitive to limescale, as the water inside the metal circulates at high temperatures, which facilitates limescale deposits on its internal walls. A thermoblock with excessive limescale leads to less water pressure and, therefore, less coffee in your cup.
  • Although the pump does not usually accumulate as much limescale as the thermoblock, small deposits can block the piston and cause it to move more slowly, which will result in less water pressure, and, again, less coffee brewed.
  • Finally, we have the internal pipes, which, although they are the least affected by limescale, can collect sediment and impurities from the water until they become blocked. These blockages will result in less coffee, as in the previous cases.

Again, I insist that you descale your coffee maker. You can solve many problems and improve the coffee’s taste with this action.

Dirt on the capsule perforating disk on the front of the Nespresso machine

One of the most probable causes of why your Nespresso is not serving the desired amount of coffee is the front perforating disk. This disc, which is always in contact with the capsule and coffee residue, tends to clog easily.

It is not necessary to disassemble anything; use an old toothbrush and clean water to clean it well. Avoid using needles or other sharp objects in the holes of the disc.

Detail of capsule perforating disk
Detail of capsule perforating disk