My Nespresso machine does not prepare the right amount of coffee

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Pablo Barrantes

Normally you will only find two buttons on most Nespresso coffee machine models, one for espresso preparations and the other for lungo. Some models, such as the Nespresso U or the Prodigio, have a third button for preparing ristrettos (we are talking about Nespresso OriginalLine coffee machines).

And before getting into the subject of what interests us in this article, that is to say, to know why your coffee maker prepares coffees with too low volumes; we must first know the quantities of coffee the machine serves when pressing any of its buttons.

  • The reference volumes with which the two-button Nespresso coffee makers are programmed are a cup of espresso (small) 40 ml (±7%) and a cup of lungo (large) 110 ml (±7%).
  • On the other hand, the default volumes of the three-button Nespresso machines are a cup of ristretto (small) 25 ml (±7%), a cup of espresso (medium) 40 ml (±7%), and a cup of lungo (large) 110 ml (±7%).

However, the above values can be modified between 20ml and 200ml; we will explain later how you can do this. In the meantime, you can verify if your coffee maker does not prepare enough coffee or if it is just your impression; compare the volume of your preparations with the reference values we have provided.

Why does my Nespresso serve so little coffee?

Suppose you have already compared your preparations with the reference volumes, and it is happening that your Nespresso machine is serving a smaller amount of coffee than it should. In that case, you should identify the reason why this is happening.

In this guide, you will find some simple steps to identify the root of this problem and get back to having the correct coffee volumes for your preparations; after this, your coffee maker will surely work much better.

Cause 1: My coffee maker does not brew the right amount of coffee due to the preset volumes not being configured

Due to ignorance or a simple accident, it may happen that when using the Nespresso coffee maker to prepare a coffee, the button is left pressed for more than three seconds, which will cause the configuration of the button to change to a new volume.

It can also happen that the button is already worn or has accumulated a lot of dirt inside, and it will stay pressed by itself without needing someone to hold it down. If this is the case, you should give the buttons a good cleaning with isopropyl alcohol (special for electronic devices). To access the buttons, you will have to disassemble the coffee maker; if any of them are broken, it will be necessary to replace them.

Resetting the volumes to the factory settings (40 ml / 110 ml) is very simple; follow these steps: first, unplug the brewer, press and hold the lungo button, turn on the brewer and release the button.

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

Adjusting coffee volumes in my Nespresso coffee machine

As we have already mentioned, Nespresso coffee makers not only allow you to reset the volumes to the factory settings but also to modify them to your liking; here is how to do it:

Start the coffee maker to prepare the coffee you want, select the button whose volume you want to adjust, and instead of making a short press, keep it pressed for at least 3 seconds, and it will start the programming mode. Without releasing the button, the coffee will begin to brew and when it reaches the desired fill level, release the button immediately.

How to modify the volumes of coffee in a Nespresso machine
How to modify the volumes of coffee in a Nespresso machine

Cause 2: My coffee maker does not brew the right amount of coffee due to limescale build-up inside the machine

Yes! as in many other articles in our blog, we will once again emphasize the importance of descaling your coffee maker because, although it may seem repetitive, the main cause of damage and breakdowns in coffee makers is the accumulation of lime in them, so descaling it will avoid many problems.

In the particular case of coffee volume, the accumulation of limescale can influence the production of shorter coffees, if it mainly affects three components of the machine, such as:

  1. The thermoblock: water circulates inside this part at high temperatures, which facilitates the accumulation of limescale on its internal walls and makes it the part of the coffee maker most sensitive to limescale. If there is an excess of limescale in the thermoblock, there will be less water pressure and, consequently, less coffee in the cup.
  2. The water pump: This part does not usually accumulate as much lime as the thermoblock; however, if there are small deposits of lime in it, they can block the piston causing it to move at a slower speed, this also decreases the water pressure, and there will be less coffee in the cup.
  3. The internal pipes: these parts are much less prone to damage from limescale, but, indeed, the accumulation of sediments and other impurities that the water leaves in its path can end up causing obstructions. This also affects the amount of coffee that comes out in your preparations.

Regularly descaling your coffee maker will undoubtedly save you a lot of problems and headaches, but it will also improve the flavor of your preparations.

Cause 3: My coffee maker does not brew the right amount of coffee due to dirt in the front capsule perforating disk.

The front capsule perforator disc is in direct contact with the coffee capsules and the coffee residues they leave behind. This coffee debris often causes the disc to clog easily, becoming one of the most probable causes for a Nespresso coffee machine to stop brewing the right amount of coffee.

To unclog this part, you must clean it very well with an old toothbrush and a little clean water; be careful not to introduce sharp objects such as needles or others through the holes in the disc.

Detail of capsule perforating disk
Detail of capsule perforating disk
Written by Pablo Barrantes
I'm Pablo Barrantes, an industrial engineer, and a proud dad to an 8-year-old princess. I'm also a coffee enthusiast who's truly passionate about all things coffee and coffee makers. My enthusiasm has driven me to uncover the hidden secrets of the coffee world, and I'm committed to sharing this knowledge with everyone through my educational blog. In this blog, you'll find valuable and practical information to enhance your coffee experience. What brings me the most joy is knowing that the tips and solutions you discover here will make your coffee moments even more delightful. When I can help you troubleshoot coffee machine issues, and you can savor your coffee without a hitch, it brings a smile to my face.

1 thought on “My Nespresso machine does not prepare the right amount of coffee”

  1. I have a problem with the water not stopping until the water tank is empty. When I brew a cup of coffee, it stops for two seconds, then it starts flowing again and continues until the water tank is empty. Do you know what could be wrong with my machine? My machine is a Delonghi Magnifica S ECAM21.117.W


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