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What is Grand Cru Coffee? 

Grand cru is a common term primarily used in the qualification of wine. The title of Grand cru defines a wine as a superior or grand quality with or without a legal mention to it. Regarding coffee, the label grand cru is used the same way. There are a lot of similarities between wine and coffee. Just as they’re both made from natural products and use similar terms like astringency, strong or weak, and flavour notes, the appellation “grand cru” also applies to them. Many people might not know this but read on to understand what grand cru coffee is.

grand cru coffee

What is Grand Cru?

The term “Grand cru” is used to qualify some products in a non-official context. The title is primarily used on chocolate, beer, cognac and whiskey. The use of the term is to denote and recognize high-quality products. Although using the designation with other products is unregulated, the term “Grand cru” is well defined regarding vineyards. Regarding coffee, it is unsure if the designation of grand cru qualifies high-quality coffee. However it’s used to refer to coffee with all its beans sourced from a specific location.


Grand Cru Coffee

The title designation of grand cru coffee signifies that the beans used in brewing specific coffee types or varieties are all sourced from a particular region or country.

To understand grand cru coffee, you might need to know a correlation between Nespresso and grand cru. In the United Kingdom, coffee pod machines have spanned far and wide, gaining popularity over the last few years. Leading brands include Tassimo, Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Nespresso and Douwe Egberts Senseo.

To better understand it all, here’s a little bit of history on Nespresso. Nespresso is an invention, a coffee pod machine created by a man called Eric Favre. While it does rhyme and sound like an espresso machine, it’s different. The Nespresso machine uses finger-sized coffee grounds, tremendous pressure, a cooler brew temperature, different flow rates, and a lesser amount of coffee than the standard espresso machine.

All these resulted in brewing a different kind of short coffee, which, while it resembled espresso, wasn’t. Moving on, Eric Favre became a Nestlé’s packing department member during the early stages of his development of Nespresso. The aim was to learn the core workings of the company. He tried to pitch his Nespresso idea, but it got rejected. Years later, while working as a food scientist still at Nestlé, Eric got the opportunity to pitch his idea once more to the CEO of Nestlé Japan. With the concept bought, Nespresso was given life.

Initially, upon release, there were sixteen types of Nespresso coffee capsules. Recently, eight more coffee types were released, totalling twenty-four. The twenty-four Nespresso Grand cru coffee capsules are divided into six categories.

  • Espresso Capsules

These are the shorter coffees most coffee fans are used to drinking. Sometimes these beverages are made strong, and there’s a good intensity variation with these capsules. These different options make preferences possible. Mostly, the coffees in this category have blended origins. The grand cru coffee capsule types present in this category include the following. Capriccio, Voluto, Cosi, and Livanto.

  • Intenso Capsules

Some members of this category initially belong to the espresso category containing some wholesome and intense flavours. Similarly to the espresso capsules, members of this category are also typically blended from the origins. The names of the grand cru coffee capsules under this category include the following. Roma, Arpeggio, Ristretto, Kazaar, and Dharkan. The coffee beans used in this category are sourced from South, Central, Latin America and Asia.

  • Pure Origin Capsules

The members of this category procure their beans just from one source location. Pure origin capsules have particular flavour types and unique tastes relative to where the capsule originates. The grand cru coffee capsules present under this category include the following. Bukeela ka Ethiopia, Dulsao do Brasil, Indriya from India, and Rosabaya de Colombia. The origins of the beans include Ethiopia, Brazil, India, and Columbia.

  • Lungo Capsules 

These capsules are designed specifically for longer drinks with a large amount of water added to the coffee. These have the potential for more complex flavours and allow one to enjoy the more intricate tastes without subtracting from the overall intensity. The grand cru coffee capsules in this category include the following. Envivo lungo, Vivalto lungo, Linizio lungo, and Fortissio lungo. The origin country of the beans used in making member coffee capsules in this category contains Brazil, Ethiopia, South America, India, Columbia and Mexico.

  • Decaffeinato Capsules

This class includes great coffee from other categories with reduced caffeine content levels. This is ideal for coffee lovers who react poorly to caffeine or want a break from a more potent brew. The following are the grand cru coffee capsule types in the decaffeinato capsule category. Decaffeinato Volluto, Decaffeinato vivalto lungo, Decaffeinato Arpeggio, and Decaffeinato Intenso. The origin countries of the sourced coffee beans for members of this category include South and Central America, Ethiopia, Columbia, and Brazil.

  • Variation Capsules

With the Espresso capsules in mind, the Variation capsule category was created. The difference, however, is the additional specific flavour given to the coffee to boost contrasting flavours. Under the variation capsules category, the grand cru coffee capsules here include the following. Vanilio, Ciocattinio, and Caramelito. The coffee types in this category are made purely from Arabica beans sourced from Columbia and Costa Rica.

To further read about the variants of Nespresso grand cru coffee capsules, Nespresso dives further into the intricacies of each member of the categories. If you wish to order any of the varieties of Nespresso grand cru coffee capsules to try out and enjoy, Nespresso offers the service.



In a nutshell, the term grand cru could be used to refer to a coffee of high quality, with all the coffee beans used in the making sourced from a particular country. Nescafe has created the Nespresso machine and coffee capsules tailored to enjoy grand cru coffee. Coffee enthusiasts have access to both the capsules and Nespresso machine. Try a Nespresso coffee capsule and see if it picks your fancy.


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