Is your Nespresso coffee watery? | 4 pod problems fixed

By Barath
Last Updated:
is your nespresso coffee watery? Check these 4 fixes to see if they work out.

If you are wondering, “Why is my Nespresso coffee watery?”, it could be because of a clogged Needle, using the wrong Nespresso pod, or a manufacturing defect that causes the water to spin around the pod without entering it after the pre-infusion stage.

Nespresso pods have a mechanism to detect non-Nespresso pods, which could also be faulty and wrongly knock off your capsule without piercing.

I spent 12 hours reading about all the possible reasons why your Nespresso coffee is watery and have written this article.

Most Common Problems
Nespresso pod not fully piercedCould be a blocked needle. Clean the needle properly to remove any coffee grounds and try again.
Nespresso pod pierced but coffee grounds are not wetThis could be because of a manufacturing defect. Read this section to identify the problem and fix it yourself if possible.
Capsule basket is wateryAnother manufacturing defect causes water to overflow into the basket. Descaling and cleaning the needle could help. But contact customer support
To quickly identify your problem, check the capsule basket for water and identify if the pod is half-pierced. If unsure, brew the coffee grounds yourself to check the strength.

There are multiple reasons why your Nespresso coffee is watery, in this article we discuss all the problems and some solutions that can help you make better coffee.

Descaling is also another solution to this common problem. Do not use Citric acid or Vinegar as a descaling agent, Use the Nespresso descaling agent (Recommended). Read the guide for proper descaling technique with Nespresso.

Is your coffee pod properly pierced?

The first thing to check is to see if your coffee pod ejected into your capsule basket is properly pierced.

A properly pierced nespresso capsule
A properly pierced Nespresso capsule. Has the center and the sides punctured. The coffee grounds are wet if you open the aluminum wrapping. Source: HomeCoffeeWizard

If it is, check if the coffee grounds are still dry. You can take it closer to your ears and shake it gently. You will hear a distinct sound like sand moving around, which means that the coffee pod is not wet.

If you are unsure, take the aluminum cover off of the pod and touch the coffee grounds. It is okay to waste a pod as you can always brew the coffee grounds yourself in a kettle!

Read also: My favorite Nespresso Machine Vertuo pop vs Vertuo Plus

If you are unsure what Nespresso machine to buy, the best bang for the buck machine is the Nespresso Vertuo Pop. I discuss more about this in the Vertuo Next vs Vertuo Pop guide

What to do if the Nespresso pod is pierced but not wet?

This is a very common problem that is often found in Nespresso Citiz. Some earlier Vertuo Next models have had this problem. There could be multiple reasons why the water system is failing after the pre-infusion stage.

  • A manufacturing defect on the lid causes the needle to not fully pierce, it pierces but not enough to poke through the filament on the pod.
  • The needle is blocked by coffee grounds which causes the hot water to not flow smoothly. This activates the pressure system inside the machine and stops the water from coming out.
  • The hot water never enters the pod and instead flows around the capsule and into the cup as clear hot water.

Before you panic, try the simplest technique known to mankind!

Manually puncture holes at the right location after the initial piercing to let the needle send the water into the pod.

Does it still not make strong coffee? Check the capsule basket.

Read Also: Nespresso Vertuo Pop red light blinking issue fixed

Is your used Nespresso capsule basket watery?

If the capsule basket is watery, then there is a coffee particle stuck in the exhaust path of the needle.

There is a pressure release valve inside the brewing chamber, which prevents an explosion from happening. This gets activated because of the blockage and lets the hot water overflow into your capsule basket.

To prevent this, you can do the following

  • Open the lid of your Nespresso
  • Locate the head/brewing chamber where there is a needle pointing out
  • Use a simple 12 gauge wire up the needle (or) nozzle to clear out the debris
  • Push the spring-loaded portion of the needle up and down to clear out the remaining debris.
  • See if any coffee ground/debris is stuck on the needle entry and clean it with a wet wipe

If there was indeed a blockage, this should be cleared now and the coffee gets back to being strong.

However, if you are unsure what is causing the leaks, try running the machine while it is disassembled (not recommended, but it is super simple to disassemble the Nespresso models)

When the drip tray on a Nespresso machine fills up, it drips water onto other parts, causing the machine to leak. If that is the problem, then it is better to reach out to Nespresso customer support.

A heat-resistant glue should fix this problem, but can only be done by a qualified service technician.

Watery Nespresso coffee because of poor descaling

If you are sure that the coffee ground is perfect, the needle is clean, and there is no water in the capsule basket but the coffee is still weak. Then the next problem that is worth fixing is to do a proper descaling.

It is advisable to descale periodically, at least once every 2 months if you are using the Nespresso every day with un-filtered water.

Remember to read the detailed guide on proper descaling of your Nespresso machines using a good descaling agent. Oftentimes, people use weak descaling solutions like Citric acid or very corrosive agents like store-bought vinegar. This is incorrect, as it will reduce the longevity of your machine.

Using bad (or) non-Nespresso capsules

The Nespresso models released after 2010 including Vertuo Next, Citiz, etc have a new insertion mechanism that is used to prevent the usage of non-Nespresso pods. This could be a reason why your Nespresso is making watery coffee.

If you notice carefully, the brewing head contains slight rectangular indentations to find non-Nespresso pods and knock them off into the capsule basket without performing insertion.

If you don't see any piercing on the pod, this could be the best explanation. If you think, your machine is wrongly knocking your "original Nespresso pod" then contact Nespresso support at 800-566-0571.

You don't have to throw away your pods for a manufacturing flaw that is not very well received by the customers.

Your Nespresso pod is not strong enough

If none of the solutions mentioned above fixes the watery coffee problem, then the culprit could be a weak coffee pod.

Nespresso filter-style pods make mild coffee. Source: Nespresso

Some recent Nespresso pods, like the Nespresso filter-style coffee pods, are weak in nature. They don't make strong coffees unlike the Roma, Ristretto pods.

To know for sure if the coffee is indeed weak, take the fresh grounds from the Nespresso pod and brew it yourself. It is totally safe to use the coffee grounds from the pod as they are indeed fresh grounds that are hermetically sealed.

I created a chart to find the caffeine content of all the Nespresso Vertuo capsules, is yours at the bottom? Then time to get a stronger coffee capsule and try if it fixes it.

How to prevent your Nespresso from making watery coffee?

Always pay attention to your capsule basket getting wet and clean your needles regularly. If you have the latest Vertuo machines, the needle is difficult to reach, so perform regular auto-cleaning.

Barath is a coffee lover, who has been brewing his coffee at home for several years. He talks about coffee tasting, brewing guides and much more in home coffee wizard. Follow barath on X (twitter) @diputsC