The Corto is one of what Nespresso calls its ‘Barrista creations’ coffee pods. It is designed to produce an intense, rich and spicy flavour. But how good does it actually taste? My Nespresso Corto review has done the hard work to help you decide. Read on to find out more.
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Coffee: Nespresso Corto.
Drinks Fanatics score: 3/5.
What flavour is Corto Nespresso?
The flavour is spicy and intense with a subtle, fruity twist. Although with milk it is sweeter too.
If you like the sound of coffee with a spicy twist then this coffee is a solid choice. However, despite its mix of arabica and robusta coffee beans it does not taste as strong as some other coffees out there. Black coffee drinkers may also want to look elsewhere.
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The full Nespresso Barista Corto review.
After trying this drink I think you will probably either love or hate it. That isn’t necessarily a criticism but it is important to think about who this drink is designed for.
How do you drink a Corto Nespresso?
You are supposed to drink this coffee with milk. The ‘spiciness’ is meant to give you the strong flavour whereas the milk dulls some of the harshness of its flavour whilst giving you a bit of a fruity twist at the end.
With all that being said, some people may still like it as an espresso shot so let me discuss how it tastes without milk below.
Drinking the Nespresso Corto as an espresso shot.
As you may expect the coffee has a strong aroma when the coffee machine pours and you put the mug to your lips for the first time. I definitely detected an earthy and rich flavour.
The feeling of the coffee is heavy in your mouth. The flavour is rich and the power of the spicy tasting notes is overwhelming although may appeal to people that prefer a stronger flavour.
The most off putting thing to many people about drinking this without milk is the bitterness. This is probably down to the fact this coffee is a partial robusta blend, meaning that the flavour will be a bit harsher than others.
My Robusta guide does discuss in detail how to make a better Robusta coffee although most of that article only really applies if you are using coffee beans. The only other way to reduce the bitterness will be to add more milk. So bear this in mind in you like drinking black coffee.
One of the pleasing things about drinking this as an espresso is that it does have a fruity tang to it. That is overpowered a bit by the bitterness, which lingers for a while after swallowing. Again, it will come down to what you look for in a coffee.
Drinking the Corto with milk.
When drinking this coffee with milk it did not taste as strong as I expected it to be. It tasted much smoother than it’s official stats lead me to believe it would.
Again you can taste the spiciness and with much of the bitterness smoothed over by the milk you get something that tastes a lot sweeter, almost nutty. The balance of robusta and arabica beans work quite well although in a much more subtle way than I had anticipated.
With milk, the Corto still gives you that subtle fruitiness although it is less pronounced with the mixture of the roast flavour and milk mainly masking it. It is more refreshing too although not exactly light either.
With milk, these Nespresso pods do a decent job of contrasting harsh and sweet flavours. But it makes sacrifices that may not satisfy people looking for super strong tasting coffees or people that may be put of by the sound of ‘spicy’ tasting notes.
Who should buy this coffee?
Buy this coffee straight away if you like strong tasting, bittersweet espresso shots. With milk, while the mixture of spiciness and sweetness may not appeal to everyone there will definitely be a market for these people. If you like the sound of that then this coffee may be for you.
Who might want to look elsewhere?
If you want a more gentler tasting, maybe fruitier tasting coffee shot then you would be better off looking at some lighter roast coffees. Some decent alternatives to look at could be the Starbucks Blond Roast or Nespresso’s own Ethiopia coffee pods.
Out of the two, the Blonde Roast also provides a sweeter flavour profile when mixed with milk too.
For people that want their coffee with milk to taste a lot stronger then this probably won’t do the job. The Indonesia or India Master Origins coffee pods by Nespresso do a lot better in this respect.
What strength is the Nespresso Corto?
In case you were wondering, Nespresso gives it a strength profile of 11. This is usually out of 13 so officially on the stronger side in terms of taste intensity.
In a nutshell.
There is a specific market for this type of drink. I think it’s probably a bit niche for a fair number of people but it definitely achieves what Nespresso wanted it to do. A solid 3 out of 5.
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