Calibrating a Nespresso Machine

Have you wondered how to reset, calibrate/recalibrate your Nespresso machine?

Calibrating — or resetting the cup size or fill level of a cup — a Nespresso machine is easy, but many users tend to find the results “slip” over time; many of us have to regularly recalibrate. If you find this frustrating, you’re not alone. I’d love to hear from some of you… will you share your experiences? Maybe Nespresso engineers will chime in.

The instructions here are for an Essenza machine, but all operate similarly. If you don’t want to try with a fresh capsule, just practice on a used one.

How to calibrate/reset a Nespresso machine:

1) Insert a capsule and close the capsule lever;

2) Press and hold either the espresso or the lungo button for at least 3 seconds; then, just release as soon as the level reaches your preference.

How to reset or calibrate the Nespresso Essenza

Instructions to reset a Nespresso machine, shown from a Nespresso Essenza machine manual.














I also regularly descale my Nespresso machines. I can’t say that I notice a huge difference in taste, but it just seems to be the right thing to do and it probably prolongs the life of my machines.

Nespresso makes a descaler that’s “approved” for all of its machines, but these cleaning capsules are much easier! All you have to do is drop them into your Nespresso machine and “brew” as usual.

30 Responses to Calibrating a Nespresso Machine

  1. Susan says:

    We have a delongi Nespresso 520b. I have rescaled and cleaned the complete machine but the milk turns to water in seconds and the coffee although seems to working but not as well as previously

    • jplamer says:

      Hmm… Funny, I had a similar watery milk problem with my new Aeroccino 4. I thought I was going to have to return it, but it just fixed itself. I have no idea what the problem was, but it made very watery mile 2-3 times, and that’s it. It’s been working fine since then, for dozens and dozens of frothings.

  2. Nicoleta Croitoru says:

    Thank you ! That was really helpful. Indeed, it works for other types also . I have a DeLonghi and worked perfectly. Thanks again!

  3. Carlie says:

    If I were a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, now I’d say “Kwbuoanga, dude!”

  4. Marilyn says:

    I have an older delonghi Nespresso pod machine. It has water in the machine when turned on both 1 cup and 1/2 cup buttons flash and continue to flash if you press the 1 cup button it just continues to run water unless you manually press the 1 cup button again to stop it. There appears to be just a little steam arises from machine when the 1 cup button is first pressed not excessive is this usual in colder weather. Have tried all the recalibrate suggestions. Any help would be most great fully received. Is it the bin and a new one.

    • jplamer says:

      Hello Marilyn — I wish I could help, but I can’t diagnose that problem. These machines do seem to definitely have a shelf life. I’m preparing to purchase my fourth, and each machine seems to last about 3-4 years before it struggles in one way or another, usually with how the water runs through the machine. I’ve also had button problems, too.

      For another opinion: this guy seems really knowledgable about Nespresso machines:

  5. pixie says:

    Thanks to a simple and useful advice

  6. Fred says:

    Yes, that’s the way I did it and it worked (still it “slips” overtime, have to recalibrate again).

  7. Lauren says:

    Is there a way to restore to factory settings? I think my lungo button was re calibrated and I don’t know how much to set it for to re-calibrate again

    • jplamer says:

      Most instructions seem to follow this method (from the Nespresso instructions for the Inissia):

      Start with your machine turned off and plugged in.
      While pressing and holding the lungo button, turn the machine on.
      Release the lungo button after 3 seconds.
      Your machine has now been restored to approximately 1.35 ox. for the espresso cup and 3.75 oz. for the lungo cup.

  8. Fred says:

    Which model of machine?

  9. Anthony Moore says:

    My brand new machine is only bosching out about 50ml on the bigger cup setting. My instruction manual is annoying as it just contains pictures and no explanation notes.

    Coffee is really lovely and the milk frothing machine is unbelievable, but I need to get my 110ml of coffee. Seriously.

  10. Mike says:

    Thank you for the help in recalibration my machine lungs cup setting. Very valuable advice. Birmingham UK.

  11. Pat says:

    Thank you. I didn’t know about “recalibration”. It solved my problem 100%. I must have unknowingly messed up the original timing. pat in Davis, CA

  12. Karen K. says:

    Easy fix– thanks so much for posting this!

    • Barry says:

      I have a problem when the button with the icon showing a big cup won’t activate

      • jplamer says:

        I’ve had that problem, too. I found that when I come at the button from the top left corner of the button, and push just the upper, northwest, edge, it usually worked. And then, after doing that for about 2 years, the button just started working normally again, most of the time! 🙂

      • Barry Greenhalgh says:

        Thanks for that.
        I found that I just had to push the button down a little harder and it worked. Obviously not too well made!!!

  13. Fred says:

    Only unintentionally as when the tube is clogging or there’s a pump malfunction. And the result is always a slower stream in my experience.

  14. Caitlyn says:

    Is there anyway to change the speed of the shot coming out?

  15. Longshanks64 says:

    My M100 has the same problem time and time again,,, fed up with it next, machine which is imminent will be Dolce Gusto.

  16. K. C.. says:

    You can down load the manual from the web. Search ” Nespresso U Manual”

  17. fran says:

    Thank you for posting this. Was a great help because for the life of me could not find my manual

  18. Big Brian says:

    I have the same problem with my Magimix M100

  19. Fred says:

    Yes, I have two Essence’s and both show some variance, especially with lungos. But not such a problem I’m willing to switch

  20. RichardP says:

    I find that if doing consecutive shots with my Nespresso U, the first shot is always about 1/2 to 2/3 of the volume of consecutive shots with the same setting. It’s kind of annoying but it’s not a big deal because I use it as an opportunity to flush the machine and warm up the outlet.

  21. fred says:

    I’ve recalibrated my machine but the results are inconsistent. Five times in a row I’ll get the desired level, the sixth, substantially less (rarely more). Occasionally every other time will be less. Any solutions or is this just a quirk with the machine?

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