Nespresso Is Not Making A Full Cup (Fixed!)

Are you struggling with your Nespresso machine not dispensing the correct amount of coffee? You’re not alone. This common issue can leave you starting your day with only half a cup of coffee. But, don’t worry.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the most common causes of your Nespresso not making a full cup, whether you have an OriginalLine or VertuoLine machine. From reprogramming the cup size to the necessary descaling process, I cover it all.


How To Fix A Nespresso Original That Is Not Making A Full Cup?

If your Nespresso Original isn’t making a full cup, it may be due to a modification in the cup size settings, you pressed the brew button twice, a lack of water in the tank, or the need for descaling.

This is applicable to the Nespresso Pixie, Inissia, Citiz, Essenza, U, and Lattissima.

Reprogram The Cup Size

It’s possible that you unintentionally pressed some buttons and changed the cup size settings.

All Nespresso OriginalLine machines have two buttons: one Espresso button (small) and one Lungo button (large). If your machine is on factory settings they should deliver 40ml and 110ml volumes of coffee respectively.

If the amount of coffee dispensed by your machine is different from these set volumes, it’s likely that the cup size settings may have been adjusted.

This is how you reset the cup sizes to the factory setting:

  1. First, make sure the machine is powered off.
  2. Press and hold the button corresponding to the large cup. This can vary depending on your Nespresso model, so please refer to your manual if unsure.
  3. While holding the button, switch the machine back on.
  4. Continue holding the button for about two seconds after the machine is on, then release it.
  5. This process should factory reset the cup sizes on your machine.

This is how you set the cup size to your desired level:

  1. Insert a pod (you can use a used pod to prevent wasting coffee).
  2. Start brewing by pressing the button.
  3. Keep the button pressed until the desired amount of water is in the cup.
  4. Releasing the button at this point sets your machine to dispense this amount of water for future brews.

You Pushed The Brewing Button Twice

If you have a Nespresso Vertuo Next or a Nespresso Vertuo Pop machine, you might have accidentally pushed the brew button twice. Doing this puts the machine into a mode called ‘Concentrated Extraction’.

In this mode, the machine’s light will first blink blue, then it will stay blue while the coffee is being made.

In ‘Concentrated Extraction’ mode, your Nespresso will always make a double espresso, regardless of the type of capsule you use. This could be why your coffee pods are making cups of coffee that are smaller than expected.

The Water Tank Was Not Filled Enough

If you don’t fill the water tank enough, it might run out while making coffee, resulting in only half a cup.

Furthermore, if the tank empties during brewing, air bubbles may get trapped in the tubes. This can cause blockages, also leading to only half a cup of coffee or none at all.

Your Nespresso Needs Descaling

Your Nespresso might not brew a full cup of coffee if there is too much mineral deposit build-up inside the tubes. This is similar to the air bubbles issue, as it can prevent the water from flowing properly.

Here is how to descale your Nespresso OriginalLine:

  1. Empty the Nespresso Machine: Remove any capsules from the machine and empty the drip tray.
  2. Prepare the Descaling Solution: Fill the water tank with 500 ml of water and add the Nespresso descaling solution.
  3. Enter Descaling Mode: To enter the descaling mode, press both the espresso and lungo buttons for three seconds. The buttons will blink quickly to indicate that the machine is in descaling mode. You might need to check the manual for some models as the button combination can vary.
  4. Start the Descaling Process: Place a large container (around 1L capacity) under the coffee outlet, then press the lungo button to start. The machine will pump the whole water tank through.
  5. Let it Sit: Once the solution is dispensed, let the machine sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the descaling solution to take effect.
  6. Rinse: After the solution has had time to work, refill the water tank with the used solution. Repeat the previous step to dispense the rest of the solution.
  7. Exit Descaling Mode: Rinse out the water tank thoroughly and fill it with fresh water. Put the water tank back and press the lungo button again to rinse it. Do this twice. To exit the descaling mode, press both buttons (espresso and lungo) for three seconds. The lights will stop blinking to show that the machine has exited descaling mode.
  8. Final Rinse: Run a brewing cycle with fresh water but without any coffee capsules. Discard the water that is dispensed into the cup. This step ensures any residual descaling solution is completely flushed out of the machine.
nespresso making small cup

How To Fix A Nespresso Vertuo That Is Not Making A Full Cup?

If your Nespresso Vertuo isn’t making a full cup, it could be due to issues with the barcode reader, a need for additional milk for certain pods, changes in cup size settings, or a need for descaling.

The Vertuo Can’t Read The Pod Properly

Check the barcode reader in your coffee machine for any signs of dirt or deposits from minerals. The presence of limescale or coffee spills may interfere with the Vertuo’s ability to correctly identify the barcode.

This could lead to it misreading the type of cup inserted and consequently dispensing an incorrect amount of coffee. To fix this problem, gently clean the reader using a cloth and warm water.

Milk Needs To Be Added To The Drink

There are some Vertuo pods, designed for milk-based drinks like cappuccinos or lattes, that will only yield a double espresso shot on their own.

The remaining volume to reach the labeled 13 oz is actually achieved by you adding the suggested amount of milk, a detail unfortunately not clearly communicated on the pod’s label.

Reprogram The Cup Size

Similar to what can happen with the Nespresso OriginalLine machine. It’s possible that you unintentionally held the button down and changed the cup size settings.

This is how you reprogram the cup size again in case it’s making only half a cup:

  1. Choose the capsule you want to program. The options are Alto, Mug, Gran Lungo, or Espresso.
  2. Press the lever upwards to open the head of the machine.
  3. Put the selected capsule blend into the machine.
  4. Push the lever down to close the head of the machine.
  5. Press and hold the button until your desired water volume is reached. Release the button once the desired volume is reached.
  6. The machine will now remember the water volume level for the specific capsule size that was used for the programming.

You can customize the water volume between 10 ml and 500 ml according to your preference.

NOTE: Be aware that once you have programmed a specific volume for a capsule, each time you use that type of capsule, the machine will automatically stop the water at the volume you’ve set.

If you want to change the volume setting, you’ll need to reprogram it following the same steps. For instructions on how to reset your machine back to its original settings, refer to the section above titled “Reset Your Nespresso Vertuo”.

Reset Your Nespresso Vertuo

If you don’t want to program the cup size yourself, but you just want to reset it to the factory settings you can do the following for each Vertuo model:

How To Reset The Nespresso VertuoLine

  1. Switch on the VertuoLine machine.
  2. Open the head (the top part) to let the used coffee capsule fall into the storage area.
  3. Close the head, but don’t lock the lever.
  4. Quickly press the brew button five times within three seconds. You’ll know it worked if the brew light flashes slowly five times.

How To Reset The Nespresso Vertuo Plus

  1. Power on your Vertuo Plus machine.
  2. Keep holding the lever until the green light on the brew button switches off.
  3. Press and hold both the lever and brew button together for 3 seconds, until the brew button light turns orange.
  4. Push the lever down three times, making the brew button light flash orange.
  5. Press the brew button once, and it should flash three times before turning solid green. This means you’ve reset the machine successfully.

How To Reset The Nespresso Vertuo Next

Resetting the Vertuo Next is pretty similar to the VertuoLine:

  1. Switch on the Vertuo Next machine.
  2. Open the head so the used capsule drops into the storage area.
  3. Close the head again but don’t lock the lever.
  4. Press the brew button quickly five times within three seconds. The brew light should slowly flash five times and then turn solid white, showing that it’s been reset.

Your Nespresso Vertuo Needs To Be Descaled

Much like the OriginalLine, your Nespresso Vertuo may not brew correctly due to an excessive buildup of mineral deposits in the internal tubes, causing obstructions.

These deposits, or scale, are typically from hard water and can interfere with the brewing process, compromising your coffee’s quality, and can even lead to leakage.

To solve this issue, you should regularly descale your Nespresso Vertuo. This process removes the mineral deposits, improving both the machine’s performance and the coffee it produces.

I’ve provided a straightforward guide for descaling your Nespresso Vertuo, which will help keep your machine in top condition and your coffee tasting great.


Your Nespresso machine may not dispense the correct amount due to a variety of issues. Whether it’s a change in cup size settings, an empty water tank, or a need for descaling, these issues can be addressed with a bit of troubleshooting.

In some cases, your VertuoLine machine might misread a pod or require additional milk for certain drinks.

Remember, it’s crucial to understand your machine’s needs to ensure you get that perfect cup every time.

Thanks for Reading!