Nespresso Machine Not Making a Full Cup (Causes + fixes)

Nespresso coffee makers are some of the most reliable in the market. However, they’re vulnerable to various problems, such as brewing lower cup volumes than they used to initially. If your Nespresso brewer has this problem, you need to know the causes to fix it correctly.

Why is my Nespresso not giving a full cup?

If your Nespresso coffee maker isn’t giving a full cup, it’s due to one of the following reasons:

  • You’ve accidentally re-programmed the pour settings.
  • The water tank is empty.
  • There’s mineral buildup inside the machine.
  • The coffee grounds aren’t properly tamped down.
  • The coffee filter is clogged.

You’ve accidentally re-programmed the pour settings

If your Nespresso machine is not making the same coffee volume as before, you’ve likely inadvertently changed the pour settings. This occurs when you press the start button and then press it again to stop before it has finished the pre-set pour. 

The water tank is empty

It could also be that the empty water tank needs to be refilled. If the water in the tank is low, you won’t be able to make a full cup of coffee.

There’s mineral buildup inside the machine

Another possible reason your Nespresso is not giving a full cup is that the internal pipework is clogged with limescale, blocking the proper flow of water. Limescale forms when calcium from hard water hardens and builds up on the walls of the internal passageways of the Nespresso brewer.

The coffee grounds aren’t well-tamped down

Your Nespresso coffee maker may also fail to pour the right volume if the grounds are loose due to improper tamping. It could also be that the coffee filter is clogged with coffee grounds, thus hindering the flow of coffee through it. 

What do you do if your Nespresso makes half-full cups?

If your Nespresso coffee machine is making half-full cups, consider the following solutions:

  • Resetting the brewer.
  • Refilling the water reservoir.
  • Descaling the machine.
  • Properly tamp down the coffee grounds.

Reset the brewer

If you unknowingly reset the pour settings on your Nespresso coffee maker, you need to restore it to default settings for it to brew full cup sizes. The process for resetting a Nespresso coffee machine to default settings depends on the model. If you have a Nespresso Pixie, Inissia, Citiz, Essenza, U-Modeller, Lattissima Touch, or Lattissima Plus, click here to restore the default pour settings for each model.

Refill the water reservoir

If your Nespresso isn’t brewing at the right volume due to low water levels in the tank, remove the tank and refill it with clean water up to the max fill line. Then, return the tank to its compartment, and you’ll be able to brew a full cup the next time you brew.

Descale the machine

You should use recommended Nespresso descaling solution to descale your Nespresso machine and eliminate limescale. Avoid using vinegar as a descaling solution, as it’s likely to damage the inner components of your Nespresso brewer.

Once you’ve received your supply of Nespresso descaling solution, follow the procedure below to descale the brewer:

  • Empty the pod holder and the drip tray. Then, power up the brewer.
  • Remove the water tank and empty it. Then pour one of the Nespresso descaling kits into the tank before adding half a liter of water. Return the water tank to its compartment
  • Place a collecting jar underneath the outlet spout.
  • Next, activate the descaling mode. Different Nespresso models have different procedures for starting the descaling mode. If you’re unsure, you should refer to the user manual for your specific model.
  • Once you activate the descaling process, the solution will run through the machine and come out via the outlet spout with the dislodged limescale. Once the solution stops coming out, you’ll know that the descaling process is complete.
  • Once the descaling process is over, remove and empty the water tank and the collecting jar. Then, fill the reservoir with fresh water and replace its compartment with a rinse-only cycle.
  • Run a water-only cycle to rinse out the leftover descaling solution. This is important as the residual descale solution can alter the taste of your coffee.
  • Finally, press all the coffee buttons to exit the descaling mode. Then, let the machine lie idle for 10 minutes before using it again.

Ensure you properly tamp down the grounds

If you suspect your Nespresso volume is brewing half cups due to loosely tamped coffee grounds, ensure the coffee grounds are properly tamped down. Meanwhile, if the coffee filter is clogged, use a straightened paper clip to unclog it. 


I. Machine Assistance Vertuo Round Head

Leave a Comment