Coffee Makers, Troubleshooting Coffee Makers

Nespresso Not Making A Full Cup? Here Are Some Simple Solutions!

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

Of course:

Everyone understands the hassle that comes with kickstarting a new day. Discovering your beloved Nespresso has developed faults and is refusing to make a full cup is enough to put a damper on your daily routine.


There are several reasons why your Nespresso would fail to produce the required volume of coffee.

Rather than being forced to continuously brew half cups, it’s much better to tackle the issue from the source.


There are simple ways to get your Nespresso back to its full capacity. Stick around and keep reading to discover the easy solutions to your “half cup” problem!

Nespresso Not Making Full Cup

A Nespresso that partially fills cups is annoying. Also, brewing multiple half cups till you get your desired quantity is too time-consuming and stressful. You can tackle this by removing trapped air in the water reservoir and unclogging your machine. You can also try descaling your coffee maker and carrying out a factory reset.

Nespresso Not Making Full Cup

1. Fill Up The Water Reservoir


A supposed “defect” that causes a Nespresso to malfunction could result from an oversight on the user’s path. Sometimes, it could even be a result of something as simple as flipping the power switch.

Here’s the thing:

One major reason your Nespresso would fail to make a full cup could be because there’s insufficient water in the reservoir.

This is why the water reservoir should be one of the first things you check when your Nespresso refuses to fill your cup.


The issue of an empty reservoir is very easy to fix. All you need to do is detach the water reservoir and fill it up to the max with fresh drinking water before reattaching it to the machine.

Duly note that:

In the process of trying to brew coffee with an empty reservoir, your machine could have an airlock which means air would get trapped in the machine.

To get rid of this, check the fix below.

2. Release Trapped Air In Your Nespresso

You see:

One of the reasons your Nespresso would find it difficult to make full cups could be because air bubbles are trapped within the machine.


There are a couple of ways by which air can get trapped in your coffee maker. It can occur when you use your Nespresso after a very long time.


If there’s ever been a time you accidentally used up all the water in your machine’s reservoir while brewing coffee, chances are there are air bubbles trapped in your coffee maker.


It’s fairly easy to know when there’s trapped air in your Nespresso.

You’ll notice how difficult it is for water to come out of the machine, which explains why it can’t make full cups. Also, you might hear weird noises while brewing.

To fix this:

All you need to do is follow these four simple steps:

  • Step 1: Remove the water reservoir and fill it with clean water.
  • Step 2: Place the water reservoir at the base of the Nespresso.
  • Step 3: Use the lever to eject the capsule and empty the capsule container.
  • Step 4: Place a cup under the coffee outlet and start the brewing cycle.

The hot water produced during this process would eliminate any air bubble trapped within the machine.

After which:

Your Nespresso should begin to make the expected quantity of coffee.

3. Inspect And Clean The Water Reservoir’s Base

Get this:

The water reservoir’s base or port refers to the part of the Nespresso machine where you attach the water reservoir. It’s responsible for transferring water from the reservoir to the machine.


The base gets clogged with debris, especially after you’ve used the machine for some time without cleaning or descaling.


The debris makes it difficult for water to be transferred from the detachable water tank into the machine. Thus, your Nespresso would become incapable of delivering the expected quantity of coffee.


You can easily get rid of the dirt or debris clogging the base of your Nespresso by following these steps:

  • Step 1: After switching off the machine, remove the water reservoir.
  • Step 2: Inspect the base for debris and dirt.
  • Step 3: Use a clean cloth to remove any dirt you find.
  • Step 4: Replace the water reservoir and begin the brewing process.

Simple and straightforward, right?

4. Reset Your Nespresso


If you’ve cleaned the base and filled up the water tank but still aren’t getting the desired results, it’s time to try this quick remedy.

You see:

There’s a chance that you could have unknowingly reprogrammed your Nespresso during use.


This means the original settings have been altered and explains why there’s a distinct drop in the expected volume your coffee maker typically delivers.


You’ll need to carry out a factory reset before your Nespresso will be able to make full cups again.


There are several Nespresso machine models, and the method for resetting each model varies.


If you’re using more popular models like the CitiZ, Essenza Mini, Pixie, or Inissia, follow these steps to reset your Nespresso:

  • Step 1: You’ll need to turn off the machine before beginning the factory resetting process.
  • Step 2: Locate the Lunge button on the machine. Press and hold it for five seconds, then release the button.


You’ll notice the LEDs on the Nespresso coffee maker blink thrice. Afterward, the LEDs will begin to blink slowly, which indicates that the machine is slowly heating up.

Once the lights stop blinking and become steady, your Nespresso is ready to use.

In contrast:

If you’re using the Virtuo or Evoluo Nespresso models, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Carefully eject the coffee capsule by opening the head of the machine.
  • Step 2: Gently close the head after emptying the capsule container, ensuring the handle is still in the “unlocked” position.
  • Step 3: In three seconds, press the button five times. After this, you should see an orange light flash five times. This confirms your factory reset.


Every setting you’ve previously made on the Nespresso will be erased after the factory reset. This means you’ll have to reprogram your device to your taste.

5. Descale Your Nespresso

Get this:

If your Nespresso is partially filling your cups with odd-tasting coffee, it’s a sure sign that you must descale the machine as soon as possible.

Here’s why:

After frequent use, the minerals in the water cause a limescale build-up within your Nespresso. The limescale blocks the flow of water and makes it difficult to make full cups.

To fix this:

A thorough descaling process is required. You’d need clean water and a descaling solution to eliminate the limescale.


Check out the procedure to follow to descale your Nespresso:

  • Step 1: Eject the capsule in the machine.
  • Step 2: Turn off the Nespresso coffee maker.
  • Step 3: Empty the water reservoir, the drip tray, and the capsule container.
  • Step 4: Fill the water reservoir with 0.5L before adding one unit of the descaling solution.
  • Step 5: Place the water tank on the port and put a 1-liter bowl beneath the Nespresso’s coffee outlet.
  • Step 6: Turn on the machine and put it in descaling mode.
  • Step 7: Once the descaling cycle is complete, discard the descaling solution and thoroughly rinse the tank and 1-liter bowl.
  • Step 8: Fill the water reservoir with clean water. Place it on the port and put the 1-liter bowl under the coffee outlet.
  • Step 9: Begin the rinsing cycle to remove any descaling solution in the machine. You’ll need to repeat the rinsing process two to three times.

Once you’ve completed the descaling process, your Nespresso should begin making full cups again.

Models Commonly Affected

Here’s the thing:

One of the most common problems coffee makers experience is the inability to make full cups. Typically, this issue could occur regardless of your Nespresso’s brand or model.


Here are the models more susceptible to the “half-cup” problem than others.

1. Nespresso Pixie

Nespresso Pixie


The Nespresso Pixie is an incredible coffee maker. It’s very easy to operate, has an attractive design, and delivers high-quality coffee.


It was designed to be compact and slender, which explains why it’s difficult to brew large quantities of coffee and sometimes fails to make a full cup.


You can fix its “half-cup” problem by following our recommended remedies.

2. Nespresso Vertuo

Nespresso Vertuo

You see:

The Nespresso Vertuo, also called the “OriginalLine,” is a stunning model well known for its sleek design, operating ease, and durability.


Like most coffee makers, it could occasionally experience its fair share of hiccups. It wasn’t built to brew and deliver large quantities of coffee, so you might experience the “half-cup” issue from time to time.


You can rectify this issue using any of our proposed solutions.

3. Nespresso VertuoPlus

Nespresso Vertuo Plus

All in all:

The Nespresso VertuoPlus is a fantastic and stylish model designed to brew large quantities of delicious coffee.


With all its impeccable features, this model could develop faults that prevent it from making full cups.


With routine maintenance, cleaning, and our easy-to-follow remedies, your Nespresso should begin to operate efficiently.

4. Nespresso VertuoLine

Nespresso Vertuoline

Get this:

In 2014, Nespresso released a new design of a coffee maker called the Nespresso VertuoLine. This model aimed to improve some of OriginalLine’s features and was designed to make more coffee.

Since then:

The Nespresso VertuoLine has been a great hit in the market. Though, it could be prone to the “half-cup” problem.


You can easily remedy this by trying out any of the solutions outlined in this article.



Your Nespresso should deliver your desired quantity of coffee each day.

However, minor issues could prevent your coffee maker from performing at its peak.


You’ll need to try these simple remedies to restore your Nespresso to its original glory:

  • Fill up the water reservoir.
  • Release trapped air in your Nespresso.
  • Inspect and clean the water reservoir’s base.
  • Reset your Nespresso.
  • Descale your Nespresso.

After trying out these solutions, your coffee maker should become efficient and capable of making full cups once again.


Did you try any of our DIY remedies? We’d love to know how it went! Let us know what your thoughts and questions are by leaving comments in the section below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Nespresso Not Pouring A Full Cup?

Several issues can affect your Nespresso’s efficiency and make it difficult for you to obtain full cups from your coffee maker.

This occurs when there’s insufficient water in the Nespresso’s reservoir, trapped air in the machine, a clogged base, or limescale buildup after frequent use. It could also occur if you accidentally reprogram the machine and change its settings.

How Do I Reset My Nespresso Cup Size?

If you’d like to increase or reduce the quantity of coffee your Nespresso delivers, you’ll need to reset its cup size.

The process of resetting cup size consists of four easy steps:

Step 1: Turn on your Nespresso and place an empty cup under the coffee outlet.
Step 2: Insert the capsule in the capsule container and close the top of the machine.
Step 3: Locate either the “espresso” or “Lungo” button on your coffee maker.
Step 4: Press and hold the espresso or lungo button. Once you obtain your desired quantity, release the button.

Note that your Nespresso will be automatically reprogrammed after resetting the cup size. It would deliver the same quantity you reset it to the next time it makes a cup.

How Do You Make A Nespresso Cup Full?

You’ll need to reprogram the cup size setting if you’d like to fill up a Nespresso cup. This calibrates your coffee maker and makes it possible to deliver the quantity you desire.

However, if your Nespresso partially fills your cup even after you’ve reset it, it could mean there’s insufficient water in the machine’s reservoir.

Fill up the water reservoir and try again. If you’re still having the same issue, it could be time for you to descale your Nespresso.

How Do I Get My Nespresso To Brew More?

If you’d like to receive more than your usual dose of caffeine, you’d need your Nespresso to brew more than it usually does.

First, ensure the water in the Nespresso’s reservoir is enough to brew more.

After which, reprogram the machine’s cup size by long pressing the espresso or Lungo button until you get the quantity you need.

Can I Use A Nespresso Pod Twice?

A Nespresso pod is a capsule that aids the brewing process of your coffee maker.
The capsules are designed to be used only once and replaced before you try to brew another cup.

You can reuse the capsules if you’re trying to reduce costs. However, the difference in taste and quality of the coffee you’d obtain from a reused pod will be very distinct.

Erica Cervenkova
Coffee Connoisseur, SCA Member

As a coffee connoisseur and member of the Specialty Coffee Association, I am dedicated to understanding the sustainability of coffee pods and the impact it has on the environment. My expertise lies in the realm of capsule coffee machines, from the likes of Keurig and Nespresso to other well-known US brands. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others make informed decisions about their coffee choices. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a new way to enjoy your morning cup, I'm here to help.


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