Old vs New comparison: Roma vs Ispirazione Roma
Tasting

Old Roma vs new Ispirazione Roma

As lots of people complained about the new line replacing some all time favourites, and as we have been drinking both the new and the old version for quite a long time now, we thought that a direct comparison of the capsules is due.

This is not a review of either capsules. You can find the full review of old Roma here and of the new Ispirazione Roma here. This is instead a direct comparison of the two versions, highlighting only the differences.

Aroma

Both capsules have a tobacco/cereals aroma, with hints of dark cocoa (slightly more pronounced in Roma). Ispirazione Roma has a more pungent aroma, with spices tones.

Body and crema

Ispirazione Roma has a darker crema (more Robusta perhaps?). Body is slightly heavier in Ispirazione Roma too, perhaps due to the increased percentage of Robusta or a tad longer roasting. Crema is longer-lasting in Ispirazione Roma.

Acidity

Acidity levels are very close, hard to distinguish which capsule has it higher. The quality of the acidity is different though: Roma’s has a more milk-like acidity, while Ispirazione Roma has a brighter, red fruits acidity. It is a slight difference but clearly signalling a different choice of beans.

Taste profile

Even if Nespresso rates both capsules’ intensity at 8 in their scale, we feel that Roma has a tad higher than Ispirazione Roma. We’d say Roma is a 9. Not a huge difference.

Flavors of cereals, some woodiness, hints of tobacco and cocoa are in both. Ispirazione Roma has hints of spices that are not present in Roma. Bitterness levels are equal, yet more noticeable in Roma than in Ispirazione Roma as in the latter the acidity notes tend to linger longer in the palate and cover the bitterness. Roma’s acidity fades more quickly and leaves you able to taste the bitterness.

Conclusion

Nespresso doesn’t release any changes nor ratio of beans present in their capsules so we can only guess what’s changed. We can assume that one of the origins in Roma, either the Mexican or the Brazilian one, have changed in Ispirazione Roma as the acidity has a different tone. Also we can argue that the Robusta ratio is higher in Ispirazione Roma than in the old Roma, due to the characteristics typical of this type of beans being more present in the new capsules than in the latter.

Let us know in the comments if you noticed something else, if you feel that one of these qualities is more or less present for you than for us.

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2 Comments

  • Jenny Mead

    I did not notice a difference between Roma and Rima Ispirazione. Also not the vanilla versus Creme Brule.
    My thoughts are that it may be a marketing strategy to revive interest in a product. Let’s be honest Creme Brulè sounds much more delicious then vanilla.
    There may be a taste difference as the newly named coffee grounds may be fresher then the pods with the old name. This may fool people into believing it tastes better.
    The price may be the same but sales will go up as people try out the “new” flavors.

    Why does nesspresso not give out information on the exact changes?

    • Nespresso Guide

      Nespresso hardly gives any information 🙂 Even the caffeine content is sometimes a mystery, with contrasting data.

      In any case, what we gleaned from tasting both the old and the new capsules, one next to another, is that but for Arpeggio, all are retouches more than big changes. Nespresso is refining the aromatic profile of these capsules, not making bold changes. Probably the only modification they’re making is changing the ratio of the beans making the coffee blends and perhaps swapping an origin for another (probably only in the Arabica parts of the blends). Of course the new names are marketing as a long Italian name has a better appeal than just “Roma” 🙂 Nothing wrong in itself about that, which is why we wanted to counterpose the new and old capsules.

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