Food and Drink | Nespresso Pure Origin vs Master Origin Coffees

Nespresso Pure Origin coffees

Bukeela ka Ethiopia

Bukeela ka Ethiopia, intensity 3

Dulsão do Brasil

Dulsão do Brasil, intensity 4

Rosabaya de Colombia

Rosabaya de Colombia, intensity 6

Indriya from India

Indriya from India, intensity 10


Nespresso Master Origin coffees

Master Origin Ethiopia

Master Origin Ethiopia, intensity 4

Master Origin Nicaragua

Master Origin Nicaragua, intensity 5

Master Origin Colombia

Master Origin Colombia, intensity 6

Master Origin Indonesia

Master Origin Indonesia, intensity 8

Master Origin India

Master Origin India, intensity 11


Nespresso (South Africa) is in the process (September 2018) of replacing its Pure Origin coffees with a selection called Master Origin.


Suffice it to say that after tasting the Bukeela replacement¹ (Master Origin Ethiopia), to my ‘layman’s palate’ (ie, representing ‘99%’ of Nespresso drinkers I would think), Nestlé appears to have taken the same decision with (some of) their coffees as they did with Milo and, more recently, KitKat.

While Bukeela was pleasant, soft, mellow, rounded and mild (intensity 3), my first impressions of MO Ethiopia was that it was harsh, with a sour (certainly not citrusy or floral) finish, placing the new blend smack-bang in the very ordinary category. No different in my experience from what you would get from a pedestrian coffee shop franchise …

Simply put, the taste (quality?) of the product has been radically altered with what seems to be cheaper ingredients and/or cheaper production methods, with the price (R90/$5.80/£4.50 (approx) per sleeve) remaining the same.

But, in the interests of balance, Nestlé are not the only culprits. Talk to devotees of Nutella or Irn-Bru  for example.

While the UK’s sugar tax may offer a partial explanation for KitKat and Irn-Bru, what – in the absence of any explanation from Nestlé (other than the quote below, ex-Nespresso USA via Reddit) – is the reason for replacing (some of) their Nespresso range?

“We know you enjoy Nespresso’s Pure Origin coffees.

So we wanted to let you know that this range of coffees will be discontinued after July 18th. They will be replaced by a new range among which, we truly believe, you will find a new favorite.

In our quest to continuously enhance your coffee experience, we realized that we have to go beyond the origin of the coffee and dig deeper into the special harvesting and processing methods practiced by local farming communities², that lend each coffee its innate flavors and unique characters.

The result is the Master Origin range, sourced from five countries: Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Nicaragua.

You will be among the first to know as soon as we launch the Master Origin coffees this month.

In the meanwhile, feel free to stock up on your current favorite.”


¹I’ve not yet tasted the other Master Origin coffees

²What does this mean in plain English?