The complete Nespresso machine guide
The best way to get Espresso coffee at home without having to learn the intricacies of espresso making, forking out hundreds…and cleaning up after you ask? Nespresso machine, all day. This post has answers to all of your burning nespresso machine questions and reviews & recommendations and of course we’ll name which nespresso machine is best!
Should I buy a Nespresso machine?
We review a lot of coffee machines, and coffees so I regularly have access to some very expensive espresso machines and world-class coffee beans. However more often than I’d care to admit I find myself quickly grabbing a Nespresso pod and enjoying a quick, tasty coffee. When the dog needs walking, the phone’s ringing and I’m already late out the door but “dammit I need caffeine today!” What could be better? Pop the machine on, stick a pod in and press go.
If you’ve been romanticizing the idea of having an espresso machine and learning latte art whilst sipping Sunday morning cappuccinos, I have a reality check for you. Good espresso machines are expensive, grinders are expensive, learning to make great espresso is hard and messy. If you have time, money, and patience making coffee is an awesome hobby but if you have to get the kids to school, walk the dog, feed the cat, and practice juggling all before 9 AM then yes, yes you should buy a Nespresso Machine.
Are Nespresso machines good?
I have a simple way of explaining this to people. If I gave 100 untrained people a Nespresso machine they could all make me a good coffee. If I gave 100 untrained people an espresso machine, I’d expect 99 bad coffees and 1 lucky one! You give an experienced barista a great coffee machine and some world-class beans they will beat the Nespresso machine on flavor every time but were not all experienced baristas! From someone who has spent years drinking some of the world’s best specialty coffee, I can hand on heart say Nespresso coffee is “surprisingly good”. It’s not going to win any awards but for a morning brew? That will do nicely thank you.
Financially it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to buy a good Nespresso Machine than an espresso machine and certainly a lot cheaper than buying it out every day.
Which is best? Nespresso Vertuo vs original?
Quick summary on what sets the Vertuoline apart from Nespresso original:
- It spins your coffee at 7000 RPM…for..reasons.
- The pods hold slightly more coffee
- It makes froth on top of your coffee
- The vertuo machines generally cost more
- Vertuos can make larger drinks due to larger pods available
Why did Nespresso make this machine? The optimist in me says they wanted to develop a new machine with cutting-edge technology to bring delicious coffee into people’s homes. The much larger cynical side of me knows that Nespresso could still be feeling the sting of losing a lawsuit to machine manufacturer Dualit in 2013 and are looking to claw back their market share of the coffee pods industry.
To keep this short Dualit began making and selling coffee capsules that fit in Nespresso machines, Nespresso didnt like this and reminded Dualit that they own the patent on the coffee pod design for their machines. Dualit came back with a..meh, we think your patent won’t stand up in court. So the global giant Nestle took the relatively small Dualit to court and surprisingly Dualit won the case!
After Dualit won the case the flood gates opened for supermarkets, coffee roasters, and other multimillion-dollar food corporations to start manufacturing their own pods for Nespresso machines. These pods were often cheaper and almost certainly carved a big chunk out of Nespresso’s bottom line. So it looks like Nespresso went back to the drawing board on trying to dominate the pod market and thus the Vertuo line was born! Obviously, I wasn’t privy to any of these lawsuits or meetings so this is just my opinion.
Vertuo pods have a much tighter patent as they are admittedly a novel technology. They also have Official Nespresso barcodes on the pods in an attempt to stop unscrupulous companies and individuals from giving it a go *cough cough* oops I mean the unique barcode tells the machine how to brew perfectly for that particular blend of coffee!
Personally, I think the frothy top and super spinning is a bit of a gimmick that you could achieve by sticking any coffee in a blender. Does the froth make the coffee taste better…yea actually it does a bit. I’m not sure why but it’s a bit more of a smoother nicer tasting with the froth.
In summary, am I against the Vertuo machines? Nope, not really they may make genuinely tastier coffee than the originals. If you’re the sort of person who wants lots of choices of different coffees at different price points though? I’d stick with the original.
Nespresso Vs Espresso machine what’s best?
At the core of the Nespresso Vs Espresso debate is a trade-off between time and flavor. Nespresso machines are quick and virtually foolproof. To make good espresso machine coffee it takes a lot of practice, knowledge, and specialist equipment. A practiced home barista can make tastier coffee on an espresso machine but someone with no training would make nicer tasting coffee on a Nespresso machine than they would an espresso machine.
Nespresso vs Keurig
Nespresso machines make an ‘espresso’ base that you can then use in lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, and americanos whereas Keruig machines (mostly) just make black filter style coffee. If you’re just after a “quick cup of joe” Keurig is a good option but if you want a more robust flavor Nespresso might be your cup of tea/coffee
Are Nespresso pods recyclable?
Yes and no, Nespresso pods can’t be recycled curbside or at local centers however Nespresso have many other options for recycling their pods. You can request the kerbside collection by Nespresso, drop them in at a Nespresso boutique or drop them off at a Collect plus location. Check Nespresso’s site here.
Check out our reusable pod’s blog post for some more environmentally friendly ways to enjoy Nespresso.
How Nespresso works
Simply load your pre-packed pod that contains about 7g of coffee (less than half that of traditional espresso) into your machine and as you close it it will pierce the pod from the slimmer backside and the front foiled side simultaneously. When you push to go it will force hot water at ~15 bar through the back side.
As the water travels through your coffee it will extract the flavor and be forced through tiny holes in the foiled front side that allow the liquid coffee to pass through but not the grounds. This coffee then pours out of the spout into your cup! Easy.
Are Nespresso machines worth it?
Lower-end Nespresso machines start at a little over $100 and capsules average around 70 cents each. This makes Nespresso one of if not the most affordable way to have espresso style coffee at home. Held up against options like instant coffee Nespresso is most certainly worth the investment!
What drinks can Nespresso machines make?
Nespresso Machine reviews
Breville Barista Nespresso CitiZ with milk frother review
If having a cappuccino or latte easily at home sounds good to you, grabbing a milk frother with your nespresso machine is a great way to do it. After a real espresso machine steam wand this nifty little frothers are the next best way to get frothy hot milk. I think were a few years off them being the same silkiness of a barista coffee but they are still great! You can also buy these separately to go with any of the machines we review today.
The CitiZ itself is one of the more iconic designs from Nespresso and personally I think one of the nicest, it looks nice and modern in your kitchen. As with most Nespresso machines, it’s simple to operate with just two buttons and a lever. You pop your pod/capsule in the top, pull the lever down to pierce the pod, and hit the ‘lungo’ or espresso buttons 110ml/40ml and the machine will pour your shot.
Does the Citiz make regular coffee? Yes, if you just want a normal coffee pick a lungo pod and press the lungo button. Some people press it twice for a bigger coffee or you can do an espresso shot and add boiling water from your kettle.
Quickfire facts about the Nespresso citiZ; It’s made from BPA free plastic, It comes in four colors (Black, Silver, White & Red), the water tank holds one liter, it takes around 30 seconds to warm up it weighs 4 kilos and measures 22 x 38 x 28 cm.
For bang for buck, ease of use, design, and included milk frother this is my favorite all-rounder Nespresso machine.
Breville Creatista Pro review
This is the Rolls Royce of Nespresso machines. This will seriously appeal to you if you are a milky coffee drinker. You can make genuine barista style milk with this machine. All you need to do it pop your filled milk jug under the steam wand and select the style of milk you want, the machine does the rest. As a Barista trying this machine for the first time blew me away as far as I am aware no other Nespresso machine on the planet will make milk as good as this. You can actually make latte art with it!
I can’t speak for you but I think it looks fantastic. I’d always prefer to buy a metal coffee machine over plastic. I think it is a good sign that the manufacturer expects it to last for years, not just a few months. This machine is made by Breville who to be honest are the best all-round home espresso machine manufacturers going. They have now put their knowledge to use with this top-tier Nespresso machine and it really hasn’t disappointed!
Quickfire facts about the Creatista Pro; Both the plus and the pro have digital screens one is a touch screen and the other uses buttons, The pro has a separate hot water tap for teas & americanos and can heat milk at the same time as pouring your coffee. Both machines have an insanely fast three-second heat-up time!
This is the best Nespresso machine I’ve used the only reason it falls into second is that it’s on the more expensive side for most people but you get what you pay for I suppose!
De’Longhi Nespresso EN80B Review
EN80B…catchy name right!? This is one of the cheapest Nespresso machines you can get. It works like a dream though not a bad start if you’re still a bit unsure if a pod machine is right for you. Also if your looking for a compact machine that won’t take up your whole countertop this will be a winner! It measures W 118 mm x D 315mm x H 230 mm and weighs in at a light weight 2.4 Kilos.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this machine it’s a bit of a “standard” machine it’s all well designed but you can tell it’s made from cheaper parts everything feels a bit plasticy but it performs well enough if you just want a quick morning brew!
Nespresso Vertuo Next (Breville) review
Ok, you know I may be a bit of a skeptic for the Nespresso Vertuo machines. I don’t currently own one but I have the opportunity to have a play on this machine and you know what? It’s pretty great.
Firstly the price for technology that’s more advanced than the original line is really good! Next up I totally get that it’s nice to be able to make a proper big coffee! Not muddling one together with the kettle and an espresso but just pressing a button and getting fresh hot and BIG coffee is pretty great. Not only that but if I’m honest with myself, it is the tastiest coffee I’ve had from a Nespresso machine. I don’t understand why frothing it up makes it taste better but it really does.
The machine itself is manufactured by Breville the masters of home coffee machines. The machine comes in three different colors red, black & gray. It is the only Vertuo machine that lets you brew up 16oz of coffee so you can make two cups at a time or if you’re a big cup kinda person just the one. The water tank is removable making it so much easier to fill up! The Nespresso Next is made from 54% recycled materials which is a step in the right direction sustainability-wise!
Nespresso Vertuo Plus by Krups review
The cheapest Vertuo machine I have found so far. Unfortunately not available in the US yet but if you’re in Europe this could be for you. I’ll level with you there are no bells and whistles. It’s not ugly but hardly something you’ll want to show off in your kitchen either. Reading through user reviews there are a lot of complaints of the machine failing. I haven’t had hands-on experience with the machine myself so don’t want to proclaim anything definitely. I will say though sometimes it’s just worth forking over a little extra for something that will work better.
If you have your heart set on a Vertuo machine, I’d go for the Vertuo Next above its of quality build. I enjoyed using it and I found very few bad reviews about it.
All of that being said It will still make the same quality of coffee it’s just a concern of reliability. Maybe if cash is tight and you can find a good warranty on it it could be worth the gamble?
Heat up time is 40 seconds and the dimensions are; 220 x 349 x 325.1 mm. The water tank is a bit bigger than most at 1.7L