While many of us aspire to be talented at-home baristas, boasting both a knack for operating specialty tools and plenty of time to practice slinging a wide variety of drinks, we must admit this lifestyle isn’t the most practical choice for everyone.
Sure, it would be great to pull out the old burr grinder and fire up the semi-automatic espresso machine every morning, but that takes up precious time you may not have. The moments between waking up and having to be out the door in the morning seem to be getting shorter and shorter, so much so that you’ve found yourself thinking of purchasing one of those quick and simple-to-use pod coffee makers in hopes of getting your beloved caffeine fix more quickly.
Don’t worry; we won’t judge you.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks For Best Nespresso Machines
If you are serious about getting a capsule-based espresso machine, though, we encourage you to find one with a user-friendly interface and efficient brewing cycle, like those made by Nespresso, for example. While there are many pod machines out there, this brand has managed to remain a leading name in the market for years. That means they’ve got brewers you can trust.
We’ve sorted through the machines produced by Nespresso and its partners and selected a few of our favorites to share with you as you search for a quick, convenient brewer. With such a wide range of coffee makers to choose from, we’re sure Nespresso’s got a machine you’ll love.
Quick Summary: The Best Nespresso Machines
|NESPRESSO CITIZ ESPRESSO MACHINE||Check on Amazon →|
|NESPRESSO VERTUO NEXT COFFEE AND ESPRESSO MACHINE||Check on Amazon →|
|NESPRESSO VERTUOPLUS COFFEE AND ESPRESSO MACHINE||Check on Amazon →|
|NESPRESSO ESSENZA MINI ORIGINAL ESPRESSO MACHINE||Check on Amazon →|
|NESPRESSO VERTUO EVOLUO COFFEE AND ESPRESSO MACHINE||Check on Amazon →|
|NESPRESSO INISSIA||Check on Amazon →|
Roasty Rankings: The Best Nespresso Machines on the Market
Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine
This Red Dot Design Award Winning machine was truly crafted for committed coffee lovers. It comes in at number one on our list because it not only boasts a premium design but also gives you a high-quality brew.
You can put up to 11 ESE capsules and 34 ounces of water into the CitiZ at once, which makes it super easy to brew all of your favorite drinks without too much prep time. The automatic shut-off energy-saving feature kicks in after nine minutes of inactivity, too, saving you both money and energy consumption.
This machine’s coffee sizes include the standard espresso and lungo options, plus a setting for ristretto. Order it with the separate milk frother, and you’ll be pulling the perfect latte every single day.
Bonus: because the CitiZ is made with mostly steel components, it’s more durable than other machines, so you’ll be happily brewing with this reliable brewer for years to come.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine
If you’re the type of person who changes the brew size of their daily cup of joe as often as they change their shoes, you and the Nespresso Vertuo Next espresso machine may be a match made in coffee heaven. This versatile machine is the only product in the Nespresso brewer line-up that brews six different coffee cup sizes, ranging from a single shot of espresso to a full pour-over style carafe.
The Next is also marketed as the most compact machine of all the Vertuo models, measuring only five and a half inches wide. So, even if you don’t have much space on your kitchen counter to spare, this little machine can be tucked into a corner and stored out of the way with ease.
The single button brewer, made of 54 percent recycled materials, has a removable water tank and automatic capsule ejection and storage for maximum convenience as you use the Next to make countless delicious coffee beverages, all topped with a layer of silky smooth crema.
Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Machine
Nespresso’s VertuoPlus is the Next’s older sibling, and just like the aforementioned single-serve machine, the VertuoPlus brews delicious coffee, and authentic espresso, both topped with a beautiful crema.
This machine’s got a 60-ounce removable water tank, which means you won’t have to refill your brewer for a while, and a 15-second heating time, which is great news for those of us who like to have their morning cup of coffee or espresso as quickly as possible.
Use one of the machine’s five drink settings — espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, coffee, and alto — to figure out just how much and what exactly (regular coffee or espresso) will be going in your mug. Take advantage of the Nespresso VertuoLine original capsule welcome kit that comes with each brewer to try different aroma and coffee flavors and help you figure out what your go-to capsule will be.
Nespresso Essenza Mini Original Espresso Machine
If you don’t mind having a machine with less durability and fewer brewing options, save yourself a bit of money by opting for the Nespresso Essenza Mini. Because of its sleek, compact design, this OriginalLine brewer can fit pretty much anywhere larger machines can’t, even in the corner of your suitcase when you’re on the go.
Just like the rest of Nespresso’s Original machines, the Essenza Mini uses a 19-bar high-pressure pump and quick heat-up time to extract delicious espresso with a beautiful layer of crema. Use the adjustable cup sizes to decide between espresso or lungo, and brew the joe over ice if you want to make an iced coffee drink.
Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine
For a machine that can handle both espresso and your average joe, consider the Vertuo Evoluo brewer for your household.
You’ll find the Evoluo at a comfortable mid-range price point, and because it has a 13 to 20 capsule capacity, 54-ounce water tank, and 15-second heat-up time, the machine performs best in high volume homes or office spaces.
This machine’s primary selling point is similar to any other Vertuo brewer’s: the Centrifusion barcode technology. Water is spun around the grounds to ensure even extraction and superior espresso flavors during the coffee-making process. Then, the barcode technology automatically differentiates between coffee and espresso capsules, saving you time and energy and making sure you get the most out of your drink.
You can get this model with or without the Aeroccino milk frother, depending on your current equipment and coffee preferences, but should you consider purchasing this machine, note that its main drawback is that it is only compatible with Nespresso’s Vertuo capsules, which can be limiting.
Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine
Maybe you’re a college student or just a proud renter of a New York-style shoebox. Whatever your reasons for being budget and space-conscious are, Nespresso’s Inissia is just the machine for you.
The Inissia, with its compact footprint, comes in at a lower affordable price point than many of its Nespresso sisters, which is why it’s our pick for the best budget brewer. Still, a smaller size doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing any features. The compact coffee machine still has the standard espresso and lungo cup sizes, plus its simple design helps it fit into any kitchen setup well.
The main drawback of this model is the 24-ounce water tank size. That means you’ll have to refill it pretty often. It’s a good option for households with only one or two coffee drinkers using the brewer, but add any more to the mix, and things could get pretty tedious.
In case you didn’t know, Nespresso is a Switzerland-based unit of the Nestlé Group. Nespresso partners with other brands, like Breville and De’Longhi, to produce its own line of pod espresso machines.
The defining factor of a Nespresso machine is that it will only be compatible with Nespresso Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) capsules. These capsules are completely airtight, which gives you superior flavor once they’re brewed. And some Nespresso machines can hold multiple pods at once, further streamlining your brewing experience.
Want even more good news about this type of capsule? They’re fully recyclable! You can even mail them back to the company so they can be reused.
Why buy a Nespresso machine?
Speed, ease, and simplicity. Nespresso machines are fast, easy to use and clean, and simple to understand. Plus, they are generally more affordable and space-efficient than the standard espresso machine!
A Nespresso machine is as close as you can get to the full, true espresso bar experience without sacrificing your entire countertop or every dollar in your wallet. Though the most serious coffee lovers would likely prefer the brewing control a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine gives, Nespresso machines are a great choice for anyone who needs something easy and reliable.
OriginalLine and VertuoLine
As you explore Nespresso’s product line, you’ll notice each espresso machine falls into one of two categories: OriginalLine or VertuoLine. While there are a few key differences between Original and Vertuo Nespresso machines, they are similar in the way that matters most: they both produce good cups of coffee.
A notable difference between the two types of machines is the coffee extraction technology used in each. OriginalLine brewers use a 19-bar pressure system to make sure all the flavors and aromas of your espresso make it into your cup. VertuoLine machines, on the other hand, use Centrifusion extraction, which is a bit gentler and faster than its highly pressurized counterpart.
Original and VertuoLine machines also have different brew sizes, with Original Nespresso makers offering four serving sizes and Vertuo brewers boasting up to six.
There are still a few more differences between Original and Vertuo machines, including different capsule shapes, but we’ll skip right to the most important one, which is explained by Nespresso itself: Vertuo brewers are perfect for regular fresh coffee drinkers who enjoy espresso cups occasionally, and OriginalLine machines are best suited for serious espresso lovers who like to keep things pretty simple.
The Basic Features
Most Nespresso machines have a removable water tank and drip tray, and as with most modern brewing tools, these single-serve coffee machines are designed to get your coffee ready quickly. Even the brand’s lower-end machines heat up in less than 30 seconds, so you’ll be enjoying your favorite espresso beverages in no time.
Some Nespresso machines come equipped with a few extra bells and whistles. You don’t necessarily need these additional features, but if you’ve got a few extra bucks to spare on a fancier machine, it’ll certainly make your coffee routine a bit more fun.
Some of these features might include a built-in hot milk frother for topping your espresso-based drinks with a nice layer of foam, Bluetooth connectivity, and a lid that automatically opens and closes. Some Nespresso machines even handle the ejection of capsules for you, depositing used ones into a separate container!
Do Nespresso machines brew real espresso?
A devoted espresso fan might balk at the idea of using a single-serve coffee maker and coffee pods to make rich espresso. It’s not like these little coffee machines and all their brew settings could even come close to a traditional espresso machine and the bars of pressure it uses to create such flavorful and bold coffee. They don’t even make real espresso shots…or do they?
Well, that depends on what your definition of “real espresso” is. Though there isn’t a set, universally agreed-upon definition of what constitutes espresso, the consensus is that the stuff results from nearly boiling water being pushed through finely-ground coffee beans with at least nine bars of pressure. By that definition, the delicious coffee that flows from Nespresso machines is, in fact, real espresso.
It’s worth noting, however, that a cup of espresso brewed with a Nespresso machine probably won’t be as flavorful as one made with a regular espresso machine. For that reason, coffee purists quickly write Nespresso off as a mere imitation of the real thing.
At the end of the day, though, does it matter if it’s “real espresso” or not? Both Nespresso’s Vertuo and Original machines can brew pretty decent java that works well in a wide range of espresso drinks. “Real” or not, it gets the job done.
Which is better, Nespresso or Keurig?
As much as we’d love to tell you to skip out on either pod machine and opt for a brewing method with a stronger and more flavorful outcome, we understand that sometimes in life, you’re too busy to fill up a French press; sometimes, you’ve only got a few seconds to spare, and the speedy heating time of a quality pod machine is the only thing that can keep you from having to sacrifice your morning coffee.
But how do you pick the right pod brewer for you? Nespresso and Keurig are both powerhouses in the coffee world…how do you decide which one gets the honor of being your go-to coffee maker?
Ultimately, it depends on what you want your machine to do. If you’re someone who needs a wider range of coffees at your disposal, you’ll want to go the Keurig route, as there are hundreds of K-Cups out there for you to try. But if you’re someone who drinks espresso more than regular drip coffee, you’ll probably find a Nespresso machine makes more sense for you.
There are, of course, other factors you’ll need to consider when choosing between the two, like impact and price range, for example. You can read more about those in our full Nespresso versus Keurig comparison here.
Can you use a Nespresso pod twice?
If you’re searching for ways to save money on coffee drinks and products, you may be tempted to pop this morning’s Nespresso capsule back into the machine when the afternoon rolls around, and you’re ready for your second cup of the day. Can you even do that?
Sure, you can… but you really shouldn’t. Nespresso capsules are designed for just one use, which means that the second cup of coffee won’t be nearly as strong and flavorful as it should be. We’re all for saving a few bucks, but we strongly recommend finding another way to do so.
Can you use K-Cups in a Nespresso machine?
Both Keurig and Nespresso coffee makers are capsule machines that rely on pods to brew your favorite cup of coffee, so it only makes sense for you to wonder whether or not the two types of coffee capsules are interchangeable between machines.
Unfortunately, no, because K-Cups and Nespresso capsule sizes are different. Keurig’s K-Cup pods are wider and longer than Nespresso’s Vertuo or Original capsules, which means they have no chance of fitting into the Nespresso’s tiny pod receptacles.
How often do you descale a Nespresso machine?
How often you’ll need to descale your Nespresso machine depends on the model you select, and you can find the exact descaling frequency in your espresso coffee maker’s user manual. However, the general recommendation from the company is that you descale your machine at least every 600 coffees or six months.
Can I use my own coffee with Nespresso?
One of the downsides of relying on a Nespresso machine to produce your morning shot of espresso is that the variety of coffee from which you must choose isn’t the most expansive. Plus, the cost of replacing each capsule once it’s been used can begin to add up pretty quickly.
That’s why reusable capsules are worth looking into. These nifty little gadgets are usually made of metal or plastic and can be used in your machine time after time. Just fill the capsule with a few of your favorite coffee grounds, pop it into your brewer, and enjoy the outcome! Then, once your mug’s been filled, remove the capsule, discard the grounds, and wash it out, so it’s ready any time you are.
In all, Nespresso machines are great for coffee fans looking for efficiency or who are just not ready for a full-blown real espresso machine just yet. Regardless of your budget or preferences, you should be able to find a machine that suits your needs and lifestyle on our list.