Best Nespresso Machines for 2018
EXPERT AND CONSUMERS REVIEWS
With literally dozens of different types of Nespresso machines, it’s difficult to know which is going to suit you best but be assured there’s something for everyone, including every taste and all budgets. Whether you’ve only got $50 to spend or your budget runs into hundreds of dollars there’s a coffee machine that will give you a great tasting cup and last you for many years.
Now, the cheaper end of the range such as the Inissia (entry level) don’t have as many features as the more expensive machines.
For example, the higher end products come with larger water tanks and bigger capsule bins. The expensive models also offer memory programming and lots of them come with milk frothers.
The all-singing, all-dancing Nespresso machines can even memory programme your favourite type of coffees and you’ll find they’re made out of more robust, premium quality materials such as aluminium and stainless steel. Really technology-savvy machines are even operable via Bluetooth so you can order a coffee from your phone!
We will help you to make the best choice!
Nespresso – a name that most people, around the world, are very familiar with, say Nespresso and almost everyone conjures up images of coffee.
However, what else do you need to know about the brand?
It’s definitely a high-quality coffee name and one with a presence in almost every country. In this piece, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Nespresso, including the Nespresso machines, Nespresso coffee, flavors, the capsules and any advantages or disadvantages you need to know about.
BEST NESPRESSO MACHINES ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU NEED
If You’re On A Budget
The best affordable Nespresso Machine is the Essenza Mini by Breville but beware, it doesn’t have a milk frother. It has a 0.6-litre reservoir and retails at around the $140 mark (depending on where you buy it from).
- Affordable, reliable, durable and good-looking
- A new unique compact brewing unit technology
- Adjustable cup size with two programmable Espresso and Lungo buttons
- Serving temperature in 25 seconds
- Delivers up to 19 bars of pressure
Reliable, durable and good-looking, this type of espresso machine is perfect for you if you have a small kitchen or not much room for storage.
It’s also exceptionally easy to use. You simply put your espresso cup underneath the spout, insert the pod you want in its position and then select from the one cup or two cup buttons.
The machine heats up water very quickly and you’ll have a great cup of coffee ready to drink in less than two minutes. All you need to do is remove the drawer after use and empty the contents (as well as rinse it through to remove any residue).
When Money is No Object
If you’re not concerned about splashing some cash, then you should buy the Nespresso Breville Creatista machine which is one of the high-end Nespresso products and comes with a much larger 1.5 litre reservoir as well as intuitive controls and a milk frother.
- Easy to make high-quality Latte Art single serve coffees
- Ristretto, espresso, lungo, latte, cappuccino, flat white, latte macchiato options
- Automatic built-in milk frother with 8 texture levels and 11 milk temp settings
- 1.5L removable water tank
- Good, solid, reliable with a stainless milk jug and a 2 year warranty
It’s not cheap though, at around the $600 mark but it’s a good, solid, reliable coffee machine that will last you for many years to come. Well-built and interactive, it comes with an easy-to-read LED screen that offers eight different coffee types, from quick espressos to macchiato and everything in between.
The milk frother works automatically, just adjust it to the setting you want and press the button for a very frothy and creamy finish.
For Something Discreet
If you want to store your coffee machine away, choose the Wacaco Company MPNS100 Minipresso NS which is very small and comes with a tiny reservoir, enough for one cup.
- Cheap, perfect for camping/outdoor
- Very convenient, leaves no mess and easy to clean
- No need for compressed air or N2O cartridges to function
- Small, light and versatile with an innovative design
- Efficient & easy to use piston that controls the amount of extracted coffee
Great for portability, this Nespresso machine makes excellent espresso and is cheap at the price, just $50 (depending on where you buy it from).
The downside is it’s a little difficult to operate but once you’ve got to grips with it, you’ll get the process down pat. There’s no milk frother either, so you only get an espresso coffee or lungo, however, it’s delicious and it works fast.
Choose the Nespresso Lattissima One by De’Longhi which isn’t made by Nespresso but is Nespresso capsule compatible. Lattissima One comes with a mid-size reservoir with a single-serve milk frothing system.
- New innovative single-serve milk frothing system
- New model, easy to clean, good looking
- One-touch latte, cappuccino and espresso
- Ultimate coffee quality every time
- Made in Italy
Retailing at approximately $380 (depending on where you purchase it from) it’s a good-looking machine that’s actually made out of mirrored plastic (although the finish definitely looks like chrome).
Yes, it’s easy to clean but for those of you who are incredibly fussy, you’ll hate wiping it again and again! On the upside, this machine takes Nespresso pods and other pods so you can mix and match giving you a few more coffee options. Nice for a modern style kitchen it’s a cool looking machine if you want something that will gain admiring glances from your friends and family.
For When You’re In a Hurry
You’ll love the Nespresso Inissia which is a small coffee maker for those who are well, a little impatient!
It takes less than 25 seconds for the machine to heat up the water to the right temperature for good coffee and it makes a great tasting espresso or lungo that is of barista quality.
- An impeccable barista-level single serve coffee every time
- Ideal water temperature is reached in 25 seconds
- Adjustable cup size with two programmable: espresso and lungo
- Energy-saving mode
- Cheap and easy to use
It’s also large enough to make up to 9 cups at a time so if you’ve got a small gathering, it’s ideal and it can cope with small cups as well as tall cups. We love the energy saving feature and its class “A” energy efficiency rating too.
Retailing at around $120 (depending on here you buy it from) it’s easy to operate and the auto-shut off means you don’t have to worry about overheating. This one is a good, all round, convenient and fast coffee maker.
For Really Tiny Spaces
If you don’t have much space or you want something very small, you’ll like the Pixie (RRP $200 depending on retailer). As its name, its small but it’s armed with plenty of great coffee-making features such as programmable buttons so you can customise your favourite coffee drink.
- Heats-up to ideal temperature in just 25 seconds
- Very small and good-looking model
- Adjustable cup size with two programmable: espresso and lungo
- Energy-saving mode
- Cheap and easy to use and clean
It also tells you when the tank needs refilling and it can store up to 11 pods once used, so you don’t’ have to keep emptying it. It’s just 4.3” wide so it really is tiny so don’t expect it to churn out lots of coffee in one sitting!
For the Ultimate Coffee Show-Off
Choose the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Maker (at approximately $220, depending on where you buy it from) which comes with an army of features including its own milk frother.
- Exceptional barista grade freshly brewed single serve coffee
- The Aeroccino 3 milk frother is included
- Fast heat-up, easy to clean and use
- 5 different single serve coffee cup sizes (1.35, 2.7, 5, 7.7, 14 oz.)
- CentrifusionTM technology using barcodes
This one uses the Grand Cru Nespresso capsules and it’s capable of making five different cup sizes. When you purchase it, you get 12 capsules to welcome you and you get to enjoy brand new advanced technology so it creates a superior cup every time.
This coffee machine uses a special scanner to determine what coffee is to be brewed, which makes it very instinctive and it adjusts its brewer to fit perfectly. All you do is put the pod in, close the lever and wait for your coffee to arrive.
The machine can cope with lots of different cup sizes too and you can froth milk hot or cold depending on your preference. With fast heat-up and being easy to clean, it’s a great all-round coffee machine; however, some people do report that it doesn’t produce coffee at the correct temperature.
For Milky Coffee Lovers
If you like froth and milk, then choose the Nespresso D121-US4-BK-NE1 (CITIZ&MILK) Espresso Maker which comes with an Aerocccino milk frother and makes light of producing hot, milky coffee. Complete with two programmable buttons, you can make espresso or lungo drinks and it also features something called automatic flow-stop so it creates the perfect cup.
- Easy insertion and ejection of capsules
- Integrated aeroccino milk frother
- Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato and Iced Cappuccino options
- Automatic and programmable coffee volume quantity
- Water Tank Capacity: 34 oz. Container capacity: 9-11 used capsules
You just customise the one you want and it delivers.
Additionally, you’ll love the Aeroccino milk frother because it allows you to create any milk-based recipe. The coffee this machine produces is as good as, if not better than the coffee you’d get made by an experienced barista and it works super-fast as it heats up in less than 25 seconds.
The pod holder takes up to 10 used capsules so you don’t have to keep emptying it. Furthermore, the auto-shutoff is a great energy saving feature and prevents the machine from over-heating. The machine closes down after 9 minutes of idle use. Easy to clean, this one retails at approximately £150 (depending on where you buy it from).
- 1 BEST NESPRESSO MACHINES ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 Comparison table
- 3 For All Budgets
- 4 Everything You Need To Know About Nespresso
- 5 What are the Advantages of Drinking Nespresso Coffee?
- 6 PODS – What You Need To Know
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 References
For All Budgets
$100 or Less Machines
The less expensive Nespresso machines are smaller with a small water tank and capsule bin and only make one coffee at a time. They’re fine for a morning coffee or for small dinner parties but if you make multiple cups or want something that can cater for larger gatherings, they won’t work for you.
They’re pretty basic, offering one or two different size drinks and usually come without the milk frother option. Small and compact, they’re useful for small kitchens or when you’re limited in space.
$100 to $200 Machines
These mid-priced Nespresso machines usually come with the added bonus of a milk frother for cappuccino, latte and other drinks. They also have better capacity and can store your coffee preferences in their memories.
Some are Bluetooth connectable which means you can control your coffee from the comfort of your iPad or phone!
$200 + Machines
Expect a better quality machine overall, with larger capacity and lots of benefits such as a steam wand, frothing jug and LCD screens. You also get multiple temperature settings and the ability to make lots of different coffee-based drinks.
So – now you know about the different price points, which are the best Nespresso machines to buy and why?
Everything You Need To Know About Nespresso
Nespresso, by Nestle
Nespresso is owned by Nestle and their head office facility is based in Lausanne in Switzerland. The brand prides itself on quality and innovation as well as offering a premium level of customer service.
A revolutionary brand, Nespresso was responsible for introducing coffee pod technology with their innovative system that transformed how consumers made their own coffee at home. As well as manufacturing espresso and coffee machines, it also makes coffee capsules (sometimes referred to as coffee pods) for use in their own coffee machines suitable for home use or in offices and similar.
When the pods first came to market, they truly were revolutionary providing a pre-portioned single dose of ground coffee beans to make a quick, tasty cup of coffee. The pods were only really designed to work with their own technology. To use them, a consumer would simply place inside their Nespresso machine, press the button which pierced the capsule and then flooded it with heated water to prepare a cup.
Nestle positions Nespresso as not just about coffee but about the whole process. They believe coffee to be a very sensory experience, to be enjoyed and savoured. That’s one of the reasons why their technology and their coffee is so popular among consumers worldwide. A trusted brand, it’s formed a community of coffee lovers around the world and the brand is committed to a number of values including:
- Excellence in customer service
- Green coffees
- Stylish design
History of the Nespresso System
Believe it or not, the very first Nespresso system was invented in 1976 by Nestle employee Eric Favre. Inspired by observing growing queues outside a café in Rome and watching a very experienced barista prepare coffee, he thought that something could be made for home use, to speed up the coffee brewing process while still delivering a fine tasting cup of espresso.
At first, his machinery wasn’t very well-received, it was possibly too early for this type of technology to hit the market and it took a further ten years before the concept was tested in Japan in 1986. Following the success, it was introduced in Switzerland and later on the Nespresso system was rolled out to France, Italy and Japan before going global.
Nestle filed first patent protecting Nespresso capsule system in 1996, outsourced manufacturing of the machines to big names like Krups and Magimix, and kept capsules manufacturing, distribution, and customer management strictly in-house.
Nespresso does not allow the customer to purchase coffee capsule from other sources.
As a consequence, choice of flavors is limited and there is limited competitive downward pressure on capsule prices. Nespresso seeks to position the brand as an exclusive luxury good.
In 1996, Le Club (or Nespresso Club) was introduced to grow a network of coffee connoisseurs and obviously to reinforce the Nespresso Brand. The club offers a wide range of exclusive services to members including machine assistance, access to speciality coffees, easy ordering, news, discounts and of course – anything to do with coffee.
What are the Advantages of Drinking Nespresso Coffee?
So you think you’re sold on the idea of buying a Nespresso machine but you’d like to understand a little more. What is the advantage of a pod system is there an advantage? Here’s a list of what we believe to be the benefits.
- You get one cup of coffee at a time, so there’s no wastage (and no stale coffee!)
- Each little pod is filled with the exact amount of coffee that’s needed for a great tasting cup of coffee, so you don’t have to measure anything out, grind your coffee or tamp it, it’s all pre-prepared
- There’s no need to add cream or sugar (unless you particularly want to sweeten up your coffee even more!). You do need to add milk if you want to froth up into a foam and some machines don’t have a milk frother
- Machines are generally easy to use as the coffee machine does pretty much everything for you.
- Machines work fast so it’s great for you if you’re in a hurry
Ah – but what about the disadvantages? Let’s take a look at the disadvantages of drinking Nespresso coffee.
- Many people prefer to prepare their own coffee from scratch saying it is an art that they enjoy, as the Nespresso machine does it all for you, the ritual of coffee making is instantly redundant
- The machines can be difficult to clean as you have to make sure that the milk area (if there is one) is spotless to get rid of bacteria and the chrome versions leave fingerprints
- They don’t make multiple cups unless you get the largest possible machine, so if you have a dinner party it can be laborious waiting for your coffee to brew for friends
- You can sometimes feel restricted as not all pods are compatible
- The pods are expensive in comparison to bagged coffee
- Not every retailer sells the Nespresso pods so you might find that you are restricted to online ordering
- The pods are more difficult to recycle as they’re made of aluminium (still recyclable)
- The pods just aren’t as fresh as a good quality coffee that’s been hand-roasted from your favourite café or coffee provider
PODS – What You Need To Know
Now we’ve been through the advantages and disadvantages of PODS, there are a few other things that you need to know. Firstly, the best places to buy Nespresso pods or compatible pods are either online (Amazon, for example, or direct from the Nespresso website) or you can buy from specialist online coffee retailers such as Real Coffee, Gourmesso and the Fine Coffee Club.
You might find that some upmarket boutiques sell them too. Some big department stores also sell Nespresso pods. It’s rare that a supermarket stock them although some online supermarkets do (Ocado for example).
If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to buy a variety starter pack. This gives you a good introduction to the different flavours and you can quickly work out what you do and don’t like.
There are cheaper compatible pods for lots of machines but beware, sometimes something looks compatible or you might read somewhere that it is compatible but it doesn’t fit. Bear in mind that Nespresso’s pods cost around $0.70 whereas the compatible pods are sometimes 50% cheaper with Lidl’s Bellarom being the cheapest.
An average household drinking three cups of coffee a day made by Nespresso pods pays $400 a year on those capsules!
By switching to cheaper, you can save yourself $250 which is a significant amount of money. However, you might not like the flavour as much as the original pods, it’s all trial and error.
Here’s a list of those capsules that are compatible with Nespresso machines (please check before you buy):
- Pressogno capsules
- Café Royal capsules
- La Caffe Mocha capsules from Co-Op
- Cafépod (Tescom Waitrose in the UK)
- Carte Noire (online and in Tesco, UK)
- Bellarom (by Lidl)
- Caffesso (Amazon)
There’s also the recycling problem. Nespresso pods are made out of aluminium, and while it’s relatively easy to recycle there aren’t lots of aluminium recycling facilities so it has to be shipped out. The other pods are plastic easier to recycle because plastic doesn’t need to be shipped out for recycling.
To get the best from your pods, Nespresso or otherwise, always treat your machine with care and use organic or Fairtrade pods. Keep your Nespresso machine nice and clean and remember to empty the reservoir regularly as well as the pod bin. Always load the coffee pod properly and never force it.
If you feel like you’re forcing it, it’s likely not in the right place. If you can, use filtered water, you’ll get the benefits of better coffee flavour especially if you live in a hard water area. It’s also a good idea to warm your machine up before use. This helps with smooth operation including piercing the pod.
What are the best Nespresso Flavors?
My personal bests are:
- Ristretto: full-bodied, a great intense espresso. Those who don’t like espresso will not like this. Intensity:10
- Roma: Very natural, easy for everybody, sweet and woody notes and a full lasting taste. Intensity:8
- Indriya: A different version of Ristretto. Spicy pepper, nutmeg and clove notes. Intensity:10
- Rosabaya: Very aromatic, light with a strong flavor that is not too bitter, and has enough interesting flavour notes. Intensity:6
Once again, the decision is up to you, and according to the time you are having your coffee.
All Nespresso Flavors
- Livanto – ROUND AND BALANCED – Intensity: 6:
A pure Arabica from South and Central America, Livanto is a well-balanced espresso characterized by a roasted caramelized note.
- Capriccio – RICH AND DISTINCTIVE – Intensity: 5:
Blending South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta, Capriccio is an espresso with a rich aroma and a strong typical cereal note.
- Volluto – SWEET AND LIGHT – Intensity: 4:
A pure and lightly roasted Arabica from South America, Volluto reveals sweet and biscuity flavours, reinforced by a little acidity and a fruity note.
- Cosi – LIGHT AND LEMONY – Intensity: 3:
Pure, lightly roasted East African, Central and South American Arabicas make Cosi a light-bodied espresso with refreshing citrus notes.
- Ristretto – POWERFUL AND CONTRASTING – Intensity: 10:
A blend of South American and East African Arabicas, with a touch of Robusta, roasted separately to create the subtle fruity note of this full-bodied, intense espresso.
- Arpeggio – INTENSE AND CREAMY – Intensity: 9:
A dark roast of pure South and Central American Arabicas, Arpeggio has a strong character and intense body, enhanced by cocoa notes.
- Roma – FULL AND BALANCED – Intensity: 8:
The balance of lightly roasted South and Central American Arabicas with Robusta gives Roma sweet and woody notes and a full, long lasting taste on the palate.
- Kazaar – EXCEPTIONALLY INTENSE AND SYRUPY – Intensity: 12:
A daring blend of two Robustas from Brazil and Guatemala, specially prepared for Nespresso, and a separately roasted Arabica from South America, Kazaar is a coffee of exceptional intensity. Its powerful bitterness and notes of pepper are balanced by a full and creamy texture.
- Dharkan – LONG ROASTED AND VELVETY – Intensity: 11:
This blend of Arabicas from Latin America and Asia fully unveils its character thanks to the technique of long roasting at a low temperature. Its powerful personality reveals intense roasted notes together with hints of bitter cocoa powder and toasted cereals that express themselves in a silky and velvety texture.
- Indriya from India – POWERFUL AND SPICY – Intensity: 10:
Indryia from India is the noble marriage of Arabicas with a hint of Robusta from southern India. It is a full-bodied espresso, which has a distinct personality with notes of spices.
- Rosabaya de Colombia – FRUITY AND BALANCED – Intensity: 6:
This blend of fine, individually roasted Colombian Arabicas, develops a subtle acidity with typical red fruit and winey notes.
- Dulsão do Brasil – SWEET AND SATINY SMOOTH – Intensity: 4:
A pure Arabica coffee, Dulsão do Brasil is a delicate blend of red and yellow Bourbon beans from Brazil. Its satiny smooth, elegantly balanced flavour is enhanced with a note of delicately toasted grain.
- Fortissio Lungo – RICH AND INTENSE – Intensity: 7:
Made from Central and South American Arabicas with just a hint of Robusta, Fortissio Lungo is an intense full-bodied blend with bitterness, which develops notes of dark roasted beans.
- Vivalto Lungo – COMPLEX AND BALANCED – Intensity: 4:
Vivalto Lungo is a balanced coffee made from a complex blend of separately roasted South American and East African Arabicas, combining roasted and subtle floral notes.
- Linizio Lungo – ROUND AND SMOOTH – Intensity: 4:
Mild and well-rounded on the palate, Linizio Lungo is a blend of fine Arabicas enhancing malt and cereal notes.
- Decaffeinato Intenso – DENSE AND POWERFUL – Intensity: 7:
Dark roasted South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta bring out the subtle cocoa and roasted cereal notes of this full-bodied decaffeinated espresso.
- Decaffeinato Lungo – LIGHT AND FULL-FLAVOURED – Intensity: 3:
The slow roasting of this blend of South American Arabicas with a touch of Robusta gives Decaffeinato Lungo a smooth, creamy body and roasted cereal flavour.
- Decaffeinato – FRUITY AND DELICATE – Intensity: 2:
A blend of South American Arabicas reinforced with just a touch of Robusta and lightly roasted to reveal an aroma of red fruit.
- Ciocattino – CHOCOLATE FLAVOURED – Intensity 6:
Dark and bitter chocolate notes meet the caramelized roast of the Livanto Grand Cru. A rich combination reminiscent of a square of dark chocolate.
- Vanilio – VANILLA FLAVOURED – Intensity 6:
A balanced harmony between the rich and the velvety aromas of vanilla and the mellow flavour of the Livanto Grand Cru. A blend distinguished by its full flavour, infinitely smooth and silky on the palate.
- Caramelito – CARAMEL FLAVOURED – Intensity 6:
The sweet flavour of caramel softens the roasted notes of the Livanto Grand Cru. This delicate gourmet marriage evokes the creaminess of soft toffee.
Are Nespresso capsules expensive?
For example, the Nespresso Ristretto costs $9.99 for 10 espresso capsules, or 0,99 each and knowing that average Nespresso capsule contains 5 grams of coffee, will cost you about $95 a pound. An exclusive single-origin espresso costs $19 for a 12-ounce bag, or about $25 a pound. In addition, an espresso cup from a café usually has 11 grams while the capsules ranged from 5 to 5.8 grams, so you need more pods to get your normal dose of caffeine.
SO YES, THEY ARE VERY EXPENSIVE
|Nespresso®||Artizan||Cafeliegeois||Hiline||Kiss me Organics||Rosso||Spresso Luxe|
|Number of blends||24||7||11||20||5||16||5|
|Fairtrade coffees||NO||YES - 7||YES - 4||YES - 1||NO||NO||NO|
|Intensity||3 to 12||6 to 10||3 to 10||1 to 10||NO||4 to 12||4 to 8|
|Avg. capsule price (All blends)||$0.72||$0.70||$0.59||$0.64||$0.47||$0.55||$0.45|
In conclusion, Nespresso is a well-respected worldwide coffee brand that keeps introducing new flavours, machines and technology. However, the capsules are expensive but if you know where to shop for cheaper, compatible capsules then you can make a significant saving. In general, the coffee that their machines make is absolutely delicious and there are lots of great choices too (in machines and pods).
Beware of buying something that doesn’t make multiple cups if you entertain lots of friends but on the whole, purchasing a Nespresso coffee machine opens up a world of great tasting coffee convenience and it’s fun trying out new flavours.
The added bonus of joining the Nespresso Club gives you a sense of community where you can try out new ideas, get access to exclusive coffee information and share your own experiences.
- https://www.nespresso.com/us/en/ – Nestlé Nespresso S.A. official website
- https://www.nytimes.com/ – The New York Times
Société des Produits Nestlé S. A. Vevey
- http://www.delonghi.com/en-au/products/coffee/coffee-makers/nespresso-system – De’Longhi official website
- http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35605927 – Is there a serious problem with coffee capsules? – BBC.com
About the Author
As an avid coffee enthusiast, I know how difficult it can be to find the best coffee maker. With so many different varieties and styles it can often be confusing to find the one that’s right for you. Especially if you’re new to the coffee game. That’s exactly why I’ve designed Coffee Corner to guide you through the process and hopefully help you make a decision on what to buy.
Last update on 2018-08-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API