Nespresso machines are quite possibly some of the most well-marketed and appealing machines in the espresso industry. Images of Georgy Clooney suavely sipping a steaming cup of coffee come to mind when you think of Nespresso.
But marketing aside…
- 1 Is Nespresso worth it, really?
- 2 Why You Should Buy a Nespresso Machine
- 3 Why You Should Not Buy a Nespresso Machine
- 4 Is Nespresso better than Keurig?
- 5 Is Nespresso as good as real espresso?
- 6 Conclusion
Is Nespresso worth it, really?
Yes, a Nespresso is worth it if you wish to have great tasting espresso without the going through effort and learning curve involved in pulling a shot. If you’re willing to take the time to learn and brew espresso manually, then you can save some money by opting for a regular espresso machine instead.
The best way to help you figure this out is to explore the pros and cons of Nespresso coffee machines and that should help you make an informed decision. As you’ll see, the answer is not quite black and white.
Why You Should Buy a Nespresso Machine
The biggest advantage Nespresso machines have over all other espresso machines is convenience. Making espresso style coffee at home is quite an effort. But just by popping in a Nespresso pod and pressing a button, you can have great tasting, espresso-style coffee in minutes.
A true espresso shot requires grinding, tamping, and finally pulling the shot. You could use pre-ground espresso, but the result would not be the same as grinding yourself.
Plus there is a lot of tweaking and tinkering involved in order to perfect your shot.
The Nespresso machine takes all the guesswork out of brewing great espresso. Just pop in a capsule, press the brew button, and you’ll get a nice, thick, creamy espresso topped with a thick layer of gorgeous crema.
Using a traditional espresso machine requires quite a lot of work to pull this kind of shot by hand. You can get a shot of espresso with a Nespresso machine in a little under a minute.
If you’re into milk-based coffee drinks, like cappuccinos and lattes, there are also Vertuo machines, like the Nespresso Creatista, which have a milk frother built in.
People judge worth by both time and money. The time savings makes a Nespresso machine worth it.
Another huge advantage of Nespresso is the wide variety of beverages you can try. While you can probably source a wider variety from local coffee roasters, you’d have to buy an entire bag of coffee beans of at least 8 to 10 ounces.
With Nespresso, you can just pick up a sampler of their different flavors and you’ll get a wide range of coffee pods you can try and switch around without worrying too much about your coffee going stale.
This brings me to another advantage which kind of fits under variety: Nespresso capsules are packaged in such a way that the coffee does not go stale very easily since the coffee grounds are packed with nitrogen to prevent any oxidation.
So you can even leave a pod lying around for a while and it won’t go stale (unless it’s well beyond the expiration date, of course).
Nespresso offers a lineup of flavors that you can try, and there are plenty of roasters that make Original Line compatible capsules that you can also try. Those capsules are cheaper, too.
You won’t get bored of a particular coffee anytime soon!
Since there is very little guesswork involved in pulling an espresso shot from a Nespresso machine, the taste will be consistent.
Detractors will say that Nespresso is not real coffee since all the “work” that goes into making coffee is conveniently avoided, and there is some truth to that.
However, there is no denying that Nespresso makes great tasting coffee. To be able to brew such good espresso without much effort on your part is a huge plus point.
It would require quite a learning curve to get this kind of espresso from a home machine, especially if you were a beginner.
Why is nespresso so good? Since the pods are all packaged under quite strict guidelines and processes, the taste from one drink to the next will also remain very consistent, since there are almost no variables.
There’s also a lot of choice from the spectrum of roasts: Nespresso has light roasts, medium roasts, and dark roasts, so there’s something for everyone.
Cleanup for Nespresso machines is almost non-existent, unlike traditional espresso machines that require extensive cleaning and regular maintenance.
With this machine, there is no need to deal with grinding and tamping coffee, cleaning up spillage and coffee grounds. The Nespresso machine requires little to no cleanup after each use.
Regular descaling maintenance is recommended, but it only needs to be done once every few months.
This convenience allows coffee enthusiasts to enjoy their favorite brew without the added stress of cleaning up afterwards. By embracing the effortless perfection of Nespresso, users can indulge in a hassle-free coffee experience.
Why You Should Not Buy a Nespresso Machine
Cost of machines
Nespresso machines are expensive! They cost quite a bit more than a typical home espresso machine. The cheapest Nespresso machine starts at around $150-200.
That’s quite an upfront investment, especially when you consider the cost of the coffee pods.
Another disadvantage of Nespresso is that most machines (all the original line of machines) will only make ristretto, espresso, and lungo. So if you buy a Nespresso machine, you’re pretty much locked into only drinking espresso.
The newer Nespresso Vertuo line machines have a slightly wider variety of beverage sizes to give more variety in your coffee drinks. But both the machines and the pods cost more.
This is especially true if the machine you get does not have a milk frother built in, or does not come packaged with the Aeroccino frother.
Getting the Aeroccino is an extra cost!
With a typical espresso machine, you’ll get a frothing wand built in. So at the very least, you’re equipped from day one to make not only espresso, but also cappuccino and latte.
Note: many manufacturers make Nespresso pod compatible machines which still extract decent coffee.
Cost of pods
Nespresso coffee is expensive! Each pod is around $0.70-$0.90, which is very expensive! If your household drinks 4 cups of coffee per day, your monthly coffee cost would be between $80-120.
That’s still much cheaper than buying coffee from a coffee shop, but brewing coffee at home in a regular coffee maker or indeed an espresso maker is still much cheaper per cup.
To save on coffee pods, you can try Nespresso compatible capsules, but that too only for OriginalLine machines. Others advocate for reusing spent coffee pods, which is also a “meh” idea.
Finally, you can also opt for reusable pods, but then you’d have to stick to buying stale powdered espresso or go through the grinding and measuring process at home.
Also read: 10 Best Nespresso Compatible Capsules
Every cup of coffee from a Nespresso machine results in a discarded pod. There are some hacks to reuse pods from other pod machines, but it’s very hard to reuse Nespresso pods.
Nespresso pods are made of aluminum, so you can recycle them by sending them back to Nespresso.
However, if you throw them in the trash, that’s a lot of extra material in landfills that could have been avoided.
Also, Nespresso is owned by the Nestle corporation, and many folks prefer to boycott them for their shady business practices.
Is Nespresso better than Keurig?
Nespresso is meant for making espresso. Keurigs do not make espresso. So if espresso is the coffee you’re looking for, Nespresso is better than Keurig. However, Keurig has an overall wider variety of beverages you can brew with it.
Is Nespresso as good as real espresso?
As far as beginners and even intermediate espresso enthusiasts are concerned, Nespresso is as good as real espresso. Professionals may turn up their noses and feel they can hand-pull a better shot, but for most of us, Nespresso is just as good. It just costs a lot more, that’s all.
To conclude the debate of whether Nespresso is worth the investment, you should ask yourself if you’re willing to pay for convenience. There is no doubt that the single serve Nespresso system is a way to make coffee in very little time and with very little effort.
However, the cost of the machine and the cost of the pods slowly adds up. I have tasted Nespresso on many occasions and I’ve been tempted to pick up a machine myself. But the pods are prohibitively expensive where I live.
There’s no denying that the cups of coffee made by these espresso machines are superb, though.
So ask yourself: are you willing to shell out a little extra cash to be able to enjoy convenient, quick, and good tasting espresso?