Are you tired of driving to Starbucks in the morning to get your caffeine fix? Do you own an espresso machine and are simply overwhelmed with all of the extra work that goes into a making a simple drink? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could fill your espresso machine with water and simply click a button to see alluring espresso pouring into your cup?
Many machines require buying high quality coffee beans, grinding the beans, tamping the ground espresso, and pressing several buttons—all to have the exact same result that the Nespresso gives you with a lot less effort. The result: a tempting espresso shot. Not only do these machines provide efficiency, they also offer high quality and delicious tasting beverages. Most machines also take up a lot less counter space than that bulky, dusty espresso machine sitting on your kitchen counter. Nespresso has perfected a flawless, compact, and simple design that is easy to use. All you do with a Nespresso is fill the water reservoir, pop in a coffee pod, and press the corresponding button. If you are you are just starting out, a Nespresso may be the right choice for you. Nespresso also offers a recycling program for more eco-friendly users.
The Best Pick
Choosing the best Nespresso machine causes quite a conundrum. When you are talking Nespresso machines, any choice is better than most competitors. When it comes down to it, all Nespresso machines work quickly and efficiently. They are all high quality machines. But, there is one machine that gives you the most bang for your buck and is truly the gem of them all— the Nespresso Inissia. Coming in at under $100, you get a lot for your money with this little powerhouse. The Innisia has a 19 pump bar, ensuring quality espresso shots every time. It can also hold up to 11 used espresso capsules. The crema is so perfect that you don’t even need to add milk. (but you can if you insist)
The Innisia machine is made of durable plastic and comes in various colors, which makes it easy to match your kitchen or style preference. Some may prefer a sleeker look for their machine, but for the daily user such as myself, the Innisia is perfect. This machine has no stainless steel to wipe down. (or anything shiny for that matter) Those shiny machines look great until you use them for a few weeks, when they start showing those unsightly splash marks. This machine is easy to clean and that makes it perfect for the daily espresso drinker.
Types of Machines
Capsule coffee machines or single serve brewers started becoming popular with the Keurig, several years ago. Technically, the Nespresso is within the category of semiautomatic espresso machines, although it is more of a capsule coffee machine. Although it is semiautomatic, it differs from other semiautomatic machines because it uses a capsule. Coffee makers are usually a one or two button and done type of machine, but espresso machines historically require a little more work. Espresso machines are also notorious for being messy, expensive, and time consuming. Some machines take time to warm up, while others are huge, taking over your whole kitchen counter. Some are so expensive that you need a small loan to purchase them. In an effort to simplify the process, Nespresso started making capsule espresso machines.
The two main types of Nespresso machines are the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine. The OriginalLine machines are all espresso-based and only produce espresso drinks. The VertuoLine machines produce both coffee and espresso-based drinks and make two different size capsules to distinguish between the two options.
There are also Nespresso milk frothers that are integrated into both the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine machines. Of course this makes the machine take up a larger footprint, but the milk frothers are excellent for making cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos. The OriginalLine and the VertuoLine models also have varieties that come with a detached milk frother, which is what I would suggest if you are a latte or cappuccino drinker. There are also specialty Nespresso machines that are not as popular, but are definitely worth considering.
How to Choose the Best Machine for Your Needs
The right machine for you really depends on your preference and how many people in your household are coffee drinkers. If you have more than one espresso or latte consumer in your household, you may want to try the Nespresso Citiz. The Citiz has a larger water reservoir, which makes a huge difference when serving multiple users. If your household has an espresso drinker and a coffee drinker, a VertuoLine machine would be more suitable.
One handy feature of the OriginalLine Pixie machine is the LED water level indicator. If you are willing to pay more, Nespresso machines are available with added features such as milk frothers and more capacity.
If there are several coffee drinkers in your household, you may want to invest in a more expensive machine that has all the options. The VertuoLine machines have larger water tanks and larger capacities for pods, although the customer reviews are mixed as far as quality of the espresso and coffee are concerned.
Most Significant Features To Look for in a Nespresso Machine
There are many significant options to look for when choosing a Nespresso machine. Depending on your price range and preferences, you can choose the perfect machine to suit your tastes. Like most espresso machines, more money gets you more bells and whistles. How much counter space are you truly willing to give up in order to get a quality espresso? Do you want to make espressos or espresso and coffee drinks? What is your budget? These are all important questions to ask yourself while searching for the perfect Nespresso machine.
Is the water capacity on your machine a deal breaker? The water capacity in the Nespresso machines varies from 23.8 ounces up to 54 ounces. If you drink coffees or Lungo shots, you would definitely want to choose a machine that has a larger water capacity, so that you are not constantly refilling the water. If you are single every day espresso drinker, the water capacity may not be a deal breaker to you.
What about the capsule container holder? If there are several coffee drinkers in your household, you may want to go with a machine that has a larger capacity for used capsules. The Innisia has a capacity of 8 used capsules while the VertuoLine Evoluo Deluxe holds 17 used capsules in its container.
Does size really matter? Nespresso machines come in a variety of weights, styles, and sizes. The smallest machine is the Innisia coming in at 4.6 inches wide, 9.1 inches high, and weighing in at 5.39 pounds. If you are looking for a compact machine, Innisia is the choice for you. The Kitchen Aid Nespresso model is the largest Nespresso machine measuring 8.2 inches wide, 12.9 inches high and weighing in at 19 pounds.
Cost of Pods
The main differences between the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine machines are the two different styles of pods. The OriginalLine offers two different espresso shots: the espresso and lungo. The espresso shot is shorter and has its own specific capsule. The lungo also has its own capsule specifically designed for the lungo button on the machine. The VertuoLine has two different styles of pods as well, the espresso and the coffee capsule. Coffee capsules for the VertuoLine machine are $1.10 each, while espresso capsules for the VertuoLine machine are $0.85 per capsule. The OriginalLine espresso capsules vary between $0.70 to $0.75.
Some machines are available with an integrated milk frother, which could make your life a breeze. If you are an avid latte or cappuccino drinker, would you prefer a integrated milk frother or a stand alone frother that can be easily rinsed out in the sink? I know I prefer to have a stand-alone frother. My Nespresso Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother can be cleaned out quickly in the sink and I don’t have to worry about cleaning out smelly milk days later from my machine.
The Pixie machine and the Prodigio Nespresso machine offer low water alert. The Prodigio is also Bluetooth compatible, offering scheduled brewing. Several machines also offer a descaling alarm, making cleaning easy. If you can afford a more expensive model, the Lattisima Pro offers semi-automatic cleaning, digital display, and built-in milk frother.
Advantages of this machine type
There are so many advantages to a capsule style coffee maker. After the machine is purchased, the only thing that you have to continue to purchase are the coffee capsules. The Nespresso line also offers online ordering right to your doorstep. If online ordering isn’t your style, you can also pick up the phone and engage in old school style phone ordering. What? No more late night trips to the store when you run out of coffee! No more buying coffee beans, grinders, or filters.
Another huge benefit of capsule style makers is the lack of mess. You no longer have to clean your glass carafe or the inside of your machine as often. No more lingering coffee grounds all over your counter top!
Although the cleaning is minimal with Nespresso machines, cleaning is still necessary. The tray needs to be cleaned regularly or it will become moldy (Opps, I know for a fact that this will happen if it goes too long without being cleaned). Cleaning the machine is as easy as running hot water through the machine after you’re done to ensure no oils or grounds are building up. I would recommend also descaling every month or so.
Another huge advantage of the Nespresso machine is that they all have auto shut offs. I cannot tell you how many times I have left a coffee or espresso machine on, just to come home to the smell of burnt coffee. Leaving a machine on may just burn some old coffee grounds, or it may break the machine all together.
Disadvantages of This Machine Type
One of the main disadvantages of this machine is the fact that they can be loud while they are running. The machine only runs for around 30 seconds, so it does not really bother me but it may be annoying to some people. They are not as noisy as competitors, but these little machines can be pretty startling the first few times you press the start button. The more expensive and bulky Nespresso machines are not as loud as the more compact machines.
Another disadvantage of these machines is that they only accept coffee capsules. Once you are out of capsules, you must order more and there are only a limited number of stores that carry Nespresso capsules. The main way to purchase the capsules is online through the Nespresso website or on other retailers such as Amazon. There are some alternatives out there for reusable or refillable coffee capsules. This allows you to have the ability to use your own coffee. I would not recommend using these because they are still costly, and they can break your machine or cause issues down the road.
The last major disadvantage that I see with the Nespresso machines is exclusivity. If you don’t like any of the varieties of coffee blends that are available, you are out of luck. Ultimately, there are many different options of capsules, but this is certainly a drawback to keep in mind.
Nespresso vs. Competitors
The largest and most comparable to the Nespresso VertuoLine machines are the Keuirg machines. The Keurig machines are similar in the way that they make servings of gourmet and premium coffees. Keurig machines use a similar coffee pod and water reservoir system. The Keurig machines also only use one style of “K-Cups” while Nespresso offers several different styles that correlate to the different machines. The Keurig does not offer espresso.
Although there is only one style of “K-Cup”, the K-cups have tea and hot chocolate options, which Nespresso does not currently offer. Keurig machines run from $100-$300, which is similar to Nespresso machines. Nespresso also offers a recycling program, which Keurig does not. Nespresso mainly brews coffee and espresso and does not offer any other types of beverages. While these two machines have similarities in certain aspects, they are very different in the fact that Nespresso machines are a lot more high tech. Nespresso has higher quality coffee offered as well as higher ratings throughout Amazon.
The Verismo is the primary competitor for the Nespresso OriginalLine machines. The Verismo makes espresso and coffee. There are espresso and coffee pods made specifically for the Verismo machine, similar to Nespresso. The Verismo heats up more quickly than the Nespresso. These machines are also available with milk frothers, similar to the Nespresso machines.
The Verismo offers more variety when it comes to their pods. You can purchase tea or milk pods along with the traditional coffee options, which is a huge plus for people who may not always want fresh milk with their morning latte. A Verismo has 19 bar pressure as well and is slightly more affordable at $149 for the base model with no milk frother. Although the Verismo is less expensive, the capsules cost more than the Nespresso capsules. Another positive about the Verismo machine is that most Starbucks locations sell capsules, making buying capsules far more convenient compared to having to order Nespresso capsules online.
What you get with a Nespresso machine is quality and reliability. The Nespresso does not have options for milk capsules or tea capsules, but we are talking specialized espresso machines here, not standard coffee makers. For around the same price as a Keurig, you can purchase a machine that makes coffee and espresso! If you are looking for a real Italian quality espresso shot, it will not come from the Verismo V or the Keurig for that matter. The Nespresso is first in its kind and will continue to be a leader in the market.
Why Trust Me?
I have researched Amazon for hours and searched various coffee appliance stores online and in person for the best and most reliable Nespresso machine. I have also personally surveyed family members and friends who have all agreed that the Nespresso Inissia machine is the best of its kind. Recently, my mother commented on how I should purchase extra Nespresso “pods” for the next time she visits me. She stated that Nespresso is the closest to Italian coffee she has had since actually being in Italy. I think I’ve created a Nespresso monster!
I have personally owned every Keurig, several high-end espresso makers, and standard drip coffee makers. My Nespresso Inissia has blown all of the competition out of the water. There are many options out there for Nespresso machines, but none are as reliable, compact, and trustworthy as the Innisia. I’m not the best at taking care of my coffee and espresso machines. This may be why I have had so many over the years. I can attest to the Innisia being low maintenance, as I have only cleaned out the tray and occasionally descaled and it has lasted over 3 years. It is still producing excellent coffee and saving me from those ever increasing Starbucks prices!
How We Selected the Best
After carefully researching and reading about the differences between all of the different Nespresso machines, the Innisia is a no-brainer. I went into selecting the best machine ever so slightly biased, as I do own one myself. I focused on price, reliability, and reviews. The Innisia has 1,279 almost 5 star reviews on Amazon and 131 4.6/5 reviews on the Nespresso website. Sometimes, products get better and more reliable after newer models become available and sometimes the most basic is the best and most reliable option.
While taking all of these factors into consideration, and comparing the prices and the options on the different Nespresso models available, the Innisia is the top pick. While it is great to have the different options like the Citiz, which has a larger water tank, or the Nespresso Pixie, which has LED low water indicator that turns on only when the water level is low, these are not necessary for the average person. Quite frankly, if you are interested in an affordable espresso machine that is quick, affordable, and reliable, the Innisia is the right choice for you.
Best Nespresso Picks
The Best Overall Choice
The best Nespresso machine for making espressos is the Innisia. The Innisia is currently under $100 on Amazon. It is available in a variety of colors and also has an option to come with a free-standing milk frother, which is awesome if you are a latte connoisseur. For a daily espresso drinker, the Innisia is easy to clean and low maintenance. As stated by Carl Guthrie Weissman, if you have no patience for a normal espresso machine and want to make decent espresso at home, the Nespresso Innissia is for you (The Best Espresso Machine, Grinder, and Accessories for Beginners).
The machine itself is slender and narrow. It has a perforated removable drip tray, an internal bin for used pods, and it is extremely easy to empty the drip tray. There are only two buttons on the entire machine, the espresso button, which has the smaller cup diagram on the button and the lungo button, which has a slightly larger cup on it. You can press either and the machine will turn on and buttons will start flashing.
After waiting around 25 seconds, you are ready to place a capsule in the machine by rotating the bar upwards and inserting the capsule into the slot. After the bar is returned, you simply press either button and you’re in business.
All in all- the Innisia is a great little machine that is worth every penny. It’s portable, takes a very small amount of counter space, and is perfect for Nespresso first-timers.
The negatives About the Innisia
The instruction booklet included with the Innisia is full of diagrams and is not the easiest to follow. I have to admit the first time I used the Innisia, it was not very easy to figure out how to get the coffee flowing. Essentially, the instruction booklet makes the machine seem a lot harder to work than it really is. Once you start pressing the buttons on top of the machine and fiddling around with it, the machine is very simple and easy to program.
The only real negative about the machine is also a positive—its size. The size is great for a starter or a person who has a small kitchen. The size of this machine also has drawbacks: the size of the capsule container and the size of the water tank. Both are on the smaller side.
Runner Up: Nespresso Citiz
The Nespresso Citiz is available in three different varieties. One option comes as a stand-alone machine with no milk frother, another is available with a milk frother attached, and the third option comes with a detached milk frother. The options with milk frothers are more expensive. The Citiz has a 34-ounce water tank, which is a great option if you have more than one espresso drinker in your household, or if you don’t want to change the water as often as if you had the Innisia or Pixie. The Nespresso Citiz offers an espresso or lungo size espresso, similar to the Innisia and Pixie models.
The reason why the Citiz is the runner up is because of the size and price point. It is a strong contender, with 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The Citiz is currently selling on Amazon the for under $189. One negative that some consumers have stated in reviews is that the water reservoir on their Citiz leaked. This wasn’t a common issue on any of the other Nespresso machines, but it is definitely an issue worth noting for the Citiz.
The Nespresso Pixie has the great compact design aspects of the Innisia plus additional options that the Innisia does not have. This machine is fully-automatic, just like its other Nespresso models. The most unique feature on the Nespresso Pixie is the LED low water indicator. Essentially, when the water tank is almost empty, the machine lights up red, warning you that the water needs to be refilled. Other features on the machine include: auto power-off, removable water container, used capsule container, and convenient power cord storage. The pump pressure for the Pixie is 19 bars, which ensures excellent crema. The pump pressure also ensures that your shots continue to meet your taste expectations.
The Nespresso Pixie is currently for sale on Amazon for $163.21.
The Nespresso Prodigio is the first Bluetooth-connected Nespresso machine. This machine has the ability to connect to your phone. You can brew remotely, schedule a brew time for the future, receive machine alerts, and manage your Nespresso stash so that you never run out of capsules. The Prodigio heats up in 25 seconds, which is slightly longer than some of the other Nespresso models. Although it does take slightly longer to heat up, this machine allows three different espresso shot sizes: ristretto, espresso, and lungo. The Prodigio also holds a massive 19 capsules in its capsule container.
This machine also has an innovative rotating water tank, making kitchen adaptability easier than ever before. No other Nespresso machines offer this option. This machine also has super handy maintenance alerts for when your capsule container is full, when your machine needs descaling, and when the water tank needs to be refilled.
With all of these revolutionary options, I bet you are wondering why this machine isn’t at the top of the list. Well, the reviews are somewhat all over the map on this machine. On the Nespresso website, there are multiple complaints about connectivity issues, maintenance issues, and overall durability. The Amazon reviews however, are a little more promising, coming in around 4 out of 5 compared to the Nespresso website where the machine scored a disappointing 3.3 out of 5. The Prodigio may be simply a case of trying to do too much and not perfecting the model. I have high hopes that a more refined model will come out later on when they have worked out all of the kinks.
The Prodigio is currently for sale on Amazon for $143.
Switching gears, the Evoluo Deluxe is the best option if you would prefer having a Nespresso machine that makes both coffee and espresso. The Evoluo is the second generation of the VertuoLine. The reviews for this machine on Amazon are a 4 out of 5. One of the best things about this machine is its large capacity for capsules. It can hold 17 capsules in it’s removable container. This machine currently costs from $130 to $190 depending on your color preference. It machine also only takes 15 seconds to heat up, which is slightly faster than its OriginalLine counterparts.
The Evoluo Deluxe comes with a larger water tank than the VertuoLine. The Deluxe comes in a variety of colors. The Evoluo isn’t covered in chrome like the original VertuoLine. People who prefer a hotter coffee temperature may prefer the Evoluo, compared to the original Vertuoline, which tends to brew from 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the Evoluo. The drip tray is moveable on the Evoluo, offering four different heights to hold your cup.
One of the biggest negatives with the Evoluo is the fact that the machine vibrates, causing your cup to move around. This issue can be eliminated with a heavier mug, but if you like using Bodum glasses or light cups, they may move around. Another negative is that even if you are purchasing the machine for coffee and espresso, the espresso brew is not as high of quality as the OriginalLine. There are also not nearly as many espresso capsule options for these machines. The VertuoLine is an affordable way to bring espresso making to your kitchen.
The Evoluo Deluxe can be purchased on Amazon for $171.
Best Nespresso Premium Pick: The Lattissima Pro
If money were not a factor, I would definitely recommend the Lattissima Pro. This is another OriginalLine Nespresso machine aimed towards espresso only. The Lattissima Pro has a digital touch screen display, descaling alert, semi-automatic cleaning, and programmable water hardness settings. Most of us do not really need all of these options, but they are great to have. The Lattisima may require additional cleaning due to the milk container compared to the normal Nespresso machines, so if you do not want to spend much time cleaning your machine, this may not be the right choice for you.
The Lattisima Pro is essentially the Lattisima plus with more features. The Pro has 7 programmable buttons in addition to the traditional espresso and lungo options. The removable water tank has a decent capacity of 44 ounces. Basically, with the touch of a few buttons, you can have a 2% latte with an extra shot. The machine even has semi-automatic daily cleaning, making your life even easier!
The Lattissima Pro is currently for sale on Amazon for $572.50.
One of the best things to invest in that compliment a Nespresso machine is an automatic milk frother. I originally purchased my Inissia machine with the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus milk frother, but it quickly broke. I exchanged it for another, which broke again a few months later. I contacted Nespresso customer service and they sent me a replacement frother very quickly but I would not recommend it based on my experience and the numerous other reviews on Amazon stating the extact same thing: the frother does not last long. It is a great product that works well, unfortunately, until it stops working.
The current Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother is around $120 and has 3.5 stars on the Nespresso website. For around $40 you can purchase an Epica Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Heater Carafe on Amazon. The Epica milk frother makes hot and cold drinks and has a 2-year warranty. On Amazon, the Epica has over 4,000 reviews averaging at around 4.5 stars. The Epica milk frother seems like a much better bang for your buck compared to the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frothers.
Bodum glass cups are another accessory that I would recommend purchasing. They are visually appealing and have multiple great features. They are lightweight, thermal, and have a 2-layer construction that resists heat and prevents condensation. Bodum glasses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be used for cold and hot drinks, which makes them a staple for any coffee expert. You can purchase Bodum Double Wall 12 ounce glasses on Amazon for $19.99.
Another great accessory to have on hand are the organized drawers that are available on Amazon. If you’re like me and you have limited space in your kitchen drawers, these make a huge difference. They also act as a stand for your machine. A basic storage drawer costs around $15.
Other Machines That Deserve Consideration
If you are a fan of the Nespresso, but would prefer to do a little work and money isn’t really an issue, Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville may be perfect for you. The Nespresso Creatista Plus combines Nespresso, technology, and Breville milk frothing technology in a sleek silver machine. The Creatista Plus has a steam wand where you actually steam your own milk, but still contains the original Nespresso capsules for a great combination. You can purchase the Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville on Amazon for $599.
The Kitchenaid Nespresso may also be a great option for you if you’re not in the budget market for a Nespresso machine and don’t mind a larger machine. The Kitchenaid Nespresso comes in several different color options. It offers 6 different shots instead of the traditional 2 different espresso sizes. The Kitchenaid is available for $399 on amazon.
The Final Word
Finally, considering the cost of the Nespresso compared to other semiautomatic espresso makers, any Nespresso would make a good investment. I don’t know about you, but the last thing that I want to do in the morning is fiddle around with my espresso maker. I want to press a button or two and have my latte ready to go so I can head into work.
The Innisia is a safe choice if you are relatively new to espresso making or are simply trying to cut your local coffee shop addiction off. Nespresso machines are sleek and compact and do not take much space on your kitchen counter, making them a great invention. They remind me of Apple computers-very smooth and modern.
Cale Guthrie Weissman The Best Espresso Machine, Grinder, and Accessories for Beginners. The SweetHome. May 6, 2016
Espresso On Demand: The five best Nespresso machines. (2016, September 10). Retrieved February 05, 2017, from http://www.digitaltrends.com/buying-guides/best-nespresso-espresso-machines/