You’ve probably had coffee from one of these machines at some point. And you might wonder if your kitchen is truly complete without a shiny Nespresso coffee maker sitting on the counter.
As a regular coffee drinker, you’ve looked into fast and convenient ways of brewing coffee. But when you’ve checked the price tag on the machine and the boxes of pods, you’ve wondered if a Nespresso is worth the cost and if you should buy one.
Is a Nespresso machine worth it In 2023?
Let’s go over the ins and outs of Nespresso machines and the pods, frothers, and other accessories that come with them.
Quick Answer: Is Nespresso Worth It?
Single-serve coffee machines like a Nespresso machine might be the best buy for you if you’re looking for espresso-style coffee with the ultimate convenience, all without having to dedicate time to learn espresso skills.
There are many Nespresso home espresso machines on the market, and the choice can be overwhelming.
There are about a dozen models to choose from, which gives you plenty of options to find what you’re looking for. What should you keep in mind when deciding on the best model for you?
Related Read: Best Nespresso Machine
How much coffee do you want to brew?
Some Nespresso machines only brew up small serving sizes. Others, like Vertuo capsules, make a full cup of coffee.
How much do you want to spend?
Nespresso coffee makers start at slightly under $100 and can go up to nearly $700, so consider your budget before falling in love with a specific model.
Also, consider how much each pod will cost you and how many cups of coffee you drink each day.
What pods are compatible?
Nespresso and companies that make Nespresso-compatible pods have lines that only work with certain models. Before you buy a machine, make sure you can get the pods you want.
Do you need a milk frother?
If you want to make creamy espresso-based drinks like a latte macchiato or cappuccino, you’ll need a milk frother.
Some machines incorporate or come with a frother, but for others, you need to buy one separately.
What size machine do you want?
Nespresso machines go from tiny to large setups, so the best one for you depends on your kitchen or office and your counter space.
If you feel that Nespresso coffee makers are convenient, you’re right. Making coffee with a Nespresso machine couldn’t be easier. Just pop in a pod and press a button or two.
No one will argue with you that popping a capsule into a machine and pressing a button is light years easier than making your own espresso at home.
There’s minimal prep and cleanup. You only need to keep the water tank filled and empty the used pod chamber. If you’ll recycle the pods, you need to rinse them out before putting them in the recycle bin.
Making an espresso shot with a regular espresso machine is a lot more work. With Nespresso machines, you get these convenience points:
- No weighing
- No grinding
- No tamping
- No timing the pull
- No cleanup
- No need to calibrate the machine to get the perfect espresso shot
- No learning from mistakes or tweaking techniques
With Nespresso, there’s nothing to learn. All you do is press the button. You get a fast cup of coffee without having to settle for instant coffee.
How good is the coffee?
That depends on your viewpoint. But frankly, if someone who doesn’t know much about espresso offers me the choice of an espresso from their home espresso machine or from a Nespresso pod, I’d probably choose the pod.
Unless I just wanted to encourage the would-be barista.
With more and more companies making pods and capsules, you have more pod variety than ever to make coffee drinks.
Of course, you can definitely source more variety if you buy bags of coffee beans from local or national roasters.
But do you need all that variety?
Maybe you’re a coffee lover who wants the same coffee over and over. Or your need for variety isn’t that extreme. Or you’ve already tried Nespresso pods that you like.
If your goal isn’t to have any coffee you want, you can get a good variety of coffee pods from Nespresso.
Some types of machines allow you to choose from espresso or regular coffee, single-origin blends, and flavored coffees.
The choice of origins is vast, too. You can choose the intensity you want, from medium to intense. To try a wide range of what they offer and to find out what you like, get a sampler pack.
Some Nespresso machines only use certain pods, so if you do want to get one, make sure the coffee selection in that line is large enough and meets your tastes and preferences.
Espresso Like Flavor
Coffee lovers who crave a good espresso want a cup that’s much stronger than drip coffee. And Nespresso definitely gives you an espresso-like experience.
At its best, a Nespresso drink can be rich, thick, and have balanced acidity.
That’s sounding good, right?
It’s stronger than what you’ll get from your drip coffee machine, though it can be quite similar to what you can make in a Moka Pot. And you’ll get a satisfying crema every time.
If your tastes are more inclined towards drip coffee, other espresso machines like the Vertuo make a regular 8-ounce cup of coffee.
The cheapest Nespresso machines will cost around $100.
On the other end of the spectrum, a high-end Nespresso machine, like the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima Pro or a Nespresso Creatista Plus, can go for over $600. That’s similar to what a true espresso maker costs.
Add to that the highest cost (which are the capsules), and the budget for a Nespresso habit can soar.
Whereas espresso machines come with the wand attached, with Nespresso machines there’s no way to froth milk.
Nespresso does offer the cute Aeroccino milk frother, but if you get a lower-end machine, the frother isn’t free. It comes at an extra cost, around $100.
Of course, you can shop around for less expensive milk frothers.
If you get the typical Nespresso machine, you’ll be able to make espresso. Only that one concentrated shot of espresso.
Few machines make drip coffee and espresso or a double espresso if that’s your fancy. And as I mentioned, most Nespresso machines don’t have the capacity to froth milk to make a latte, cappuccino, latte macchiatos, or other milk drinks.
If you’re interested in making different espresso drinks, you can buy a milk frother. Nespresso’s frother, as well as other brands, whip up frothed milk for you in record time.
So if you truly enjoy espressos and don’t want a milky drink, a basic Nespresso machine may be for you.
If you’re in that group of latte lovers, you’ll want a coffee maker with a built-in milk frother, or you can buy a separate frother.
Now we get to the interesting part of having a Nespresso maker. How much does it cost to drink each cup of coffee?
Each Nespresso pod costs from around $.60 to over $1. You can quickly calculate what your monthly coffee cost would be by multiplying that price by the number of coffees you consume in a day.
Is that a good price, or does that seem expensive? That depends on where you’re already spending your coffee budget.
Compared to a coffee shop, Nespresso capsules are certainly less expensive. So if buying a Nespresso machine replaces to a certain degree your coffee shop habit, it’s a good deal.
But a Nespresso capsule is a lot more expensive than buying a bag of coffee and brewing up a cup at home.
You can also get Nespresso compatible capsules produced by other companies that might cost less.
Another alternative to try is reusable pods, which you can fill with your coffee of choice. Be aware that they often don’t create the same pressure, so you might not get the same intense flavor and crema from reusable capsules.
And if you’re planning on using third-party capsules, make sure they exist for the machine you’re considering buying.
When it comes to sustainability, Nespresso has received a lot of negative attention.
Each serving of coffee is in an aluminum pod that the consumer either discards in the trash or has to send back to Nespresso for their recycling program.
To recycle Nespresso pods, the consumer has to clean each pod of coffee grounds and then get the pods back to the store.
While it’s nice to think that people will program used pod pick up or ship their used pods to Nespresso, the reality is that most pods and coffee capsules wind up getting thrown away. If you throw them away, they will sit in a landfill for 100+ years; the same story with any capsule coffee.
If you have a strong interest in sustainability, you may be motivated to arrange for your pods to be recycled.
Before you buy a Nespresso machine, check into how you can make sure the pods get recycled in your area.
Is Nespresso worth it? If you want to buy a Nespresso machine and you’re looking for convenience over anything else, Nespresso can’t be beaten.
Espresso like brews in a click of a button. Accompanied with the Aeroccino, it can froth milk too for super quick lattes. Features bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to keep your machine updated.
Making coffee in a Nespresso machine couldn’t be easier or faster, with minimal cleanup. Also, if you’re not a super picky coffee expert, Nespresso may be just fine.
You can get great-tasting coffee (or even amazing coffee) and a drink that compares to quality espresso without having the equipment or time investment that it takes to have a full espresso setup at home.
If, on the other hand, you’re a coffee nerd who wants to create amazing coffee, there are so many ways to make a fantastic cup of joe at home.
You have a huge selection of roasters, coffee machines, and the joy of learning to pull the perfect shot yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nespresso actually espresso?
No, Nespresso isn’t true espresso. True espresso is made with a machine that produces 9 bars of pressure to force hot water through the grinds. All that pressure extracts the finely ground coffee very fast, within 25 seconds.
A Nespresso machine also uses pressurized water, but in spite of the claims from the company, it probably doesn’t get to those 9 bars of pressure needed to create a true espresso. Also, the capsules have pre-ground coffee in them, which was ground as much as a year before.
The result is less intense, flavorful coffee than what a trained barista can create with an espresso machine.
Can a beginner tell the difference? Probably not. And almost any Nespresso is better than a badly pulled espresso from even the fanciest espresso machine.
How much caffeine is in Nespresso espresso?
psule, which is 1.35 ounces, packs 60 mg of caffeine. That’s a bit less than a typical shot of espresso, which has around 70-80 mg of caffeine.