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Is Nespresso worth it? Analyzing pros, cons, and cost

Nespresso machines are quite possibly some of the most well-marketed and appealing machines in the espresso industry. Images of Georgy Clooney sauvely sipping a steaming cup of coffee come to mind when you think of Nespresso.

But marketing aside…

Is Nespresso worth it, really?

Nespresso machines are 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 machines and that should help you make an informed decision. As you’ll see, the answer is not quite black and white.

Nespresso by De'Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine, Black

Pros of Nespresso

Convenience

The biggest advantage Nespresso has over all other espresso machines is convenience. Making espresso style coffee at home is quite an effort.

A good 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.

Brewing this kind of shot by hand would require quite a lot of work, all of which the Nespresso machine can do in a little under a minute.

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If you’re into cappuccinos and lattes, there are also machines like the Nespresso Lattissima which have a milk frother built in.

Variety

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 variety of 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 pods 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 OriginalLine compatible capsules that you can also try. Those capsules are cheaper, too.

You won’t get bored of a particular coffee anytime soon!

Taste

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 coffee tastes really good. 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.

Additionally, 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.

Cons of Nespresso

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 pods.

Another disadvantage of Nespresso is that most 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 Vertuoline machines have a slightly wider variety of beverage sizes, 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 pods, you can try Nespresso compatible capsules, but that too only for OriginalLine machines.

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.

Environmental impact

Like Keurig machines, every cup of coffee from a Nespresso machine results in a discarded pod. There are some hacks to reuse Keurig pods, 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.

Conclusion

To conclude the debate of whether Nespresso is worth it, 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 occassions 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?

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  • Versatility: Adjustable cup size with two programmable espresso (1.35 ounce) and Lungo (5 ounce) buttons making Essenza Mini a great coffee maker for all you single-serve coffee needs. Pour over ice to create your favorite iced coffee drinks.

Frequently asked questions

Is Nespresso better than Keurig?

Nespresso is meant for making espresso. Keurigs do not make espresso. So if that’s 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.

What is so special about Nespresso?

Nespresso machines use a unique pod design and a very high pressure brewing system to make a really good shot of espresso in very little time.

Last update on 2020-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

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