You want a new coffee machine. You want a device that can make your favorite drinks quickly. But, you don’t want to break the bank. What do you do? You enter the epic debate: Nespresso vs Keurig.
It shouldn’t be surprising that it comes down to Nespresso and Keurig brands since they are among the most popular coffee makers in the world. Most people who own one of these machines will tell you they swear by theirs.
And what makes this an epic debate is that there are a lot of similarities between Nespresso and Keurig coffee machines. Yet, a few significant differences could tip you in favor of one over the other. The deciding factor may have to come down to the type of coffee you enjoy drinking and the amount of money you want to spend.
For those who like to live life with possibilities, you may be looking for a coffee maker capable of brewing cup after cup of various coffees, teas, and hot chocolates. Or, conversely, you enjoy a delicious cup of espresso, an Americano, or maybe a cappuccino. Still, you can’t devote the time to using a costly espresso machine (I’m talking thousands!) to make your own.
To help you determine which is right for you, first, let’s look at the differences between espresso and coffee, which may help you determine which you prefer. Then, we’ll move on to critical details and differences between the Nespresso vs Keurig machines.
Espresso vs. Coffee: A Quick Explanation
Yes, both espresso and coffee are essentially the same in that they are both made from a type of coffee bean, and both show up on the menu of most specialty coffee shops.
However, there is a distinct difference between a shot of espresso and a regular cup of coffee. Putting aside the extensive list of coffee varieties, let’s look at espresso and coffee in their most authentic form.
To make an authentic espresso, you must have a darker-roasted coffee bean. This produces a less acidic bean. Also, the roasting process pulls a higher amount of the beans’ oils, creating the crema or that foamy, oily finish you see at the top of a freshly-brewed espresso. Once roasted, the beans get ground finely to tamp (press) together, resulting in a heavier and richer concentrate.
Brewing a shot of espresso means using an espresso machine that passes a small amount of hot water and intense pressure through approximately seven grams of the finely-ground beans. The result is a thicker, darker, stronger beverage and is only about an ounce of liquid.
In contrast, coffee comes from a bean that has been roasted for a shorter period and then ground coarsely. You can use it in various coffee machines, such as the drip coffee machine or the french press. Coffee can be light or dark, and it usually is served in a 6 or 8 oz portion. There isn’t much oil, and the liquid is not as thick as in espresso.
Because espresso is roasted, ground, and brewed differently from drip coffee, espresso tastes stronger. Additionally, roasting releases more oils, making the coffee feel heavier and bolder in flavor, lower in acidity, and with a more rounded and full-bodied finish on the palate. Coffee can also be bold and dark, but it is more acidic and thin.
It is truly the method of production that makes the two taste differently.
Nespresso vs Keurig: The Details
Is Nespresso better than Keurig, or is it vice versa?
Even though these two companies remain at the top of the list of premium single-serve coffee makers and have similarities, they also have some distinct differences that deserve mention.
Since the 1980s, Nespresso has been the gold standard for coffee machines. As the company began creating single capsules of coffee for their single-serve espresso machines, its reputation for greatness continued to grow. Since then, Nespresso has come up with newer and better models, and single-serve coffee machines made by Nespresso have earned a reputation for excellence because of their high quality, ease of use, and sleek design.
Keurig, a newer company to the market than Nespresso, has become increasingly popular over the past 12 years. Keurig’s large variety of machines has captured the attention of fans of the single-serve coffee machine, and the company has been giving Nespresso a run for its money. Also, Keurig has quickly become one of the top producers of single-serve coffee machines because of its lower price tag.
Method of Brewing
A significant difference between Keurig and Nespresso comes with each machine’s brewing method.
Nespresso machines use quite a different method than Keurig, which is why numerous espresso lovers prefer them. The Vertuo machines use centrifusion technology (centrifugal force and water fusion combined) to create their espresso. This centrifusion technology allows the device to spin the capsule at about 7000 rpm. As water passes through the punctured center of each capsule, it releases from the punctured outer edges. You will have nothing but dry coffee grounds inside the capsule when this process is complete.
On the other hand, Keurig machines punch two holes in each pod (one on top, one on bottom), and then water squeezes through the pod and into the mug. This feature makes it very similar to using a drip coffee maker. An 8oz mug will take approximately 45 seconds to process. However, when you turn the machine on each time, it takes a few minutes to warm up, so be sure to factor in that time as well.
Time and temperature are two of the most critical factors in brewing great-tasting coffee. Nespresso is the winner for this reason.
Nespresso machines tend to be more expensive than Keurig machines. The pods are more expensive as well. However, the Nespresso machine is said to provide a richer-tasting coffee, so if cost is not an issue and you are purchasing based on performance and taste, Nespresso is for you.
Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a barista-style espresso maker, the single-serve Nespresso makers cost much less and sit somewhere within the hundreds of dollars range. There truly is a vast difference in prices, and since you get relatively the same tasting coffee from either, it seems like a no-brainer to go for the single-serve machines. For the average espresso lover, the very similar taste of espresso and the modern-day convenience of the device win them over.
Keurig gets the trophy for being a less-expensive machine and having a less-expensive cost per serving (the pod). With their variety of models and coffee pod flavors, the Keurig seems to be the more practical choice for the price. For those who like a larger cup of coffee, these machines take the cake. And though the Keurig is more expensive than a simple drip coffee machine, the convenience of the Keurig attracts many coffee enthusiasts.
Looking at Nespresso vs Keurig pods, when it comes to the variety of beverages to choose from, Keurig takes the lead. With 60 Keurig-approved brands (and more if you count non-Keurig-approved brands), and over 400 different beverage types, Keurig gives its customers tons of variety. And Keurigs can also make various beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, lemonade, and some fruit drinks. Moreover, with the reusable coffee pods that fit most Keurig machines, you can limit the cost by purchasing your coffee grounds.
Nespresso doesn’t give you that variety with only 24 different kinds available. Which machine you purchase will depend on how many choices you have. The Original line only makes espresso, whereas the Vertuo line makes espresso and coffee beverages. You can only use Nespresso-brand capsules for the Vertuo line, as their barcode-scanning technology only limits you to their line.
The Machines: Nespresso vs Keurig
The Nespresso brand makes two different types of Nespresso machines: The Original and The Vertuo. Keurig makes more than fifty models.
Nespresso: The Original Line
If you are looking for a simple, classic espresso machine, the line of Original machines is a perfect start. The Nespresso Original concentrates solely on espresso-based beverages such as ristretto, lungo, cappuccino, and latte. But the Nespresso Original espresso makers are easy to use and provide convenience and simplicity. It makes its beverages via a pump system that uses a high-pressure level, ensuring that your coffee will taste its best. The Original also has a wide selection of espresso pods, and you can select third-party capsules for the Original. Each capsule variety offers a unique taste topped with a dense crema that preserves the distinctive aroma. The cup sizes range from 0.85 oz – 5 oz.
Nespresso: The Vertuo Line
With serving sizes ranging from 1.35 oz – 18 oz, this line of Nespresso Espresso machines has something for everyone. You can make both espresso and coffee; therefore, if you have a house full of coffee drinkers with different preferences, this is the line for you. The device does not accept pods from third parties, so with the Vertuo line, there’s little room for deviation. However, the Vertuo is a fantastic machine because it’s a “smart” coffee maker. On the side of the Vertuo is a barcode reader, and it uses this reader to tailor its techniques to the capsule type you purchase. It reads the barcode and adjusts for the drink as needed. It prepares a drink for you with a full-bodied taste and a rich crema and gives you a coffee experience you will enjoy to the fullest.
Keurig is one of the leaders of the US single-serve coffee makers. It focuses solely on single-serve coffee makers, including the Keurig K-Duo, which brews single cups and full pots for up to 60 ounces. While Nespresso specializes in espresso, Keurig is more of a multifunctional coffee maker. Keurig offers many different models, which means there is something for everyone. It does have a single-serve espresso, the Keurig K-Cafe, and does sell espresso pods. Besides brewing coffee, Keurig machines can also make tea, hot chocolate, iced coffee, and various other drinks. All machines come with different water reservoir sizes and options. K-Cups or Vue Cups, small pods, contain pre-measured grounds, and brewing takes only 20-60 seconds.
The Most Outstanding Machines: Nespresso vs Keurig
The best Nespresso Machine happens to be the Nespresso Creatista Plus Espresso Machine. Using the Nespresso Crestia Plus, you can enjoy an authentic espresso experience. Moreover, you may also create other espresso beverages such as a latte, cappuccino, or flat white. This machine works wonderfully for making both hot and iced drinks to have the best of both worlds. You can prepare some of your favorite espresso drinks with the attached milk frother. Brewing sizes range from 0.5 oz to 5 oz. This machine allows you to adjust the temperature and the volume of coffee. The excellent features also include an automatic shut-off, fast cleaning, and a removable water tank.
Overall, the Nespresso Gran Lattissima Coffee and Espresso Machine is the best for beginners. Thanks to its beautiful, modern design, the black or white model will look great on your countertop. There are nine one-touch beverage selection buttons to make some of your favorite espresso drinks. The temperature-controlled milk frother detaches for effortless cleanup (dishwasher-safe!) and storage. The machine offers high performance, and you can’t go wrong since it’s practical and energy-efficient.
The Vertuo Plus Deluxe from Nespresso is a versatile coffee machine that can easily make coffee and espresso. It uses Nespresso’s centrifusion technology and barcodes to make the most delicate crema possible. There is the option to choose between a 5 oz or 7 oz coffee and a single or double espresso. This machine has a 60 oz water tank, and it can heat up within 15 seconds of being switched on! The energy-saving auto shut-off is the perfect finishing touch to this coffee maker that offers so many great features.
Though this machine is compact, the Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine is the best for those who want a simple espresso (or lungo). This machine is unique in that it is portable. The design is sleek and will fit even the smallest counter spaces, so it’s a beautiful, small home espresso machine. It takes this machine only 25 seconds to heat water, and it has an automatic shut-off to save energy. You can choose from two cup sizes, 1.5 oz, and 5 oz.
Those looking to convert their kitchen into a full-blown café should pick the Keurig K-Cafe Latte and Cappuccino Maker. The K-Cafe is a traditional Keurig capable of preparing hot milk and foam, making it the perfect choice for those who enjoy a simple cup of coffee one day and a creamy latte the next. It uses any Keurig K-cup pod, and many shoppers think it’s worth the expense due to its multiple modes of use. While it has many features, it is still relatively simple to use. You can control the brewer and the dishwasher-safe frother with just a few buttons. It also has a strong brew option to increase the bold flavor of your coffee.
The Keurig K-Duo Plus can be used as a single-serve coffee maker and a drip coffee maker, as it comes with a 12-cup thermal carafe. There is a filter for the machine. As a result, you can use K-cups or ground coffee. This strong brew option is best suited to those who like a stronger taste. You can choose from four cup sizes: 6, 8, 10, and 12 oz. Its 60-ounce removable water tank fits into the machine in three different ways (right, left, or back) for a more comfortable fit wherever you place it on your countertop. You can adjust the height of the drip tray to fit various mug sizes. A timer and auto-shutoff give you control over your brew time, and using its pause and pour option, you can remove the carafe mid-brew. It heats and brews at the push of a button, so you don’t need to wait to select your cup size. Overall, this is an ideal machine to brew a decent cup of coffee and/or a whole pot.
The Keurig K155 Office Pro Commercial Coffee Maker is an excellent addition to any office as it offers features that will appeal to any coffee lover. It takes less than a minute to brew your coffee. Four brew sizes are available: 4, 6, 8, or 10 oz. In addition, you can brew a more robust or milder beverage. With its LCD touch-screen interface, you can adjust the temperature to match your preferences, giving the various coffee drinkers in your office even more choices. The device has a programmable on/off setting. The water reservoir holds 90 ounces, which allows you to make up to 18 cups of coffee before refilling it, making it ideal for offices with large numbers of people. Additionally, it has a “drain and store” feature that makes it easy to drain and remove the hot water from the tank. As a result, it is easy to transport and easy to store.
So is Nespresso better than Keurig? Honestly, finding the right coffee maker comes down to deciding what’s best for you. How do these two brands compare? Because everyone has different tastes, the answer will differ for each individual. Consider these questions when choosing between Nespresso vs Keurig. Would you rather drink espresso or a variety of coffee drinks? How much money are you willing to spend? Do you want this machine for one individual or many? Nespresso vs Keurig will have a machine that certainly can accommodate your needs.