Looking for a single-serving machine that makes excellent coffee?
One of the leading models on the market in that category is Nespresso.
But is it worth the hype?
In this article, we’ll talk about everything there is to know about the brand, including the machines and capsules it makes.
So is Nespresso worth it?
Is Nespresso Worth It?
The reason why Nespresso is such a chart-topping machine is that it revolutionized the way people around the world enjoy espresso.
What I mean by this is that it made it possible for everyone to make espresso at home. All that, without going through a long period of trial and error until you learn how to pull a proper shot on an espresso machine.
Sounds amazing, right?
Well, not everything is so fine and dandy about it.
But before we talk about the bad, let’s see what the good things about Nespresso are.
Alright, so what’s all the rave about?
Here are the things you’ll love about Nespresso.
With pod machines, your choice of coffee is limited to the available lines of compatible pods.
But Nespresso certainly does a great job at offering various roasts and blends of ground coffee beans inside their pods. These coffee beans are sourced from coffee-growing lands around the world.
From dark and creamy Napoli espresso to a fruity and acidic Shangai lungo, Nespresso lines offer a flavor profile for everyone.
There are two lines of machines and capsules available: Original and Vertuo. The Original line makes espresso coffee in sizes ranging from ristretto to lungo. The Vertuo line, on the other hand, also includes a selection of pods for classic, drip-style coffee.
Each line offers more than 30 different flavors. And while most capsules contain pure coffee blends, there are some flavored options available as well. This range of capsules allows you to enjoy flavored coffee at home without having to buy syrups.
The first time I saw a Nespresso capsule selection, I was overwhelmed by the number of available options – to say the least. How does a Nespresso newbie figure out the favorite flavor?
While the capsules are packed in sleeves of 10, Nespresso also offers a selection of mixed packs.
So for instance, the World Explorations pack includes coffee profiles inspired by cultures around the world. The Iced Coffee pack, as the name suggests, contains capsules from different lines that work as cold coffee drinks as well.
What I also love about Nespresso is the fact that you can stock up on different flavors without worrying about coffee going stale.
That’s because Nespresso capsules are hermetically sealed and packed with nitrogen. This keeps the coffee grounds safe from oxidation. This means that capsules can sit on your coffee pod holder for a few months without losing flavor.
Espresso is an intense, flavorful cup of coffee with a rich aroma and thick crema. When made correctly, that is.
A typical espresso machine requires your involvement in the coffee-making process. So naturally, the final result is pretty much dependent on your barista skills.
But with a Nespresso machine, there’s no learning curve.
What this means is that every single cup of coffee you make with this machine will always taste the same.
Under-extracted or over-extracted coffee? That’s a thing of the past.
Ease of Use
With a regular espresso maker, pulling an espresso shot is somewhat of an art for an amateur coffee drinker.
It starts with grinding, which is arguably the easiest part. But then, you have to pack the grounds with a tamper, which has to be done evenly and with consistent pressure. Finally, you need to pull the shot.
Each step of the process requires a bit of practice to get it right. Plus, depending on the blend you’re using, you need to tweak it even further to get that perfect cup of coffee.
But with the Nespresso machine, even a beginner barista can make a flavorful cup of espresso. There’s no learning curve and guesswork. The only thing required for you is to pop a capsule into the machine and press the button.
And since the Nespresso coffee maker uses pods instead of grounds, maintenance is also a piece of cake. Of course, you need to remove the pod after use, as well to rinse and descale your machine occasionally. But compared to other coffee makers, that’s pretty quick and easy.
Unfortunately, there are a few things about Nespresso that don’t work in its favor.
Pod coffee machines have made the whole brewing process extremely convenient. Just pop the capsule in and press the button.
But, every cup of coffee you make with a Nespresso machine also leaves a used pod behind.
Single-use pods have been the talk of the town for several years now, mostly for the impact they have on the environment.
This is why in recent years, many brands have switched to recyclable capsules. Nespresso is no exception.
Nespresso makes coffee capsules out of aluminum, which is a 100% recyclable material.
The company does the recycling, you just need to send the used capsules to the Nespresso recycling facility. To do that, you need to get the recyclable bags (which you can order for free) and ship them to the destination.
The idea behind the recycling program is commendable, but it’s far away from becoming a standard practice.
In fact, researchers show that from 39,000 capsules that are produced globally every minute, 29,000 ends up in landfill!
Unfortunately, most people still find it much easier to simply throw the capsule into the trash than to ship it back to the company. So even though Nespresso had an environmental impact in mind, capsules still end up being a good portion of the produced waste.
Nespresso machines don’t exactly cost an arm and a leg. But depending on the model, some actually cost as much as some mid-range espresso makers. For a single-serving pod machine, that’s not cheap.
But that’s not even the main issue when it comes to cost.
In addition to the upfront expenses of buying a Nespresso machine, you’re constantly paying for new coffee capsules.
Now, these things don’t actually come cheap. True, they’re more affordable than ordering coffee at a coffee shop, but the difference in price is not that great. Depending on the drink, some capsules are only 50% the price of the drink you order at the cafe.
One way to cut the cost is to buy compatible pods from more affordable brands. But that only works with the Original Line model.
Buying a Nespresso coffee pod machine can be quite an investment. And still, the machine you get only makes espresso.
Well, the OriginalLine model makes espresso in three sizes, ranging from ristretto to lungo. Then, depending on the capsule, it makes your coffee in the appropriate size.
The new model called VertuoLine does have more options, so depending on the capsule, you can also make something more resembling drip coffee.
But then again, you can’t actually choose the size of the drink. Rather, each capsule is designated with a specific size in mind.
And what about milk-based coffee drinks?
Most of the OriginalLine machines have an integrated milk system, meaning that you don’t need to use a separate milk frother. However, the Nespresso VertuoLine coffee machine doesn’t offer that feature.
So how do you froth the milk with Vertuo machines?
Well, if you want to enjoy a latte or cappuccino at home, you can only buy a separate milk frother.
There is a dedicated Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother, which automatically creates milk foam at the push of the button. However, you can use any method you want to steam milk and create foam for your drinks.
Still undecided whether Nespresso is worth investing in or not?
Let’s clear all the doubts.
In this section, I’ll answer some of the most common questions about this brand.
Is Nespresso as good as real espresso?
Nespresso models don’t actually end up putting the same amount of pressure as true espresso machines. That’s why the final result is slightly less rich, creamy, and flavorful than what you’d get in a coffee shop. However, a regular coffee lover usually doesn’t even notice the subtle difference between the two!
Which is the best Nespresso coffee?
There’s no single answer to this question. Ultimately, the best one is the one that suits your taste buds the most. But statistically speaking, the most popular Nespresso pods are Ristretto pods. This coffee is made from a blend of East African and South American Arabica coffee.
Can you make a regular cup of coffee with Nespresso?
The Vertuo machines allow you to make a regular cup of coffee as well as espresso. Of course, you also need to buy a Vertuo capsule designated for a 7.7-ounce coffee drink.
To Sum Things Up
So there you have it – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
If you’re looking for a machine that makes a reliable cup of espresso without much effort, then Nespresso is a great option. And with so many options available, you can practically enjoy a different blend every day of the year.
Unfortunately, the Nespresso coffee machine only makes espresso. What’s more, using capsules leaves behind huge waste, while the recycling process is made complicated.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. But before you decide, try out some Nespresso types of coffee drinks first.
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