Feeding your fancy coffee habit is probably costing you a lot of money and time, standing in those long lines to see your barista. Somehow, the standard American coffee you make at home may be a lot cheaper but is far less interesting — unless you invest in a quality coffee machine like a Nespresso.
In fact, this brand has built its reputation on its ease of use and the ability it gives anyone to make quality coffee drinks at home.
The most versatile: Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Machine by DeLonghi
Best for the specialty coffee drinks lovers: Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother by DeLonghi
Best for small spaces: Nespresso Espresso Machine by Breville
An Innovative History
Founded in 1986, the company took the basics of the first espresso machine invented in the 1900s by Luiggi Bezzera and re-engineered it, experimented and tweaked the design until it launched its first coffee machine, the C-100. From this point forward, the appeal of pre-portioned espresso coffee made at the touch of a button grew exponentially but it also fueled the popularity of coffee culture and caused consumers to look for more than just a mug of mundane brewed coffee.
But before Nespresso became a household name, it was also a lesson in perseverance. Éric Favre, an aerodynamics engineer from the French-speaking Swiss canton of Vaud, was constantly teased by his wife about “bland Swiss coffee.” Instead of viewing it as a complaint, he took it as a challenge: He started working at Nestle to learn about how a multinational operates and at the same time, he and his wife toured their way through Italy’s coffee bars to learn about what makes the ultimate expresso. All this led him to develop his revolutionary coffee system.
But alas, while Nestle agreed that Favre’s system was innovative, the company didn’t feel agree that consumers would give up their wildly popular Nescafé instant coffee crystals. He persisted and after some initial marketing to businesses, but the large machines didn’t gain traction. Instead, the coffee machines were repositioned and sold to the luxury consumer market and, as they say, the rest is history and Nespresso is now sold in 82 countries.
Focus on Sustainability
Many issues regarding sustainability have plagued the coffee industry — including Nestlé — but the company has made a priority of addressing it and continually refining its business practices. Under the mission of “Every cup of Nespresso coffee should have a positive impact,” the company follows its Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program. This was developed with its NGO partner the Rainforest Alliance in 2003. The coffee sourcing program connects directly with farmers to implement sustainable farming practices by offering free technical assistance. Nespresso says that more than 110,000 farmers across 15 countries have signed on to improving the quality and productivity of their coffee trees while protecting the environment.
Without a doubt, the Nespresso brand gained a lot of notariety and cachet when it signed actor George Clooney to be a brand ambassador in 2006. Although the A-list celebrity was a plus in the company’s advertising, they also gained a partner: Clooney has, in fact, been a co-owner since 2013. The advertising deal reportedly netted Clooney $40 million, which he recently revealed was used to fund a satellite to watch over activities in Sudan. Clooney’s participation.
The actor also sits on Nespresso’s Sustainability Advisory Board, and is focused on improving sustainability. has done a lot to improve coffee farming. He notes that Nespresso has done a great deal to improve coffee farming across the globe.
“They’ve risked their lives trying to rebuild farms in South Sudan and spent a year on the ground helping farmers restore their farms in Puerto Rico after the hurricane,” he told NBC news.
Recently, after allegations of child labor being used to produce coffee in Guatemala, Clooney noted that there is clearly still work to do and the Nespresso CEO said an investigation was being launched.
Why Choose Nespresso?
With all kinds of coffee machines available, from bargain prices to Cadillac versions that cost well into five figures, Nespresso is a great choice for many reasons. Not the least of these reasons is that it’slike having a barista in your own kitchen.
Quality — The reason Nespresso was invented was to create good, quality cup of espresso or coffee, not a watery, weak brew. Unlike other types of coffee pods, Nespresso capsules are made to be airtight and make a coffee that has fresh, excellent, nuanced flavors. The pressurized system creates a perfect layer of that wonderful frothy crema that is so desirable. The machine itself is also extremely durable because they are generally made by well-known coffee machine brands like DeLonghi.
Convenience — Unlike more complex espresso or coffee machines that have a learning curve, Nespresso brews the perfect coffee with the touch of a button. This makes it simple to have a coffee drink in the morning before work or for an afternoon break. The espresso can easily be made into a latté or other style of coffee too. Also, most Nespresso coffee makers have a holder that collects your spent pods automatically so that you don’t have to throw one out with each use. Best of all, you won’t need a coffee maker and a separate espresso maker, bean grinder and all the small accessories that go with them.
Variety — Coffee pods for the Nespresso machines come in different sizes, perfectly proportioned for espresso or for a larger cup of 7.7 ounces. In fact, Nespresso supersized its machine and pods back in 2014 to create a new model designed to appeal to US coffee drinkers, who prefer a larger beverage. Plus, the pods come in a wide array of flavors and single origins, allowing you to try out different flavor profiles. There are also limited-edition flavors that are issued seasonally. There are 30 different coffees for the Original machine, 30 for the Vertuo, and 17 for professional models. One side note: Nespresso coffee is only available for purchase in Nespresso stores or on-line and not in grocery or department stores.
Size — As mentioned above, Nespresso made a new machine in 2014 that is larger and appeals to many American coffee drinkers who prefer a larger cup of coffee. Before shopping for a Nespresso machine, you need to decide which camp you fall into: Coffee drinkers who love espresso and cappuccino and don’t want anything complicated, or coffee fans who also enjoy espresso drinks. Those who mainly stick to espresso and cappuccino will want to look at the Original machines, while those who want the versatility of regular coffee, as well as espresso drinks, will want a Vertuo model, which accommodates larger capsules.
Recyclability — Single-use pods have come under fire for being wasteful because of the plastic used to manufacture them, but Nespresso are different: They are fully recyclable. In fact, recycling these aluminum pods couldn’t be simpler: The company provides pre-paid, labeled mailers that you fill up with your pods and return to Nespresso at no extra charge. The program recycles the aluminum from the pod into new products and the coffee grounds from each recycled capsule are composted into nutrient-rich topsoil.
With all these great points, we’re shocked that there are coffee drinkers who would not want a Nespresso, but in fact, there are plenty of people who prefer a good but basic cup of drip coffee. If that’s you, check out the list of top drip coffee makers by Walton Holcomb from Brewsmartly.
Best Nespresso Machines
Otherwise, are you ready to choose a Nespresso machine for yourself? Start by browsing this list of the best Nespresso machines:
The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker by De’Longhi is possibly the most versatile Nespresso model and certainly a choice for those who want to have excellent brewed coffee as well as espresso drinks. With the touch of a button, you’ll get a cup of coffee with the perfect crema on top every time with no mess or fuss. The Vertuo line is the one that offers larger drink options than the original models. In fact, you can have any one of five cup sizes: Alto Coffee (14oz), Coffee (8oz), Gran Lungo (5 oz), Double Espresso (2.7 oz) and Espresso (1.35 oz).
This model uses the patented Nespresso Centrifusion™ technology: Once you insert the capsule and activate the machine, the capsule spins up to 7,000 rotations per minute. This blends the ground coffee with hot water creates that perfect signature crema. You’ll have this no matter what flavor or size you choose because the machine delivers capsule-specific brewing with barcode reading. There are no settings to change or parts to adjust. The Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker features a 54-ounce removable water reservoir and is available in
Piano Black, Graphite Metal and Shiny Red.
- Buyers overwhelmingly love the excellent coffee flavor.
- Size is compact and ideal for dorms, offices and small kitchens.
- This model has 98% four- and five-star reviews
- Some say the coffee does not get hot enough.
- It does not produce hot water for tea or other beverages.
- A milk frother must be purchased separately.
For coffee drinkers who love their specialty coffee drinks, the Evoluo model of the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother is a great choice. This is marketed as the premier machine of the Vertuo line and it comes with Nespresso’s signature milk frother. It works with the same one-button convenience as other Nespresso Vertuo machines to deliver your favorite drink using the patented Centrifusion™ technology that spins the coffee grounds and water. Like the other Vertuo machines, it can make the full range of coffee drink sizes from the 1.35-ounce espresso to the 14-ounce Alto coffee.
The compact model has a removable water reservoir as well as a twin container on the other side that holds the spent pods until you empty it for recycling. Speaking of recycling, Nespresso makes it simple and supplies free pre-paid bags for mailing back your used pods. The Aeroccino milk frother comes with the coffee maker in the package and is a separate piece that you plug in and simply push the button to heat and foam up your desired amount of milk.
- Buyers say all the capsule flavors are of excellent quality.
- The frother can be used independently for other beverages such as hot chocolate.
- Happy buyers say it’s better than the coffee shop.
- A few buyers don’t like the aluminum pods.
- Some say the coffee does not get hot enough.
Espresso fans will fall in love with this simple and compact Nespresso CitiZ Coffee and Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother by DeLonghi. The slim, modern design hardly takes up any space and yet it delivers big coffee taste at the touch of a button. The CitiZ model pre-heats quickly and its 19 bars of pressure make fast work of producing your espresso. This Nespresso machine uses the original-size capsules for espressos and lungos, not the ones for large coffee sizes.
The brand’s signature milk frother, the Aeroccino, is integrated into this coffee maker and opens up a wide array of possibilities for milk-based coffee drinks. Froth up milk on demand whenever you want a specialty coffee. There’s a removable water tank at the back and in the front, a small drawer holds the used capsules. Two separate buttons make it easy. to choose your size — espresso or lungo.
- Compact size is convenient in any kitchen.
- Reviewers say the espresso is consistently creamy, foamy and rich.
- Buyers love using this machine.
- One reviewer noted difficulties with the pod getting stuck and not piercing correctly.
- Some say it’s a little pricey.
Small but mighty, the Nespresso Espresso Machine by Breville delivers your espresso with the. touch. of a button — and with style. The slim, elegant design houses a non-nonsense espresso machine that brews perfect espresso every time, preheating in just 25 seconds. This Nespresso model uses the original capsules and makes espresso and lungo drinks. A water tank is at the back of the machine and there’s a compartment that holds used coffee capsules.
Those who like lattes and cappuccinos can purchase a milk frother separately that is the perfect companion for this espresso machine. Like all Nespresso coffee makers, this model has a high-pressure pump that creates barista-level coffees with the perfect layer of crema on top.
- Buyers love the compact size and simple function.
- Excellent customer service
- Can also dispense hot water
- Some say it’s very loud.
- One buyer had issues with the water tank leaking into the pod bucket.
The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Maker bundle combines the newest and most versatile coffee machine and the signature milk frother. The Vertuo line is ideal for people who want to have excellent brewed coffee at the touch of a button but also enjoy their espresso too. With this Nespresso model, you’ll have your coffee –of any type — with the perfect crema on top every time. The VertuoPlus lets you make drinks of up to 14 ounces, which is the Alto coffee, the largest of the five sizes you can make. In fact, you can also make a regular Coffee (8oz), Gran Lungo (5 oz), Double Espresso (2.7 oz) and Espresso (1.35 oz), all with the touch of a single button.
These coffee makers use the patented Nespresso Centrifusion™ technology: When you insert the capsule and push the button, the capsule containing the coffee spins up to 7,000 times per minute, blending the ground coffee with hot water to brew the perfect beverage. This is the case no matter what flavor or size you choose because the machine has capsule-specific brewing with barcode reading. There are no settings to change or parts to adjust! This bundle includes the new Aeroccino 3 milk frothing machine that foams up the milk perfectly for your milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. You’ll also get a 12-capsule tasting pack to try out a range of flavors.
- One-year limited warranty
- Includes the milk frother
- Buyers rave about the great coffee flavor
- Some feel the coffee could be hotter
- One reviewer felt the range of flavors is limited
Devotees of milk-based espresso drinks will want the Nespresso Lattissima One Coffee and Espresso Machine by De’Longhi. No more standing in line to wait for the barista because you can easily have the same drinks at home from this user-friendly machine. It has a new, innovative milk system that automatically takes the mild for your drink and froths it directly into your cup with the espresso. The coffee maker’s high-pressure pump heats up quickly to deliver the perfect espresso in no time and features an Eco-mode for low energy consumption after 3 mins, and an automatic off function after 9 minutes of inactivity.
This Nespresso model is more compact — and affordable — than older Nespresso machines that do the same things. Besides being easy to use, the milk jug is dishwasher safe, making clean-up easy too. You’ll also get a tasting kit with 14 Nespresso original capsules so that you can explore the flavors to find your favorites. This mode is available in three finishes: black, warm slate or silky white.
- Barista-level drinks in your own kitchen.
- Compact size
- 2-year limited warranty
- Does not make larger-size coffees
- Some found the instructions confusing
No matter how small your kitchen, there’s room for the slim Essenza Mini Bundle Espresso Machine. Together with the Aeroccino3 milk frother that is included, it creates a whole world of espresso-based coffee drinks. Easy to use, the machine has just two buttons: one for espresso and another for lungo. The signature high-pressure system heats up quickly — in just 30 seconds you’re ready to brew and it’ll automatically power off after nine minutes of inactivity. Enjoy your favorite espresso, cappuccino, latte, mocha, macchiato or Americano any time!
In addition to the machine and milk frother, you’ll also receive a capsule tasting pack that lets you sample different flavors and origins to find the ones you like most. Available in a black or white finish, the Nespresso Essenza Mini will complement any kitchen or office space.
- Compact size brews up big coffee flavor
- Milk frother silently whips up the perfect foam
- Happy reviewers say the machine is life-changing.
- Some buyers say the machine is quite noisy
- Like other Nespresso machines, only Nespresso capsules can be used.
A little more specialized but still super easy to use, the Nespresso Lattissima Touch Coffee and Espresso Machine by De’Longhi has six different one-touch buttons for different coffee drinks. Just push the button and the machine makes the perfect latte, latte macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, or lungo. It can also make warm milk froth for any other type of recipe. In fact, this Latissima model lets you adjust the texture of the froth to suit the preference of every guest or member of the family.
Get perfect espresso every time thanks to the 19 bar high-performance pump that powers classic Nespresso machines and creates that perfect crema on top. Clean up is very easy because the milk container can be disassembled and washed in the dishwasher. With an automatic safety shutoff, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. In addition, it’s easy to keep the machine working in tip-top shape because it has an intuitive descaling function that is triggered according to how hard your water is. A pluggable descaling pipe makes it very easy. Last but not least, you’ll also get a tasting kit with 16 Nespresso Original capsules to try out a range of coffee flavors.
- User friendly
- Awesome customer service
- Buyers say it makes fabulous coffee drinks
- Espresso-size coffees only
- One buyer noted it is easy to misdirect the frother nozzle
Nespresso’s range of coffee machines makes it easy to skip the barista line at the coffee shop and make your own delicious coffee drinks at home for a far lower cost. It doesn’t matter if you love a larger coffee drink or prefer espresso and lungo-based beverages, there are plenty of options for each. And, Nespresso’s capsules are so easy to recycle, unlike other single-cup coffee makers that use plastic pods that are difficult, if not impossible, to recycle. If you love rich, robust coffee flavor, there’s a Nespresso for you!