Brewing your coffee at home using pods and an espresso machine can be a convenient way to make yourself a quick cup of coffee (or three) to get you through your day. The question is, which machine should you choose to buy?
Nespresso and Keurig are two of the biggest brands on the market when it comes to selling single-serve espresso machines. You can simply choose one or the other and figure out whose products will suit your needs best.
If you are confused about which one to opt for and how they differ in the first place, look no further! Through this buyer guide, we will tell you all that you need to know about both brands, each of their forerunning models, and how the two brands compare based on a variety of factors.
Once you figure out the better option for yourself, you can then make your choice and enjoy that daily cup of coffee. Let us first look into an overall comparison table that will give you a brief idea about the two.
Nespresso vs Keurig Comparison
|Pod Variety||30 (approx.)||400 (approx.)|
|Caffeine Level||Up to 200g||Up to 150g|
|Maintenance||Self-cleaning, removable reservoir||Removable reservoir|
|Cost of Machine||Up to $600||Up to $300|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year|
How Does A Single-Serve Coffee Machine Work?
Single-serve coffee machines rely on pods that include ground coffee inside them. These pods are placed inside the designated area in the coffee machine which then cuts into the pods and combines the ground coffee with hot water. This combination is what drips into your cup that you place below the dripper.
This is a convenient way of making a single cup of coffee at a time whenever you require it, particularly if you don’t want or need to manually make a large amount of coffee every single day.
These pods tend to come in a range of different flavors, depending on the brand you buy from.
Brands And Products
It is important to have a fair and detailed idea about both Nespresso and Keurig. This section will offer you a brief overview of each brand while also reviewing two of the best products from each brand.
Nespresso belongs to the Nestlé food company from Switzerland. Using advanced technology to combine ground coffee with hot water, Nespresso offers a range of coffee and espresso machines that you can make use of for your single-serve coffee requirements.
It makes use of capsules that contain ground coffee in them. These come in over 30 different flavors. You simply need to place the capsule in the given spot of the machine, press a button and wait for your machine to do the trick.
Nespresso offers a high quality when it comes to its capsule flavors. It also offers good recyclability when it comes to these capsules.
There are mainly two types of machines that Nespresso sells which include the Vertuo series and the Original series. The Vertuo series brews coffees and espressos in five different cup sizes while also adapting its settings based on the capsule you put in. The Original series, on the other hand, includes machines that offer simple servings of different espresso flavors.
Read on to see the reviews of two coffee machines from Nespresso, one from the Vertuo series and the other from the Original series.
Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Machine by De’Longhi
The Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Machine, manufactured by De’Longhi (Nespresso partners with several brands for their machine production), can brew different kinds of coffees and espressos from its capsules. It can brew five different cup sizes depending on your requirements.
- Weight: 11 pounds
- Cup Sizes: 5
- Heat-up Time: 15-20 seconds
- Auto Shut-off: After 9 minutes
- Water Reservoir: 54 ounces
- Warranty: 1 year
- The five cup sizes that this machine offers can give you a wide range of choices of the kind and amount of coffee or espresso that you want to make for yourself.
- It comes with an Aeroccino three-milk frother that can give your coffee the appearance and taste that you would expect from a café.
- The machine comes with a set of capsules of different flavors that you can start your machine off with.
- With a large water tank and a mere 15-20 second heat up time, this machine is quick and efficient in making your coffee in no time.
- It has an automatic shut-off setting that turns the machine off after 9 minutes of the last brewing activity. This can be a great way to save energy as well as money on bills.
- There are only around 30 Nespresso flavors that you can choose from.
- It is slightly expensive in comparison to the other products mentioned here.
Nespresso Essenza Mini Machine
The Nespresso Essenza Mini Machine comes from its Original series of espresso machines. This small machine allows you to make espressos or coffees in two different cup sizes. With simple functions and a space-saving design, this machine is affordable and can give you a classic brew whenever you want it.
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Cup Sizes: 2
- Heat-up Time: 25 seconds
- Auto Shut-off: After 9 minutes
- Water Reservoir: 20 ounces
- Warranty: 1 year
- This machine is light, compact and portable, allowing you to move it around and place it wherever you want in your kitchen. It also won’t take up a significant amount of space.
- Within 25 seconds, the machine will heat up the water and prepare your brew in very little time. This can be a quick and time-efficient way of getting your daily cup of coffee.
- It automatically shuts off the machine after 9 minutes of not being in use. This saves a lot of energy and money on your electricity bills.
- It comes with a set of capsules of different flavors that you can use immediately to make coffee, after which you can start buying more and more capsules whenever you need them. The initial set can help you familiarize yourself with the flavors as well.
- It comes with a one-year warranty period, which means that you can make any required repairs or replacements within the stipulated time.
- It has a small water reservoir. You will need to keep replacing the water in it on a frequent basis.
- It can only be used with the 30 flavors that Nespresso offers.
Keurig is another extremely popular brand when it comes to coffee and espresso machines. These machines are single-serve coffee machines that you can easily use for your daily coffee requirements. All their machines, unlike Nespresso, are manufactured by the same company known as Keurig Dr Pepper.
The pods that Keurig machines use are called K-cup pods that you can directly place into the machine. In partnership with multiple different companies, Keurig produces around 400 kinds of flavors when it comes to its beverages, offering a wide range of options for you to choose from.
Being a brand that has its origins in the United States itself, this brand has more recognition in the US. It also offers several kinds of models at affordable rates with pods that are individually cost effective as well.
What’s more, Keurig also offers a filter that you can keep reusing for your coffee machine. However, you will need to buy this separately.
Keurig’s products come with a one-year warranty period that you can make good use of when it comes to making repairs or replacements in case any issue arises.
Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition Machine
The Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition Machine is nickel in color, offering a good blend with the rest of your kitchen and appliances. It allows you to make coffee in four different cup sizes as well as different kinds of coffees based on your taste.
It also includes a frother that you can use to froth different kinds of milk for your beverage.
- Weight: 10.2 pounds
- Cup Sizes: 4
- Heat-up Time: 3 minutes
- Auto Shut-off: After 2 hours
- Water Reservoir: 60 ounces
- Warranty: 1 year
- You can make four cup sizes and different kinds of beverages using the K-cup pods that you place in the machine.
- It has a large water reservoir of 60 ounces that makes the machine run for a long time without needing to replace water too frequently.
- The frother that comes with this machine lets you froth milk, giving your final coffee or beverage an authentic touch. This frother can safely be washed in a dishwasher.
- You can even use Keurig’s reusable filter with this machine if you want to brew the ground coffee by yourself.
- There are alert systems in place that inform you when you need to clean and maintain the machine in order to get rid of mineral deposits.
- The automatic shut-off time is pretty long and can end up wasting a bit of energy.
- The package does not include the K-cups; you will need to buy them separately which could increase the initial buying costs.
Keurig K-Mini Machine
The Keurig K-Mini Machine is a smaller coffee machine that allows you to brew coffee for cups that hold 6-12 ounces of liquid. It can be placed anywhere in the kitchen and can be used to brew different flavors of coffee and beverages using the K-cup pods.
It is quick, efficient and also comes with a drip tray that can conveniently collect the excess drops of coffee if any.
- Weight: 4.6 pounds
- Cup Sizes: 6-12 ounces
- Heat-up Time: 2 minutes
- Auto Shut-off: 90 seconds
- Water Reservoir: 8 ounces (add water for each brew)
- Warranty: 1 year
- Since this coffee machine is light, compact and portable, you can easily move and carry it around, placing it wherever you want in the kitchen without worrying about it taking up space.
- It has an automatic shut-off setting that turns off the machine 90 seconds after the last use, making it highly energy efficient while also saving you a ton of money on your bills.
- It can fill up cup sizes that are anywhere between 6 and 12 ounces, giving you more options.
- It has a drip tray that is detachable from the machine, allowing you to make space for larger cups such as travel mugs as well. The tray further collects excess drippings and keeps the surrounding area clean.
- It can also be used easily with Keurig’s reusable filter in case you want to brew ground coffee by yourself.
- Its water reservoir is extremely small, requiring you to replace the water each time you want to brew a cup of coffee.
- It has a relatively long heating-up time of two minutes, which increases the overall time of having your coffee ready in your cup.
Nespresso vs Keurig—How Do They Compare?
You are now aware of Nespresso and Keurig separately based on their product features, pros and cons. You can use these to make your own decision, but if you want to find out more about the general differences in the services of the two brands, you can keep reading further to give you an even more comprehensive idea.
There is a difference in terms of the costs of the machines of both Nespresso and Keurig. Keurig, for instance, offers much more affordable options that range from $70 to $300. They also have a wide range of models that you can choose from.
On the other hand, the machines from Nespresso are more expensive. Some of the premium machines from Nespresso’s Original series cost up to $600. However, most of the other products in the series as well as in the Vertuo series are capped at $300.
Further, there is also a difference in how much the pods cost. Individual Nespresso capsules tend to be higher in their price as compared to K-cup pods by Keurig. This is perhaps because Keurig produces these pods in partnership with other brands while Nespresso makes them on their own.
Nespresso and Keurig are both similar in their quality when it comes to the machines, although you can expect minor differences based on material, color, and capacity. For instance, Nespresso’s machines are made to be strong and sturdy while Keurig machines focus more on lightness and compactness.
In terms of the pods and flavors, however, Nespresso takes the crown. While Keurig offers a lot more in terms of variety, Nespresso’s pods are made on their own and originate from European flavors. This gives an edge to the Nespresso pods that are rich and aromatic in their flavor.
Moreover, the Nespresso machines make use of Centrifusion technology as well, making the entire brewing process a lot more efficient, quick and simple.
The pods that Nespresso makes by itself are known as capsules. These capsules come in over 30 different flavors that include coffees and espressos with flavors such as chocolate, cocoa, coconut double shots, cereal, caramel, fruit, hazelnut, vanilla, biscuit and several more. Since these are made in Switzerland, the flavors are a lot more authentic and of higher quality as compared to the Keurig flavors.
Keurig, on the other hand, partners with nearly 60 different brands to produce around 400 types of flavorful K-cups such as light, medium and dark roasts, different blends, vanilla, caramel, decaf, cinnamon, hazelnut, chai, tea flavors and lots more.
Some of these brands include Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Green Mountain, Krispy Kreme and Cinnabon, among others. Keurig K-cups are also less expensive than Nespresso capsules.
When it comes to the brews that Nespresso and Keurig machines can produce, it depends more on the individual machines themselves. For instance, while the bigger machines reviewed above are more versatile in their brewing capacity, the smaller ones are more limited in terms of their size, features and characteristics.
Further, the presence of a frother also makes a difference. This frother can go a long way in preparing different kinds of milk that you can then use in your coffee. Since the Nespresso machine comes with a special Aeroccino frother, you can expect better quality from it.
This is further enhanced by the Centrifusion technology and the flavor quality of Nespresso. The hot water and the coffee blend quickly to give you your cup of coffee.
As mentioned, the Centrifusion technology of the Nespresso machines leads to quicker extraction and combination of the water and the ground coffee from the capsules.
You can also decide the amount of coffee that you want the machine to brew based on the size of the cup you are using. You can simply do this by pressing the relevant size button. The frothers are also of high quality and can work to prepare your milk conveniently.
In terms of how both brands deal with the pods, the process is fairly the same as they cut into the pods and use the coffee to combine it with the hot water. This then drips into the cup that you place right below the dripper.
In terms of the controls and adjustable settings, however, the Keurig machines provide better options.
How much caffeine content do the pods of the Nespresso and Keurig brands contain? Once again, this depends on the kind of pod and flavor that you opt for.
When it comes to Keurig, the caffeine level can go up to 150g and you can easily check on the product description and specifications while you are buying the K-cups. Some flavors might have a lower level of caffeine, some might be decaf, whereas some might have pretty high levels.
The same goes for the Nespresso capsules. However, some of Nespresso’s capsules can even go as high as 200g when it comes to their caffeine content, particularly ones like a double espresso. On the other hand, some others might have negligible caffeine levels.
In a way, this entirely depends on how much caffeine you are used to consuming.
The water capacity of the machines depends on individual models. Based on the four products that we reviewed here, the Keurig K-Cafe machine has the highest water capacity of 60 ounces in its reservoir, which can last you for several cups of coffee.
A close second is the Nespresso Vertuo machine that holds up to 54 ounces of water. There isn’t much of a difference in this case, but if you want to look at some other models, you should confirm this water capacity before buying the product.
The one with the least water capacity is the Keurig K-Mini machine which requires you to keep replacing the water each time you want to brew your drink. This might make it a bit inconvenient but still fits well with the size and expectations of that particular model.
The machines of both Nespresso and Keurig require regular cleaning and maintenance. This includes the process of descaling (removing the mineral deposits) every few months, cleaning the exterior structure with a simple cloth and rinsing all removable parts separately either using your hands or in the dishwasher.
There are separate descaling kits available for both these brands that you can buy. However, several Nespresso models also come with their own descaling and self-cleaning settings that you can conveniently make use of.
Time and Energy
How much time and energy do these machines take and use when it comes to brewing beverages? For the Nespresso machines, brewing and heating takes less than 30 seconds for most of its products, including the two mentioned here. This is due to its Centrifusion technology that speeds up the process.
On the other hand, the Keurig machines take a couple of minutes for this process, which means that you might have to wait slightly longer for your cup of coffee.
Further, the Nespresso machines have an automatic shut-off time of nine minutes which can save a lot of energy. The quickest and most energy-efficient shut-off period, however, belongs to the 90-second period of the K-Mini.
The K-Cafe machine takes the longest at two hours. While this can still save energy, it is less energy efficient as compared to the other models.
Nespresso has a highly useful and effective free recycling program in partnership with the United Parcel Service (UPS). These allow you to find your closest collection point and recycle all your old capsules there. The leftover coffee in these capsules is then composted.
You can also order recycling bags at no charge for the capsules and return them at these collection points.
While the Keurig recycling technique is also being developed, it is more limited in comparison to Nespresso. You can, however, undertake the method on your own by peeling off the cup and recycling it locally while you compost the coffee.
Both of these brands have long-lasting and durable machines that you can expect to last you up to five years. This, however, also depends on how you use these machines and how frequently you clean and maintain them.
Both these brands provide a warranty of one year for each of their products that you can make use of in case you face any issues.
In this section, we will try to answer some frequently asked questions that will clear all your remaining doubts.
Is It Possible to Use Pods of a Different Brand with Each Machine?
Unfortunately, you cannot use pods of a different brand with each machine. You must ensure that your pods and machine are compatible and belong to the same brand. This is why brands tend to produce pods on their own or in collaboration with other brands.
The machines are also designed in such a way that only pods from the same brand can fit and work within the structure.
Which Brand Is Better?
It is a bit difficult to point to one or the other as this depends on your own requirements as well as several different factors that we have delved into in this buyer’s guide. Based on the factors, however, Nespresso seems to be leading due to the quality of its capsules and machines.
However, if you are looking for greater variety and affordability while still ensuring a certain level of quality, then Keurig can be a pretty good choice as well.
That successfully concludes this comprehensive buyer’s guide. Through it, you have not only gone through the specifications of each brand and some of their products, but you have also seen all the factors that can help you determine which brand is ultimately the better choice for you.
When it comes to buying from a particular brand, do keep all these considerations in mind while also going through all the features, and pros and cons of the products. The specifications of each should give you a better idea about these in case you want to buy a product outside of this list.
You can now make your choice and enjoy that quick kick of caffeine to get you through your day. Happy brewing!