Nespresso is set to become the new standard for coffee making worldwide. This is because they understood that coffee lovers, although they do love to tinker with their recipes, they value a good coffee over everything else.
And that’s what Nespresso has accomplished: To deliver a luxury quality coffee without having to become a specialist on several machines, without having to check the ratio of water to coffee, and so on. These coffee makers are a truly universal solution, setting a new standard of making coffee that is not only accessible to everyone but absolutely delicious.
What makes Nespresso machines different?
It is the first question that popped up when we were testing them. The most surprising thing we found is that the extraction method, which is basically how the coffee is brewed, is completely unique.
With any machine from the Vertuoline (as opposed to the OriginalLine) such as the VertuoPlus or the Evoluo, Nespresso capsule coffee is brewed by something they call Centrifusion. This is because the method relies on a combination of centrifugal force and infusion. Here’s how it goes:
Once the capsule is in place, a number of openings are made, then water is poured into the capsule and then it sits for a few moments. This is a good old infusion, which is done in methods like French press coffee. Now’s when it gets crazy: the capsule is spun at up to 7,000 RPM. Let that sink in.
But the wonder of Nespresso doesn’t end there: Each capsule has a certain barcode which upon reading, gives the coffee maker information about how to make that specific capsule: Infusion time, water temperature, RMP, and so on.
And this is why the point of Nespresso is not just convenience, as it seems to be so widely believed. The point of Nespresso is a whole new era of coffee making, a completely different and unique brewing method that cannot be compared with others.
Let’s check out some of our top Nespresso picks, see what we like about them, and why we think they are a good pick:
Breville-Nespresso Essenza Mini
Breville, one of the most reputable names in the coffee industry for their outstanding espresso machines, has teamed up with Nespresso in order to get with the times of good coffee. The Essenza Mini is one of the many offspring resulting from this partnership, and it is a powerful machine.
For such a small machine (Breville’s smallest ever) it pumps water with much greater force than many espresso machines at 19 bars of pressure. For comparison, 15 bars is the standard for small machines, but for machines, we usually expect half that amount, so this is quite a feat.
With an energy-saving feature that will turn off the machine automatically after 9 seconds of inactivity and a fast heating function that will heat the water for your coffee in less than 30 seconds, it was never this fast to get such a good espresso.
Why the Essenza Mini?
Besides being quite affordable, the Essenza Mini is a good machine to try out at different locations. Its small size lets you easily pick it up and take it from your kitchen to your workspace and its cool design will make it look good no matter where you put it.
As far as a great, affordable first purchase to get into the world of Nespresso, we 100% recommend the Essenza Mini.
Nespresso EN550B Lattissima Touch Original
A tactile display sets this one apart from all other coffee makers. The design alone would make it stand out, but this feature alone enriches the experience of making your coffee. With 19 bars of pressure to effectively extract the best espresso possible.
The best thing about this machine, though, is its dedicated milk frother. At first glance, it appears to be some sort of container –one would expect a frothing wand of some sort- but, after trying it, we think it’s the best milk frother we’ve ever tried on a coffee maker, Nespresso or otherwise.
This machine’s milk frother can be adjusted to desired levels of frothiness and it has a dispenser, meaning you don’t need to manually pour milk, which can result in a disaster. Don’t ever cry over spilled milk again.
Why the Latissima Touch?
It’s a great do-it-all machine.
It’s got a great heating system so your coffee’s ready in a matter of seconds, and the milk frothing function is great.
The expanded range of options you have just by having the milk frother is a big bonus: You don’t even need to have coffee. If you just want to have some hot milk and cocoa, then you can heat up the milk in your Latissima Touch, plus frothing it.
For us, it’s a no-brainer; particularly for people who love foamy drinks.
A quick note about Descaling:
“Scale” is what we call the grey-ish hard build-up which forms inside most espresso machines. Usually, you’re on your own when having to clean these build-ups which form because of benign minerals in the water (mostly calcium), but Nespresso is quite thoughtful about the Descaling part.
There is a specialized descaling solution for Nespresso machines, which also have a particular descaling function for running hot water mixed with the solution through the machine. This is, to anyone who has owned an espresso machine before, a huge relief.
Descaling can mean the death of your machine, and it’s hard to get right on the first try. Thankfully, descaling is very easy to do with Nespresso coffee machines. Many of them even include a descaling alert, which lets you know when your machine needs a descaling, and can even refuse to make your coffee unless you descale it first as if asking for a bath.
Mueller Espresso Machine for Nespresso
Right from Vienna comes this impressive Mueller espresso machine: It’s got a compact, sophisticated design but still has a tremendous amount of power: 20 bars of pressure.
20 bars of pressure means that, basically, your espresso is going to be delicious no matter what. The increased force and fast extraction let all of the oil and the aroma of the coffee be extracted quickly before they can burn away, making for a delicious coffee.
It has the two basic options for Nespresso machines –Espresso and Lungo- but these can be reprogrammed if you want to.
Why the Mueller?
- Because it makes really, really good coffee. Very powerful extraction.
- It is small and easy to clean.
- It looks very good; European design.
- Two-year warranty. Yes, please. This is a big plus when buying a coffee machine.
Nespresso C190T Concept Espresso Machine
This futuristic design actually goes way back with Nespresso. Before they settled on the standard design that we see so much today which is more focused on single-serve machines that you’d never need to do anything beyond inserting a capsule and pressing a button, this machine is a fantastic cross between an espresso maker and a Nespresso machine.
Its design is inspired by classical Italian espresso makers; those were the baristas has to actually pump the water themselves. And it shows: It has a steam wand, which is practically unheard of for a Nespresso machine. The water tank is at the back, no effort to hide it as if showing off.
Why the Nespresso Concept?
You don’t have to settle for “office” coffee; the steam wand will let you make lattes, cappuccinos and myriad other coffee drinks like a real barista. It’s a fantastic addition to a Nespresso machine that serves as a bridge between trusty old espresso machines and the great quality of Nespresso coffee.
Its vintage design is a much better choice if you don’t really like the boxy, formal style of most other Nespresso machines.
19 bars of pressure power!
De’Longhi ENV150GY VertuoPlus
Nespresso has recently introduced a new variant that promises to deliver even better coffee every time. Many “Vertuo” machines have been flooding the market, and most of them are of impressive quality, but De’Longhi always seems to have the best designs.
The VertuoPlus not only makes delicious espresso –with a mouth-watering amount of crema-, it also has an amazing design. It comes in several colors and there is a Deluxe version, which had improved quality material, which helps with the water heating system.
Why The De’Longhi VertuoPlus?
Its water tank is placed outside the machine itself, saving yourself the hassle of a removable water tank or an integrated water tank that could always spill and make a mess.
The newest generation of capsule coffee makes better coffee than most previous machines.
3 different presets— Alto, Coffee, and Espresso.
Introducing: The Aeroccino!
It was about time the truth was said: Why would you buy a machine that can only make espresso? Most of the time, honestly, you would want a latte or a cappuccino. Well, Nespresso knows this and does not want to leave its dear customers with a cup of bitter, black coffee.
The Aeroccino 3 is one of the most practical ways to froth milk we have ever seen, and we mean it. In appearance, it looks more like a tall coffee mug. It has a removable whisk to froth the milk, which means easy (though constant) cleaning.
The Aeroccino 3 can froth both hot and cold milk. Inside it has two markings, one for cold milk (bottom), and the other for hot milk (above). There is but one button on the Aeroccino: If pressed normally, it will light up red and froth milk that is hot. If pressed for 2 seconds or longer, it will froth cold milk.
Best things about the Aeroccino 3:
- Super easy to use- just one button!
- Portable and discreet.
- Removable whisk.
- Conserves temperature really well.
But it doesn’t end there. Behold The Aeroccino 4.
The upgraded version of the Aeroccino 3, this machine comes closer in appearance and in its use to a milk pitcher… But it’s a milk pitcher that does everything by itself.
Unlike its predecessors, the Aeroccino4 has a base to which it has to be attached first in order to work. Once you’ve filled it with milk, you put it back in its base, and choose one out of 4 options:
- Cold milk: For cold or warm milk.
- Hot milk: This function heats up your milk.
- Medium foam: To froth milk while also getting a decent amount of foam.
- Dense foam: this function will get you the best foam you can imagine. It is ideal for the foamiest drinks that you can come up with. Hands-down the best thing about the Aeroccino4.
Best things about the Aeroccino 4:
- Stainless steel material, which is best for milk.
- The firm handle gives you more control when pouring. Great for creating latte art.
- It has different functions, giving you a wider drink range.
- Dishwasher safe!
As it was expected, many Nespresso machines are now offered along with one or another type of Aeroccino machine (although the Aeroccino 4, since it is a more complicated machine, is usually sold separately).
The concept of the Aeroccino is already very practical, but particularly for a Nespresso machine. If you decide to purchase a Nespresso coffee maker, you just can’t miss out on the Aeroccino!
Try some of these Aeroccino options out!
The Evoluo machine –which also comes in a bundle which includes the Aeroccino 3- specializes in range and capacity. Though most Single-serve, capsule coffee machines offer two options: Espresso and Lungo, the Evoluo offers five different options: Espresso (1.35 oz.), double espresso (2.7 oz.), Gran Lungo (5 oz.), Coffee (8 oz) and Alto (14 oz.).
As for capacity, a big majority of Nespresso machines can store up to 10 used capsules while the Evoluo can take up to 17 capsules.
Why the Evoluo?
The Evoluo is the clear choice for those who know themselves to be avid drinkers. Not only does it offer a lot of different coffee sizes, but it can take more capsules before having to empty the machine, which lets you just keep making coffee after coffee without having to worry about anything else.
Has a descaling alarm which will alert you that it needs a descaling soon.
Breville Nespresso Expert
Finally, a Nespresso machine that can make you a proper Americano. Besides this, the Expert also has a Ristretto function, along with the basic Espresso and Lungo.
The design is innovative because it focuses on width instead of depth: It occupies little space and can be put against the wall with no need to reach around to get to the water tank or the capsule container. Not only is the design more ergonomic, but we also love the combination of black and shiny, metallic surfaces
There’s also a Smart Coffee function, and we’re really excited about this one: You can pair up your phone to your Nespresso coffee maker via Bluetooth to further customize your coffee. The Nespresso Expert lets you adjust not only the amount of water you want in your coffee but also the temperature of the brewing water—And customization is key to good coffee.
Why the Expert?
- It has a 19 bar pressure system, which means top-grade extraction.
- Smart coffee, you can personalize your coffee more than with any other machine.
- Excellent design that can adapt to any space.
- Can make Americano, Espresso, Ristretto and Lungo.
The Barista Recipe Maker
To follow up on the smart coffee idea, and particularly on Bluetooth-focused devices, we’d like to mention this amazing tool.
Though the Barista Recipe Maker (hereafter referred to as BRM) looks much like a cross between Aeroccinos 3 and 4, it cannot be labeled as just a milk frother. The Aeroccino, for example, only really tolerates milk: The whisk and the tool itself don’t do well when anything foreign is introduced to the mix.
The BRM, however, can withstand any type of crazy combination you can think of. You can even throw some ice cubes in there if the recipe calls for it. And, talking of recipes: The BRM will walk you through more than twenty coffee recipes through your phone once you’ve paired them up.
To operate the BRM, you use a stylish touch screen, which navigates you through the whole process with ease, making it one of the easiest, most satisfying to use coffee tools we’ve ever seen.
Best things about the BRM:
- You can make just about any type of drink in it.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Stainless steel jug.
- You can add recipes to your repertoire through the Nespresso app, which creates recipes, especially for the BRM.
A digital display with a wide arrange of features, a steam pipe to actually steam your milk and a shiny finish is the most notable characteristics of the Creatista.
The digital display, much like those seen on coffee grinders, helps you operate everything from the water tank (which you can test for hardness and adjust the water filtering accordingly. A++ on this feature, Breville!) to the steam pipe and the coffee extraction.
It comes in three different presentations, from the lowest price to highest: The Creatista Uno, the Creatista, and the Creatista Plus. Aside from capacity (the Plus version has the almost double capacity for water and used capsules) and the quality of the body materials, there isn’t much difference to the actual quality of the coffee you can make.
Why the Creatista?
- Steampipe makes it possible to create any type of espresso-based drink.
- The digital display is packed with customization features that you can’t help but love, even if you’re against screens.
- Optimized heat up time.
The CitiZ has an astonishing chrome surface that will catch anyone’s attention, and its award-winning design combines practicality with compactness, making it a small without having to sacrifice any function, or without making it awkward to use like other micro coffee machines.
Why the CitiZ:
- Best size for small or cramped spaces.
- 19 bar pressure system.
- A powerful heating system that heats water in under 30 seconds.
- 33 oz. water tank.
- Award-winning design.
The ultimate ergonomic machine, the Pixie has just as much power as any other standard coffee maker packed into the most portable machine that Nespresso has to offer.
It has incorporated aluminum into its body that makes it extra durable while also giving it more resistance to heat fluctuations. It even has a hidden space to store the power cord should you ever want to just pick it up and take somewhere else.
Best things about the Pixie:
- Water tank alarm that lets you know when you’re running low on water
- Thermo-block technology for faster coffee
- 19 bar pressure pump
The fact that capsules are discarded after one use which only makes one coffee has been subject to complaints of an unnecessary generation of waste. However, Nespresso is very conscious of this and has taken extraordinary steps to minimize waste as much as possible.
One thing that you can do is order free recycling bags from the Nespresso website. They can hold up to 200 capsules (or 100 of the VertuoLine capsules) in just one bag, and once full you can find a dropoff location on their website or they can be shipped to them directly via UPS, also completely free of charge.
Besides the recycling bags, Nespresso also sells a recycling bin which can also store a large number of capsules so you don’t have loose bags lying around. The bin itself is made out of recycled materials!
Make sure to also check out these capsule options for your Nespresso machine!
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We’ll brew ya later! ☕️