Can't decide between a Nespresso or Keurig machine? Don't worry, you aren't alone.
Both of these coffee pod machines are easy to use and convenient, and it's easy to see why they're market leaders. However, we know coffee machines, and there are some key differences between Nespresso and Keurig which make them better suited to different coffee drinkers.
In this guide we'll give you the full breakdown of Nespresso vs Keurig and show you exactly which one you should choose.
Nespresso Vs Keurig - Key Differences Compared
It’s time for the ultimate showdown between Nespresso vs. Keurig. In this complete comparison, the focus is on exploring the similarities and differences between the Keurig K-Cafe vs. Nespresso Vertuo:
Let's start with the most important factor, how the coffee tastes!
Most people agree that a Nespresso makes a better tasting coffee than a Keurig coffee maker, but why is this? It's mostly down to the technology.
Nespresso use a process which leave the coffee grounds in the water for slightly longer. This allows the coffee to capture more of the bold flavor and leave it tasting better than most other single serve coffee brands.
Keurig K-Cup pods don't stay in the water for as long and by comparison the machines brew regular coffee.
Both of the single serve coffee makers produce a decent brew, but Nespresso is definitely better for true coffee lovers.
2. Brewing Time And Control
Nespresso and Keurig machines are pretty much the same in this category.
They both operate pretty much automatically, allowing you to select your desired strength and cup size. They typically take 30 seconds to make a drink which is roughly the same time it would take to brew espresso in your local coffee shop.
Unfortunately, neither Nespresso or Keurig models come with an auto feature so you can't set it to brew coffee at a specific time so it's waiting for you (like you can with most drip coffee machines). However, this is functionality both Nestle and Keurig partners are exploring in future models.
A Keurig coffee maker offers more variety than a Nespresso.
Both machines allow you to make a barista style coffee at home, though Nespresso's main focus is making European-style espresso (although it can also make full cups of traditional coffee), while Keurig's is more geared towards making brewed coffee.
Nespresso have a range of coffee capsules which contain different types of ground coffee to give a unique flavor. There's even some hot chocolate Nespresso capsules.
Keurig's have an even wider variety of coffee capsules (K-Cups) to choose from, with different types of ground coffee inside, and some hot chocolate options.
When you brew coffee with Keurig models it might not be as high quality, but you get an awful lot of choice.
4. Ease Of Use And Cleaning
Nespresso machines are easier to use and maintain.
Nespresso machines, especially the Vertuo machines, are more compact with simple features which are convenient to use. You can easily switch between settings and while it can't brew espresso - it can make most other coffees really easily.
Keurig coffee makers aren't difficult to use either, but they aren't as intuitive as some Nespresso models.
Neither coffee pod machines are difficult to clean and regular maintenance just involves wiping them down and removing some components to wash them in the sink of dishwasher.
However, you do need to descale your coffee maker every 3-6 months and the advantage of the Nespresso is that it has a descaling mode. This makes cleaning and maintenance easier and can save you time.
5. Cost & Value For Money
Nespresso single serve coffee machines are more expensive than Keurig models, but they offer better long term value for money.
Nespresso models typically range from $150 to $300. On top of that you have the Nespresso's machines coffee pods which cost $0.50-$1.00 each.
Keurig’s models range anywhere from $75 to $250. You also have to pay for the K-Cups, but they are generally only $0.35 each.
However, even though the Nespresso machines are cheaper, they're also very well made. Nespresso machines are Swiss-made, and just about everything manufactured in Switzerland is high in quality. Plus, they have a 2 year warranty so they're made to last.
In comparison, Keurig machines are made from lightweight plastic and only covered by warranty for 1 year.
Keurig is a reliable brand and the better option for those on a tight budget, but Nespresso coffee makers offer better value in the long run.
Is A Nespresso Better Than A Keurig?
So, the million dollar question is, are Nespresso machines better than Keurig coffee makers?When you look at all the features, the Nespresso is a better machine to brew coffee with at home.
Nespresso coffee makers are more expensive, as are the Nespresso pods you use with it. However, they're better made machines, especially the Vertuo machines which make better tasting coffee. In fact, Nespresso single serve coffee makers are probably the best on the market right now.
Keurig coffee makers and the accompanying K-Cups are cheaper and offer more variety, but the quality of the coffee isn't as good. If you have a tight budget then they're a good option, but it's worth paying for a Nespresso if you can afford it.
Nespresso (Coffee Machine Overview + Pros & Cons)
Nespresso, and the accompanying Nespresso boutique stores, are owned and operated by the Nestle company. This multinational food and beverage corporation is based in Switzerland, and its founding dates all the way back to the mid-1800s.
In the early years, Nestle was mainly focused on developing milk chocolate, but now, the company specializes in everything from baby food to bottled water to coffee machines.
There are several Nespresso machines available today, and each one is designed for coffee connoisseurs who prefer to brew their own beverages at home but don't want standard drip coffee.
According to Nespresso,
“anyone can make the perfect cup of coffee, just like a skilled barista.”
That’s what these machines are all about.
About The Nespresso Vertuo
If you’re looking specifically for a pod-operated machine, the Nespresso Vertuo is the best of its kind. This model was first released in 2014, and since then, it has undergone some significant design improvements and innovations.
According to Nespresso’s product page,
“the versatile Vertuo system is equipped with our revolutionary Centrifusion™ technology. It uses a gentle combination of centrifugal force and infusion to perfect-brew any coffee, from a 40ml espresso to a 414ml alto, topped with a thick, luscious crema.”
The Vertuo machine is as intelligent as pod machines come. In addition to Centrifusion, Vertuo is able to recognize each individual pod that is being used. Once the pod is set in place, it then extracts the coffee using code technology to find the optimal infusion time, water temperature, flow rate, and water to coffee ratio.
But like any coffee machine, there are some cons that come along with the many pros:
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Keurig (Coffee Machine Overview + Pros & Cons)
Next, let’s focus on the Keurig company. Keurig, which is now officially known as Keurig Dr. Pepper since the merger with the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, is the 8th largest food and beverage company in the US. They pride themselves on the “Drink Well, Do Good” motto and believe in efficient natural resource use and supply chain sustainability.
In terms of Keurig coffee machines, the single-serving coffee makers are the brand’s main attraction. There are many different designs to choose from, including:
About The Keurig K-Cafe
Out of all the single-serve Keurig machines that utilize coffee pods, the top pick is the K-Cafe model. You can either go for the original K-Cafe or the new and improved Special Edition. With the Special Edition, you can make traditional coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos or a small coffee shot for specialty drinks. You can also make hot chocolate if you've avoiding caffeine.
It also comes with a dishwasher-safe frother to froth fresh milk of your choice, including skim, full-fat, or a dairy-free alternative like almond or soy milk. You can select the brew setting of your choice to brew a stronger, more intense cup, and there are 4 cup sizes to choose from, ranging from 6 to 12 ounces.
Similar to the Nespresso machine, the K-Cafe comes with some pros as well as cons:
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Nespresso Vs. Keurig Coffee Pods - Which Are Higher Quality?
Both Nespresso and Keurig machines operate with single-serving coffee pods (called capsules in the case of Nespresso), so which brand's pods are better? You already know that Keurig is the winner in terms of Nespresso vs. Keurig pod cost, but it's also important to evaluate the quality of the coffee being brewed.
If you opt for the popular Vertuo Nespresso machine, the capsule goes through a centrifusion process, which means it is spun rapidly to blend the coffee and water. Each Vertuo capsule uses a barcode, so the machine reads the code and brews the coffee based on which cap is being used.
Another great thing about the Vertuo machine and capsules is that they’re capable of making both espresso and traditional coffee. This isn’t the case for Keurig; although the brand has tried to branch out into classic espresso, they aren’t quite there yet.
Keurig has partnered with tons of pod-producing brands, so there is a wide range of different K-cups that can be used in these machines. No matter what your individual coffee taste is, chances are, you can find a Keurig pod that fits your preferences.
So while Nepressio uses high-quality coffee beans and innovative brewing technology to deliver a better-tasting beverage, Keurig pods give you a lot more options when it comes to coffee variety.
Comparing Nespresso & Keurig With Other Popular Coffee Machines
Nespresso and Keurig are the two biggest brands for single-serving pod coffee makers. They're in loads of homes and often given as a coffee gift around the holidays.
However, there are a few more options to consider and here’s how Keurig and Nespresso compare to other brands:
Tassimo Coffee Machines
Tassimo is one of the more affordable options when it comes to pod-style coffee makers. However, the Tassimo-compatible pod selection is limited, especially compared to the Keurig brand.
Ninja Coffee Machines
Ninja is a top-of-the-line brand that is well worth considering. Their coffee makers come with many great features, including programmable auto timers and brew strength control.
One great thing about Ninja models is that they allow you to make a high volume of coffee as well as a single cup, so if you prefer a full pot, you can do that.
Starbucks Verismo Machines
Similar to Nespresso, the Starbucks Verismo machine is a Swiss-made product that’s high in quality and durability. It allows you to make professional-grade espresso, coffee, or even tea. There’s a wide range of Starbucks pods to choose from, so you have plenty of choices in terms of what you want to drink.
When comparing Tassimo vs. Keurig vs. Verismo vs. Nespresso, it's difficult to say which one is the winner. All of these machines have a unique set of pros and cons, so it comes down to your personal coffee-brewing and taste preferences.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can you use Keurig pods in a Nespresso machine?
No, you cannot use K-cups in Nespresso machines. Nespresso uses a special centrifusion and barcode-reading process, so only Nespresso capsules can be used in their coffee makers.
Which Nespresso pods have the least caffeine?
If you’re looking for a low-caf option with your Nespresso machine, you’ll want to go with the half-caff or fully decaffeinated capsule blend.
According to Nespresso customer service,
“the Half Caffeinato blend contains approximately 90 mg of caffeine. Finally, the decaffeinated blends contain no more than 12 mg of caffeine.”
How long do Keurigs last?
This depends on how well you maintain the machine. With regular cleaning and descaling, your Keurig should last anywhere between 3 and 5 years.
Where is the reset button on my Keurig?
Resetting a Keurig is fairly simple. Hunker says that “a basic reset resolves many common issues experienced with Keurig brewers. To perform a basic reset:
- 1Turn the machine off, if possible, and unplug it for several minutes.
- 2Plug the machine back in and try a brew cycle again.”
If that doesn't work, try removing the water reservoir before performing the two steps above.
What kind of water should you use in a Keurig?
It’s best to use bottled or filtered water in your Keurig if you want the best-tasting coffee possible. Many people wonder if distilled water is OK, and Keurig support says that they
“advise against the use of distilled water as it can make the coffee taste flat. Moreover, since distilled water contains no minerals, your coffee maker may not be able to detect water in the reservoir and the ‘add water’ light will remain on.”
However, it's also OK to use tap water because Keurig machine "water filters are made of charcoal that help purify the water in your reservoir. This helps enhance the flavor and taste of the coffee."
Nespresso and Keurig machines are both great single serving coffee makers for any home.
Nespresso's, especially the Nespresso Vertuo, make higher quality coffee - but they are more expensive. Keurigs are more affordable and have greater variety - but the coffee isn't as good and the machines aren't as well made.
If you're a true coffee connoisseur then you should definitely go for a Nespresso, but you do need to be prepared to pay the higher price tag.