Coffee pod machines are all the rage right now. They're convenient, easy to use, look great on your kitchen countertop, and ideal for making one cup of coffee at a time. There are many coffee pod machines to choose from, but the best are, without a doubt, Nespresso and Keurig.
When comparing Nespresso vs. Keurig, there are some similarities, but there are also some differences that every coffee lover should be aware of.
In this complete guide to the Nespresso machine vs. Keurig machine, we'll explore the main differences between the two - focusing on the popular Nespresso Vertuo vs. Keurig K-Cafe - so that you can choose the one that works best for you and your coffee-sipping needs.
Nespresso (Coffee Machine Overview + Pros & Cons)
Nespresso is 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.
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.
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 Keurig K-Cafe comes with some pros as well as cons:
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Nespresso Vs. Keurig (Key Similarities & Differences)
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:
1. Machine Design & Durability
In terms of design, Nespresso is the clear winner in this category. Nespresso machines are Swiss-made, and just about everything manufactured in Switzerland is high in quality. Keurig machines are made from lightweight plastic, while Nespresso’s are made of thicker, heavier plastic as well as some metallic components.
Most Nespresso coffee makers come with a 2-year warranty, whereas the Keurig machines typically are only covered for 1 year. That being said, Keurig is still a reliable brand and delivers reliable machines.
2. Brewing Time And Control
Both machines give coffee drinkers impressive control over the brew outcome. You can easily select your desired strength and cup size with both Keurigs and Nespresso. One thing to note is that neither machines come with an Auto setting that allows you to set a specific brewing time (say, for the following day), so this is something we're hoping to see in the future from both brands.
3. Performance & Coffee Quality
The performance of both machines is why these brands are the best in the industry. Both come with features that make at-home coffee-brewing similar to what you'd get from a skilled barista. However, 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.
Overall, Nespresso machines can make a richer, better-tasting cup of coffee, but Keurig offers a wider selection of pods. Therefore, Keurig gives you a lot more variety in what you're able to produce with the machine. There is no clear winner in this category; it comes down to whether you prefer robust espresso-like coffee or would rather have a variety of coffee variations to choose from.
4. Ease Of Use And Cleaning
The clear winner when it comes to ease of use and maintenance is… drumroll, please… Nespresso! Nespresso machines, specifically the Vertuo model, are more compact and come with convenient and simple features. The Vertuo is built with a simple custom selector that makes it easy to select the brew strength and type, and although Keurig K-Cafe also has a similar feature, Nespresso's is slightly better, in my opinion.
Now for cleaning. Neither coffee pod machines are particularly difficult to clean. All you really have to do on a regular basis is wipe down the machine exterior and wash the detachable components in the sink or dishwasher. You’ll also want to descale your coffee maker every 3-6 months, and this is where Nespresso has Keurig beat. Nespresso machines come with a descaling mode that’s optimal for maintenance, and this isn’t something that Keurig machines feature.
5. Value For Money
The initial price of Nespresso machines is slightly higher than Keurig coffee makers, and the same goes for Keurig vs. Nespresso pods. Nespresso models typically range from $150 to $300, while Keurig’s models range anywhere from $75 to $250.
In addition to each machine’s upfront cost, Keurig pods are cheaper per serving than Nespresso capsules. Because Nespresso machines use a capsule-scanning process before brewing, this prevents users from using any other type of pod. The brand’s capsules range from $0.75 to $1.40 depending on the one you choose, whereas you can find Keurig pods for as little as $0.35 each.
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
Although Nespresso and Keurig are the two biggest brands for single-serving pod coffee makers, there are a few more options to consider. 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."
Now that you know the difference between Nespresso and Keurig machines, you are well-equipped to make a decision between these two high-end single-serving coffee makers. Let’s do a quick recap.
The Nespresso Vertuo is an excellent choice if you opt for the Nespresso brand, and the coffee it delivers is extremely high in quality, thanks to the innovative Swiss-made design. However, Nespresso machines and pods are higher in price than Keurig, and Keurig machines have a wide range of pods/coffee flavors to choose from.
When it comes down to it, the Nespresso is the winner in terms of performance, design, and coffee quality, but you have to be willing to pay the higher price tag.