People are always finding ways to simplify their life. One big way people have started simplifying their life is by using single-serve coffee machines. Brands like Nespresso and Keurig have risen in popularity due to their convenience and unique features. The big question remains: which one is the best?
What Are Single Serve Coffee Machines
A single-serve coffee machine brews coffee in small batches. The batches usually range from 5 to 12 ounces and can brew in seconds. This is a solid option for people who want to make their own coffee at home rather than go to a coffee shop.
Why Are They Popular
Single-serve coffee machines have gained popularity throughout the years due to their convenience. This became especially evident during Covid when most coffee shops closed. More and more people began making their coffee at home, saving money and time.
This encouraged popular coffee brands to come out with new and improved versions of their single-serve coffee machines.
What Is a Nespresso
Nespresso is a kitchen appliance brand that originates in Switzerland. Nespresso is a part of the Nestle Group and is mainly popular in Europe. Recently, they have gained more popularity in America and Canada due to increased advertising. Their machines brew coffee and espresso.
They offer many flavours and styles of coffee in the pods designed specifically for their Nespresso machines. They created their coffee system in 1976 and continuously reimagined it until they made the machines you see today.
Their brand offers two lines of machines: The Original and the Vertuo lines. Both have benefits depending on how you like your coffee. The machine options and accessories vary depending on which line you choose, made to enhance your experience.
Showcasing their quality, Nespresso has partnered with well-known brands such as:
- Aspinwall Coffee
- Blaser Café AG
What Is a Keurig
Keurig is a coffee conglomerate that got its start in North America. As one of the biggest beverage companies in North America, they have a wide range of products. They have partnered with over 60 brands creating k-cups of a wide variety.
Their partnerships give their consumers many options for flavours and styles of coffee. Their coffee line has 50 different coffee machine models. With all these models, there is one that works for everyone.
Their brand expands beyond coffee and includes:
- Dairy beverages
- Fruit-based drinks.
This results in over 400 varieties of k-cups to choose from. Their k-cups have been around since 1998, although they created the brand itself in 1992.
Differences in Pods
While both are single-serve coffee machines, they differ in how they do coffee pods. Keurig has partnered with multiple brands and has over 400 different pods for you to choose from. They branch out beyond just coffee and also offer tea and lemonades. These are all compatible with their machines, so if coffee isn’t your go-to, Keurig is still a great option.
Nespresso pods come in two different forms. Since they have two lines of machines, the pods for the machines are different. Their Original and Vertuo machines take different types of Nespresso pods. The coffee machine can detect the shape of the pod and knows which one you have inserted.
The price for each brand does differ but not by much. K-cups are around $7.99 for a 12-pack of its basic coffee blend. Nespresso pods for the original machine are $7.50 for a 10-pack. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, then Keurig is slightly cheaper in the long run.
Most people aim to save money when they decide to use an at-home coffee machine over going to a coffee shop. This can heavily impact your decision when choosing between a Keurig and a Nespresso machine.
At home, Keurig machines range from $80 – $295. Their cheapest model is the K-Express Single Serve Coffee Maker, which retails for $80. On the opposite end, their most expensive model, the Keurig K155 OfficePRO Premier Brewing System, retails for $295.
Nespresso has varying prices depending on the line of machines you’re choosing. In their Original line, the cheapest model is the Essenza Mini, which retails for $169. On the other end, their most expensive model is the Creatista Pro, which retails for $849.
When looking at their Vertuo line, the cheapest model is the VertuoPlus, which retails for $189. The most expensive model in this line is the Vertuo, which retails for $209.
Based on pricing, it’s clear to see the Nespresso machines are at a higher price range than Keurig. The gap in pricing makes you wonder, is there a gap in quality as well?
The Variety in Flavours
When it comes to flavour variety, Keurig stands out. They have over 60 brand partnerships including Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Throughout these 60 brands, they have over 400 varieties to choose from.
Apart from their 400 varieties, they also offer a reusable k-cup that you can fill with your beverage of choice. Their k-cup and third-party brand pods are all compatible with Keurig machines.
Nespresso uses bar-code technology on all its pods. This makes it so your machine scans the pod you’ve chosen and can adapt the amount of water based on which type of drink you choose.
Currently, Nespresso only offers 17 types of coffee. While their variety is lacking, some say the quality of the coffee makes up for it.
Quality of the Coffee
When you look at the quality of coffee between Nespresso and Keurig, Nespresso comes out on top. It all depends on the type of coffee you enjoy. Nespresso brews espresso-like coffee, while Keurig brews drip coffee.
Since Keurig machines do more than just coffee, their quality of coffee is lower compared to Nespresso. One benefit of Keurig is they offer different branded coffee.
If you don’t enjoy the original Keurig brand coffee, you can buy k-pods with Starbucks coffee inside instead. While their coffee isn’t the highest quality, you do have more options to pick the one you like best.
On the other hand, Nestle Group has been distributing coffee for years. They know espresso and have manufactured their machines to reflect that. Most Nespresso coffee machines have a steaming wok and milk holder equipped. This is great for making lattes and cappuccinos.
Since Nespresso coffee resembles an espresso, their coffee produces a stronger, flavour-packed brew.
Storage/Ease of Use
Both Nespresso and Keurig have coffee machines that are easy for anyone to use. When it comes to design, Nespresso creates coffee machines that are slim and sleek. Nespresso machines are often equipped with an automatic dispenser, so when the pod is done, it’s automatically dropped in a container. This makes reloading the coffee machine easy and hassle-free.
Keurig machines are typically bulkier than Nespresso. They do brew larger cups of coffee with a full tank being able to break 8 cups of 8-ounce coffee. Keurig and Nespresso are both easy to use and start with the touch of a button.
When it comes to storing your machines, both feature an automatic off. This is great if you’re running late and turning off the machine slips your mind. They both also require a descaling every six months or so. Descaling involved pouring descaling liquid into the chamber and then letting the coffee machine run.
Single-serve coffee machines brew using coffee pods. Although it seems straightforward, there is a difference in brewing between Keurig and Nespresso.
Keurig uses a pressure brewing method. Once you insert the pod and close the top, two holes get punctured in the pod. The coffee is then squeezed out using pressure and results in your cup of coffee. The whole process takes around 45 seconds to complete.
Nespresso takes a different approach by using centrifugation.
Rather than two holes, they puncture one middle hole and a circle around the circumference of the pod. This makes it so the coffee is in greater contact with the hot water and results in a foamy top layer.
Nespresso also offers their Vertuo line, which advances the centrifugation technology further. The capsule spins at 7,000 rpm to fuse the water and the coffee even more.
Their barcode technology scans the coffee pod you’ve inserted and determines the water temperature and length of brew based on the pod.
Overall, Nespresso pods take much greater care in brewing the coffee than Keurig.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Nespresso machines take the convenience to another level with their auto empty feature for their pods. After a brew, the pod is dispensed into a container on the back of the machine. This makes emptying pods easier because you’ll only need to empty the container after 10 brews.
When it comes to the drip tray, both machines make it easy to remove and clean. With the Keurig, you’ll need to empty the pods yourself, so hopefully, the person before you doesn’t forget.
Descaling is needed for both machines and is indicated with a light on the Keurig. The Nespresso doesn’t have an indicator for descaling but has LEDs that will flash to notify you. Overall, both machines require around the same amount of cleaning and maintenance.
Environmental Concerns and Recycling
Both Keurig and Nespresso have ways of recycling their pods, so they are more environmentally friendly. To recycle Keurig pods you simply need to take the lid off, dump the coffee, and throw it in your recycle pin.
Recycling the Nespresso pods is a little more complicated. The aluminium they are made of isn’t recycled everywhere. Nespresso is aware of this and offers door pickup for used pods.
If you’re subscribed to their delivery service, when you receive your new pods they’ll take your old ones and recycle them.
If you aren’t a part of the subscription, you can drop them off at a local Nespresso boutique retailer or collection site. They offer a map so you can locate a service near you.
Overall, both Nespresso and Keurig both have their pros and cons. If you’re looking for a simple machine that gives you tons of options, Keurig is your best bet. If you’re a coffee connoisseur and enjoy a quality cup then Nespresso is the one for you.
Whichever option you choose, it’s always best to do your research so you choose the best single-serve coffee machine for you.