Getting perfect espresso at home can be very expensive. The best Nespresso machine offers a way to get you much of the way there without having to spend a fortune.
You might already the importance of freshly ground coffee.
Once a coffee bean is ground, it begins to de-gas, emitting carbon dioxide. While it degasses, the aroma is sealed in. But once it’s finished (around 2 minutes), the aroma is attacked by the air. Within a couple hours, most of the aroma vanishes.
By using freshly ground coffee, you’re preserving the aroma and the flavor.
However, grinding espresso at home is very difficult. If it’s ground too coarse, the grounds will retain much of their flavor and they’ll under-extract, leading to weak espresso. If it’s ground too fine, they’ll over-extract and give you a bitter shot of espresso.
If it’s ground using a cheap grinder, you’ll be left with an inconsistent grind – there will be both dust and boulders.
This will cause the dust sized espresso grounds to clump together in the portafilter and block the water, while the boulder sized ones cause channels, giving water a path through the puck without coming into contact with much of the grounds.
If you want properly ground espresso, you’ll need a quality espresso grinder which is expensive.
With Nespresso espresso pods, the coffee is commercially ground straight into the airtight pod, and sealed immediately. This means you’re getting fresh, perfectly ground espresso every single time.
Which Nespresso Machine to Buy?
Now you’ve decided on a Nespresso, it’s time to find the right one for you. Which of these features do you need?
Automatic or Manual?
Automatic ones operate with the push of a button, delivering an identical sized shot of espresso every time. Manual ones will need you to press the ‘off’ button, to stop the flow of water once you have the desired amount.
The advantage of an automatic one is that you can switch your brain off and get a perfect shot every time, whereas a manual one allows you to vary the size and strength of your shot.
Some come with a milk frother. This is handy if you want to use it for Cappuccinos or Lattes.
+ Nespresso Coffee pods?
One of the newer models is a dual purpose machine which makes both espresso and coffee, using the larger Nespresso coffee pods.
This gives you the option to enjoy the same high quality ‘Grand Cru’ coffee with the same freshness.
So now that you know which features you’re looking for, the comparison table below will compare Nespresso machines to help you discover which Nespresso machine to buy.
Pixie, Citiz, U D50, Essenza, Inissia, VirtuoLine – they’re all included, and the Nespresso machine reviews below that will help you even further.
The Ultimate Nespresso Machine Comparison Table
|Nespresso Essenza C91 Manual Espresso Maker||Manual||Manual operation - you control the volume of water pushed through your Nespresso.||$|
|Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker||Automatic||2 cup sizes: Espresso and Lungo, which you can reprogram.|
24 oz water tank.
Folding drip tray for larger cups.
Holds 11 used pods.
|Nespresso U D50 Espresso Maker||Automatic||3 cup sizes: Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo, and remembers your favorite. |
27 oz water tank, which can be repositioned - back, left or right.
Magnetic drip tray - removable to fit larger cups.
Holds 12 used pods.
|Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker||Automatic||2 cup sizes: Espresso and Longo, which you can reprogram yourself.|
24 oz water tank.
Folding drip tray, for larger cups.
Holds 10 used pods.
Compact and stylish.
|Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker, Black||Automatic||2 cup sizes: Espresso and Longo, which you can reprogram.|
33 3/4 oz water tank.
Holds 12 used pods.
|Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker||Automatic. Nespresso espresso + coffee pods||2 Nespresso pod sizes taken - smaller espresso pods and larger coffee pods.|
40 oz water tank.
Holds 13-20 used pods.
Accommodates tall glasses.
|Nespresso U D50 Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother||Automatic||Bundled with the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus, which sells separately for around $100||$$|
|Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker With Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother||Automatic||Bundled with the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus, which sells separately for around $100||$$|
|Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother||Automatic||Bundled with the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus, which sells separately for around $100.|
Also has a base to hold both units.
|Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother||Automatic||Bundled with the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus, which sells separately for around $100||$$$|
|DeLonghi Silver Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System||Super Automatic||Fully integrated system. One touch operation for all drinks - espresso, cappuccino, latte|
30 oz water tank, 12 oz fridge safe milk carafe.
Surprisingly compact - not much bigger than the U D50.
Holds 10 used pods.
Accommodates large glasses.
Nespresso Machine Reviews
The Best Cheap Nespresso Machine
At a glance: Same great performance at a budget price.
The Nespresso Inissia is the best pod espresso machine at a budget price, brand new for 2014.
When compared to the next cheapest Nespresso machine, the U D50, it doesn’t have some of the convenient extras, such as a water tank you can reposition to fit your kitchen space, or the ability to pull a ristretto sized shot.
But it does have the goods where it counts most – it’s a Nespresso pod espresso machine made by Nespresso.
It has the same quality engineering as the other machines in the range, and it pushes water through the pod at the right pressure and temperature to produce a perfect shot, every time.
At 24 oz, it has a the smallest water tank of the range, meaning you’ll need to refill it a little more frequently, and it doesn’t have the stylish stainless steel finish of the Pixie.
But it is a huge $70 cheaper than the next cheapest Nespresso machine, the U D50, making it perfect if you want the best Nespresso machine on a budget.
- Click here for the best price on the Inissia at Amazon.
Best Cheap Nespresso Machine and Aeroccino Bundle
At a glance: Personalize it to your kitchen and to your tastes. Perfect Cappuccinos and Lattes on a budget.
If you want to enjoy cappuccinos or lattes, a Nespresso and Aeroccino bundle should be a no brainer choice, not least for the huge discount.
The Aeroccino Plus makes hot, frothy milk for your drink in around a minute. With a one touch operation, the temperature is carefully controlled so that it doesn’t burn the milk.
It is also quick to clean (it can be submerged in water, but is not dishwasher safe).
The Nespresso U D50 is a fully featured espresso maker, and maybe the best pod espresso machine in its price bracket.
It makes 3 sizes of espresso, ristretto, espresso and longo, so you can control the strength of your drink.
The water tank can be repositioned to your liking – at the back, to the left or to the right. This is much handier than it sounds – since you’ll need to remove it to fill it, you can position it so that you have easy access to it in your kitchen.
The magnetic drip tray can be removed to fit your taller cappuccino or latte cups.
The Nespresso U D50 / Aeroccino Plus bundle is a no brainer choice if you want almost perfect cappuccinos or lattes on a budget, and is the best nespresso machine bundle for this.
The only negative is the U D50’s muted looks. If you want something with more style, the Nespresso Pixie / Aeroccino Plus bundle might be worth a look.
- Click here for the best price on the U D50 / Aeroccino Plus bundle.
The Best Super Automatic Nespresso Machine
At a glance: The ultimate Nespresso machine.
The DeLonghi Latissima Plus is the ultimate Nespresso machine – the best pod espresso machine.
It combines breathtaking looks with ease of operation – espressos, cappuccinos and lattes at the touch of a button.
The quantity of milk or coffee can be customized for each of the 3 milk and 2 coffee settings, and your favorite drinks can be saved.
The 12 oz milk carafe is fridge safe, and has a self-cleaning function so that you won’t need to clean it between drinks – just hit the ‘clean’ button before you hit the ‘cappuccino’ / ‘latte’ button.
It’s quick to heat (within 40 seconds) and the controls are illuminated.
What’s most surprising though is how compact it is – at 12.59 x 6.69 x 10.23 inches (L x W x H), it’s not much bigger than the Nespresso U D50, which is 14.5 x 4.5 x 9.8 inches.
The DeLonghi Latissima Plus is the ultimate Nespresso machine, and the best Nespresso machine you can buy.
- Click here for the best price on the Latissima Plus at Amazon.