If you’re a coffee lover, then you’re lucky enough to live now, because you can choose a coffee maker from brands like Nespresso and Keurig. Both of them represent top quality brands, and their products have plenty of benefits, some are different, some are not, and the question is which one is better. Which should you choose?
The principal difference between these two brands is the philosophy of making coffee and the business model.
The difference in business models is easy to grasp, while Keurig collaborates with other companies to produce its pods, also known as K-cups (coffee cartridges), and independently produces coffee machines, Nespresso collaborates in the production of coffee machines and supports their own production of coffee capsules.
To understand the difference in coffee making philosophy, we need to go deeper and find the answer at the end. Go to the Spoiler.
Keurig vs Nespresso: Short Overview
Keurig represent the third largest beverage company in North America, Keurig Dr. Pepper that began by marketing their products for office use but ultimately went into the home sector.
Now it is possible to find a dozen models of coffee makers and plenty blends in K-cups. Coffee blends are made by brands such as Starbucks, Illy, Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme and many others.
K-cups are designed to fill cups from 4oz to 12oz, are made from plastic and have special labels, that Keurig machines built-in laser read to prevent the use of unlicensed pods.
Perhaps you could find some kind of tricks and hacks to get around this, but I do not recommend it in order to avoid possible damage.
Nespresso has not been a very famous brand in USA for a long time, while it has become increasingly popular in Europe. In 1976, the first Nespresso capsule technology was invented and patented in Switzerland, and over the years it has become a masterpiece.
Guys from Switzerland has various partners who make kitchen appliances such as DeLonghi, Breville and KitchenAid. All of these companies have an espresso machine designed in cooperation with Nespresso.
Nespresso Originline (Origin) – the most common in Europe. Fill a cup from 1,35oz to 5oz (espresso and lungo sizes). Coffee machines for this type of capsules use high pressure to make a drink, as regular espresso makers do.
Nespresso Vertuoline (Vertuo) – the second; it was originally made for the US market, where large portions of coffee are more common, such capsules fil a cup from 1,35oz to 14oz.
To make more coffee without losing taste, Nespresso created a new way of working for coffee machines. Vertuo uses Nespresso’s Сentrifusion technology, in which the capsule rotates at speed up to 7,000 rotations per minute, mixing ground coffee with water and producing high-quality coffee in large cup sizes.
After we got an overview of each brand, let’s get acquainted with their coffee machines. Since both companies have many varieties of coffee machines, we divide them by price to make comprehension easier.
Entrance ticket – Lowest Price Single Serve Coffee Machine
Keurig tried to make almost the same coffee machine as Nespresso in its range; it is small, positioned as the smallest and very easy to use. Finally, it is slightly bigger than Nespresso and at the same time it has smaller water tank (just for one brew), which seems odd.
If you want a simple coffee maker at a reasonable price, you should choose Nespresso Essenza, it makes wonderful coffee and, by the way, it looks great.
The cheapest Vertuo coffee machine is the most expensive entrance ticket, but it is not a mini version of a coffee maker, this is a big and real coffee machine with 37oz water tank and many options to choose a drink you want. If the price is in your budget, then it is pick for you.
Coffee Machine for Home Use: Nespresso vs Keurig
In the next price level, we still keep the first option from Vertuo, because for its price you can get second-level coffee machines from Keurig and Nespresso.
Spoiler – Vertuo is still better than Keurig and Origin line by Nespresso.
In general, Nespresso has the same options as their “entrance” model, but with slightly large dimensions. This is the same espresso machine with two programs (espresso and lungo) which can be customized and a very fast heater, it is ready to make an espresso just 25 seconds after it is turned on.
At Keurig K-Elite you get high-grade coffee machine with many useful features. You do not need to keep an eye on it all the time, because it will let you know when it have needs to be cleaned or when you need add some water.
It can prepare for you several beverages and even give you only a hot water, what is good if you don’t want your kettle to boil 50 oz of water, because you only need 1 cup.
Top Coffee Machine: Keurig vs Nespresso
For those who want the best Keurig and Nespresso, K-Café, Lattissima Touch and Vertuo Plus Deluxe have been prepared.
K-Café and Vertuo Plus Deluxe differ from their lower-priced models by adding a milk frother, they both work perfect, but manual work is required to make a brew.
Lattissima Touch is mostly automatic and prepares your brew by itself.
More few words about Vertuo.
Making coffee with Vertuo is very easy, because you just need to put the capsule with the blend you prefer and put the right cup for it. The Vertuo coffee machine scans the capsule and identifies it in order to select the right program for its preparation, the right amount of water, temperature, ect.
In general, all Keurig coffee machines prepare normal coffee, which can be prepared using a regular drip coffee maker at a lower price. But if you want to make the process easier and keep the budget, this would be a good option.
For those looking for a great espresso taste, Nespresso coffee machines are perfect, easy to use and excellent quality. The simpler, the better the result.
If you are looking for something new in coffee, you definitely need to choose a Vertuo coffee machine, it will make a delicious, high-quality drink with fantastic crème and the right size.
Single Serve Coffee Machine – Buyer’s Guide
The Pods: K-cups vs Capsules
As mentioned at the beginning, Keurig has plenty of blends because they cooperate with many coffee companies, you can also choose not only coffee, but also other beverages.
Keurig now has only two types of pods which are compatible with the latest coffee machines:
- K-Cup $0.62-$0.75 per pod
- K-Carafe* $2.00 per pod
*Note that not all latest coffee machines work with K-Carafe
Nespresso and Vertuo capsules produced directly by the brand with high-quality blends, the lack of options could be limiting but now Nespresso is trying to offer more and more new blends. Now there are about 30 blend available for the Origin line and over 20 for Vertuo.
Nespresso had only 1 type of capsules for a long time, but after launching Vertuo, another type was added:
- Origin $0.70-$1.25 per capsule
- Vertuo $0.85-$1.20 per capsule
Keurig vs Nespresso Cost
Two years ago, the price difference were obvious, now the situation has changed, and to decide who is better, we need to look at the following table. But for more fun, we will add to our math regular coffee from a local coffee shop.
If you buy coffee for $3.95 every day, you spend $1,441 per year. And if you drink coffee at least twice a day,like me, it will be $2,882.
Using K-Cups you will save more than $1,000 compared to a coffee shop and over $100 compared to Nespresso or Vertuo.
The Brew: Keurig vs Nespresso Taste
Keurig makes normal coffee and a few other beverages, so if you’re looking for a regular coffee maker, it will be fine. Unfortunately, Keurig does not make espresso, which is a bit more complicated.
A few years ago, Keurig tried to break into the espresso market with the Rico, finally that model and K-cups for it were discontinued.
Nespresso does not make anything else except espresso. Therefore, the result is fantastic.
In addition, if you want to make a larger portion of coffee, you can add some water to get Americano, which is close to normal coffee.
Vertuo makes espresso and even more, the quality is on top.
Performance: Nespresso vs Keurig
The most important thing that happens when we talk about performance is the quality of coffee, which depends not only on the quality of the blend, but also on the components of the coffee machine.
In addition, it is important to see how good taste of coffee is achieved.
Keurig has several features that cannot be found in Nespresso, for example:
- Digital clocks
- Brew strength control
- Water filter
- Option to use travel mug
- Auto On/Off
- Hot water on demand
- Quiet Brew Technology
The main thing about all this entire staff, that it is aimed at comfort, and not at the perfect taste of coffee. And this comfort is not needed, it is closer to luxury.
Nespresso, of course, also tries to be user-friendly and comfortable, but they satisfy this need with their simplicity.
The luxury in Nespresso is the taste of the brew, and they seems to think that these are the common needs of all coffee lovers. I agree.
Common features for Nespresso are:
- Easy-to-use custom size selector (not needed at Vertuo)
- 19 Bars pressure (Centrifusion at Vertuo)
- Automatic OFF
Do you need something else to make high-quality coffee?
The Price: Vertuo vs Keurig
Prices for coffee machines at Keurig are lower than those of Nespresso for the Origin line and Vertuo line.
Keurig starts with $$, then Nespresso is closer to $$$ and Vertuo is always not less then $$$.
The range both of producers is very wide, and it will not be difficult to choose the model that you like.
As it turned out earlier, the pods for Keurig are also cheaper, so it is very easy to choose a winner in this category.
Cleaning: Keurig vs Nespresso
How to clean Nespresso?
Both of producers made the cleaning process very easy.
- From time to time, you have to wipe your coffee machine exterior with a non-abrasive damp cloth
- Do not use any strong cleaning agents or solvent cleaner
- Keurig recommended to descale every 3-4 moths with descaling kit / Nespresso not less than once a year
Some of models both from Keurig and Nespresso could signal that they need to be descaled, some not.
Therefore, it is very close here, but for three reasons Nespresso is the winner in this category:
- All Nespresso comes with an already programmed descaling mode that is easy to activate.
- To descale Keurig with its program you have to be very patient and have about 1 hour
- Keurig construction is more finicky and requires more frequent cleaning.
How to clean Keurig?
Durability: Nespresso vs Keurig
One more challenge where Keurig and Nespresso have very close call. A few years ago, Nespresso provided almost all of its coffee machines with a 2-year warranty, now only a few have it.
Basically all coffee machines from Nespresso and Keurig have 1-year warranty, so in order to find the winner, we need go to the details.
Keurig is made from fairly thin plastic in China, while Nespresso made in Switzerland from hard plastic and metal plates. Nespresso is heavier, denser and feels to be more stronger.
An extra point to Nespresso for its rating, which is usually around 4.4-4.5 in popular market places when Keurig have 3.9-4.0
Who is better in Recycling: Keurig vs Nespresso Environment
In recent years, both brands have made a lot to minimize the environment impact from their business.
Many have criticized Keurig for their non-recyclable pods, as a result, the company launched a huge company to create new safe pods and committed to start produce all K-cups from it in 2020.
Nespresso had no such problems, because from the very beginning they were producing capsules made from recyclable aluminum. Now they have taken another step maintain their position as trendsetter.
When you order capsules from Nespresso website, you can add Recycling bags for free to your order. Each bag can hold up to 200 capsules. Once it is filled, just drop it at any Nespresso boutique or at any UPS drop off location and it will be returned to Nespresso for free. Check your location.
BONUS - How to save extra money with Keurig and Nespresso
For all single serve coffee machine you can find reusable pods, that can save you an extra $.
Keurig produces its own Reusable K-Cup pod, which is compatible with almost all Keurig machines.
For Nespresso you can find several options from other producers, here are the most popular and effective ones from RECAPS:
- Reusable metal capsules for Origin line from RECAPS
- Reusable plastic capsules for Origin line from RECAPS
- Aluminum foil caps for Vertuo capsules from RECAPS
With this add-on, you will save more $ because buying your favorite blend by weight is always cheaper. Just buy your favorite ground coffee at the nearest coffee shop or order it.
Finally, returning to the question of the philosophy of making coffee, we can say that Keurig comes out from the side of comfort and price. In other words coffee machine by Keurig have to be more functional than just a coffee maker and it should have an affordable price and low operating costs.
Nespresso puts on the first place the quality of coffee, its rich taste and aroma. They position themselves as a luxurious club of coffee lovers, and in fact they are very close to this in reality.
I definitely recommend Nespresso or Vertuo, depending on your preferred brew size.