Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Nespresso is a well-known and popular alternative for coffee machines that use capsules for portioning. Many models are also relatively inexpensive to buy for the first time, and suppliers are constantly tempting customers with exclusive offers. So it’s easy to think about buying one. In our large Nespresso machine test 2022 we therefore present you with detailed background information on the topic of Nespresso machines. We answer the most important questions, give you buying criteria that you should definitely pay attention to and also explain to you what maintenance effort and follow-up costs a Nespresso machine entails.




Summary

  • Nespresso machines are capsule machines that use aluminium capsules to prepare coffee or tea within seconds.
  • Thanks to the variety of capsules, users have a wide choice of varieties and flavours.
  • Since one capsule is consumed per cup, this method of use can be harmful to the environment if it is not returned to the store or disposed of using the yellow bin.

The Best Nespresso Machine: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Nespresso machine

How to clean a Nespresso machine ?

Cleaning and maintaining a Nespresso machine is fairly simple. As with other coffee machines, a daily cleaning, as well as a more thorough cleaning at least once a year. Daily cleaning includes cleaning and maintenance of the drip tray, water reservoir and capsule container. The drip tray and capsule container can be wiped with a damp cloth, while the water container can usually be removed and thus washed in the dishwasher. With Nespresso machines that have a built-in milk frother, daily cleaning can be done using the integrated rinsing programme, which can be completed within seconds. Thorough cleaning is essential for the preservation of the capsule machine, as it decalcifies the machine. With hard water, this cleaning is recommended twice a year. According to our research, Nespresso machines break down the most due to incorrect descaling. Watch this video to learn the important rules for thorough cleaning:

For a better coffee experience, it is recommended that hot water is run first before the first coffee, so that the extraction system is cleaned and the coffee cup is preheated. This process is accomplished by pressing the espresso button without inserting the capsule.

How do I dispose of Nespresso capsules?

Nespresso capsules are made of aluminium. This means that these capsules can be recycled many times. There are three ways to dispose of these capsules, which are suitable for different users. The first option is to dispose of them using the yellow bin or the yellow bag, which is relatively uncomplicated. The second option is to dispose of them using the Nespresso Boutique, which can be a little complicated for people who do not have a Nespresso shop nearby. The last way is disposal using the capsule dispensers of the Nespresso Online Store. The only disadvantage of this method is that people who donate their capsule have to store a large number of capsules at home for a certain period of time and thus have to occupy free spaces. Even for households where only one cup of coffee is drunk a day, there is a subsequent cost of 10.50 euros, which is only 5 euros when buying normal coffee beans that could last for two to three months.

How does a Nespresso machine work?

A Nespresso machine is a type of capsule machine and therefore works on this principle. A cup of coffee is prepared in a few seconds at the touch of a button. When inserted into the capsule cage, the aluminium capsules are enclosed and pierced by three spikes.
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The aromatic coffee inside the aluminium capsules is brewed and pressed with high pressure and hot water, which is taken from the integrated water tank. As soon as the pressure inside the capsules is high enough, they rupture and the brewed coffee flows into the cup.

How does milk foam work with the Nespresso machine?

There are Nespresso machines that – unlike the simple models – have an integrated milk frother and container. The milk foaming process is similar to that of fully automatic coffee machines, where the milk is foamed automatically – i.e. at the touch of a button. All the user has to do is fill the milk container and press the milk button, and the machine heats and froths the milk. The frothed milk then flows into the cup.

Nespresso machines with milk containers are not always necessary to prepare a milk drink. Capsules with milk powder are also available that make this possible.

Decision: What types of Nespresso machines are there and which one suits you?

Advantages and disadvantages of a Nespresso machine compared to ordinary coffee machines

A Nespresso machine is a fully automated coffee machine that is very similar to ordinary fully automatic coffee machines. With both machines, the coffee is prepared automatically at the touch of a button in just a few seconds. These machines can have an integrated milk container and thus also a milk frother, which allows users to make a certain variety of coffees with a very small investment of time. Both machines usually have an integrated cleaning and rinsing system, which makes using these machines much easier and faster. However, there are also few differences between these machines. With the Nespresso machine, the coffee is prepared using capsules, while the fully automatic coffee machines use coffee beans.

Advantages
  • Different coffee types and flavours
  • buttons can be programmed
  • higher authenticity in coffee preparation
Disadvantages
  • not environmentally friendly
  • high follow-up costs due to capsules

The user of a Nespresso machine can try out different types of coffee and flavours within a day without much effort by simply inserting different capsules into the machine, whereas the user of a fully automatic coffee machine would have to use different beans each time, which is more time-consuming to fill. In addition, Nespresso machines have buttons that can be programmed according to individual preferences, which is not the case with fully automatic machines. In this way, the Nespresso user can select and save the best temperature for the milk, the amount of coffee and milk, as well as the type of coffee. Some of the disadvantages of the Nespresso machine compared to the fully automatic machines are that a lot of waste is generated by the use of the capsules, which also results in high follow-up costs.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate Nespresso machines

In the following, we would like to show you which criteria you can use to distinguish between Nespresso machines and help you decide which is the right one for you. In summary, these are:

  • Brewing time
  • Size of the coffee maker
  • Design
  • Extra features

Brewing time

The preparation time can be of particular importance. Although the coffee preparation time is very short for all capsule machines, there are different versions of Nespresso machines. The decisive factor is the heating time of these machines. The longest heating time is 30 seconds, while the shortest takes only 3 seconds.

Size of the espresso machine

Another important aspect you should think about is the size of the Nespresso machine. Here, the type of use and location of the machine play an important role. Nespresso machines are rather unfavourable for rooms where a lot of coffee is drunk, because one capsule is used for one cup of coffee. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bjtmz-3D4Ln/ Despite this characteristic of Nespresso machines, however, they are also used in professional environments because they allow the user to make many settings and are relatively easy to operate. In addition, Nespresso machines are relatively space-saving in contrast to portafilter machines. If you want to buy a coffee machine for your home, space in the kitchen plays an important role. If you don’t have enough space in the kitchen, Nespresso machines would be a good choice as they don’t take up much space. For very small spaces, there is even the Nespresso Essenza Mini, which is the smallest fully automatic coffee machine.

Design

Nespresso machines come in various stylish and colourful designs. So you can complete your perfect kitchen with a stylish Nespresso machine. When choosing a design, the layout of your kitchen can be a deciding factor.

Extra features

Before buying a Nespresso machine, you should think about what you want in a coffee machine. This is because they come in a variety of designs. In addition to the simple Nespresso machines, there are machines that have an integrated milk container and frothing and thus prepare coffee specialities such as lattes within seconds.

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If you’re more concerned about the time it takes to make a machine, there are several Nespresso machines that heat up in 3 seconds and have an integrated cleaning and descaling system, so they’re more likely to be used in a professional setting. If authenticity is important to you, there are machines that allow you to programme the buttons. However, these types of Nespresso machines can cost up to 500 euros.

Facts about Nespresso machines and coffee capsules

Which is the smallest Nespresso machine?

The smallest Nespresso machine is the Nespresso Essenza Mini. The smallest Nespresso machine comes in two different versions, one from DeLonghi and the other from Krups. These machines are affordable entry-level machines that are ideal for households with limited space. They weigh only 2.3 kilograms and fit into the smallest corners of the kitchen. However, due to this feature, they have a small water tank with a capacity of only 0.6 litres. You can find out more about the machines in this video:

Which capsules fit in the Nespresso machine?

In addition to the traditional Nespresso capsules, users have many variations available from different low-cost brands. It would not be wrong to say that these alternatives are a dime a dozen. According to our research, the most used capsule alternatives are the following:

  • Inspresso capsules
  • Mövenpick capsules
  • Lavazza capsules
  • Gourmesso
  • Starbucks Espresso Capsules
  • Moreno (Aldi)
  • Ja! coffee capsules (REWE)
  • Senseo
  • Jacobs Aluminum Capsules
  • Gut&Günstig (EDEKA)
  • Cafét Coffee Capsules (Netto)

There is also the option of making tea with the Nespresso machines. These capsules are available for this purpose:

  • Café Royal
  • Cuida Té
  • My-Teacup

Since the use of the capsules can incur large follow-up costs and this can also be harmful to the environment, users also have refillable capsules available:

  • Coffeeduck
  • Mister Barista
  • Capsul’in
  • Mycoffeestar

You can see how these capsules are refilled in the video: What types of coffee can be made with Nespresso capsules? The answer to this question is relatively short. All of them. From normal espresso and latte to malt coffee. Nespresso capsules come in different varieties, flavours and intensities. Aluminium coffee capsules cause concern for many consumers, as they fear that the aluminium could get into the coffee. Although aluminium can be detected in Nespresso coffee, it is only present in minute quantities that are not harmful to health. This is because the main reason for the presence of aluminium in coffee is not the aluminium capsules. The coffee tree already naturally absorbs aluminium through the soil. Therefore, all filter coffee also contains aluminium. There are more than 20 varieties available to users, resulting in the ultimate coffee experience. Therefore, the Nespresso machine performs an authentic coffee experience.

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