As an owner of a number of different Nespresso machines over the last 5 years and as a coffee lover that spends a good chunk of every day thinking about coffee, I believe that qualifies me to be in a position to impart the knowledge I have gained to guide you through all of the different options to enable you to make an educated and informed decision should you be considering a Nespresso coffee machine.
As you read through the guide you’ll discover that the best Nespresso machine is not the most expensive one and there is fantastic value for money to be found in the cheapest one that Nespresso offer but they don’t advertise that fact because they would prefer it if you spent more.
I should say that I own a couple of coffee machines and in addition to the Nespresso, I also have a bean to cup coffee machine that comes more into use when I have a little extra time to create my own personalised cappuccino just the way I like it.
Which leads nicely on to what makes you want to own a Nespresso machine in the first place?
There are lots of reasons to consider a Nespresso machine but there are two words that jump straight to the tip of my tongue immediately:
Speed and Convenience
There are lots of different options when it comes to choosing a coffee machine with the primary ones being filter coffee machines, pump espresso coffee machines, bean to cup coffee machines and traditional stove top and of course pod based machines of which Nespresso is the leading brand.
All of the other different methods require an element of preparation with you having to dedicate varying amounts of time to the process of getting the coffee from a bean into your cup.
For all of these other different methods, there is also a learning curve that requires you to educate yourself on how to prepare the coffee before it goes into the machine and then how you should effectively use the machine to make sure you get a decent cup of coffee out of it.
None of that is applicable when it comes to Nespresso. You don’t even need to read the manual when it comes to understanding how to use them. They are a bit like the iPhone of coffee machines, you just turn them on and somehow you just know how to use them at a basic level.
You are not interested in grinding your own coffee beans or even taking the ground coffee and putting it into a coffee machine and you don’t want to work out what the right amount of coffee is that you should be using.
In fact, you don’t want to touch the coffee at all until it’s in the cup and ready to drink and you also do not want to have any mess or have anything to clear away then Nespresso could be just what you are looking for.
Nespresso is all about producing a great cup of coffee easily with zero hassle.
The essence of any Nespresso machine is that you lift up the lid, pop in a capsule and press one button. Less than a minute later your coffee is ready and waiting for you to enjoy. It’s the ultimate in simplicity and the building block of the brands success. It’s just so easy.
Are all Nespresso machines the same?
I hate to use this phrase but in the case of Nespresso it’s true – YES & NO
The first and most important thing to point out with any Nespresso machine is that all of the machines across the entire range (there are original pods and Virtuo pods that are different but we will come on to that later) produce exactly the same coffee in your cup regardless of how cheap or expensive the machine is.
With most other products of any type you would normally expect a more expensive item to produce a better result but in the case of Nespresso all of their machines have a 15-bar pump and all of their capsules are the same so you get the same thing in the cup.
So yes, they are all the same when it comes to the quality of coffee that they produce but no, they are not all the same when it comes to features and design.
How to pick a Nespresso Machine
What you need to be thinking about when you look through the range is how important to you is it for the machine to look good and how many different features do you want such as a milk frother or a milk carafe that delivers the milk automatically or different types of drink selection amongst others.
There are normally around 17 different Nespresso machines to choose from at any one time and we have reviewed and tested them all. I have also personally spent many hours in Nespresso’s flagship store in Piccadilly Circus picking the brains of the coffee experts there as well (sad I know).
Most of the different machines are slight variations of others such as with or without a milk frother or with or without a milk carafe for automatic drink delivery and some in our opinion are not even worth bothering about because they are so similar to another one but they cost more and add no value.
Even if your budget is quite wide, say £100 – £300, it doesn’t mean that you should immediately rule out the cheaper machines because you might not be bothered by the design or the extra features offered by the more expensive models.
Which leads us nicely onto the best of the bunch.
What is the best Nespresso coffee machine?
We have conducted a full and comprehensive review of ALL of the different Nespresso machines and have narrowed it down to 6 of the best that should be considered for purchase.
They have all been measured against the criteria that matter most when you are making a decision about which one to go with:
- Quality Of Coffee
- Ease Of Use
- Value For Money
They all receive a rating out of 10 within each of these categories and then an overall rating that is an aggregate of the individual ratings for each category.
They are all very good in their own right and it really just depends on the level of design and functionality that you are after.
If you want to jump straight to the 6 best Nespresso machines here then you will see them sorted by rating with a few of their main features and a brief description. Simply click on the “full product review” for a detailed breakdown of what you get with each one.
Best top of the range Nespresso machine
This the best top of the range Nespresso machine in our opinion because you get a great espresso or lungo delivered into your glass or cup AND you also get the Nespresso machine to heat the milk up in the same way that they do it in a coffee shop.
Not only that but there is a temperature sensor that will heat the milk for you and stop when it is done so you don’t have to worry about holding the jug or working out when the milk has reached the correct temperature – it’s all done for you and you can choose 11 different temperature settings for whatever suits your taste.
Personally I prefer this method of heating the milk compared to an integrated milk carafe because you have more control over milk texture and temperature.
On top of that this machine is designed by Sage who are known for their cutting edge design for coffee machines and this really is a stunning looking machine.
Best budget Nespresso machine
For me personally, the best Nespresso machine of all is the cheapest one that they sell. I love to get the very best value for money possible and for me, this is incredible value for money.
For a fraction of the price of some of the more expensive models, you are getting something that delivers exactly the same quality.
No frills, no bells and whistles, no chrome or fancy design just a straightforward super easy to use appliance that delivers great coffee.
The Essenza may be cheap but it punches well above its weight with performance. It’s tiny as well so you will be able to tuck it away anywhere you like. I have one in my bedroom and it sits very comfortably on the bedside table with plenty of room to spare enabling me to get my first coffee fix as soon as I come out of the shower.
Best of the rest
That leaves 4 other Nespresso machines that in our opinion warrant consideration and all bring something slightly different to the table.
The Citiz is basically a nicely designed version of the Essenza. It comes in a range of different colours with a nice base and chrome drip tray and chrome coffee outlet.
If you want something that looks good because it will be permanently positioned on the kitchen worktop then this is worth considering.
The Pixie is also worth considering. It’s a more contemporary designed machine with a lever at the front which you lift in order to open the capsule drawer. It’s also very small and will pretty much fit anywhere.
The Lattisima Touch is one of the machines that I have personally owned and if you are looking for full automation then this may be worth a look. It comes with a milk carafe so you literally press one button and the machine will deliver your cappuccino or latte with no further intervention required.
You can’t choose the milk temperature and although it comes out hot enough you can’t personalise it like the Creatista Plus but it is fully automatic.
It does require a bit of maintenance as well because although the milk container is removable and you can store it in the fridge you really need to keep the milk freshly replaced in the milk container every day and you also have to run a milk cleaning cycle after each drink delivery which although only involves pressing one button for about 10 seconds can become a little bit of a pain.
Finally, we have the Vertuo Plus that is the only recommendation that takes Nespresso’s more expensive capsules (explained below and provides different drink sizes along with a stylish modern designed machine with a visible water container that sits just to the side of the main machine).
This machine automatically detects the drink type when the capsule is inserted into the machine by reading a barcode on the pod so that it delivers exactly the right amount of water through the pod and into your cup for the best possible tasting coffee.
If different people in your home enjoy a different type of drink then you never have to make an adjustment, the machine just knows every time you put a pod in.
There are a couple of different types of machine that take the Vertuo pods, this Vertuo plus and a Vertuo “Next” which is cheaper than the “Plus” but is slightly more manual and the water container is a bit smaller as well. We have compared them both in the full review which you can find in the link below.
We have spent many hours testing and comparing and looking through all Nespresso machines and whatever your needs from basic use, through to design and features, one of these six will certainly satisfy your needs.
Which Nespresso capsules are best?
Which capsules are best is very much a personal choice. Nespresso leaves no stone unturned when it comes to selecting coffee from all over the world to accommodate every palate and every taste.
Whether you are looking for a short sharp blast in the form of a Ristretto or an Espresso or a tall long drink such as an Americano or a milk-based drink such as a Cappuccino or Latte, Nespresso has got it covered.
At the time of writing, there were 31 different options to choose from within their Original capsule collection or “grand cru” as Nespresso call them. They value their coffee in the same way as a wine connoisseur values a top-quality bottle of wine.
They have a core range of favourites that have been around for years and then they intertwine those with seasonal capsules such as iced coffee and limited editions at other times of the year.
From mild to strong and everything in between you will find something that suits.
The Virtuo PODS are a newer release coffee capsule from Nespresso and allow you to select a capsule based on the size of drink that you prefer.
So they do “Alto” which is the largest drink type and delivers 414ml of coffee for a large Americano type drink, “Mug” for (you guessed it) a mug sized coffee or 230ml, “Gran Lungo’ which delivers 150ml and “Double Espresso” which delivers 80ml of coffee.
There are 26 different types to choose from and the machines will automatically read the one you have put in for the perfect one-touch coffee delivery every time.
Both the original and virtuo pod’s deliver a high-quality cup of coffee so again its personal preference as to the one you choose to go for.
You do not have to use Nespresso original capsules if you don’t want to. Cheaper compatible Nespresso capsules are widely available but they can be a bit hit and miss quality wise so be sure to do some research before choosing to go down that road.
This article breaks down in detail how to choose compatible Nespresso pods and save money without compromising on flavour:
You will pay a bit more for a cup of Nespresso coffee versus coffee from the other types of coffee machine but this is offset by the main objective in the first place which is speed and convenience without any mess.
Nespresso has become one of the most popular ways to make a quality cup of coffee across the globe and we hope that we have helped to assist you in your decision making process.