Hated by many, loved by many others. The Nespresso machines are perhaps one of the most revolutionary innovations on brewing coffee in the industry for a long while. The simple idea of separating preground coffee into ready-to-use capsules made a lot of success for its practicality. The Nespresso coffee matches the modern lifestyle, as many people cherish a great cup of coffee but can’t spare the time to grind and carefully brew them in a daily basis.
With few efforts, anyone can brew instantly an Nespresso espresso or any other of their coffee brewing variations. Nestlé developed several different flavors and kinds of coffees, for many capsules reserving very fine and fancy coffee beans. The success of this method of brewing not only made Nestlé successful producing their own machines, as many other brands got interested in this inescapable revolution. These days, Nestlé sells the rights to use the patent of their Nespresso technology to many other coffee brands, so the options of Nespresso machines in the market abound.
We selected for you though, only the most coveted and really popular, high quality, the very best of the Nespresso machines in the market these days. Our criteria was, mostly, how enriched is the experience of Nespresso machines to brew a good coffee, and while there are many models in the market, very few offer the best of customization and quality, and the next models you are going to see is the best so far in the industry for 2020
Editors Choice: DeLonghi America Nespresso Lattissima Pro EN750MB
Is no secret for anyone who loves coffee that DeLonghi has many of the best models of coffee machines in the market. They do an amazing job creating their own technology to brew Nespresso coffee, and they do this with class and authority, this DeLonghi Nespresso machine was rated as the best Nespresso machine of 2020. Lattissima Pro is still one of the best of its kinds in 2020, and likewise one of the best and most expensive investments you can do for a Nespresso machine.
DeLonghi got the rights to use the Nespresso patent technology and developed a machine that works fantastically well with their Original Grand Cru series of coffee capsules, so is important to note that this fancy machine will work with that kind of fancy capsule. Other series like Dulce Gosto – the most budget and low quality, which is actually a Nescafe version of pod coffee – and Vertuoline Grand Cru – the fanciest of them all – will not be compatible with Lattissima Pro.
That’s because each capsule has a shape and/or a variation of coffee that works only with with its own kind of brewing technology. There are other flavors of the Nespresso Original Series that can actually be brewed with Lattissima, but they are so instantaneous that you don’t actually require a fancy machine like Lattissima to brew them (you can check later the Nespresso guide after the reviews to understand better all about the Nespresso capsules).
Different from many machines made by Nespresso itself, the Lattissima Pro makes all the brewing experience quite rich. There are five different main flavors of Grand Cru capsules you can brew differently: the ristretto, espresso, lungo, cappuccino and latte. Nestlé has more than 20 options of these main coffee preparations, and you can multiply even more the options with the possibility to customize each one of the them, choosing the volume of water to define strength of the brewing as well as volume and texture of the milk. Important to note that, DeLonghi brought the best of both worlds to this machine: they added their own patented milk frothing system, which adds the milk directly to the cup, besides the spout valve, something Nespresso itself doesn’t offer. All the options and customizations are made with a sensor touch interface that makes things quite easy.
You also have two more options that are quite useful: the hot milk only option and the hot water only option. This makes the machine quite multitask, so you can use these liquids for any other preparation, like teas or hot chocolate beverages. To fit the many options available, Lattissima has a pivoting cup tray, its height is adjustable depending on the cup and preparation you want to brew, so you can use either short espresso cups or long mugs.
The capsule storage of this machine by the way beats the default capacity of Nespresso default machines. Up to 16 capsules can be stored until you are warned to empty the storage unit.
For last, you will not need to dismantle your machine to have it clean. Lattissima Pro has an auto-cleaning service to keep the milk tank and the water tank clean whenever it is necessary.
Best Cheap Nespresso: VertuoLine Evoluo
Of course our list should include an original Nespresso machine, and this is the first of three models you will see around here. VertuoLine Evoluo is the ultimate design of developed by Nestlé. This machine actually introduces a completely new way to brew espressos. This is not a pump machine, there is no pressure involved here. Instead, Nestlé makes use of their patented new technology called Centrifusion. The hot water is poured inside the coffee capsule and it spins over 7000 times per minute inside the pod. The result is an espresso like any other made with pressure, but with a technology that also allows the machine to brew drip coffee. The possibilities of brewing are largely multiplied here, even though if you want to stick to an authentic espresso you will get it just like you would with pump systems.
To fit this new technology, even the capsules are new have a new concept and design, and that’s why Nespresso created the VertuoLine, specially for this kind of machine. While the flavors are somehow similar to what has seen with the Original Series, Nestlé claims the coffee here has a different approach and nuance, both from the preparation method and the coffee ground itself that get a different ground method.
There are some ups and downs though for innovative technology: people who enjoy trying new formulas, testing and learning with the coffee brewing, will not be that much amused with the Automatic Blend Recognition. Each flavor here as a specific capsule with some sort of bar code. The Nespresso machine reads this code and knows what is about to brew and activates the appropriate program for that brewing. The problem is that, not always the automatic methods of the machine are the best for you, so you don’t have options to customize things here.
The cost of these capsules is higher than the Original Series, and the latter are not even considered something easily affordable, so you have a more expensive than normal experience here.
For last, Nestlé once again doesn’t include a more efficient and automated system of frothing milk. You can learn more about it in the next review about another Nespresso machine.
Best Selling Nespresso: Citiz D121-US4-BK-NE1
While Evoluo is the ultimate Nespresso design developed by Nestlé, Citiz was its best release since then. The main thing about this machine that many other machines doesn’t include, and is quite ironic so, is the fact this Citiz works with Nespresso capsules for milk-based coffees, using milk for real.
Citiz fits the Grand Cru and Original series, the former is just a more refined set of flavors of the latter. Other variations of the capsules make use of powdered milk, so the machines that can brew them just need a water tank. With this Citiz things work differently. There is a special milk frother unit called by Nestlé Aeroccino, so there is only coffee for real in the capsules this machine brew. On the other hand, this is quite artisanal or, in other words, a bit clumsy, as you have to pour yourself the milk from the Aeroccino into the cup you are making your milk-based preparation. This makes the brewing of cappuccinos or lattes a bit more complicated for people who are not experienced or who simply doesn’t want to manually prepare their coffees. This same system is the one implemented in the superior VertuoLine . For some reason Nestlé is really not interested in making things easier when it comes to frothing.
But back to the Citiz , it allows you to brew preparations of hot or cold milk froth, so you can prepare a traditional Cappuccino or an Iced Cappuccino, as well as Lattes, Macchiatos and other variations based on these main coffees. Like the DeLonghi machine, here things rely on the availability of flavors developed by Nestlé. There are less options for the Original series, nonetheless though there are enough to brew several different variations.
Probably the great let down of this machine and many other authentic Nespressos is the fact they are not designed to be that much clever, not allowing you to customize too much these specific flavors, which makes things a bit stagnated for people who like to try their own formula. You will be able to choose between longo shots or espressos alike. Things are quite intuitive though here, just about pressing one or other button and things start working.
Like the Lattissima Pro, the cup tray of Citiz is also adjustable, so you will be able at least to customize the machine for the recipients where you will pour the brewing, from long mugs to short espresso cups.
The storage unit here comports 10 pods, the thermocoil system preheats really fast, in only 25 seconds, and for last, it includes an auto shut-off system: after 9 minutes, Citiz shuts off automatically.
KitchenAid Nespresso KES0504ER
Like DeLonghi, KitchenAid also got the rights to use the patent of the Nespresso technology, and they also created a machine with many interesting features that adds some extras to the Nespresso brewing method. Like all KitchenAid machines, first, this machine is really cute and stylish, available on four different colors, from the beautiful and vintage red to more neutral, minimalist black, white and chrome. The shape though of this KitchenAid brings the best of both world into one engine. The pod compartment resembles a lot lever espresso machines, while its round design evokes the best of classic coffee machine from the post-war era.
This coffee maker though also only works with the Nespresso Original series of capsules, and like the Citiz machine, it has an external Aeroccino alike milk frother, which ruins a bit the visual concept of this machine. There is a version of this Kitchen Aid that is sold without the milk frother, something that actually makes it quite useless as more than half of the Nespresso Original capsules include milk on their recipes, so it is really a necessary bundle that you have to purchase including the alien froth milker, and like the Nespresso machine Citiz, you have to mix it manually with the coffee.
On the other hand though, you will be able to prepare a lot of variations here of the Nespresso Original capsules. The thing here is, there is only one rotary selector of strength for the coffee. It defines the amount of water you are going to use to brew the coffee, basically three options for short espresso amounts and three for longos. But you can play with it and make quite concentrated cappuccinos or smooth ristrettos. This is one big advantage of this machine compared to others.
For last, KitchenAid will also heat up fast, up to 30 seconds and the cup tray here is also adjustable. The whole machine is actually a better option than the Citiz for its visual concept and additions, but it surely costs more than the authentic Nespresso.
Premium Nespresso Machine DeLONGHI EN520SL DeLonghi Silver Lattissima
The second DeLonghi of our list is actually not that far from the first and best model of our list. Likewise, it is not that much affordable as the other coffee machines on this list, but the features here worth it for sure. The Lattissima Plus is a minor version of the Pro model. It has the same hybrid design of the Pro, bringing the best of milk frothing and Nespresso technology, so it is one more option where you don’t have to handle the frothing and mix it to the cup later.
On the other hand, for sure there are limitations of this model compared to the Lattissima Pro: the options of customization are a bit shorter as there is only three main options of coffee brewing, more the hot milk option. All them adjustable with single touch buttons.
For the frothing though, things at least have the same dual option of frothing texture from the Pro model, controlled by a rotary button you can rotate from one edge to other to adjust the thickness of the milk. And fortunately, there is also a self-cleaning program here and adjustable cup tray to fit different size cups.
This Latissima Plus costs half of the Pro, but still is a quite great Nespresso maker where you can make things more automated easily. It will work as well with the Original series capsules.
The last model of our list is the Inissia, which is the most compact authentic Nespresso maker in the market. It is quite affordable and basically it works to brew espressos only, it means, either longo or short espresso shots, because it doesn’t have a milk frothing system. On the other hand, you can implement the experience as the Aeroccino is available to be purchased separately, and then you will be able to brew with no worries any capsule of the Original series.
Inissia is a very simple coffee maker though, you won’t be able to adjust the cup tray for long mugs – even though there is the option for longos – so you will have to stick to work with short cups.
The concept of this machine is to be compact and cute in your kitchen. It fits most counters and has a beautiful design, plus working with the mot core and basic technology of the Nespresso machine. If you just want a great machine to brew your espresso capsules by Nespresso, not paying a fortune for it, this is the way to go. The low price of this model is specially appealing since the Nespresso pods are not, once again, as affordable as you would like them to be.
What is a Nespresso machine?
Nestlé developed a quite unique way to brew espressos. Nespressos are machines that work with a pump system, but they don’t require you to grind your own coffee, neither bother to tamp and brew and have all the care to extract a good espresso, something that requires expertise. Nestlé does that for you, and these machines brew the coffee from that pod capsules you just bought in the grocery, supermarket, Amazon or directly from the Nestles website.
The whole process of brewing with a Nespresso coffee maker is quite straightforward. All you need is to insert the capsule, click one or another button and the machine will start working and brewing your espresso in less than 1 minute. This whole automation surely created a controversy among those who are orthodox coffee lovers as the possibilities of coffees are restricted by Nestlé limitations of flavors, as well as many defend the traditional grinding of the coffee before brewing only, but regardless of the debates, these machines have just been rising in popularity.
Types of Nespresso Coffee Capsules
With a very simple mechanism of brewing, Nespresso opens a world of many possibilities of flavors, even though not always favoring high quality. These days there are basically three lines of coffee capsules:
The first and foremost line of capsule coffee, the Original is what basically makes the engines of Nespresso machines work. There are over 20 different options of flavors, including refined variations within the series that outstand themselves from most basic and common coffee variations. The Original Series actually includes many great quality coffee beans, even for the most basic flavors.
Nescafe Dolce Gusto
This is actually a series of capsules that were developed after Nespresso coffee makers got famous. Nestlé developed machines similar to the Nespresso ones but with an orientations to brew milk-based coffee beverages, the Dolce Gusto machines. They are taller and work actually more like a Starbucks mini station at your kitchen. The quality of the coffee here is much lower, as the capsules work with the instantaneous Nescafe flavors and produces sweet beverages that can include chocolate and other commercial breeds of flavors.
An evolution of the Original Series, the VertuoLine not only works to fit the machine of the same name, but Nestlé claims they have better quality coffee for this variation of flavors, even when many of them have similar names and flavors as the ones from the Original Series. Nestlé says they are developed to deliver more nuanced flavors, enriched with features and refined tastes.
The Pros of Nespresso Machines
These espresso machines are very, very easy to operate. Even when you have no guidelines, the system of these machines is so intuitive and straightforward you will end up learning by trial quite fast. The machines take less than 1 minute to preheat and will brew the coffee in less than 1 minute as well. All you have to do is to turn the machine one, have water in the tank and insert the capsule.
Even if the best machines of our list are something of an expensive investment, they are not really of a high cost when compared to espresso machines with robust builds. The low cost of these machines pays for the high cost of the pods though. You add to the convenience the price to pay for this convenience purchasing the capsules as often as you finish a steak of capsules. All depends on your coffee lust, but the machine remain affordable. Is not a surprise that the authentic Nespressos are much more accessible than machines of other brands we have seen in our list.
As these machine are quite automated and compact, there is not really necessary a lot of space to have them on your kitchen. Many people will stick to a these coffee makers because they are small, sometimes even smaller than drip coffee machines, and they can do much better than drip coffee machines.
One of the biggest cons of Nespresso coffee makers is the fact you have to rely on Nestlé to taste coffee. What if you are interested in brewing a Guatemalan coffee bean quite special that surely Nestlé doesn’t have? These days the market made many ways to compensate these limitations: there are several brands that developed reusable capsules, designed with the exact shape of the Nestlé originals. Some of them work well, others not that much, but is possible to brew other coffee than Nestlé’s, is just a matter of choosing the right method.
We talked a lot about how flexible or not the machines on our list can be, as well as we digressed about the benefits of the possibilities. The truth is that you will always covet the most as possible options for coffee, so stick to a machine that offers what you consider a good enough ration of customization.
Even if the system is not integrated, is always great to have a milk frothing mechanism with your coffee machine. At all cost,avoid machines that are fit to coffee capsules with powdered milk.
Since the purpose of these machines is to make your coffee brewing simpler and faster, you don’t have to stick to a machine that takes as long as an espresso machine to heat up. Most high quality Nespresso machines take up to 30 seconds only to preheat. One minute is already too much.
Of course, to sum up the automation and convenience, why not a machine that can also clean up its own mess? Nespresso coffee are often quite demure when it comes to dirt, but if they can clean themselves even if the worst case scenario is not that dirty, all the better.
Wrapping it up
As these machines have a simplistic method of brewing, their secrets are surely hidden in the details. There are some other brands and models you may think interesting, but we didn’t include them in the list because they have a history of being malfunctioning, short lifespan and other related problems that show up after some years: Francis Francis X7.1, Bosh Tassimo and Krups Prodigio are strong names. You can check up on them too and make your mind about how much they are worth the risk or not.