Having a hard time deciding which kool-aid to drink? Deciding between investing in a Nespresso vs Keurig can feel like a hard decision to make given both brands have a cult following.
The biggest differentiator to understand when comparing Keurig versus Nespresso is that Keurig can’t brew espresso but some Nespresso machines can brew regular coffee.
At a Glance: Top Picks For Nespresso vs Keurig
Today Cozy will provide you with a comprehensive comparison of Nespresso vs. Keurig, explaining what sets the two brands apart and which is our favorite. Nespresso and Keurig lead the way in the home brewing industry, and both devices deliver single-serve premium coffee products that have continuously improved over time.
Modern brewing machines have revolutionized the way coffee fanatics can prepare their delicious drinks at home. When thinking Nespresso vs Keurig you cannot go wrong with either product options, but it is essential to match your specific coffee needs to the particular capabilities that each coffee brewer provides.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Nespresso vs Keurig
- 3 Top Nespresso Models
- 4 Top Keurig Models
- 5 Cozy’s Bottom Line
Keurig is notorious for being a great pod brewing machine using their vast selection of K-Cups for brewing a quick, hot and delicious cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or even fruit drinks. The largest criticism of Keurig is that typically Keurig drinks do not compare to the strength and quality of pour over or drip coffee options.
The Nespresso line of machines is known for brewing high quality coffee and espresso at the press of a button. Nespresso’s Original Line is designed to exclusively brew espresso, having expanded into coffee with their launch of the Nespresso Vertuoline. The largest criticisms of Nespresso is that their cost per capsule is very expensive and that they have a limited selection of capsules on the market.
Both Nespresso and Keurig have their own distinct history in the coffee brewing industry.
Based out of Switzerland, Nespresso and its single-serve coffee machines have become a foothold in Europe. The brand got its start under the well-known Nestle group, and you will most likely find its products under partner brand names like Philips, De’Longhi and Breville.
Nespresso’s single-serve coffee machines have been around the longest out of any brand in the world. The idea behind the device was first created by a Nestle employee, Erich Favre, in 1976. After an enhanced version was made in the Japanese`4, it was finally brought to the market in 1986. Today, Nespresso machines get utilized in over 70 countries and 700 locations, rising in popularity.
Keurig is a famous American coffee machine brand, operating under the Dr. Pepper Company. It is one of the largest beverage companies in the continent. The evolution of Keurig has a complicated past. Keurig was first developed under the name Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and then it was acquired by Dr. Pepper in 2006.
Keurig coffee makers were first brought to market in the United States in the early 1990s, targeted toward corporate offices. As the machines became more useful, the company pivoted and started developing products geared toward the home. Nowadays, the company boasts the largest single-serve coffee market share and provides over 50 Keurig models to consumers.
It is difficult to compare a Nespresso versus a Keurig machine, being that although their purpose is similar they have distinct differences in how they function, what types of drinks they brew as well as the coffee beans you are brewing with.
The best way to determine which machine will be best for you is to compare their offerings to see which one will fit your tastes and preferences.
Below we provide you with everything you need to know when deciding between a Nespress or Keurig machine.
Heck after reading this you may even decide you need both. Don’t worry our fellow coffee obsessed friend, Cozy will not judge. Read on to learn more!
Nespresso vs Keurig
As mentioned, the largest difference between Keurig K-Cups and Nespresso Capsules is that Keurig can’t brew espresso but some Nespresso machines can brew regular coffee. This is balanced by the fact that Keurig has many non-coffee options available such as tea and hot chocolate, that are simply not offered by Nespresso.
The capsules Nespresso produces are almost exclusively meant for espresso with a couple options for coffee as well. Nespresso offers two different types of capsules, Original which brews espresso only and Vertuo that has both espresso and a few coffee options.
The Original Line has over 25 different blends that have their own unique intensity, taste and caffeine content. The VertuoLine is known for Nespresso’s one of a kind coffee experience that offers a smooth taste, full body and Nespresso’s signature rich crema topping in every cup.
Nespresso‘s capsules focus largely on quality versus quantity. Despite having some third party capsules available on the market, Nespresso has a significantly smaller offering of capsules when compared to Keurig’s K-cups. When it comes to the Nespresso Vertuo brewer versus the Original the capsule offerings are the same across both lines, but the Original Line has a lot more third party capsule options available on the market. Nespresso also focuses much more on maintaining the flavor profiles of the ground beans in its pods than Keurig.
Each Nespresso capsule type is made exclusively for the machine it is designed for. This means the Original capsules will not be compatible with the Vertuo machine and vice versa.
Nespresso Capsule Types
Nespresso has several different types of capsules that together form collections, below are some of Nespresso’s most popular capsule collections:
- Ispirazione Venezia and Napoli Capsules – This capsule collection utilizes Italian roasting traditions to create unique flavors and includes several different coffee blends available in a variety of strengths. This line also offers two decaffeinated capsule options.
- Espresso Capsules – This high quality capsule collection comes in seven different coffee blends available in a variety of strengths.
- Master Crafted Single Origin Capsules – This three capsule espresso collection is named from the coffee beans used to produce the pods are sourced from a single point of origin.
- Reviving Origin Capsules – This capsule collection is made from coffee beans grown in Zimbabwe and Columbia where Nespresso has established long term commitments to support farmers in nearly lost coffee bean regions.
- Barista Capsules – Offer a wide range of specialty coffees and flavors that have been inspired by baristas from around the globe. This collection includes capsules for iced coffee and blends intended for coffee drinks to be made with milk.
- Nespresso Lungo Capsules – Lungos are made using double the amount of water creating a bigger sized drink. Lungo capsules are designed to accommodate the additional amount of water you will need to brew a Lungo without compromising taste.
- Nespresso De-caffeinato Capsules – Nespresso offers a three pod collection of decaffeinated coffee, that vary in taste as well as intensity.
An important thing to be aware of is that capsules for both Nespresso Original and Vertuo are designed in different sizes depending on the drink you want to brew. The Vertuoline has the largest offering of capsules sizes, with five different size capsules to choose from that vary in their levels of intensity and flavors. The reason behind the different capsule sizes is that while the Nespresso is utilizing the same amount of water for each capsule, the different capsule sizes ensure you get the same intensity of flavor with each cup.
The capsules Nespresso manufactures uses mini pods made of aluminum that are sealed so they always offer a fresh taste. Each pod holds around 5 or 6 grams of coffee. The Nespresso Vertuo machines contain a barcode scanning system that pairs up with 17 different kinds of coffees. The various coffee brand selections include Hawaiian Kona, Colombian Rosabaya, Ethiopian, Bukeela and Indian Indriya.
Keurig’s K-cups include an aluminum lid and plastic cup, which is also sealed for optimal taste and freshness. The pod also gets included with a filter, which prohibits coffee grounds from falling into your beverage.
Keurig’s K-cups offer much more coffee beverage alternatives than Nespresso, totaling up to 400 with 60 worldwide brands. You can also enjoy products like tea, Keurig hot chocolate, and other fruit drinks. Keurig also offers reusable K-cups, which are environmentally friendly and can be filled with coffee of your choice.
There is a critical difference in brewing style when comparing Nespresso vs Keurig. Nespresso utilizes an extraction brewing system, while a pressure-based process backs Keurig. Both of these brands suggested using distilled water so that consumers can enjoy the best taste.
Another crucial distinction is that Nespresso brews an espresso drink, while Keurig prepares a standard cup of coffee, like most other coffee makers. There are two main groups of coffee drinkers, which fall into these two categories. When thinking Nespresso vs Keurig both brands contain a vast base of buyers that falls into these categories, they have dominated the single-serve coffee market.
It is incredible how both Nespresso and Keurig deliver a high-quality cup of coffee, despite a quick brewing process. From the touch of the button to the final result, the Nespresso takes about 35-52 seconds to prepare an espresso and between 90-105 seconds for coffee (for Nespresso models that brew coffee such as the Nespresso VertuoPlus and Nespresso Evoluo). Keurig’s, although still very fast, have a slightly longer brewing cycle of 60 seconds or less.
The brewing process for Nespresso uses an elaborate barcoding system that scans for rotational speed, cup size, flow rate, temperature and timing. This enhanced technology makes the product user-friendly. The step-by-step process for Nespresso includes:
- Pour water into the removable reservoir
- Scan the capsule of your choice and put it in its slot at the top of the machine
- Close the lid and lock it
- Put your coffee mug or cup securely under the dispenser
- Press the brew button
With the help of Centrifusion technology, the brewing of a Nespresso provides higher quality drinks than most other machines. This process utilizes water infusion and centrifugal actions to spin the capsule at up to 7,000 RPMs. While the machine spins, the capsules get penetrated so that the liquid gets mixed with the coffee, and then extracted out of the holes around the edges, dispensing it into the cup.
Keurig boasts a patented brewing process, which is considered the most reliable in the industry. Because of Keurig’s pressure system, you can expect the same amount of coffee to get delivered at the same, perfect temperature. The optimal water pressure makes sure that coffee flavors are extracted consistently for each brew. The Keurig brewing process is as follows:
- Fill up the reservoir with water
- Put your mug on top of the drip tray
- Put your favorite K-cup brand in its designated slow
- Close the lid tightly
- Press the button to begin the brewing process
When you close the lid, the machine punctures the pods, so that water can get pressured to pass through the pod to extract optimal coffee flavors. You can also prepare other non-coffee beverages with the Keurig, including tea, hot chocolate, and other fruit drinks.
Depending on if you own a VertuoLine or OriginalLine Nespresso model, there are specific capsules that get matched up with each. A typical dose of caffeine content ranges between 55-89 milligrams in the OriginalLine and between 65-110 milligrams in the VertuoLine.
The caffeine content in the Keurig machines is slightly higher. The brand offers a variety of different products that can get brewed on their machines. The standard 8-ounce Keurig K-Cups contain around 100 milligrams of caffeine, while the extra bold K-cups hold up to 130 milligrams per serving. Overall, Keurig has a broader range of drink types, brands, and options that are compatible with Keurig including some of the best decaf K-Cup options.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Nespresso vs Keurig are both top of the line coffee machine choices because of their convenience for customers. These coffee machines provide clear and concise instructions on how to clean it properly. Both brands require the consumer to wipe down the outside and then individually wash the removable components. It is wise for you to flush out the machine once every 3-6 months to ensure top performance.
Nespresso machines come with a dedicated mode for cleaning, providing different coordinated buttons for various functions. All that is required is warmer water, which helps fuel the cleaning process.
Keurig’s cleaning process is slightly more challenging when it comes to the descaling process. Based on customer feedback, most people mix vinegar and water, but Keurig recommends a company-branded solution for descaling. This process is highlighted with step-by-step instructions, which usually requires 15 minutes or less. Following the troubleshooting guides will allow your Keurig machine to maintain optimal performance levels.
If you are considering home brewing over a regular trip to the nearest coffee shop, odds are you are weighing the expense of a daily coffee habit versus investing in a coffee machine.
Keurig is Economically Friendly
When it comes to being economically friendly, Keurig is the hands down winner with most of Keurig’s non-commercial brewing machines retailing at an economical to mid-range price point. Keurig’s coffee brewers, even the heavily upgraded models with a lot of features, can be found substantially cheaper than Nespresso machines.
Additionally, because Keurig K-Cups are available from 60 different brands it is very easy to find a K-Cup that fits your coffee budget. With that said, it is important to keep in mind that due to a lesser price point you will sacrifice a bit of quality.
Get What You Pay For
Nespresso does come at a higher price point, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Nespresso has established partnerships with several well known higher end brands such as Breville, De’Longhi and KitchenAid. This results in a high quality reliable machine.
Historically, the Nespresso machines have come with a higher price tag. However, as a part of Nestle’s strategy to acquire more market share from its single service home brewer competitors they have launched the newer VertuoLine starting at a lower price point.
Despite targeting a lower price point, Nespresso is by no means a discount line. Nespresso has higher end models, which have more features than their cheaper options, priced at a more expensive dollar amount.
Keurig K-Cup pods are more cost effective than Nespresso capsules. With Keurig, you also have the option to use a K-Cup reusable filter. This
allows you to brew with your coffee bean of choice in your Keurig Brewer.
Because it is reusable, it is also a more environmentally friendly option. Nepresso does not directly manufacture a reusable filter for their machine. However, there are third party options available on the market that are Nespresso compatible.
Single serving pod coffee brewers such as Keurig and Nespresso have faced much deserved scrutiny for producing a considerable amount of waste from their K-Cups and Capsules causing negative impact to the environment. As a result, each company has put sustainability programs in place to make their brewing pods more environmentally friendly.
Nespresso is ahead of Keurig in many respects when it comes to providing consumers with actionable options they can take to better protect the environment from capsule waste. Nespresso actively manages an AAA Sustainable Quality Program as well as a Nespresso Capsule recycling program. These programs aid in improving global sustainability of the coffee industry as well as reduce the negative environmental impact of aluminum pods.
Nespresso also offers a free recycling program for consumers that is certified by the world’s leading quality assurance provider,Interek. The coffee grounds inside each recycled capsule are composted into nutrient rich topsoil and the aluminum the capsules are made of are given a second life as new products. As a Nespresso user you can order free recycle bags from Nespresso that you fill and simply drop at one of 88,000 UPS drop-off points or any Nespresso Boutique for free.
Keurig has been notorious for the negative environmental impact their products have had. Keurig’s pods are designed with #7 plastic bodies, aluminum tops and paper filters which can be difficult to recycle. Additionally, the K-Cups that are sent to Keurig’s disposal partner are incinerated at a plant, which produces airborne pollutants.
In recent years, Keurig has addressed this concern and is working towards environmentally friendly solutions including making all K-Cups in the United States recyclable by the end of 2020. In addition Keurig has committed to the following actions by 2025:
- Converting to 100% recyclable or compostable packaging
- Using 30% post-consumer recycled material across Keurig’s packaging portfolio
- Send zero waste to landﬁll across Keurig’s operations
- Partner with Keurig’s highest water-risk operating communities to replenish 100% of water used for Keurig beverages in those communities
- Improve water use eﬃciency by 20%
- Obtain 100% of electricity from renewable sources
Top Nespresso Models
There are many top Nespresso models, but the two below are a couple of its most popular products:
This machine operates as a functional product, but it is simple enough to use for the home user. This sleek design looks good in your kitchen with its simple push-button selection and Nespresso capsules. You can create drinks like lungo, espresso, ristretto, cappuccino, hot milk, latte, and use it for warm water as well. Because of the Thermoblock heating system, you can transform cold water to boiling in just seconds. Another great option to consider with similar features is the Lattissima Plus.
Out of all the Nespresso VertuoLine products, you get the most value for your money spent here. When Nespresso added this line in 2014, consumers experienced more coffee for each serving than OriginalLine. The popular Evoluo model heats the quickest out of all the different models at around 15-20 seconds. It also stores up to 17 capsules.
This model can also brew five various cup sizes, ranging from an espresso shot to a medium coffee cup. You can also save energy with the Evoluo because it automatically shuts off after nine minutes of non-use. Click this link for a full review of the Nespresso Evoluo.
Top Keurig Models
Below is some of the most widely purchased Keurig coffee machine models on the market:
Keurig’s K575 now known as the Keurig K-Elite is the most popular choice among consumers. The touchscreen control panel is an excellent feature that creates a simple and straightforward brew programming and selection process for coffee levels. It also has the largest water reservoir in the industry at 80 ounces, which holds up to 10 cups of coffee.
The Keurig K55 K-Classic model is ideal for students, couples, single homeowners, and even smaller offices. A big draw for this product option is that it is suitable for new coffee maker users, and it is offered at a budget-friendly price. It contains a 48-ounce water tank, which yields up to 6 cups of coffee before having to refill. The descaling function also provides a simple way of removing build-up and debris from the machine.
Cozy’s Bottom Line
Nespresso vs Keurig are two different machines that offer unique experiences and drinks.
If you are a die-hard espresso lover after a reliable machine worth investing in then Nespresso is the perfect fit for you. If you simply want a quick cup of coffee versus something espresso based that is good and fast, yet still economically friendly opt for the Keurig.
As many coffee aficionados will attest, space can often be found in your kitchen for both machines to provide you with the drinks you love at a press of a button! Happy Caffeinating!