I have been aware of Nespresso machines for years, but it’s only recently that I’ve begun to see them as another brewing method for proper coffee, which lead me to wonder which might be the best Nespresso machine to go for, since there seemed to be lots of options.
I decided to do my own list mainly because I didn’t fancy paying for a which subscription just to read some reviews, and while there are “best lists” which include Nespresso machines alongside other machines, I struggled to find a list purely for Nespresso machines, which highlighted the main differences.
If you are trying to decide whether to go for a Nespresso machine or an espresso machine, see Nespresso Vs Espresso. If you’re trying to choose between the various pod and disk machines, see Nespresso Vs Tassimo, Dolce Gusto and Senseo.
In brief, my opinion is that if you don’t want to go to the expense and the learning curve that is involved to brew true Espresso at home with a semi-automatic Espresso machine, and if convenience is of supreme importance, then pod/disk machines are a great choice – and if it’s Espresso type coffee you want, then Nespresso is the best option.
I love making Espresso at home, using freshly ground, freshly roasted coffee beans, but as I discuss in Nespresso Vs Espresso, making true Espresso at home is more of a hobby, and not everyone wants to get into the hobby of being a home Barista – for those who just want convenience, Nespresso is a great option.
Nespresso Machines for Speciality Coffee?
In the past I thought of Nespresso machines purely as mainstream commodity coffee machines for the masses, so as a speciality coffee lover this isn’t something that appeals. But thanks to compatible capsules being offered by an increasing number of sources including pact coffee, Nespresso machines are another great and convenient coffee brewing method for speciality coffee enthusiasts.
So I’m looking for the best Nespresso machine. When I say best, what is best for me isn’t necessarily going to be the same for you, as we all have different preferences, so as I’m going along I will try my best to point out everything that could be a plus or a minus, so you can work out for your self which machine might be better for your preferences. I’m including all of the mainstream Nespresso and compatible Nespresso machines.
The main machines that Nespresso advertise are Magimix, Krups, De’Longhi, Sage & kitchenaid. There are also the Dualit machines which look really interesting, but which aren’t offered by Nespresso. No surprise there, by the way, I doubt Dualit get a Christmas card from the Nespresso HQ ;-), as it was Dualit which challenged Nespresso legally for the right to produce compatible pods, and won – opening up the floodgates for others to produce compatible pods.
Nespresso Quick Tip
Just a very quick tip on brewing the best coffee possible with a Nespresso machine. Most machines boast VERY fast heat up times, from as little as 3 seconds with the Sage Creatista plus, and most other machines with 25 seconds warm up time. While the thermostat on the machines may be reporting the brew temp has been reached, for whatever reason, the water tends to come through slightly cooler on the first brew after the machine has reportedly reached the brew temp.
As a result of this I’ve noticed that the first brew if I make it when the machine has literally just warmed up, isn’t quite as hot and isn’t quite fully extracted, so it tastes ever so slightly off. This isn’t exclusive to Nespresso machines, by the way, my Gaggia Classic indicates that it’s ready to use after 5 minutes or so when it’s clearly not reached the brew temp at that stage.
To combat this with the Nespresso machine, at first I would leave it a few minutes before use as I would with an Espresso machine – but then I tried pulling a shot empty first, and what I realised is that the empty shot starts out slightly discoloured (meaning that it’s cleaning out the group head of the residual drips of coffee from the last brew), the second shot is then at full temp AND my cup has been warmed, perfect!
So now what I do every time, is when I press the button to turn on my Nespresso machine, I put my cup under it, make sure I expelled the previous pod, and press the Lungo button. Then as soon as the machine thinks it’s warm enough, it dispenses a lungo shot worth of water, thus cleaning the head and warming the cup, while climbing in temperature just slightly to the perfect temp – I then empty the water away, put the pod in and press the Espresso or Lungo button depending on the pod I’m about to use.
What I’ve said above about not being quite at brew temp when the machine is programmed to think it’s ready, by the way, is just my opinion based on use, and isn’t a statement of fact – it may be all in my head! 😉
Magimix & Krups & De’Longhi
Magimix and Krups offer the same range of Nespresso machines when it comes to model names, but some have a slightly different design. As far as I can see, both these brands are made by the Swiss firm Eugster/Frismag, so I think the only difference between the machines are minor aesthetic differences. De’Longhi also offer the Inissia & the Expert, along with their Lattissima & Lattissima Pro.
Some of the features that are the same throughout are the fast 25 second heat up time (except for the Sage Creatista which is 10 seconds, and Creatista plus 3 seconds!!) thermoblock heater, 19 bars of pressure, fold away drip tray & auto power off. The main difference from one model to the next are size and design differences, water tank size, used capsule container size, and other more advanced features.
All the official Nespresso branded machines also come with the Nespresso backed 3 year warranty too. All the Nespresso machines are available on their own or with the Aeroccino milk frother for an extra £50, except the machines which come with integrated milk texturing.
Dimensions: 20.5 cm tall x 8.5 cm wide x 38.5 cm deep.
Same as above, but different shape and dimensions. Same height, slightly wider and not quite as deep.
20.5cm tall x 11cm wide x 32.5 cm deep.
The RRP of both Essenza mini machines is £89.99, or with Aeroccino £139.99 – but shop around and you will find various offers.
Dimensions: 23cm tall x 12cm wide x 32.1cm deep
As above. The Inissia machines have slightly bigger water tanks and empty pod capacity than the Essenza mini.
The Inissia Nespresso machines are a compact machine, with a 0.7ml water tank, heat up in 25 seconds, auto power down after 9 mins.
They’re offered branded by Krups, Magimix and De’Longhi, but they’re identical when it comes to features, and almost identical in looks.
The RRP of the Inissia machines is £89.99, and with Aeroccino £139.99
They all have the same RRP, but they can all often be found on offer either alone or with Aeroccino, so I would take advantage of the fact that there are three companies competing to sell this same machines, and look for offers, go for whichever machine you can find with the best offer. The best offers I’ve seen are around £75 or £99 with Aeroccino.
Overall the Inissia has a very good rating on Amazon, click here to read the reviews, 4.6 out of 5.
There are virtually no design or aesthetic differences between the Krups, De’Longhi or Magmix versions of this Nespresso machine, it’s almost just a case of a different brand label. I say almost, because there is a slightly different spout spout cover thing on the Krups than on the Magmix, which is the case with all models except the Expert which seem to have no differences at all other than the label.
One touch controls with
The RRP is £129.99, or £179 with Aeroccino, but always check Amazon offers, as you will nearly always find that at least some of the Nespresso machines are on offer.
Again, only very slight aesthetic differences between the Krups and Magimix versions.
Dimensions 32.6 cm tall x 11.1 cm wide x 23.5 cm deep
The RRP is £139.99, or £189.99 with Aeroccino, but again the beauty of there being identical Nespresso machines offered by two different brands is that thanks to the competition, you’ll be able to find offers, especially on Amazon, where I’ve seen the pixie for as low as £65.
The only noticeable difference between the two is the spout cover, and slightly different side panels, the Magimix side panels have a small diamond shape pattern while the Krups has horizontal grooves. I think I prefer the side panels of the Krups in this instance, but if one were on offer for less than the others I wouldn’t pay extra just for a slightly different look, as design isn’t all that important to me.
I have the been using the (Magimix) Citiz for a couple of weeks, so I can give a more personal review of this machine, my goal over time being to use most of the Nespresso machines so I can give my personal views on each.
Dimensions: 37.2cm tall, 13 cm wide, 27.8 cm deep.
RRP: £159.99 or £209.99 with Aeroccino. Best deal I’ve seen is £149.99 bundled with Aeroccino, or £120 on its own – on Amazon, of course, where I buy just about everything 😉 I have Amazon prime, which I use mainly for the free delivery, I have the Amazon fire stick too so it comes in handy for watching Amazon originals series such as the new Top Gear, and the new series “American Gods”, which I’ve just started watching, and seems good so far. Need something to watch while waiting for the next series of Game of Thrones!
This is the first Nespresso machine I’ve used, and I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, mainly with compatible pods.
The really great thing about this machine to begin with is the narrow footprint, which allows it to slide into a small space in my kitchen which is already full of other coffee brewers, so that came in handy. The water tank is very easy to get to in order to take it off to fill and put it back, and I can do this without having to remove the machine, which is very convenient, I just grab it and then slap it back in, no messing about.
Heats up in 25 seconds as with most, and it is very fast when it comes to pumping out coffee. The used pods are expelled into the pods container when you lift up the handle to put your next pod in. I really like the design of this machine, the way the cup tray folds up allowing you to put a larger mug onto the drip tray, and the really slick way everything works including the cup tray being connected to the pods container. All the silver bits on the machine are metal, not plastic, which gives it a very high quality feel.
Press either of the two buttons to turn it on, and press both together to turn off the machine. Auto off after 9 minutes, but you can program that if you want to change it.
I really like this machine, it’s very compact, looks great, very fast warm up, and great performance when it comes to making coffees.
If I wanted to nit pick, I could recall the two instances in the past 2 weeks when the machine has done something that wasn’t 100% perfect. The first was one time I turned the machine on, it started pumping coffee out as soon as it had warmed up, so I had to quickly grab a cup ;-). I assume there is some feature here which I accidentally engaged. The only other thing I can recall happening is that the pods container which hold the cup, slid out once while coffee was being made, and I had to slide it back in – but I’m assuming that was user error, and I’d not put the container back in properly.
I’ve not yet tried the other Nespresso machines, so I can’t compare, but I’m very impressed with this little smart looking machine for the price tag, and I would recommend this nespresso machine.
Dimensions: 25.5cm tall, 12 cm wide, 37.4 cm deep.
The prodigio is smart phone connected Nespresso machine, via a blue tooth app, which I think is the main feature that this machine has over the other models of machine discussed so far.
In addition to this, there are other additional features including descaling alert, auto pod ejection, and a larger capacity used pod container which fits up to 19.
I’m interested by the remote element. I realise that there’s no app that can get a cup out of the cupboard and put it in place for me (yet ;-)), and I’m not sure I like the idea of putting a cup there the night before, for dust and spiders and who knows what to crawl in ready to find floating in my coffee ;-), but there are potential very helpful features to this including alerts, capsule stock management and programming, so I find it interesting at least.
RRP is £169.99 or £219.99 with Aeroccino, but as with all of them, you can usually find an offer. I can see that they’re currently available here from £129.99 or £169.99 with Aeroccino.
Dimensions: 22.3 cm tall x 28.7cm wide x 38.05cm deep.
I like the look of this machine more than the prodigio I have to say, in terms of some of the features and the design. It comes with the app and blue tooth connection as the prodigio, but the heat settings and the additional Americano cup setting seems like a plan. Although, it’s £80 more, and you can make Americano (or long black depending on which you ad first, water or coffee) on any of the machines.
RRP is £249.99, or £299.99 with Aeroccino, although there’s an offer here at the moment which saves a bit of RRP.
Again the De’Longi is the same machine just with a different label, and another opportunity to find an offer – in fact at the moment the best offer I can see is for the De’Longhi version.
This machine has only just been released, so there aren’t many user reviews on Amazon as yet to link to, although interestingly the only two reviews I can see so far are one 5 star review, and one 1 star review, so one extreme to the other. The 1 star review appears to be a faulty machine though, and this can happen with any electrical device, they come with the full Nespresso warranty so I’m sure this customer will be sorted out, at which point they may edit that review as they did mention that it was great while it was working.
Dimensions: 30.5 cm tall x 17 cm wide x 39.7 cm deep.
This machine looks to me like a hybrid between a Nespresso machine and an Espresso machine, with the steam wand instead of the more familiar aeroccino.
RRP is £349.99 but there is an offer here currently for £229.95 with free delivery.
Dimensions: 32 cm tall x 17.3 cm wide x 25.8 cm deep.
This is a very interesting machine if you like your Latte Macchiatos & Cappuccinos. It steams milk to 65C, and froths it based on how frothy you have selected your textured milk to be, and does it all for you at the touch of the button.
As to be expected with a machine like this, there’s a bit more to it than with the other Nespresso machines, and I’ve read that it can take a little bit of learning – in other words you may actually have to read the instructions ;-), which is something I very rarely do.
I’ve read that the touch buttons are very sensitive so you need to watch that you don’t accidentally press the wrong button and get the wrong coffee, and there are a few other idiosyncrasies reported by users, but most seem to love it, 4.5 star rating on Amazon from 278 reviews.
The one thing I think worth mentioning is that you will need to clean out the steamer after each use. I’ve seen some users suggesting that although the machine alerts you after each use of the milk steamer, that it needs cleaning (which requires the user to press and hold a button), that you don’t really need to clean it after each use. This is bad advice, and it explains why there are comments saying that the machine stinks after a few months use… If you don’t put it through the cleaning cycle after each milk usage, you’re going to end up with sour milk in the pipes, and that smell is almost impossible to get rid of! So if you do go for this machine, or any other machine with a milk frother or steam wand, make sure you keep it clean.
RRP is £279.99, but there are offers here from £199.
As far as I can see this is almost the same machine as the Lattissima touch, only with push buttons instead of the touch buttons, and four different drink options instead of 6.
It’s has a slightly lower RRP of £249.99, and it’s available here from £175.
I’m going to contact De’Longhi and ask them to confirm the difference, but if that is all the difference then from £175 this would seem like a bargain to me.
Again just keep in mind that any machine including hot milk is going to take some user effort when it comes to cleaning. Even the Aeroccinos need cleaning after each use, or they get manky.
|In addition to the Krups, Magmix and De’Longhi machines, there are also:|
Dimensions: 30.8 cm tall x 17.1 cm wide x 39.3 cm deep.
I am keen on Sage appliances, I reviewed their benchmark Espresso machine Sage the Oracle about 18 months ago, and that machine was incredible, very intelligent. I since bought the Sage Smart grinder pro and have been using that for over a year now, another brilliant machine, for a very reasonable price.
I would be far more interested in the Creatista than I would be in the Lattissima, simply because the Creatista textures the milk via a steam wand, so cleaning is just a case of giving the wand a quick purge (a blast of steam) and a wipe after use, and it’s done into a milk jug meaning you can attempt Latte art. Just beware though, pouring latte art can get very frustrating and addictive! ;-).
The RRP of the Creatista is £399. I can’t actually see any offers at the moment for the Creatista, but knowing how high quality and well designed Sage appliances are, I would expect this machine to be well worth the investment. Sage are great when it comes to aftersales support too, I had to call them once about my smart grinder pro, and the support guys were very good.
As above, plus:
Refined brushed stainless steel finish.
The Creatista pro has a RRP of £449.95, so it isn’t within everyone’s price range, but still it’s not over the top if you compare it to bean to cup machines, and it’s at the very lowest end of the prosumer espresso machine price range. At only £50 more than the creatista, personally I’d be going for this one just for the faster warm up time, but that’s just me.
Dimensions: 32.8 cm tall x 19.5 cm wide x 31.2 cm deep.
This looks to be a stylish and well built machine, at 8.9 Kilos it’s one of the heaviest Nespresso machines, which would indicate a heavy duty piece of kit.
I’m a bit confused about the RRP of this machine, as it’s listed at £309 on the Nespresso website here, for the Almond cream colour only, or £359 for the red machine with Aeroccino, but the cheapest I can see it for here on Amazon at the moment is £403, which seems a bit odd.
Size: 23.2 cm tall x 12 cm wide x 23.3 cm deep
Used capsule capacity – 15 capsules
This machine is very interesting for the price! It’s available currently for under £130, and it has some great features. The only thing that stands out as a negative is a 60 second heat up time, but 60 seconds is very fast, it’s just that by this far in this post we’re so used to seeing 25 seconds, and then 10 seconds or even 3 seconds with the sage Nespresso machines, that our expectations have been raised to such a high level!
The 20 bars of pressure is interesting, 19 bar is 5 bar higher than Espresso, and I wonder does an extra bar produce a different result in terms of extraction than the other machines? I don’t know as I’ve not tried it, but it’s interesting. I think it’s a shame it’s been discontinued as it looks like a serious machine.
As above, plus:
Descale warning light and descaling program
I’m not sure why this machine has 19 bar instead of 20 as per the Duali Lusso which has now been discontinued and had 20 bar. There must be a reason, I’ll try to find out.
RRP: £149.99 but on offer from £115 here
Dimensions: 25cm tall x 18 cm wide (not including milk jug) x 37cm deep.
Water tank: 800ml
40 second warm up time
This is a similar idea to the Latissima by the looks of it. One thing I do think is a very interesting feature though is the cold frothed milk option for milk shakes.
RRP: £199.98 which seems like a bargain for a machine like this with milk.
Dimensions: 26cm tall x 19 cm wide x 34cm deep.
I can’t tell you the heat up time with this machine as they don’t seem to publish this info, maybe it’s a surprise? They also don’t seem to publish the info ref how many used capsules the container holds, it looks like it can hold quite a few but I can’t seem to find this info. Maybe I should have gone to specsavers.
I like the look of this machine, it looks very much like a prosumer or commercial single group espresso machine, it even looks like an E61 grouphead!
I like the big drip tray, and what looks like a hefty used pod drawer, the big water tank, and the stainless steel finish. That appears to be a cup warmer on the top or at least a cup holder with the side rails, but again this information isn’t offered, come on Dualit who wrote your sales copy, if you need a better copywriter drop me an email :-).
RRP: £250 – and it’s on offer here. Well this looks like a heck of a lot more than a £250 machine, I have to say. I don’t know what the warm up time is, but I’m not bothered, it’s probably 40 seconds, even if it’s a minute or so – that’s still fast, my Espresso machine takes a good 20 mins to be properly ready.
Conclusion: So, which is the best Nespresso machine in 2018?
I’m confused, I want them all – but I would need a much bigger kitchen.
Joking apart, it just depends on you, your budget and what is most important in terms of how you like your coffee. If your budget is tight, or if you are tight, or both ;-), then just go for one of the cheaper models, they’re all very good in terms of features, and they all come with a decent manufactures warranty. If you’re a bit more serious about your coffee and you want to invest a bit more, then have a good look at all of the other machines, even if you go for the most expensive Nespresso machine available you’ll still be getting a bargain when compared to the cost of prosumer espresso machines.
I think there is something for everyone here. For example I like trying (and the emphasis is on trying…) to do latte art, and my favourite milk drink is flat white, so my most obvious choice would be the Creatista, creatista plus or Magimix Maestria. At the moment I use the Citiz, but I use the steam wand on my espresso machine to froth the milk, so with the Sage machines I’d be able to do the same all with one machine.
If you’re wondering, as I am, why Nespresso machines are so much cheaper than the prosumer Espresso machines, there appear to be many reasons. One is that there is little or no profit made on the Nespresso machines, as far as I can see, as all of the focus is on the pods, similar to the printer market with all the focus being on selling the printer in order to sell the cartridges. The other is probably that they’re made in such vast quantities that they can be made cheaper.
Life is like a box of chocolates, so follow me on Twitter, and that’s all I have to say about that.