Every coffee addict knows the struggle of having to wake up every morning only to realize that they have to go through the troublesome act of brewing coffee. We need coffee to wake up, but we also need to wake up in order to make coffee.
On the 7th day, however, God created the Nespresso machine – or at least gave the humans an idea of how to do it. They’re a very convenient alternative brewing a delicious cup of coffee without going through the brewing hassle – simply because you will be using things such as pods and capsules.
But at the same time, Nespresso machines aren’t created equally – so how do we differentiate between good ones and bad ones? Well, here are a few ideas:
What are Capsule Coffee Machines?
Capsule coffee machines are more or less the lazy person’s tool for waking up in the morning. Also going under the name of pod coffee machine, this device is very easy to use, clean, and maintain – and it also comes much cheaper than your regular coffee machine.
Most of them will take only one pod or capsule type, but they can also vary depending on your purchase. Indeed, a capsule-brewed coffee is more expensive than your regular home-brewed one, but when you compare the results, you’ll probably get why.
How do Capsule Coffee Machines Work?
All Nespresso coffee machines basically work the same. There are only a few differences regarding the features, but basically, all you’ll have to do is add a capsule, a pod, or a coffee bag, and the machine will do the rest.
Coffee is usually done by the simple press of a button. Since it’s automatic, you’ll have a few seconds for yourself to wake up as the machine brews the coffee for you.
Single Serve Coffee Containers
Single-serve coffee containers are basically coffee brewing methods that only make enough coffee for one person.
The reason why they are considered the fastest coffee brewing method is that it no longer calls for portion measuring, additives or other extras – because it has all been already prepared beforehand.
Furthermore, the unused product can be kept fresh for a longer time, since you will not be unsealing it before the brewing time (as it happens with most coffee packages). No matter if the coffee is sealed in plastic, metal, or paper, it can remain fresh as long as you will not let the air in by unsealing it.
There are also different variations of single coffee containers out there.
- Coffee pods: Also known as “pads,” these are coffee grounds that have been already pre-packed in their own filter.
- Coffee capsules: Similar to coffee pods, only instead of being packed in a filter, they are sealed in an aluminum or plastic package. These capsules are usually designed for a single brand of Nespresso espresso machine, and can generally not be interchanged.
- Coffee bags: Coffee bags were made to offer the convenience of instant coffee but also keep the brewed coffee flavor. They look exactly like tea bags, and they contain a blend of instant coffee and fine ground coffee that you allow to steep in hot water for about three minutes.
The variation that you choose will depend on your own preferences – as well as your coffee machine. If you have one that only accepts pods, you’ll have no choice but to get those coffee pods.
However, if you can go for pods or capsules, you’ll have more choices in front of you. Many people believe that pods go perfectly with the best nespresso machine for espresso.
What is a Nespresso?
A Nespresso is a type of brew that you may make with the Nespresso brewer. It’s an espresso for those who want to drink a good coffee brew, but don’t want to turn it into a new time-consuming hobby.
It’s like instant coffee – only that it has a more intense aroma.
Nespresso is a variation owned by Nestle of the single-serve coffee machine that we were talking about – a device that can brew at most two espressos at a time.
However, instead of making you prepare the coffee grounds yourself, you will be using the Nespresso capsules that have been made exclusively for this coffee machine.
The Nespresso is considered to be a luxurious home experience – a device that will bring you a lot of quality coffee. You can opt for either espresso or café lungo at a time.
To be more precise, you may prepare an Espresso (1.35 oz), a Ristretto (0.85 oz), Lungo (3.7 oz), as well as other espresso-based drinks such as Late, Cappuccino or Macchiato.
Nespresso Original Line
This includes the Pixie, the CitiZ, the U, the Latissima, and the Nespresso Inissia machine. These are the first Nespresso machines to ever come into being and are compatible with all the original Nespresso capsules.
The Nespresso Pixie has a very small footprint – the smallest of the line – and is definitely the most attractive one of the whole batch. It’s very simple to use – you only have to press no button – and there’s barely any cleanup to do.
If you’re more a fan of milk-based drinks, then the Latissima may be a more suitable choice for you, since it comes with a milk frothing/steaming system.
VertuoLine In North America
While the original line is only for espresso-based drinks, the VertuoLine is perfect for both espresso and café lungo.
This line of Nespresso machine makes use of a centrifuge in order to make the coffee, fully extracting the coffee’s aroma. The pods also have their own barcodes that deliver specific instructions to the machine during the brewing process.
The Pixie may make a superior espresso and take far less space, but the Vertuoline will also bring you regular coffee – something that the original line doesn’t offer you.
The capsules come in different sizes and shapes, all depending on the coffee that you are planning to brew – specifically, the sizes of the cup. Here is a cup size guide for those wanting to enjoy a nice cup of Nespresso.
If you thought that the espresso was the smallest coffee, try again. Having only 0.85 oz, this capsule will provide a strong, aromatic blend that will reach into the depths of your core.
If you’re familiar with the saying “short people are meaner because they are one step closer to hell,” then you should know it applies to Ristretto as well. The quantity may be small, but the strong essences are usually kept in small bottles, aren’t they?
The espresso size is usually the standard, popular coffee. It’s intense, but not as intense as a Ristretto – and you won’t be seeing flying pixies if you decide to drink it without mixing it in a latte or cappuccino.
Measuring 1.35 oz, an espresso capsule is something that meets the middle grounds; not too strong, but not too light either.
According to Nespresso machine reviews, such a device can only be called perfect if it accepts capsules for café lungo. We all like drinking the occasional cappuccino, latte, or espresso, but sometimes we crave that regular coffee that our parents used to brew for us when we finally developed the taste.
Measuring 3.7 oz, this is the kind of coffee that you will be able to enjoy to its fullest.
Producers such as Illy, Tassimo, Lavazza, and Dolce Gusto also produce Nespresso capsules, but they are different in terms of flavor and price.
If you’re looking for something affordable, yet with a rich flavor, then you may want to go with the original Nespresso capsules.
The Nespresso System
There’s a subtle difference between Nespresso Vertuoline and the original Nespresso machine.
While both Nespresso lines – the Original and the VertuoLine use the centrifusion system (a term created by Nespresso which is a “fusion” between centrifugal and infusion), the VertuoLine also comes with a few different kicks.
But first, to explain the centrifusion part: when making the brew, the machine will spin the capsule at around 7,000 rpm, therefore blending the hot water with the ground coffee. Each coffee capsule will have a barcode that the device will scan so that it knows how to prepare the coffee.
There are five different parameters that the machine will keep in “mind:” cup size, rotational speed, temperature, flow rate, and appropriate time of the water contact.
The Nespresso machine will be reading the barcode on the coffee capsule to know exactly what you are planning to brew.
How to Use a Nespresso Machine
The Nespresso machine is one of the most convenient ways to brew coffee fast – and also to make a cup that you’ll enjoy in terms of taste. While people tend to be taken aback by the fact that it’s a “coffee machine,” it’s actually not that difficult to operate.
If you think about it logically, it’s probably simpler than it would be to brew coffee in a regular pot.
Here’s how you do it:
- You take the coffee capsules and insert them into the machine. Each capsule will have a pre-measured coffee amount that will offer you the best coffee with the least amount of trouble.
- Once you have put the capsule in place, you may press the button for your drink of preference: Espresso or Lungo. Keep in mind that only the VertuoLine has the Lungo option.
- The Nespresso machine will automatically use as much water as it needs to come up with your desired drink. All you’ll have to do is fill the container with water, and the machine will know exactly how much to use based on the barcode.
- Within seconds, you will be able to enjoy the coffee of your choice.
As you can see, it’s pretty simple to use the Nespresso machine. If we were in the Harry Potter world, we’d say “just swish and flick;” but since we’re in the coffee world, it’s “just press and drink.”
The advantage of being a coffee addict is that the other addicts automatically become your brothers and sisters. It’s like in the biker world: they have each other’s backs; it’s like an unwritten code.
That’s why we also have the Nespresso Club going for us, and people may join directly from the company’s website.
So what do you do in a coffee club? First things first, you gain access to some nice brews that you can enjoy every day, at every hour.
Not to mention that as an “exclusive member” of the club, you also have all the chances of getting some excellent offers and discounts.
But the financial part is not the only important one. The reason why Nespresso came up with the Nespresso club is to bring people together – to master the art of making the perfect coffee.
You will find advice as to where to find the best Nespresso machine for lattes, for café lungo, and all kinds of coffee. Since you will be part of the official club, you will receive newsletters about the best offers.
How do you become part of the club, you ask? Simple: you order. You place an order for Nespresso items, and you automatically become a member of the addicted anonymous club.
Benefits of Nespresso
Many people do not think that there is too much of a difference between coffee brewed on a Nespresso machine and coffee brewed in a regular pot. “It has caffeine, what’s the difference.”
Tell that to an actual coffee addict, and they’ll slap you in the face. Furthermore, they will start listing all the benefits that you can reap by choosing a Nespresso machine, and why should buy Nespresso machine in the first place.
The golden rule of brewing coffee is that you add the right quantity of coffee grounds to the appropriate water temperature and amount. This rarely happens when we brew in regular pots, simply because we just guess everything.
However, when brewing with the Nespresso machine, the flavor is always the way that it should be. Never too strong, nor too weak. By just reading the barcode, the device knows exactly how to brew for the right flavor.
Freshness of Coffee
Think about it this way: whenever you open a pack of coffee, the air will go out and the coffee will gradually start losing its freshness when it comes into contact with the air.
However, since the Nespresso capsules are just for one coffee at a time, they will not lose their freshness. The machine will simply open it when it’s time to brew it.
Nespresso machines don’t have any fancy extras, which makes them very simple to maintain. Plus, they don’t stick out in the kitchen – or wherever you may want to place them since they are compact enough to fit into every design.
You may even go for a red Nespresso machine if you want something with more style.
Ease of Use
Nespresso machines aren’t that difficult to operate, which makes them convenient for a lot of non-morning people that don’t have enough time to brew fancy coffee.
Since the coffee only takes one press of a button and a few seconds to make, it has become a favorite for many people.
Nespresso machines are pretty much the same everywhere – but several manufacturers are in charge of the brand. While the main one is Nestle, there are several other expansions who made a name for themselves.
If you’re wondering what Nespresso machine is the best, you should know that Breville is somewhere at the top.
The Breville Nespresso machine started expanding in the USA after Nespresso started collaborating with the Breville Branch of America.
Similar to Breville, DeLonghi also became a third party manufacturer, building a DeLonghi Nespresso machine. They specialize in Lattissima, which means you can easily enjoy a latte or a cappuccino with this one.
KitchenAid focuses on creating Nespresso machines that are easy to use, but also easy to maintain. Not only does the company manufacture great coffee makers, but it also makes other stuff you can take advantage of in your kitchen.
The KitchenAid Nespresso machine is, however, among the most popular.
Several other manufacturers may also make good devices, but so far, these are the ones that stood out the most.
How to Clean a Nespresso Machine
Cleaning and descaling a Nespresso machine shouldn’t be difficult to do – as long as you do it at the right time. To offer your brewer a longer life, you should clean – in other words, “descale” – it regularly.
But keep in mind that it is not something you do intuitively, and sometimes, you may need some help from an expert. Overall, however, here is how you prepare your machine for descaling:
- Remove the capsules, as well as the capsule container.
- Add 1L of fresh, warmed water in the container.
- Add some descaling solution.
- Turn on the machine.
- Put a large empty container under the coffee outlet
Turn the Nespresso machine like you would when you are preparing a coffee or a cappuccino. The descaling solution will clean through the coffee and calcium buildups, keeping your tool working properly.
It is recommended that you descale your device every three months. However, if you use the machine very often, you may want to descale it once ever 300 capsules.
It will help keep the freshness of the coffee, and the whole process won’t take more than 20 minutes.
Nespresso Coffee Capsules Guide
If you’ve recently bought a Nespresso machine, the chances are that you may be confused by the multitude of capsules. There are currently 16 types out there – and even more of them are coming.
Unless you have a chart to explain all those different capsules, you won’t be able to enjoy your coffee properly. Imagine that you wanted to drink a nice latte and you end up drinking an espresso; that won’t be very good for your nerves.
Here’s how to identify the coffee types:
These capsules are your traditional everyday coffee. They come in many flavor strengths, and Nespresso alone has seven types of espresso capsules: Ristretto, Arpeggio, Roma, Livanto, Cappricio, Volluto, Cosi (with Cosi being the weakest of the batch).
Those craving for long coffee will also find a decent variety of Nespresso capsules. They use twice the amount of water that an espresso would use, and will also go under the name of “tall coffee.”
The varieties include Linizio Lungo, Vivalto Lungo, and Fortissio Lungo.
These are a special type of Nespresso capsules and can be traced back right to the origin. These include the Dulsao, the Rosabaya, and the Indriya.
Those who are not very tolerant of caffeine but still want to enjoy some nice-tasting coffee can look for the following capsules: Decaffeinato Lungo, Decaffeinato, and Decaffeinato Intenso – where obviously, lungo is a long coffee and Intenso is a variety of espresso.
To make the selection even easier, here is a table with the coffee capsules:
The strength of these blends will differ from top to bottom. All you’ll have to do next is decide which one is your favorite kind.
A Nespresso machine can be a lifesaver in many circumstances. It’s very quick to use, and you’ll no longer need to waste time mixing blends.
Granted, you don’t have much freedom with the blends (actually, you have no freedom at all), but since the capsules are already made, you don’t even need it.
All that you’ll need is a good machine that will brew your coffee in the morning. If you’re not certain which Nespresso machine is best, then you may consult our buying guide.