Nespresso vs Espresso: What Is Nespresso?

You appreciate good coffee, but you no longer want to stand in a queue for a cup, or spend half your salary in a coffee shop. Making coffee at home is a great idea to save some time and money.

So you have decided that you want to get a machine that will give you great tasting coffee at home without the hassle. But now suddenly the espresso and the Nespresso machines start to sound exactly the same. What is the difference between a Nespresso machine and an espresso machine?

Well, we are here to help and show you how an espresso machine stacks up against a Nespresso machine. That way you will know what you want and which one will be suited to your lifestyle.

What is Nespresso?

Nespresso is espresso or coffee that’s brewed from pods or capsules instead of coffee grounds, similar to a Keurig machine.

Capsules versus ground coffee

The main difference between a Nespresso machine and a straight forward espresso machine is in the way that the coffee is produced in the machine. The raw materials are the main thing that will differ.

When you prepare coffee in an espresso machine, you will start with the roasted beans. You will then grind the beans to create the grounds to put into the machine.

These grounds are placed in a portable filter that locks into the main part or group-head of the espresso machine. You then ‘pull’ a shot of espresso, either by pulling a good old lever or by simply pressing a button.

This might sound like quite a process and Nespresso agreed.

A Nespresso machine works without coffee grounds. So you don’t have to grind the beans, or buy the grounds. With an espresso machine you will also measure the coffee yourself depending on the strength you want, and if it should be a single or double shot.

A Nespresso machine (and some newcomers) work with capsules. The idea is that you simply place the capsule in the machine, press a button, and voila! Perfect coffee at the touch of a button.

No need to go for a barista course. The type of capsule will help you to decide between espresso or lungo.

Pros and cons

Ok so a Nespresso machine sounds like the lazy coffee drinker’s dream. If you want good coffee and can’t deal with instant. And you’d be right. Using a capsule machine is deceptively simple and hassle free.

You will get a good cup of espresso without having to worry about the steam or grinding the beans. A Nespresso machine will consistently perform well and needs less maintenance than the big old espresso machines.

The capsules come in different sizes and flavors for you to try and keep things interesting.

So, is there any hope for a good old espresso machine? Yes, there are really a few good points to be made in the espresso machine camp. Just because something takes longer does not mean it is not good.

On the contrary it is actually one of the great things about something that is made with care. You can definitely taste the difference between a cup of real espresso and capsule coffee.

It is the same difference that you taste between home cooked meals prepared with care, and a takeaway burger stacked in two minutes or less. The process of pulling a good shot of espresso can take a little mastering.

You need to learn which coffee grounds work best and how to put the grounds in the porta-filter to get the correct flow of water through the coffee. If you progress to adding milk it becomes a whole other level of art.

But it is also not impossible to learn and experiment along the way.

What is the verdict?

Good espresso can be made by capsule, but great espresso, the type you will go out of your way to find, that is a bit of an art. Of course, artists need the best tools and time to create their masterpieces.

A really great espresso can be a masterpiece.

So should you go for a barista course immediately and buy that espresso machine, or should you go and stock up on different capsules for a Nespresso machine?

Ultimately the choice is yours of course. If you like good convenient coffee, a Nespresso machine is really a good choice. But if you are willing to spend a little more time and learn how to play with the nuance that great espresso can offer… well then perhaps invest in that shiny espresso machine.