Usually with product comparisons you get two similar products or brands and compare them to each other, see where one excels and one falters. While that may seem the case with Keurig and Nespresso—both are in the business of making hot, single-serve caffeinated drinks—it’s actually an apples to oranges thing. Keurig is king of the coffee world, but Nespresso hits that espresso niche and is very popular in Europe. While there are various differences between them, there are many aspects we can compare to see which is best for you.
So let’s compare Nespresso vs. Keurig!
Drinks and Pods
Both of these are known for coffee-based drinks, but they both vary from that path very quickly. In the case of Keurig, their bread and butter is their various coffee pods. From regular coffee to flavored varieties, you can just about any type of coffee you want and from many popular brands, such as Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and much more.
However, they also have many pods dedicated to other drinks. You can get tea, hot cider, hot chocolate and more.
Nespresso on the other hand primarily deals with espresso. The vast majority of their pods are dedicated to espresso drinks (with the crema top included). However, after consumer pressure, they also made a brand of machines and pods that can make regular coffee, though still tuned more towards coffee lovers of the European sensibilities.
Nespresso is often compared to Apple computers because unlike Keurig, which only makes the machines but allows other brands to make the pods, both the machines and pods are completely controlled by Nespresso. They have fewer flavors and many are under ambiguous titles like, “Rich and Strong.”
If you care about specific brewing sizes, then Keurig will be your go-to. Depending which Keurig you get, you’ll be able to brew anything from 6 ounces up to over 30 ounces, and many sizes in between. This is perfect if you have numerous cup sizes or just like the freedom to choose.
Nespresso takes a more hard-line approach to this, for better or worse. Their espresso cups are 1.4 ounces and their coffee cups are 8 ounces. That’s it, no deviation. If you are a espresso/coffee purist, then you know that these sizes are usually best for optimal flavors and you wouldn’t want it any other way. But, if you like coffee for its caffeine or just to drink here or there, then you may find this frustrating.
Much like the Windows and Apple comparison, Keurig’s features deal more with practicality while Nespresso is more about the taste and experience. Keurig has many features in terms of choosing cup sizes, strengthening your coffee, storing massive amounts of water, programming times and amazing speed.
Nespresso on the other hand offers an ejector that spits old pods into a bay so that you don’t have to touch them, a milk frother, smartphone integration on select models and blend-specific brewing methods to get the best taste out of your pod (which is easy since Nespresso controls the creation of all pods).
In general, Keurig is going to be the more affordable offering. However, whenever there are price differences, there are often caveats. Keurig models are good, but Nespresso ones tend to be built better. At the same time, there are over 50 Keurigs to choose from, meaning that you can easily find one that matches your budget and size needs. The pods tend to be cheaper and there are many companies that produce them, but this comes at the cost of richer flavors (according to most tasters, but some truly do prefer the taste of Keurig coffee).
Despite these caveats, Keurig is better if you’re on a budget or if you strictly want coffee instead of espresso.
While the water tank is a little smaller here at 40 ounces, this machine comes with so many extra features you won’t even mind. You get a touch screen that allows you to easily select your size and adjust strength, along with carafe options if you need to brew a big pot for yourself. Another great feature is that it’s compact, making it easy to fit just about anywhere.
Easily one of the most advanced Keurigs on the market, you’ll love this if you makes lots of coffee or want precise control over your caffeine. The 80-ounce water tank means that you’ll rarely need to fill this behemoth, and the touch screen gives you so many options that you’ll be amazed you lived so long without it. You can also schedule brewing times, but only with carafe pods.
For more information on Keurig machines, I personally tested a few of them here.
If you’re new to the Nespresso or espresso market in general, then this might be the best first model for you. Whether you like its compact size, fast heating time or its ability to create both coffee or espresso drinks, this one is similar to a standard Keurig but it has all the great Nespresso features.
Tired of waiting in line for barista-quality espresso or coffee? This unit is the best for you then. Only capable of using Nespresso’s Grand Cru capsules, this appliance used centrifusion technology to create beautiful crema to top your drink, and the aeroccino accessory ensures that you get perfectly frothed milk.
This is a good middle ground maker because it gives you the best of both worlds. This unit is more compact than other Nespresso machines, and it has a flow-stop feature so that you can make the best sized cup. You get a milk frother, and the drip tray can be moved for bigger cups. The compact size is great for smaller counters, but the pump ensures that every cup tastes like it came from a large unit.
So, which is better? It all depends on your preferences. If you’re more about affordability, regular coffee drinks or teas and features that cover practicality, then Keurig is better, If you think coffee should be an experience and you’re a regular espresso drinker who turns his or her nose up to “conventional coffee,” then Nespresso is the best for you. Both are great, but it all depends on how you define the perfect cup of coffee.