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Nespresso vs Keurig (2020): Which Pod Coffee Machine Brand Is Better?

If you love your coffee but you’re also too lazy to make it yourself, the best solution is to look for a pod machine. This way, you get your daily dose of caffeine without having to do much. Before you get to enjoy that kind of luxury and convenience, however, you first need to decide on a pod machine brand and that’s where the Nespresso vs Keurig battle comes into the picture. These two have been fighting it out for pod coffee supremacy for years now and it’s up to you to decide on a winner. So how do you choose the best pod machine brand for you? Here’s an in-depth comparison of Nespresso and Keurig, taking flavor, range of drinks, sustainability, and price into consideration, so that you can finalize your pick. 

Nespresso vs Keurig Comparison Chart

ModelNespressoKeurig
 Nespresso Lattissima Touch Original Espresso Machine with Milk Frother by De'Longhi, Washed BlackKeurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
FlavorBolder and rich-tasting because of barcode and centrifusion brewing methods.Lack of size tailoring leads to weak and bland coffee.
Range of DrinksAble to brew different sizes, ranging from single-shot espresso capsules to 14 oz coffee capsules.  Not able to brew espresso but makes up for this with a wide range of drinks that go beyond coffee.
SustainabilityMakes use of recyclable aluminum pods and makes it easy for customers to recycle. Aims to be 100% recyclable by 2020.

Flavor

Nespresso machines are able to brew more flavorful coffee.


Nespresso’s barcode and centrifusion brewing methods make their coffee richer and bolder.

The most important thing for many coffee drinkers out there is flavor. So which of the two pod coffee brands will make your taste buds the happiest? While Keurig is able to make decent single-serve coffee, there is one issue. Most of their machines are able to accommodate different cup sizes but they use the same pods. So if you opt for a bigger size, you’re bound to end up with a diluted cup of coffee that tastes weak and bland. Sure, it’s nice, hot, and caffeinated enough to give you a buzz but it leaves the taste buds wanting more flavor. 

As for Nespresso, you can expect a bolder tasting cup of coffee because of its innovative barcode and centrifusion (a combination of centrifugal action and water infusion) brewing methods. Nespresso’s VertuoLine machines are able to scan the barcode on each pod and determine its requirements such as cup size, temperature, rotational speed, and flow rate. They then use their patented centrifusion technology which spins the pod at 7,000 rpm and infuses the ground coffee inside with water for optimum extraction. This gives your coffee that beautiful, rich-tasting layer of froth on top called crema. 

Range of Drinks

Nespresso has a wider variety of tailored sizes but Keurig is able to offer many kinds of beverages.

Nespresso (left) and Keurig (right) are tied when it comes to variety of drinks. 

As you can probably already tell from its name, Nespresso is made to brew espresso. But because of the demand for larger sizes, they now have machines that can brew everything from single-shot espresso capsules to 14 oz coffee capsules. Their VertuoLine, for example, was created to make full-size coffee drinks without diluting the flavor via the centrifusion method. That said, Nespresso does have a more limited range of coffee pods, with both the OriginalLine and VertuoLine offering only 24 kinds. It’s also good to note that these variations are mostly based on the size of the final brew. 

Keurig, on the other hand, can’t make espresso and is only able to brew black coffee, making it seem a little more limited compared to Nespresso. It’s able to make up for this inability though because it has a wide range of K-Cup pods, giving you over a hundred variations of drinks to choose from. Aside from just standard coffee, they also offer flavored coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. This makes Kuerig the better option if you’re into all sorts of beverages and not just your regular cup of Joe. 

When it comes to range of drinks, it looks like we have a tie. With Nespresso, you get more variety in terms of tailored sizes but Keurig offers a wider selection when it comes to kinds of beverages. 

Sustainability

Nespresso is the clear winner when it comes to sustainability.

Nespresso makes use of recyclable aluminum pods and makes it convenient for their customers to recycle. 

Keurig has been under fire in the past few years because its K-Cup pods aren’t exactly the best for the environment, found to be growing in number in landfills. What’s worse is that statistics have shown that the amount of K-Cup pods produced per year is enough to circle the planet ten times. This is a staggering number that should definitely be sending alarm signals to the company. Fortunately, Keurig has responded to this issue and has made its most popular K-Cup pods recyclable. It has also made the promise to be a hundred percent recyclable by the year 2020. 

That said, it’s best to go with Nespresso if you want to get behind the sustainability movement. Not only are their aluminum pods already recyclable, but the company also makes it very convenient for customers to do their part. They have a network of capsule recycling stations and even accept used pods at partner retail outlets. Not only that but they also offer free recycling bags so that customers can send in their used pods via mail. To boot, Nespresso has a 10-year partnership with the AAA Sustainable Quality Program which is their way of helping out coffee farmers. 

Ultimately, the best way that coffee drinkers can help out the environment is by using the refillable pods that both companies now offer. While they do involve more work, you get to save money plus you’re preserving the planet too. 

Price

Keurig has more affordable machines as well as a lower cost per cup.

Keurig (right) is made of plastic parts while Nespresso (left) is made of durable stainless steel, explaining why it’s more expensive. 

Nespresso’s Swiss-made machines are high-end products and you can definitely tell by their price tags. They range from $150 to $600, with the VertuoLine being the most affordable option. You get what you pay for though because Nespresso partners up with big coffee brands such as De’Longhi and Breville to make them. You can be sure that they’ll stand the test of time because they’re made with stainless steel parts, a much more durable alternative to plastic. As for cost per cup, the OriginalLine pods range from $0.75 to $0.85 while the VertuoLine pods come in at $0.90 to $1.25.

If you want to enjoy your coffee without having to splurge so much, Keurig is the way to go. They have more affordable machines which range from $110 to $200, making them more accessible to all types of budgets. You do have to keep in mind, however, that while they do go easier on the wallet, you’re sacrificing a bit of quality and durability when you go with Keurig. Its machines are, after all, made with plastic pieces and have pretty basic functionality. Its cost per cup is lower as well, with the standard K-Cup offered at $0.35 to $0.65 and the K-Mug (a slightly bigger variant) coming in at $1.40 to $1.60.

Verdict

Go with Nespresso if you want quality but pick Kuerig if you want affordability.

Nespresso’s machines aren’t cheap but they do prove to be a worthy investment. Through its barcode and centrifusion brewing methods, it’s able to make coffee that’s bold in flavor regardless of size. It’s able to brew both espresso and full-size coffee drinks, providing a nice range of options for coffee drinkers. Also, you can expect your Nespresso machine to last you a long time because they’re made with high-quality materials. The brand gets plus points too for being eco-conscious, producing pods that are recyclable as well as making it convenient for their customers to recycle. 

If affordability is your main priority, then Keurig is the way to go. Aside from getting to save more on the actual machine, the cost per cup is cheaper as well. Another reason to go with Keurig is if you’re looking for more than just coffee and want to enjoy a variety of beverages. You do, however, have to accept that there are some drawbacks if you’re buying Kuerig. For one, its machines aren’t able to brew espresso. Also, it’s not able to make coffee that’s as rich and flavorful as Nespresso’s. In addition, there’s the issue of sustainability that the brand still hasn’t fully addressed yet.

FAQs

📌 Does Nespresso have more caffeine than Keurig?

No, Nespresso doesn’t have more caffeine than Keurig because espressos are much smaller than full-size coffee drinks. The average Nespresso pod has around 60 to 70 mg of caffeine while drip coffee has around 65 to 120 mg.

📌 Can you use a Nespresso pod twice?

Yes, you can use a Nespresso pod twice. You just simply reinsert the used pod into your Nespresso machine and brew again. Do expect, however, for your coffee to be less bold in taste.

📌 Which is better, Nespresso or Keurig? 

If you want quality espresso or espresso-based drinks, invest in a Nespresso. If, however, you want affordability and decent coffee, go for a Keurig. 

📌 Can you use Nespresso pods in a Keurig?

No, Nespresso pods do not fit into Keurig machines as they are too small. Also, the needle in Keurig machines will poke the casing of the Nespresso pods, making them unusable.  

Last update on 2020-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose
Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.