At face value Nespresso seemed like the ideal answer to my daily coffee itch (or addiction). At 83cents a pop, they’re around 5 times cheaper than the $4.50 I was paying for a flat white from down the road. But with the cost of buying the machine, cleaning, and keeping the pods drawer fully stocked, I soon found my new money saver burning a hole in my pocket.
It’s time to crunch the numbers. Exactly how much does using the Nespresso system cost?
We’ve found that the average household with 2 coffee drinking adults will go through 4 coffee pods per day. Drinking the most popular capsules in the Nespresso range means you’ll spend on average $1328 each year on Nespresso pods. If we factor in the cost of purchasing the machine (depreciated across its life span) and maintaining the machine with regular cleaning and descaling, that figure increases to $1366 every year, or nearly $14k over 10 years!
Now this seems shocking. But let’s break down these numbers and figure out if getting a Nespresso machine is worthwhile, or if the Nespresso coffee system is more expensive that you’d think.
*for this article it’s important to note all prices have been quoted in New Zealand Dollars (NZD). To convert to USD you may divide the numbers quoted by roughly 1.5.
The cost of the Nespresso Machine
We want to look the whole picture here so we’ll also need to factor in the up front cost of buying the coffee machine.
Nespresso compatible machines vary in price (and features) wildly. You can pick up a basic model such a Essenza Mini for as little as $199 on special, or splurge on the feature packed Creatista Pro for a whopping $949.
Below is a summary of some of the most popular Nespresso machines and their prices. Obviously the more expensive machines are jam packed with features like touch screen control, and milk frothers. However, it is important to remember all these machines use the same capsules and therefore make the exact same quality of coffee. You don’t need to splurge on a top of line machine to make better coffee.
You can also read our full article here on which is the best Nespresso machine for you.
So with all that said what is the average price of a Nespresso machine? One of the most popular models in the New Zealand market is the Nespresso Citiz and for good reason. It’s sleek, elegant and does exactly what it needs to. It also includes a milk frothing attachment. At a retail price of $449 we’ll use that for our calculations.
The cost of the Nespresso Pods
The cheapest Nespresso capsules are their Espresso range which start at $0.87 per capsules. The most expensive capsules on offer are the Festive Italia Variations which cost $1.20 each.
We’ve listed all the Nespresso options below along with their cost so you can work out for yourself the cost of running a Nespresso machine with your favourite brew.
We’ve summarized the average price of each Nesspresso pods in the table below.
|Nespresso OriginalLine Range||Price|
|Ispirazione Italiana||$0.87 to $0.95 each|
|Master Origins||$0.98 each|
|Barista Creations||$0.95 to $1.10 each|
Based on a 2019 survey of American coffee drinkers, the average number of coffees consumed each day is almost exactly 2 cups of coffee per day. Based on an average household having 2 coffee drinking adults, we’re going to assume a figure of 4 Nespresso pods per day for our calculations.
|Nespresso OriginalLine Range||Average Price||Cost Per Year|
Of course, you may drink more or less than this figure (we’ve heard of some people downing a whopping 12 cups each day! – yikes). Check out our Nespresso cost calculator here to work out your own number.
We then looked at the number of 5-star reviews on Amazon to figure out what the most popular Nespresso pod on the market is. The top 3 were (in order) the Ristretto, Kazaar and Arpeggio. All of these are capsules in the Ispirazione Italiana range, so we’re going to take the cost per year of buying Ispirazione pods as our final figure.
Based on the logic above, we can therefore conclude the average cost of buying capsules for your Nespresso machine is around $1328 each year.
The cost of maintenance
One expense we tend to forget is the cost (and time) involved in properly caring for and cleaning your coffee machine. But like any piece of equipment, a coffee machine needs to be looked after in a regular maintenance cycle to make sure it lasts for years to come.
The Nespresso user manual recommends you descale your machine every three months. If you drink a lot of coffee, you should also descale it every 300 capsules (or whatever comes first). Some models have a light on the machine that blinks when you need to descale which serves as a helpful reminder.
Descaling is a process where you pass an acidic solution through the machines pipework to dissolve the calcification and mineral built up from salts in your tap water.
The descaling kit sold on the Nespresso website cost $20 and contains 2 doses. That’ll last you six months. So, we’ll add a total of $40 per year to the bill.[link to biodegradable cleaner]
You may also like to check out our complete guide on how to clean your Nespresso machines below:
- How to descale your Nespresso Inissia coffee machine.
- How to descale your Nespresso Pixie coffee machine.
- How to descale your Nespresso U coffee machine
- How to descale your Lattissima Touch coffee machine
- How to descale your Nespresso CitiZ coffee machine
The life of a Nespresso machine.
This is a tricky question, and it all depends how well you look after your Nespresso.
Nespresso machines that are descaled regularly and looked after can last 10 years. Machines that live in harsh environments, run on hard water, and aren’t cleaned properly might only last 2 years at best.
From our research it looks like most consumers get 6 – 10 years out of their Nespresso machines when properly cared for. We’ll take and average of 8 years which means we can depreciate our cost of buying the coffee machine over this period.
Since the new Citiz machine discussed about retails at $449, we can work out that the cost of buying a Nespresso machine works out to around $56 each year.
How much power does a Nespresso machine use?
Another expense that is often ignored is the cost of electricity needed to run your appliance. Fortunately, Nespresso machines have been designed to only heat up water when it’s needed which makes them incredibly electrically efficient.
Your nespresso machine only draws a lot of power when its first turned on (to heat the water from room temperature) and when you run the extraction (bringing new cold water into the boiler).
If we look at the Nespresso Citiz, it takes 25 seconds to heat up and then will take around 30-40 seconds to extract your coffee. It’s built in energy saver mode will then automatically shut down the machine 9 minutes later.
The Citiz is rated to use 1710W of electricity. Making 4 cups of coffee with the information we have about, we can estimate an annual power consumtion of around 42kWh. At a power price of $0.25/kWh, the cost of electricity adds another $10 to our annual cost.
It’s worth noting that these machines use far less power than simply heating up the kettle for a cup of tea or instant coffee, so if you’re comparing to that it may acutally save you money!
So what is the total cost of owning a Nespresso?
If we add up the cost of the pods, maintenance and purchasing a middle of the range machine as outlines above, we work out the total cost of using the Nespresso system to be around $1434 per year.
|Cost of Machine||$56 per year|
|Cost of Maintenance||$40 per year|
|Cost of Electricity||$10 per year|
|Cost of Coffee Pods||$1328 per year|
That means in 10 years, using Nespresso will have cost 14,340 dollars!
Of course, this is still 80% cheaper than buying café coffee every day, but again much more expensive than buying your own beans and making plunger, filter, or even instant coffee.
Deciding whether or not to switch to the Nespresso system therefore can’t be a purely financial study. You’ll want to consider factors like convenience, taste, speed, ease of use, and ease of clean up before you decide whether Nespresso is right for you.