There’s no mistaking the creamy aromatic taste of espresso coffee. While we all aspire to be talented at-home baristas with a professional machine and a knack for creating latte artwork masterpieces, sometimes convenience wins out.
Nespresso have revolutionized the domestic coffee marketed by providing a simple and easy way for anyone (without Barista skills, and expensive equipment) to produce quality espresso coffee at home. That means you can now enjoy your favourite cappuccino or flat white from the comfort of your own home – at any time of day or night.
But with such a huge range of home coffee machines on the market, how do you pick the one that’s right for you? This guide will help you find a coffee machine that fits your home and price range and can create the perfect coffee for you every time.
We’ve brewed and tasted hundreds of espresso shots on our quest to determine which machine reigns supreme. The following are our top 4 winners.
Our Top 4 Picks for Nespresso Machines:
- Best All Round: Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine by De’Longhi
- Best Value: The Essenza Mini by De’Longhi
- Best for the Barista: Nespresso Creatista by Breville
- Best for Busy People: Nespresso Lattissima Touch by De’Longhi
We like the compact Essenza Mini because it makes the same quality coffee as machines that cost hundreds more, CitiZ for offering the best combination of features and value.
Read on to see what we think makes for a good Nespresso machine, and how the others compare
Why buy a Nespresso Machine?
Great coffee with speed, convenience, and simplicity – that it!
Nespresso machines are simple and easy to use – most machines only have two buttons. They’re fast, convenient and sold at a price that almost everyone can afford.
With a Nespresso machine, you are going to get the closest you can to a cafe coffee experience, without sacrificing your entire countertop or wallet. That makes these machines a great choice for coffee lovers with a real taste for quality as well as beginners who are looking for something that will be easy and reliable.
Capsule machines offer an easy and simple approach to delicious coffee. The capsules or ‘pods’ come pre-packaged with the exact amount of coffee required for a perfect espresso. One of the biggest appeals is the ability to create a barista-style coffee without any of the mess. There are no coffee grounds to dispose of and the capsules drop neatly into a container that can be cleaned and emptied as needed. Nespresso capsules offer a wide range of tastes, strengths and aromas so there is an option to suit the strongest or weakest of coffee tastes. They also provide an easy way to experiment with different intensities and flavours of different coffee beans.
What to consider when buying a coffee machine?
Most machines have both a regular espresso as well as a lungo option. Espresso is the 30 to 40ml shots you typically get in cafe coffee. Lungo on the other hand is a longer shot around 110ml which is more commonly drunk in European countries. These two options relate back to the type of Nespresso pods you choose to buy – typically we only be using the espresso shot button on our machine.
All machines also share some common base features such as removable water tanks and drip trays, and used capsule holders.
Nespresso will of course recommend you use their own OriginalLine range of capsules, but there are other plenty of other options out there if you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, more sustainable, or completely reusable.
We sell our own range of high-quality stainless-steel reusable Nespresso pods here at the green pods. We’ve also written an article on some of the best alternative Nespresso pods you can buy in New Zealand which you can read here.
Nespresso machines have varying sizes of water tank this might not be a problem if you plan to keep your coffee machine on the kitchen counter but could add to the size and weight if you plan to pack it away after every use. Consider how much water the machine can hold and how many coffees the machine can make at once. Will you be making one coffee in the morning for yourself or will you be churning out a 3 or 4 each day for your entire family?
Think about how you plan to use your machine. Are you after a coffee at the push of a button before you run out the door? Or do you require more control and plan on spending time frothing milk, heating cups and savoring your coffee experience.
There is an extensive range of different Nespresso machines which could set you back anywhere between $150 and $900 so there is something for every budget. Figure out how much you plan on spending and work from there.
Quality of coffee
Remember the coffee that’s produced from each machine will taste exactly the same So what you’re paying for is all the other features, styles and convenience.
If you’re having trouble with the taste of your coffee check out our guide here on 6 tips to make barista tasting espresso coffee at home.
Some coffee machines come with a built-in milk frother while others are available separately. A built in frother offers the ability to create an all-in-one coffee while a separate milk frother opens the opportunity to create barista-style latte art.
Most milk frother’ s take the form of a self-heating canister which has a magnetic stirring wand inside. These actually work phenomenally well but if you really want to take your coffee to the next level the Creatista range of Nespresso machines offer a cafe style steam wand to give you complete control of the temperature and aeration of your milk.
I’d personally recommend getting a machine with a milk frother because I enjoy drinking flat white and cappuccino styles of coffee. This really makes the whole espresso experience with while for me but if you are a long black or Macchiato drinker for instance this feature may be surplus to requirements.
On the topic of frothy milk, checkout this article on how to make barista style late art at home using your Nespresso machine.
If you plan on putting your machine away after each use, try to pick a lighter model. You may also want to consider how much counter space you have available if you decide to leave it out.
OUR TOP CHOICES
Best All Round: Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine by De’Longhi
This machine won the red dot design award in 2017. Its sleek and stylish design compliments any kitchen counter or office kitchenette. The Nespresso CitiZ espresso machine is our overall winner for being best balance of value for money, providing great functionality and looks great in any setting. It also makes a pretty good coffee!
- Red Dot Design Award Winner
- Warm up: 25 – 30 seconds
- Energy saver: 9 minutes auto shutdown
- Removable water reservoir: 1 Lt
- Used pods tray: 9 pods
- Weight: 4.05 Kg
This machine features the standard espresso and lungo options as well as one for ristretto. you can order it with or without the Aeroccino milk frother, though we recommend paying the little bit extra to get barista quality milk at the touch of a button.
The used capsule holder will accommodate 9 to 11 pods and the water tank holds a massive 1 litre (34 ounces) which is a little bigger than the Essenza mini. This means the Nespresso CitiZ is well equipped for large families or small office kitchenettes where you need to pump out a lot of coffees in one day.
The CitiZ has an auto-off feature that kicks in after 9 minutes of non-use to help you save money on the energy bill. It also is more durable than most machines because it’s made with mostly steel components, rather than the plastic substitutes used in the cheaper models. This means you should be able to keep making quality coffees long into the future.
We firmly believe The Nespresso CitiZ Is the best all round Nespresso machine on the market at the moment and it’s the one we use every day here at The Green Pods. you can pick one up for yourself here at Amazon.
Best for Value: The Essenza Mini by Breville
The Nespresso Essenza Mini is the most sold Nespresso machine on the market today and that’s for two very good reasons. It’s small and cheap, while making the same great tasting coffee that it’s more expensive counterparts do. For those who do not wish to write off up a large portion of their kitchen counter, or burn a hole in their wallet, this is the machine for you.
- Compact design
- 2 programmable buttons for espresso and lungo options
- automatically power off after 9 minutes.
- Weight: 2.31kg
- Removable water reservoir: 0.6 litres
- Used Capsule Capacity: 5 to 6 capsules
- Heat up time: 25 seconds.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini is one of the smallest espresso makers in the market. It has a really small footprint of about 4.3 inches by 8.1 inches and is only 12.8 inches tall. It weighs a tiny 2.31 kilograms which makes it one of the only Nespresso machines that you would be comfortable putting away in a cupboard between uses. You could even pack it and take it with you for travel or a weekend getaway!
The machine is fast and easy to use. It heats up in less than 25 seconds. It offers a espresso and lungo option like all its competitors, and because it’s Nespresso you know you’re getting the same great tasting coffee every time.
The used pod tray will hold five to six capsules comfortably so you won’t need to give the machine I clean after every single coffee.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini espresso maker is also energy efficient. After 3 minutes it will lower its power usage to idle, and then automatically power off after 9 minutes of non-use. This is a super great peace-of-mind feature for people like me who would rush out the door in the morning without remembering to turn it off.
But of course, the highlight of this machine is its rock bottom price point. We’ve seen this machine be sold for as low as $130 on Amazon. If you were just getting into Nespresso and don’t want to invest too much up front then this is the perfect machine for you.
We recommend the Breville version because in our opinion it looks a little nicer, but you’ll get exactly the same value out of the De’Longhi equivalent. The Breville version is also compatible with our Green Pods.
Best for the Barista: Nespresso Creatista by Breville
- Create café quality micro-foam milk with the steam wand.
- Create your favorite recipes
- Auto clean function
This machine is the best option for coffee shop enthusiasts without a tight budget. Seriously, if you love a good latte and you have a bit of extra money to invest, opt for this machine.
The Creatista is the FIRST Nespresso machine with a built-in steaming wand. This separates it from the Lattisiama’s milk frother because it can produce a true micro foam which is a vital for latte art and a number of dairy-based specialty drinks.
So if you’re a coffee regular looking to save some money in the long run, but you aren’t ready to fully commit to a high-end espresso machine. This Nespresso option is for you. This is in part because it was produced with Breville, one of the top espresso machine brands on the market.
Aside from the steam wand, this machine also features 8 coffee options, 4 froth levels, and 11 temperature settings that you can select on the sleek LCD display. That’s about as customizable as you can get from a capsule brewing machine.
Our only complaint for the Creatista is that it can be cost prohibitive for some. If you don’t mind sacrificing a few non-vital stainless steel parts from some plastic ones, you can get the cheaper but otherwise identical Breville Nespresso Creatista Espresso Maker. The plastic will probably reduce the lifespan a bit and won’t look as nice in your kitchen, but it’s still a top-notch machine.
Best for Busy People: Nespresso Lattissima Touch by De’Longhi
This machine is the De’Longhi counterpart to the Breville+ Nespresso Creatista. Despite the name, it’s best suited for flat white or dry cappuccino lovers.
This machine is one of a few espresso machines that are marketed as specifically “latte” machines. The reason we say it’s better for capps and flats is because the milk frother doesn’t actually have a steam want like the Creatista, which means you’ll get more of an airy foam rather than a creamy microfoam.
This machine weighs 9 lbs and measures 12.5 x 6.6 x 10.2 inches. It’s milk and water tanks each hold enough to make about 2 drinks in one go. The Lattisima has a one-button steam self-cleaning option and is dishwasher safe, making it delightfully easy to clean.
It has 2 coffee options and 3 milk options, which you can select using a few illuminated buttons. It also features an adjustable auto-time button.
This machine also comes in slightly more expensive One and Pro options, which give you a similar performance with a few extra bells and whistles. So if you have a little bit of extra money in your budget you may want to consider one of the “upgrades.” (Bonuses include extra drink options, programmability, LCD display, larger water tanks, etc.)
Nespresso offer a massive range of coffee machines , each with various features and spanning multiple price points. Whether you’re after a cheap cuppa, a flat-out flat white, or a barista coffee experience at home, Nespresso have the perfect machine for you.
Let us know what machine you settled on and if anything you’d change on yours?
Happy drinking everybody!