The difference between a Nespresso and espresso machine: it’s not all in a name


Top 5 Best Nespresso Espresso Machine Reviews 2018

1. Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker

If you love coffee but hate waiting, then the Inissia compact Nespresso machine is for you. It takes less than a minute to reach the ideal temperature for making delicious espresso or lungo.

The pump is high pressure and delivers up to 19 bars of pressure. This is super important as this determines the quality of the extract. Don't worry, having 19 bars will allow you to make barista-style coffee every time.

The water tank is a decent size, and one filling will allow you to make 9 cups of coffee (depending on cup size obviously) - important as it becomes a hassle to refill the reservoir every time. The drip tray folds so it can accommodate most cup sizes. 


  • One of the most affordable Nespresso machines.
  • Super easy to operate - 2 programmable buttons.
  • Really fast warm-up time - just 25 seconds.
  • Auto power-off after 9 minutes of inactivity.


  • The design is slightly flawed - the pod is sometimes not in the correct position and can be crushed.

2. Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker

If you don't have much space, then the Pixie Espresso Maker is for you - but don't let its small size deceive you. It is full of cool features.

It comes with a full programmable button, allowing you to pre-program your ideal coffee size. This means making your favorite drink is quick and easy.

When the water reservoir is low, you will get a warning via the stylish red backlights. And there is a handy used pod storage container which can hold 11 empties. 

Again, this machine has a decent pump pushing 19 bars of pressure and has the same auto power-off feature as the Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker.

It comes with a nice 16 pod 'starter-kit' so you can try the most popular flavors - handy so you aren't stuck with a lot of pods you don't like 🙂 


  • Very small footprint - just 4.3 inches wide.
  • Really fast warm-up time - just 30 seconds.
  • Auto power-off after 9 minutes of inactivity.
  • Easily make espresso and lungo with pre-set buttons - no fiddling with settings.


  • The water reservoir is smaller than most of the other Nespresso machines.

3. Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother

The VertuoLine uses Grand Cru capsules and the range is pretty impressive. It includes 4 genuine espressos and 10 fresh brewed coffees - all with different pod sizes. You get a 'welcome kit' containing 12 different capsules.

The VetruoLine is quite unique in the way it actually makes your coffee. Using advanced Centrifuge technology, it blends the contents of a pod with hot water at 7,000 rotations per minute. The result is a flawless crema every time.

Another cool feature is the pod scanning technology. It determines the type of Grand Cru you have inserted and adjusts the settings to ensure the best brew.

The machine uses a 'one touch' system that starts by closing the lever and once finished, automatically ejects the empty pod - sadly there is no empty pod collection area.


  • One of the fastest warm up times - just 20 seconds.
  • Centrifuge technology blends coffee perfectly every time.
  • Super easy to clean and maintain.
  • It comes with a great 'welcome kit' so you can try 12 different aromas before you commit.


  • The Grand Cru pods are more expensive than traditional Nespresso pods.
  • It doesn't produce boiling hot coffee.

4. Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine with Aeroccino by De'Longhi

The Vertuo Evoluo is updated version of the original VertuoLine. It has all of the same basic features and some impressive upgrades.

The original has a 40oz water reservoir where as the new one is 54oz - this means you will spend less time filling it and more time enjoying delicious coffee.

The original has a 13 pod used capsule container where as the new one is 17 pods - again this is just a convenience factor.

The most important upgrade fixes the main complaint the original machine had - it did not produce boiling hot coffee. This newer model brews at a much higher temperature and should satisfy even the most demanding owner.


  • All of the same as the above model.
  • Now produces boiling hot coffee.
  • Larger water tank and used pod container makes this a very efficient machine to use.


  • The machine 'automatically' detects which pod has been inserted and adjusts the settings accordingly. This means there is no flexibility to customize your coffee.

5. Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine by De'Longhi

The compact deign of the CitiZ makes this machine a great choice if you are limited on space, but want a good range of features.

What makes this machine great is that you can make both espresso and Lungo drinks, which can be fully customizable based on your preference. You can also save these so you can make your favorite drink quick and easy.

Like all the other machines here, this one has a decent 19 bar pump, which is important for extracting the full flavor. Also the water heats up super quick - 25 seconds - so it's ideal if you are looking for a quick perk up in the mornings.


  • You can make a high quality coffee consistently and quickly. 
  • It is very easy to clean and maintain.
  • It is small enough to fit most kitchens.


  • There is a small amount of dripping after each brew.
  • The coffee produced is actually too hot - and it not drinkable straight away.

The difference between a Nespresso Espresso Machine and an Espresso machine.

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?

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.

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.

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  1. Pingback: The Definitive Guide: Choosing The Best Espresso Machine For Home | My Espresso Express

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