Coffee is an essential part of the morning routine for most people. And single-serve coffee brewers can be a good way to make a full pot of coffee every morning. Even if pod coffee is not your ideal method, single-serve coffee makers simplify life, as they are convenient, fast, and easy. If you are the sort of person who does not have much time in the morning, then single-serve coffee machine might be the best option for you.
Nespresso and Keurig are two of the world’s renowned brands when we talk about single-serve brewing systems. But people often find it hard to decide which of these two brands to choose.
Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer as both of them feature different brewing processes. So, what sets these two brands apart? Well, in this Keurig vs Nespresso guide, we will look at different aspects to help you choose a coffee maker that is right for you. But before we do a deep dive, here is a quick overview of these two top brands.
Keurig vs Nespresso: Overview
Keurig is one of the most popular brands in single-serve coffee machines. This American-based brand has over 50 models on its stable and has partnered with several manufacturers to provide a large variety of flavors. Nespresso, on the other hand, is a leading Swiss-based single-serve coffee maker. It is a subunit of the Nestle Group and has partnered with other famous brands such as Philips, Breville, and De’Longhi. Before Nespresso entered the coffee brewing system market, Keurig was the capsule king.
One of the major differences that sets them apart is that output and process. Keurig focuses on regular coffee while Nespresso focuses on espresso and related drinks. With that said, Nespresso has challenged Keurig with the launch of the Vertuoline machine, which added a layer of depth and sophistication to the pod approach. It makes aroma-rich coffee. Likewise, Keurig launched the K-cafe coffee maker that can brew espresso, cappuccino, coffee, and latte. In short, Keurig is more expansive, with pods to make hot cocoa, tea, fruit cider, and Campbell’s soup. Other than this, there are a few other fundamental differences.
Basically, comparing these two brands is like comparing Apple vs PC. Keurig partners with many other manufacturers to make K-Cups, including:
- Celestial Seasonings
- Maxwell House
- Dunkin Donuts and many more.
With Nespresso, you can only have coffee that Nespresso offers. So, it’s like using an Apple device. Besides this, Nespresso makes a limited number of capsules. But it stands out when it comes to quality brewing.
Keurig vs Nespresso Comparison Chart
Now, that you know the basics of the two brands, let’s compare the outstanding aspects of these two brands.
Coffee Machine Models
About 60 models
Keurig K-Pods are not widely recyclable. A selection of K-Cup pods can be recycled.
Its capsules are easily recyclable. Nespresso machines usually collect the used pods and encourage users to forward them to the company for recycling.
It adopts a simple rudimentary pressure brewing approach. Keurigs punch two holes both in the center and bottom of the K-Cups for coffee to get our by pressure
Nespresso, especially Vertuoline, employs advanced centrifusion technology. It combines water fusion and centrifugal action to spin the capsule at about 7,000 rpm.
Keurigs are stylish but they tend to take more countertop space, probably due to their larger reservoirs
It features a stylish look and comes in a variety of colors.
A few dozen
Brewing times vary according to model, but most of them take less than 1 minute
Likewise, some Nespresso machines carry out the tasks faster than others, but most can brew in less than 1 Minute
Keurigs have incorporated an intuitive design into their machine’s control
Apart from being intuitive, its coffee machines eject used capsules automatically
Keurigs makes a wide variety of beverages ranging from coffee to hot cocoa and iced beverages
Its stronghold is espresso, so with these machines, you can produce only a limited number of beverage options
It produces a wide variety of coffee aromas to meet everyone’s demands
Nespresso machines make better-tasting coffee. It brews a rich, aroma-filled cup every time.
Keurig vs Nespresso Key Comparison Factors
As alluded to earlier, Nespresso capsules come in 4 varieties, and they are all produced by the proprietary brand. True, these capsules produced high-quality brews, but the lack of options might be limiting. Apart from this, Nespresso machines come with all-round aluminum bodies. While they are recyclable, they can produce aluminum waste when not disposed of the right way.
Comparatively, the pods are made of a plastic body and paper filter. The only aluminum section of Keurig pods is the top. On top of this, Keurig has several pod options from a plethora of brands. At the moment, Keurig K-Cups have over 400 coffee flavor options. And these pods go beyond coffee. With Keurig, you can get a pod to make a variety of hot beverages.
Quality and Brewing Method
While Nesressso’s lack of variety in pods can be a downside, coffee fans may prefer this brand because it brews quality coffee each time. Besides this, it has an edge over Keurig when it comes to espresso brewing. For many years, Keurig’s main drawback has been the inability to brew espresso. Its attempts to break into the espresso market with the Rico model were unsuccessful. Nonetheless, coffee lovers seem to have embraced the new K-Cafe brewer, which can brew espresso and other beverages.
Apart from the espresso issue, our other biggest issue with Keurigs is their inability to produce perfect brew. Their coffee tends to taste weak and bland. You will probably disagree with this if you are a Keurig loyalist, but Nespresso capsules produce better espresso and coffee. Perhaps the difference in coffee from these two brands is due to the different methods of brewing.
- Keurig Brewing Method: Keurig relies on its patented pressurized systems, which deliver exact amounts of coffee at the right temperature. In this system, the machine punctures the K-Cup pod the moment you close the lid. From here, the pressured water will flow through the pods to extract different coffee flavors for each serving.
- Nespresso Brewing Method: Nespresso relies on its unique Centrifusion brewing technology to produce better quality coffee. Its coffee makers scan the barcode of each capsule it will use. The capsules have an embedded barcode on their rims. The Nespresso barcode scanning system will read the parameters set for the rotational speed, cup size, flow rate, temperature, and the time the water comes into contact with the coffee. And since Nespresso has few varieties of coffee capsules and flavors, it is easier to get accurate estimates.
With that said, it is important to mention that Keurigs has way more coffee flavor options than Nespresso. So, if you don’t care about espresso, you will get more out of Keurig’s K-Cups range.
Durability & Reliability
Overall, Nespresso coffee makers are more robust and durable than Keurigs. What could explain this is that Nespresso has partnered with well-known espresso-machine makers such as Philips, Breville, and De’Longhi. Nespresso machines are also all-aluminum while some components of Keurig are made of plastics.
Both brands have models that can last for about 2 – 5 years, but the lifespan depends on maintenance and usage. Their capsules and pods can maintain freshness for up to 18 months, provided you do not alter the container in any way.
Design and Storage
Since Nespresso released its first line of the single-serve coffee maker, most customers have raved about their sleek and luxurious design. The newer model coffee maker, Vertuoline, maintained the legacy with the styling design and the wide range of colors that fit most kitchens.
Keurig to have incorporated their signature intuitive design into the new coffee maker models. Their model is a bit bigger, so they occupy more countertop space because of their larger reservoirs. This means that their machines can handle more cups at once.
Generally, both brands feature a sleek design, but we will give a decisive edge to Nespresso for their unobtrusive and compact design. Moreover, its models can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Another difference is that Nespresso can eject capsules automatically, so you won’t have to replace the hot pod each time.
Nespresso has both a recycling program and the AAA Sustainable Quality Program. These programs help reduce the negative environmental impact of aluminum pods and improve the global sustainability of the coffee industry. While the recycling program encountered some setbacks in the past, it has so far grown. The company set up the Positive Cup program to oversee its recycling efforts.
Recycling is one of the areas where most coffee makers still struggle. Keurig, in particular, has been criticized for its negative environmental impact. Keurigs pods feature aluminum tops, plastics bodies, and paper filters and most of them are less recyclable. Even in instances where the pods are recyclable, they are often filtered out because of their small sizes. Another challenge is that some of their pods are only recyclable manually. Given the weight of these concerns, Keurig has admitted their awareness of the issues and promised to go fully recyclable in 2020.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Both brands are easy to clean and maintain. To clean the exterior, simply wipe it with a soft cloth, probably weekly or after spills. Both companies recommend that you wash the removable parts and descale the coffee maker every 3 – 6 months. Descaling is the cleaning of mineral deposits inside the brewer. Because coffee makers use water, which carries minerals like calcium, some traces of these minerals will build up inside the reservoir over time.
If you don’t clean the minerals inside your machine, they will eventually affect the taste of the coffee. Thankfully, both brands sell descaling solutions. Generally, Nespresso machines tend to have fewer moving parts and can eject their used pods automatically, so they are a little easier to clean. But neither brand is too hard to clean.
Keurig vs Nespresso Stand out Features
Let’s have a look at the key features of each brand.
Keurig Key Features
- Relatively Affordable: As with other appliances, you get what you pay for when it comes to coffee makers. While both brands have models at a range of prices, Keurig models tend to be more affordable. Keurig coffee is less expensive per cup. K-Cups are generally more available and less expensive than Nesressso’s capsules, thanks to Keurig’s expansive third-party partnerships.
- Programmability: This is one feature that Keurig machines have an edge over Nespresso coffee makers, which only have the option to brew. In contrast, most Keurig models come with an LCD touch screen and several programmable features such as timers, clock, and the ability to modify brew strength and temperature.
- Carafes and Water Reservoir: Overall, Keurig coffee makers have a large water reservoir. Some can even brew a full 30-once carafe at a go. That is why most of their machines are a little bulkier on the countertop.
- Variety: Keurig’s inability to brew good espresso is composed of an expansive list of K-Cups. Besides regular coffee, Keurigs can make tea, hot chocolate, and flavored coffee. In short, Keurig capsules can offer a wide variety of flavors and beverages.
Nespresso Key Features
- Automatic Capsule Ejection: Unlike Keurigs, Nespresso machines eject used pods automatically into a separate bin. What this means is that you save time you would use to replace capsules. Moreover, you won’t burn your hand removing the hot capsules.
- Performance and Durability: The trade-off for lack of variety is the quality of output and durability of the machines. Nesressso’s machines tend to last longer than Keurigs. Nespresso brewers are primarily European-based espresso makers, but some models can craft legitimately tasty coffee. A Vertuo or Americano machine can get you a great cup of coffee. Apart from this, Nespresso machines are generally denser, heavier, and sturdier. Unlike Keurigs, which are made of light plastics, Nespresso machines feature aluminum built.
- Environmentally Friendly: Nespresso pods are made of recyclable aluminum. The company has a network of capsule recycling stations. They have also partnered with several retail outlets to accept used pods. Besides this, Nespresso provides a prepaid shipping envelope for customers to mail back the used capsules.
The Verdict: Is Keurig Better than Nespresso?
From this head-to-head showdown, it is clear that there is no better coffee machine, rather it all boils down to personal preferences and coffee needs. These are the deciding factors:
- Keurig: It is ideal if you prefer a coffee machine that produces a wide variety of flavors and can make other beverages. Keurigs can meet the needs of your larger household or office and are also relatively inexpensive when compared to Nespresso models.
- Nespresso: If you don’t want to compromise on the quality of your coffee, especially when it comes to taste, then you should go with Nespresso. It is ideal for an espresso fan. With Nespresso, you will get that constant feeling of an Italian café, but with a higher price point.
Both machines make your life simpler, but Keurig has an edge when it comes to brewing regular coffee, and it also has coffee machines that can make several other beverages. Overall, Nespresso is a better manufacturer with machines that make better coffee.
Looking for more coffee makers? Take a look at all our coffee maker reviews here.