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Any nespresso owners here?

Mar 15, 2003
12,643
99
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My coffee maker's producing luke warm crappy coffee and I'm thinking about going the single cup route. I've had keurigs and liked it, but nespresso seems to make "real" espresso which is tempting. Anyone own one? How authentic is the espresso? Any regrets?
 

desura

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2013
4,627
129
101
Yup.

It is pretty impressive. But I don't really use it anymore because of the single use cups. You can buy some cheaper pods on eBay.

I did try a reusable cup but it doesn't work at all. You can only use he single use pods.

But it is much better than keurig. It is better than any other home espresso product I've used.
 

repoman0

Diamond Member
Jun 17, 2010
3,346
1,638
136
I've used them a bunch, most airbnbs in Europe keep them around for the guests. It's pretty good but nowhere near a good espresso at a decent coffee shop (not starbucks or most in the US). I prefer both my aeropress and French press with the cheap 8 oclock "colombian peaks" beans, both of which I bought as a replacement for a drip coffee maker that produced lukewarm crappy coffee.

A good real espresso beats them all but aeropress over nespresso IMO
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,643
99
91
Awesome guys - thanks for the suggestions! I'm splitting the difference - getting a french press and a nespresso on clearance , if I have time for the press I'll use it (but I'm usually rushing out in the morning)
 

Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
6,211
114
106
I am a massive espresso snob, so I think nespresso machines (or any other superautomatic espresso maker) are pretty much crap. There are five major variables to espresso making. The espresso machine is responsible for taking care of two of them - brew temp and brew pressure - and the nespresso machine (or any other superautomatic machine for that matter) does not take care of those factors very well. OK, they will extract coffee using "hot" water at "elevated" pressure, but that is like saying a yugo is a good car because it causes its tires to spin by burning gas.

OP - if you want espresso - buy a dedicated semiautomatic espresso machine and a good grinder. It will be a bit of an investment, but it will be worth it. AND it will eventually pay for itself because pods cost a small fortune.
 
Last edited:

AznAnarchy99

Lifer
Dec 6, 2004
14,708
117
106
I used to think they were stupid but after traveling around the world last year and staying at a bunch of nice hotels which had a machine in every room it really grew on me. It's obviously not what you can get at a bar but these bars aren't readily available on every block like they are when I was living in Rome. I got the Inissa on sale with a frother for about $75 and it's been a great investment when I want a quick fix before work or at home after eating.
 

repoman0

Diamond Member
Jun 17, 2010
3,346
1,638
136
OP - if you want espresso - buy a dedicated semiautomatic espresso machine and a good grinder. It will be a bit of an investment, but it will be worth it. AND it will eventually pay for itself because pods cost a small fortune.
Do you have any suggestions for machines, grinders and beans?

Also what are the other three variables? Beans, grind, ..?
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,643
99
91
I am a massive espreso snob, so I think nespresso machines (or any other superautomatic espresso maker) are pretty much crap. There are five major variables to espresso making. The espresso machine is responsible for taking care of two of them - brew temp and brew pressure - and the nespresso machine (or any other superautomatic machine for that matter) does not take care of those factors very well. OK, they will extract coffee using "hot" water at "elevated" pressure, but that is like saying a yugo is a good car because it causes its tires to spin by burning gas.

OP - if you want espresso - buy a dedicated semiautomatic espresso machine and a good grinder. It will be a bit of an investment, but it will be worth it. AND it will eventually pay for itself because pods cost a small fortune.
I totally get your perspective but, from my limited research, the time and expense would not be worth it. I've read that machines that'll last start at $600 for entry level to used civic prices, and even then I've been reading that consistency depends more on the operator than I'd like. Sure, I'd like to learn how to be a grade a barista but (correct me if I'm wrong), producing a solid cup before work would take considerable setup and perhaps mess since I'm a noob.

For the sake of argument - let's say I can justify canceling the order for the nespresso, can a product that delivers good results be purchased for under $300? Can you describe setup / cleaning / etc., time rounding considering I'm a noob? it just seems so involved, and lots of hardware for a nyc apartment.
 

Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
6,211
114
106
For some reason the quote function is not working today so I'll just direct copy and paste questions:

"Do you have any suggestions for machines, grinders and beans?"

What machine to recommend depends on where you are, as you will want a service location relatively nearby. That said, the Gaggia Classic is a solid machine. And paired with a rancilo rocky essentials grinder it has all the tools needed to make decent espresso. Cost for both will be ~$500-600. That is twice what a nespresso machine costs but it will make much better coffee and it will cost you much less in the long run. LINK

"Also what are the other three variables? Beans, grind, ..?"

The five factors for espresso are brew temp, brew pressure, grind size and consistency, dosing factors (quantity of coffee, its distribution, tamp pressure) and brew time. Some consider dosing factors to be more than one variable, but I lump them all together.

Grind size and consistency is the hardest variable to control and has a huge impact on flavor profile - which is why a good grinder is important. A $700 grinder will make a crappy espresso machine much better, simply because the grind size will be far more consistent.

FWIW, I have an Expobar Office Lever (with a PID mod for brew temp) and a Baratzo Vario Grinder. The total cost of the package was about $1800, which is a lot of money but not anywhere near as much as what you can spend. I committed to that level of equipment because I wanted it to be very durable and capable of producing a very high quality shot every time I use it. I also calculated that based on what I was spending on coffee at coffee shops, the machine would pay for itself in about 8 months.
 

AznAnarchy99

Lifer
Dec 6, 2004
14,708
117
106
For some reason the quote function is not working today so I'll just direct copy and paste questions:

"Do you have any suggestions for machines, grinders and beans?"

What machine to recommend depends on where you are, as you will want a service location relatively nearby. That said, the Gaggia Classic is a solid machine. And paired with a rancilo rocky essentials grinder it has all the tools needed to make decent espresso. Cost for both will be ~$500-600. That is twice what a nespresso machine costs but it will make much better coffee and it will cost you much less in the long run. LINK

"Also what are the other three variables? Beans, grind, ..?"

The five factors for espresso are brew temp, brew pressure, grind size and consistency, dosing factors (quantity of coffee, its distribution, tamp pressure) and brew time. Some consider dosing factors to be more than one variable, but I lump them all together.

Grind size and consistency is the hardest variable to control and has a huge impact on flavor profile - which is why a good grinder is important. A $700 grinder will make a crappy espresso machine much better, simply because the grind size will be far more consistent.

FWIW, I have an Expobar Office Lever (with a PID mod for brew temp) and a Baratzo Vario Grinder. The total cost of the package was about $1800, which is a lot of money but not anywhere near as much as what you can spend. I committed to that level of equipment because I wanted it to be very durable and capable of producing a very high quality shot every time I use it. I also calculated that based on what I was spending on coffee at coffee shops, the machine would pay for itself in about 8 months.
That's 5-6x a standard Nespresso machine (at non-sale prices) and at about 75 cents a pod it will take a long time to break even.

https://www.amazon.com/Nespresso-Inissia-Espresso-Maker-Black/dp/B00KMSLHDY
 

Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
6,211
114
106
"For the sake of argument - let's say I can justify canceling the order for the nespresso, can a product that delivers good results be purchased for under $300? Can you describe setup / cleaning / etc., time rounding considering I'm a noob? it just seems so involved, and lots of hardware for a nyc apartment."

Its possible but it would be tough. Your best bet at that price point would be to look on craigslist. That said, have a look at the article I linked in my other post about the cost of nespresso pods vs ground coffee. You will recoup the difference between the nespresso and better equipment in no time.

As for setup, cleaning, etc., I'll describe how my system works on a typical morning.

1. I have my espresso machine on a timer switch so it cuts on about 30 minutes before I wake up - which is needed because the machine has to sufficiently warm up.
2. After waking up I lumber downstairs.
3. I flush the machine (run the water for about 10-15 seconds).
4. I remove the portafilter, hold it under my grinder, and dose about 18 grams of coffee into it. My grinder has a programmable dose timer so this involves pushing a button and waiting about 10 seconds for the grinder to do its thing.
5. I use my finger to arrange the grounds evenly in the portafilter (~10-15 seconds)
6. I tamp the grounds (~5 seconds).
7. I load the portafilter into the machine and start the extraction
8. Extraction proceeds for ~30 seconds - voila! double shot of espresso. (~30 seconds)
9. I remove the portafilter, dump the grounds in the trashcan, and rinse the portafilter. (~30 second)
10. I use a small scrub brush to scrub grounds off the portfilter area of the machine while the water is running (~30 seconds)
11. I turn off the machine and use the espresso to make whatever drink I am drinking that day (usually an americano).
12. Sometimes there are a few loose grounds on the counter - if so I sweep them into the sink.
13. Every week or so I run a dose of cafiza espresso machine cleaner through the machine. That whole cleaning process takes about 5 minutes.

All in all, it takes me about 10 minutes of active time to make my coffee from start to finish. More time and effort than a nespresso machine would require, but the product is better and cheaper. And, in my case, I would have spent more time and effort than that driving to a coffee shop.

That said, there is definitely some skill to making good espresso. It took me a solid three weeks of practice before I started getting good at it. But once I knew how, I was able to teach my wife to use the machine in about 10 minutes. She makes lattes with it every day now. The hardest factors to get right are grind size and tamp pressure. Tamp pressure variability can be avoided with a calibrated tamper, but learning how to set the right grind size just takes time. Its an inexact process that requires an understanding of what coffee ground to the proper size should look like, and the grind size varies depending on beans, humidity, etc.
 

Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
6,211
114
106
"That's 5-6x a standard Nespresso machine (at non-sale prices) and at about 75 cents a pod it will take a long time to break even.

https://www.amazon.com/Nespresso-Inissia-Espresso-Maker-Black/dp/B00KMSLHDY"

Oh I agree that the cost may not be worth it for some. But if you are into coffee and expect to be drinking it for a long time, the nespresso machine WILL cost you significantly more over a 2-3 year span than ground coffee. Especially if you drink multiple cups per day. See the link I posted in my other post.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,643
99
91
That's 5-6x a standard Nespresso machine (at non-sale prices) and at about 75 cents a pod it will take a long time to break even.

https://www.amazon.com/Nespresso-Inissia-Espresso-Maker-Black/dp/B00KMSLHDY
Yep, amazon had a lightning deal for $79 for the prodigio (sp?) line- under $100 I can get away with, $600? Much more difficult to justify. Watching youtube videos also show a time commitment, which won't fly since I have maybe 5 minutes free in the morning (kids)

I get it - there are much better machines out there, but for $80 I expect and accept some compromise. 19 bars of pressure on nespressos seems decent enough, unless that's a marketing fib.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,643
99
91
"For the sake of argument - let's say I can justify canceling the order for the nespresso, can a product that delivers good results be purchased for under $300? Can you describe setup / cleaning / etc., time rounding considering I'm a noob? it just seems so involved, and lots of hardware for a nyc apartment."

Its possible but it would be tough. Your best bet at that price point would be to look on craigslist. That said, have a look at the article I linked in my other post about the cost of nespresso pods vs ground coffee. You will recoup the difference between the nespresso and better equipment in no time.

As for setup, cleaning, etc., I'll describe how my system works on a typical morning.

1. I have my espresso machine on a timer switch so it cuts on about 30 minutes before I wake up - which is needed because the machine has to sufficiently warm up.
2. After waking up I lumber downstairs.
3. I flush the machine (run the water for about 10-15 seconds).
4. I remove the portafilter, hold it under my grinder, and dose about 18 grams of coffee into it. My grinder has a programmable dose timer so this involves pushing a button and waiting about 10 seconds for the grinder to do its thing.
5. I use my finger to arrange the grounds evenly in the portafilter (~10-15 seconds)
6. I tamp the grounds (~5 seconds).
7. I load the portafilter into the machine and start the extraction
8. Extraction proceeds for ~30 seconds - voila! double shot of espresso. (~30 seconds)
9. I remove the portafilter, dump the grounds in the trashcan, and rinse the portafilter. (~30 second)
10. I use a small scrub brush to scrub grounds off the portfilter area of the machine while the water is running (~30 seconds)
11. I turn off the machine and use the espresso to make whatever drink I am drinking that day (usually an americano).
12. Sometimes there are a few loose grounds on the counter - if so I sweep them into the sink.
13. Every week or so I run a dose of cafiza espresso machine cleaner through the machine. That whole cleaning process takes about 5 minutes.

All in all, it takes me about 10 minutes of active time to make my coffee from start to finish. More time and effort than a nespresso machine would require, but the product is better and cheaper. And, in my case, I would have spent more time and effort than that driving to a coffee shop.

That said, there is definitely some skill to making good espresso. It took me a solid three weeks of practice before I started getting good at it. But once I knew how, I was able to teach my wife to use the machine in about 10 minutes. She makes lattes with it every day now. The hardest factors to get right are grind size and tamp pressure. Tamp pressure variability can be avoided with a calibrated tamper, but learning how to set the right grind size just takes time. Its an inexact process that requires an understanding of what coffee ground to the proper size should look like, and the grind size varies depending on beans, humidity, etc.

Thank you for taking the time to share the prep time/process. Yep, as I thought it's just not for me right now. My mornings are crazy, getting 2 kids ready for school means I'd forget the 30 minute prep time most days (and when my wife drops the kids off I wake up literally 10 minutes before I head out the door). Though if I worked from home I'd get one ASAP, I figure I'd go through a dozen pods otherwise
 
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desura

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2013
4,627
129
101
I have used an aeropress and a $100 espresso machines with 15bar.

THe nespresso is better than all. I run out of pods too quickly though, the pods are really wasteful, the ground coffee in the pods is not as fresh as my own grinder, and not near as cheap as the aeropress.

So I mainly use the aeropress, and it is extremely cost-effective for the results.

I haven't used any machine over $150. At that point it actually makes more sense to just go to your local coffee shop and budget for it, as you also get a public place to meet girls and the atmosphere.
 

IEC

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Jun 10, 2004
14,005
3,784
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I am the blasphemer who bought Nespresso machines on clearance/sale and then uses the aluminum pods from the sample packs to refill with whatever coffee or espresso I want. Nespresso is pricey per serving and really only worth paying full price per capsule if you MUST have near-instant brew in the morning. In that regard it is passable (depending on variety) and saves time and money over buying your coffee or espresso-based drink from a coffee shop. And it will always be the same.

With a little creativity you can recycle the capsules yourself and end up with consistent, repeatable, and convenient machines combined with lower cost per unit (discounting your own labor, which is trivial after you get used to it).

I have:
Nespresso Vertuoline Evoluo (new version) coffee machine - paid $60 new
Nespresso Lattissima Pro - paid $270 new (I mostly use this for the steamed milk)
Nespresso Lattissima Plus - paid $160 open box (this one is getting gifted)
 

Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
6,211
114
106
Yep, amazon had a lightning deal for $79 for the prodigio (sp?) line- under $100 I can get away with, $600? Much more difficult to justify. Watching youtube videos also show a time commitment, which won't fly since I have maybe 5 minutes free in the morning (kids)

I get it - there are much better machines out there, but for $80 I expect and accept some compromise. 19 bars of pressure on nespressos seems decent enough, unless that's a marketing fib.
No coffee machine on earth uses or produces 19 bars of pressure. At least not intentionally. Espresso is meant to be extracted at between 8 and 9 bars.

I totally get the time commitment issue. I have two young kids too. Once you have the process down it takes little to no time at all. I just do it while I am getting my kids set up with breakfast.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,176
626
126
I am a massive espreso snob, so I think nespresso machines (or any other superautomatic espresso maker) are pretty much crap. There are five major variables to espresso making. The espresso machine is responsible for taking care of two of them - brew temp and brew pressure - and the nespresso machine (or any other superautomatic machine for that matter) does not take care of those factors very well. OK, they will extract coffee using "hot" water at "elevated" pressure, but that is like saying a yugo is a good car because it causes its tires to spin by burning gas.

OP - if you want espresso - buy a dedicated semiautomatic espresso machine and a good grinder. It will be a bit of an investment, but it will be worth it. AND it will eventually pay for itself because pods cost a small fortune.
I agree 100%. Plus, you can't froth milk with a nespresso machine which excludes it automatically from consideration IMO.

I also highly recommend buying good quality, fresh-roasted, whole bean coffee for your espresso machine.

I enjoy a cappuccino every morning before I leave the house for work.
 
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Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
6,211
114
106
I have used an aeropress and a $100 espresso machines with 15bar.

The nespresso is better than all. I run out of pods too quickly though, the pods are really wasteful, the ground coffee in the pods is not as fresh as my own grinder, and not near as cheap as the aeropress.

So I mainly use the aeropress, and it is extremely cost-effective for the results.

I haven't used any machine over $150. At that point it actually makes more sense to just go to your local coffee shop and budget for it, as you also get a public place to meet girls and the atmosphere.
If you want coffee, an aeropress or pour over is the way to go. It has all the advantages of using ground coffee over pods, with less of a monetary investment.

If you want espresso, though, there is no chance in hell that a nespresso machine is better than a semi automatic manned by someone who knows what they are doing. Heck, many nespresso pods have less than 10 grams of coffee! That isn't even an appropriate dose for a single shot of espresso, nevermind a double (which is the typical serving size). The brew temp of those machines is also all over the place, and you have no idea whether the grind is decent or not.

I'm not saying that nespresso machines are useless. They are ok for a consumer who needs extreme convenience and is willing to sacrifice quality and taste for it. But to say that one will produce good espresso is just flat out incorrect.
 

desura

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2013
4,627
129
101
If you want coffee, an aeropress or pour over is the way to go. It has all the advantages of using ground coffee over pods, with less of a monetary investment.

If you want espresso, though, there is no chance in hell that a nespresso machine is better than a semi automatic manned by someone who knows what they are doing. Heck, many nespresso pods have less than 10 grams of coffee! That isn't even an appropriate dose for a single shot of espresso, nevermind a double (which is the typical serving size). The brew temp of those machines is also all over the place, and you have no idea whether the grind is decent or not.

I'm not saying that nespresso machines are useless. They are ok for a consumer who needs extreme convenience and is willing to sacrifice quality and taste for it. But to say that one will produce good espresso is just flat out incorrect.
It is a noticeable jump in quality over the aeropress, though yes less than a good espresso bar.

But honestly it is hard finding a coffee bar where they actually know what they're doing. I can't think of anyplace in my small town which is really good at making espresso.
 

Sho'Nuff

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2007
6,211
114
106
It is a noticeable jump in quality over the aeropress, though yes less than a good espresso bar.

But honestly it is hard finding a coffee bar where they actually know what they're doing. I can't think of anyplace in my small town which is really good at making espresso.
I can sympathize, though I do have the good fortune of living close to a coffee shop that is manned by several expert baristas - including one that competes on a regular basis in barista competitions. They are serious about coffee, and by talking to them I became more serious about it too. Unfortunately for them, it also caused me to ditch my coffee shop habit for an in home system.

I have started to appreciate coffee and espresso in the way that many serious wine drinkers appreciate wine. Drinking coffee/espresso is far more than just a "pick me up" in the morning for me. I seriously enjoy all the subtle nuances in different blends, etc., and its amazing how much variability there is in coffee - and how much of that stuff is lost to poor preparation.
 

desura

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2013
4,627
129
101
I am the blasphemer who bought Nespresso machines on clearance/sale and then uses the aluminum pods from the sample packs to refill with whatever coffee or espresso I want. Nespresso is pricey per serving and really only worth paying full price per capsule if you MUST have near-instant brew in the morning. In that regard it is passable (depending on variety) and saves time and money over buying your coffee or espresso-based drink from a coffee shop. And it will always be the same.

With a little creativity you can recycle the capsules yourself and end up with consistent, repeatable, and convenient machines combined with lower cost per unit (discounting your own labor, which is trivial after you get used to it).

I have:
Nespresso Vertuoline Evoluo (new version) coffee machine - paid $60 new
Nespresso Lattissima Pro - paid $270 new (I mostly use this for the steamed milk)
Nespresso Lattissima Plus - paid $160 open box (this one is getting gifted)
Not really optimal. I looked into it, but part of the process of nespresso is deforming the pod in order to get the desired pressure. That requires a freshly sealed pod. Reusing pods will not get you the same level of pressure.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
18,745
2,141
126
You can pretend to be coffee snob but until you start sourcing and roasting your own beans, you're not a true snob. And using popcorn popper doesn't count.
 

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