Nespresso vs Keurig: Who Is the Winner? (In 2022)

Nespresso vs Keurig

This is our comparison of Nespresso vs. Keurig, the household names of the pod coffee machine world.

Confused between Nespresso and Keurig? Well, I’ll help you in making the decision. As an avid coffee drinker and an afternoon tea-sipping fiend, I’ve been through quite a few coffee machines.

I’ve had the opportunity to try out both Nespresso and Keurig machines, and I get asked this question all the time.

So, I thought I’d write up a post to explain the difference between the two and which one is better. And by the end of this guide, you’ll find out if you fall into the Nespresso fan club or Keurig fan club.

At a Glance

Keurig and Nespresso are two of the most popular coffee brands in the world. Keurig is a popular choice in the United States, while Nespresso is the choice of the European market.

Before you decide which brands to back, let My Iced Coffee break them down.

Nespresso

  • OriginalLine models brew better quality espresso.
  • Vertuo models brew great coffee.
  • User friendly.
  • Well-built and luxurious feel.
  • Limited variety of coffees.
  • Capsules are recyclable.

Keurig

  • 80+ models to choose from.
  • Hundreds of different coffees.
  • Less expensive.
  • Capsules Starts at a much lower price.
  • Models brew 4-12 oz single serve coffee.
  • Variety of pods available.

Both are popular choices for coffee lovers. They both are loved by their users and have loyal fan bases. But which one is better? Which one delivers a better experience? Who wins the battle of Keurig vs. Nespresso?

To clear up the air, give this a read!

Nespresso

What is Nespresso? Nespresso is a Switzerland-based brand of the Nestlé Group that offers coffee pods and espresso machines. Nespresso doesn’t have as much of a presence on the American market, but they are popular across Europe.

The company produces two ranges of machines: OriginalLine and VertuoLine. The OriginalLine is primarily a pod-based, single-serve espresso machine. Whereas, the Vertuoline brews not just espresso, but coffee as well. Vertuoline models don’t use third-party capsules because of their barcode scanning technology which gives info regarding brewing for every pod.

Also, Vertuoline models are made for Canadian and North American users due to their preferences for larger servings. Vertuoline’s centrifusion technology gives you a perfect blend for every occasion: to wake up, to unwind after a long day, or just because you feel like it. That perfect blend happened because Vertuo machines spun pods thoroughly.

Some Nespresso machines come with a built-in frother for lattes, cappuccinos, and other beverages, but those machines who didn’t come with milk frother, you’ve to buy them separately. The best part? They’re giving you a choice that if you go for espresso and not coffee, you can still get an OriginalLine brewer.

Keurig:

Keurig is the third ranked single-cup coffee brand in the United States. Their machines are manufactured by the American company Keurig Dr Pepper.

Keurig has been the leader in the single-serve market for a decade, with over 80+ different models to its name. Which means that no matter what your needs, Keurig probably has one that will work for you. The company continues to grow, and one such model — the Keurig K-Cafe — is its attempt at a single-serve espresso maker.

Keurig partners with different brands to produce their pods. As a result, there are over 60 different brands for Keurig’s K-cups. Every Keurig user uses K-Cups, including the K-Cafe for lattes and cappuccinos. The exception is the K-Duo, which brews the ground coffee in a traditional filter basket.

Nespresso vs. Keurig: What’s the Difference?

Let’s get started and find out the winner among the following traits.

Cost to Purchase

Nespresso and Keurig give you a range of coffee makers, but as you know the fancier the coffee maker, the more it costs. Right?

So, if you want a budget-friendly alternative, then Keurig is the better option. You can find Keurig models in the $75-$250 range. You will get more bang for your initial buck with Keurig if you’re shopping under a defined threshold. You’ll find Keurig K Classic at around $89.99 to the K Mini at $79.99 in the super-budget range.

Note: If you upgrade yourself to the Keurig list then it outpaces Nespresso as it keeps the cost minimal. Keurig K-Elite gives advanced settings and better quality, yet it comes under $150 because of the usual discounts.

Whereas, Nespresso’s cost exceeds if you’re opting for in-home brewing. There you probably take pricing seriously. Its price begins at $150-$300, depending on its two lines. Nespresso’s cheapest offer is Essenza Mini, with an MSRP of $149 that is regularly discounted throughout the year.

For Keurig, it is a general rule of thumb to work on affordability. That is why they cater to markets under ($100 / £100) whereas Nespresso firmly sets its sights over $100.

Here, when it comes to price, the clear winner is Keurig.

Cost per Serving

Coffee drinkers will often pay 2-3 times the amount of money for a cup of coffee from a coffee shop than they would for the same cup of coffee if they were to make it at home.

I mean, did you know that if you bought a $4 coffee every day you’d spend $1,460 per year,_ expensive, isn’t it?

Let’s compare the actual and annual cost per serving of Nespresso and Keurig!

Nespresso single-serve coffee maker has two lines:

  • OriginalLine: It costs $0.75-$0.85 per capsule
  • VertuoLine: It costs $0.90-$1.40 per capsule

On the other hand, Keurig brewers have more than one type of pod:

  • K-Cup: $0.35-$0.65 per pod
  • K-Vue: $0.85-$1.10 per pod
  • Rivo: $0.85-$1.40 per pod
  • K-Mug: $1.40-$1.60 per pod
  • K-Carafe: $1.75-$2.25 per pod

Note: Keurig desists those coffee maker models that don’t use the standard K-Cup pod. You’ll not brew coffee from K-Mug, K-Vue, Rivo, and K-Carafe as they are in ebay’s storage. Today, everyone uses K-cups including K-cafe for lattes and cappuccinos.

To grasp this knowledge better, have a look:

Nespresso Original line: If its cost per 1 serving is between $0.70-$0.85, then per year cost is $292.

Nespresso Vertuoline: If its cost per 1 serving is between $0.90-$1.25, then its yearly cost is 402$.

Keurig K-Cup: if its cost per 1 serving is between $0.35-$0.65, then its annual cost is $219.

Remember: Prices are calculated using the most common mid-point of the “Cost, 1 Serving” price range.

After hearing this out, you can develop a clear understanding of how much you’re saving if you chose Keurig as your coffee partner. For that matter, in this battle of Nespresso pods vs Keurig pods, again Keurig is the winner.

Nespresso and Keurig are both single-serve coffee makers and make coffee with coffee pods.

The main difference is the coffee they make, how they brew coffee and the coffee pod they use.

The original line Nespresso machines mainly brew espresso-style coffee, which is about 2 oz to 4 oz. They have Vertuoline machines that make larger cups, but Nespresso focuses on espresso drinks. Keurig coffee tastes more like drip coffee, and you can make coffee from 4 oz up to 12 oz depending on your Keurig machines.

They use different coffee pods, Nespresso uses smaller coffee capsules, and you’ll have more options for Keurig K-cup pods. And generally speaking, Nespresso capsules cost more than the K-cups.

Nespresso brews coffee with 19 bars of pressure (Original line) or the centrifugal method (Vertuo line), while Keurig uses a needle to inject water into the K-cup to extract coffee flavor.

Chris Clark
Co-Founder of brewcoffeehome.com

The brew

Is Nespresso better than Keurig in terms of brewing? Dive straight in to find the answer!

Keurig uses simple pressure technology to brew your morning coffee mug. Keurig punches two holes in the K-Cup one in the center and the other in the bottom of the cup to squeeze the coffee out of it. It takes 45 seconds to one minute to brew 8 oz. cup of coffee with a 192° Fahrenheit temperature for all machines.  Its brewing method isn’t that robust and that’s why it tends to be on the lighter side of taste.

As far as Nespresso Vertuoline is concerned, it employs a centrifusion technique where through centrifugal action and water fusion, the pod is spun at about 7000 rpm. Machine punctures the pod from around the edges and in the center and prepares your coffee or espresso in Roughly 1 minute and 30 seconds. Nespresso’s brewing method is strong and that’s why it gives you a fuller and fine taste by offering five different cup sizes i.e., Espresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Coffee, Alto.

However, Nespresso Originalline brewing method is 19 bar high-pressure extraction via which you can get three sizes i.e., Ristretto, Espresso, and Lungo. Time and temperature are the actual blends via which a perfect espresso or coffee is made. Nespresso brews your beverage at the optimal temperature i.e.,  181° to 187° Fahrenheit for espresso and 172° F for coffee.

In this battle of Nespresso vs Keurig, Nespresso’s coffee tends to be richly brewed while the Keurig one is on a lighter side.

The Performance:

This consideration boils down to some other factors like which features make Nespresso and Keurig unique? How do these features work? Are these coffee makers user-friendly or not?

What does Keurig have and Nespresso doesn’t? Well, some flashy Keurig features, which are:

  • LCD with a colored touch system.
  • Programmable clock and Auto-On.
  • Temperature optimization.
  • Brew strength control.
  • 80+ oz water container.
  • Water filter.

But Nespresso just overpassed Keurig’s shortcomings. For instance:

  • Built-in milk frothers.
  • Easy-to-use custom size selector.
  • Sneak in less counter space.
  • Sleeker design (personal preference).
  • Brew better espresso.

Lastly, I must say that Nespresso’s brilliant performance wins the hearts of most people when compared to Keurig.

Ease of cleaning:

The worrisome question? Who is easiest to clean? Nespresso or Keurig?

Both are fairly fair when it comes to maintenance:

  • Sponge down the exterior (make sure the cloth is non-abrasive).
  • Wipe down the detachable part and wash them in running water.
  • Descale the water tank with water or any citric solution to remove calcium deposits.

It is nearly going to tie here but because Nespresso came up with a descaling mode for optimal internal cleaning, which gives ease to Nespresso users while cleaning. Unlike Keurig, in which there are more parts, and they have a tendency to get more finicky, too.

That’s why the winner here is Nespresso!

Caffeine Content

Caffeine content is what most people are chasing for in their mug of coffee.

Keurig claims that their pods contain 75 and 150 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup, with an added disclaimer that caffeine content relies on the ground coffee in the pod and natural variations.

Nespresso gives us a range of caffeine content due to its OriginalLine and the VertuoLine. The original line has 3 varied pods with different caffeine content.

  • Brewed Espresso has 55-65 mg of caffeine per brewed capsule.
  • Lungo blend has 77-89 mg caffeine i.e. 20% more coffee per capsule than Espresso.
  • Kazar blend has the highest caffeine content with 125 mg per capsule.

VertuoLine pods have a higher caffeine content than Keurig coffee pods and even the Nespresso Original Line capsules.

  • Espressos caffeine content is 60-150 mg per capsule.
  • Double espressos have less than 200 mg per capsule.
  • Gran Lungo has 120-125 mg of caffeine per capsule.
  • Coffee and Alto capsules have 130-200 mg of caffeine per cup.
  • Half Caffeinato blend has about 90 mg of caffeine.
  • Decaffeinated blends contain no more than 12 mg of caffeine.

In caffeine content, the Nespresso VertuoLine beats out the Keurig, claiming Nespresso as the winner.

Beverage Variety

Keurig’s K-Cup pods offer more than 400 beverage varieties from 60 brands, whereas Nespresso VertuoLine, which features bar-code scanning technology, has only 17 different types of coffee at the moment.

But as we talked about above, this isn’t just the quantity game as quality supersedes quantity. Indeed, The Keurig doesn’t limit itself to coffee. You can also relish the following beverages:

  • Hot chocolate
  • Hot apple cider
  • Tea
  • Lemonade
  • Fruit drinks

No matter what, Keurig didn’t offer espresso, which Nespresso does. Hence, if you’re a coffee yet espresso lover, you may overlook this discrepancy because Nespresso brews high-quality coffee.

Range of Coffee pods

Keurig forms a lot of coffee capsules ranging from strong coffee to cocoa drinks. Eventually, you’ll be able to pick up pods made with brands, like Starbucks and Dunkin, as Keurig has collaborated with them to create a range of capsules. Keurig vows to make 100% of its capsules (called K-Cups) recyclable by the end of 2020.

Nespresso pods have Original machines and Vertuo models. Both lines have different pod shapes, which is why you won’t be able to use both types of pods in one model. There is a recycling scheme in place, though, where you can collect your used pods and take them to a Nespresso Boutique or to a collection point where they will be recycled.

Here Keurig wins due to the flexibility it provides.

Quality, Durability & Reliability

Keurig’s coffee makers are constructed from thin plastic, while Nespresso’s Swiss-made machines are made of sturdy plastic with metallic-plated exteriors that enhance its density and longevity.

Also, Nespresso is backed with 2 years of guarantee, which Keurig lacks. That’s why, in the section again, Nespresso achieved a clear triumph.

Recycling & Impact on Environment

Coffee capsules are by nature disposable, and every time you drink coffee from a single-serve machine, you generate some non-biodegradable waste. Is it going to be a game-changer for you?

Nonetheless, both Keurig and Nespresso are concerned about the massive environmental footprint they’ve left and are working tirelessly to make their coffee makers more eco-friendly.

Keurig’s goal is to make all of its capsules entirely recyclable, while Nespresso has previously established a good network of recycling stations by Ecolaboration Program in their shops and shared retail locations where you can drop off or discharge your spent capsules for recycling. They’ve put up capsule recycling facilities around Canada, with the objective of recycling 75 percent of all sales of capsules.

Plus point: Nespresso encourages recycling the capsules at their collection points in Nespresso boutiques, TerraCycle collection points in retail partner locations around the US, and via UPS through Nespresso’s mail-back program.

Nespresso Vs Keurig: The Winner

  • Winner: Nespresso
  • Cost to purchase: Keurig
  • Cost per saving: Keurig
  • The brew: Nespresso
  • Performance: Nespresso
  • Ease of cleaning: Nespresso
  • Caffeine content: Nespresso
  • Range of coffee pods: Keurig
  • Beverage variety: Keurig
  • Beverage quality: Nespresso
  • Quality, durability, reliability: Nespresso
  • Recycling and impact on the environment: Nespresso

Despite their very small percentage of the US market, I believe Nespresso is the superior brand, but for most consumers, the choice will come down to cost against performance:

  • Nespresso is a superior manufacturer with superior products.
  • Keurig machines are less expensive to buy and run regularly.

However, this research focuses solely on the macro-level decision of Nespresso vs Keurig. Within each brand, there are many classes of brewers that provide diverse capabilities at variable pricing.

Nespresso and Keurig initially come off as similar machines and, at first glance, the Keurig offers more variety at a lower price. However, the Swiss-made Nespresso machines focus only on coffee beverages. 
This may feel limiting at first but the focused approach means much better quality brewed coffee and espresso functionality. Meanwhile, the Keurig can brew other beverages like tea but does not have the same quality and capabilities as the Nespresso.
Keurig uses pressurized brewing to extract the flavors and beverages from the capsule. This results in a simple brewed beverage. 
In contrast, Nespresso technology utilizes centrifuge brewing. Essentially, the Nespresso pod is rotated at high speeds during the brewing process, allowing the coffee to be brewed more precisely. 
Additionally, Nespresso pods feature a barcode that is scanned prior to brewing. The barcode reveals information specific to that particular coffee. This includes the temperature, time, and more for the best possible brewing of that beverage.

Sophie Short, coffee expert at CoffeeAffection

My comparison guide is in front of you just go and buy the one which you like.

FAQS

Is Nespresso compatible with Keurig?

Can Nespresso pods be used in Keurig? Or do K-cups work in Nespresso? The simple answer is that none of them is compatible with each other. 

Coffee lovers wish that someone just cast a spell and one size capsule fits in both machines. but unfortunately, until now there is no hope as Nespresso and Keurig pods have a truly different physical appearance 

Does Nespresso have more caffeine than Keurig?

Yes, they do! As we discussed previously, Nespresso Vertuoline i.e. Coffee and Alto capsules have 130-200 mg of caffeine per cup. Whereas, Keurig has a caffeine content of up to 150 mg per serving.

What are single-serve coffee makers?

They are those coffee machines that are designed to brew a single cup of coffee or any other beverage. 

Which tastes better, Nespresso or Keurig?

Coffee connoisseurs have taken a Nespresso vs Keurig taste test and they have reached a consensus that though Keurig coffee is good, Nespresso coffee is great! 

It is because of the centrifusion technology that Nespresso Vertuo employs in brewing that lends credence to coffee’s rich and authentic taste.

Do Nespresso pods work in Keurig?

Keurig’s K-cup and Nespresso machines aren’t compatible with each other. Due to the varying size and shape, K-cup can not fit into the Nespresso machine.

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