Nespresso vs Espresso Machine the differences which you should know

The question of Nespresso vs Espresso could arise among coffee enthusiasts or in many instances. For example, One day you have enjoyed your first cup of espresso . Slowly and unknowingly, you fall in love with that drink. So now you want a home set up for this drink to avoid the daily trip of starbucks.

But as a newbie in this coffee world when you are in search of an espresso machine and encounter a Nespresso machine that also provides concentrated caffeine like that of your traditional espresso maker. 

Well, both the terms differ only by their first letter. We all know what espresso is ! or at least have an overview about it, thus it is an Italian traditional intense coffee. But the question is what Nespresso stands for? Hence people are confused between these two.

Nespresso vs Espresso
Nespresso vs Espresso

An Overview of Nespresso Vs Espresso

To quickly understand the difference between espresso and a Nespresso drink, you can simply define a Nespresso drink as similar to espresso but not authentic. Nespresso is a quick solution to espresso. For making a quality espresso one needs to devote a significant amount of time and keep an eye on the accuracy of measurement, and pressure. Because here you are brewing and involved in the process. While Nespresso is a one-touch solution.

Espresso is all about making from scratch where from the freshly ground coffee your espresso machine generates the drink. You prepare a puck of your favourite ground coffee and through it, pressurised water passes. That’s how espresso machines work.

Within the Nespresso machine, Nespresso capsules are needed. Here a mechanism penetrates the capsule and hot water goes through it and usually your drink is made within a minute.

Nespresso vs Espresso 

At a glance for having your desired drink, it might seem both of them approximately do the same job. But they actually differ from each other in almost every aspect. For a better understanding of the aesthetic and technical difference between Nespresso vs Espresso first of all, we need to dive through their root of origin and the mechanism on which they work.


Root of Origin

No doubt the roots of espresso had grown in Italy. In today’s world brewing an espresso cup is considered a heavier task than brewing a fully automated Nespresso cup. But ironically, espresso is a discovery of making a concentrated cup of coffee more quickly. 

During the late 1800s era a businessman, Luigi Bezzera was frustrated by the amount of time for making his morning joe. In search of a quick method, he found steam pressure in the coffee machine cuts down the time for passing the hot water through the coffee bed—the actual patent of the espresso machine owned by Angelo Moriondo of Italy (1884). Later Luigi Bezzera and Desiderio Pavon added the modifications like adding a portafilter and installing multiple brew heads and perfected it. 

How do espresso makers work ?

The core mechanism of an espresso maker is that they have a double-boiler system, one for brewing and another for a steam wand. Most espresso machines generate 9-15 bars of pressure that push the hot water for passing through the coffee puck. The other steps and workload for making your espresso cup significantly depend upon the type of espresso maker.

There are mainly three types of espresso machines- Manual, semi-automated, and super-automatic. 

A super-automatic espresso maker often called a bean-to-espresso machine is the most expensive one and involves less involvement of yours. From grinding to preparing your puck and extracting the cup all is done at a click. 

Whereas over the manual one you have more control, you grind your beans and prepare the puck and pull the lever by hand for extracting caffeine. For perfection in your cup by manual machine, you will need to learn more and practice more.

Most coffee enthusiasts use semi-automatic espresso machines because they produce consistent extraction and give you control over the preparation of your coffee bed.

Difference of Nespresso vs Espresso 

As discussed earlier, the taste and experience of making espresso at home immensely depends upon the type of espresso machine that varies from manual to super-automatic. The super-automatic one is closer to a Nespresso maker as it also ends any human error. As the semi-autonomous espresso maker has the largest market share here we have tried to bring the comparison between Nespresso vs Espresso keeping an eye on those kinds of machines.

Taste and flavour

Though both of them work on a similar mechanism of pressurised water you can’t find identical taste and flavour. In terms of original and rich flavour, a traditional espresso cup easily beats up Nespresso.

From an experienced hand pull out shot of espresso has the original and fresh taste because you are brewing from freshly ground coffee beans. On the other hand, Nespresso works on capsules or pods that can’t match the flavour of fresh coffee beans. However, it gives you a decent shot that is less intense.


In case of consistency, Even for an experienced barista chances are less that every shot will be as tasty as it should be. Hence, between Nespresso vs Espresso, for home espresso, there are so many learning curves and the art of tamping is associated with pulling consistent shots. While I suggest Nespresso for noobs due to its consistent result. Here with every capsule, you get the same desired result so no morning will be with a mudded, inconsistent taste.

Variety and customization

For coffee enthusiasts, it’s their nature to experiment with their drink, and being one I know how much pleasure it is. An espresso machine gives you the freedom to experiment with your drink. You can try a variety of ground coffees and make cafe shop-like drinks such as latte, cappuccino,  Macchiato, Americano, etc.

Nespresso shots have less variety and no chances of customization. Though in the market different flavours of Nespresso pods are available but they still lack in bringing authentic variety.

As per your preference, you can customise your brewing process for espresso but in a Nespresso machine, you don’t have this liability.


In the brief comparison of Nespresso vs Espresso, the cost of having coffee through both of the machines is quite different. So the question is which one is more affordable?

To answer this question you need to consider both ways first of all the purchase price of the machine and the second thing is the cost per cup. 

A decent espresso machine is pretty expensive, approximately 1000 dollars whereas you can get the best Nespresso machines for under 150-200 dollars. So for setting up your home espresso journey the starting cost is much higher than the Nespresso. But by seeing this if you are concluding  Nespresso is a cost-effective drink let me explain to you the real expense.

Nespresso is a pod-based drink so if you are drinking coffee two times a day you are using two capsules. Capsules are more expensive than your ground coffee. Even if they are reusable but for a tricky process most people don’t reuse them. Here every cup with a Nespresso machine cost 60 cents to 1 dollar whereas for espresso you spent only 20 cents per cup.

So in the long term every year, the cost is much higher in Nespresso than the espresso machines. So investing in a good espresso machine is worth it.

Quickness and Ease of use

On a busy morning for lack of time, you don’t need to skip your drink. Nespresso makes your drink ready within a minute. It is super easy to use and hurdle-less. Anyone who doesn’t have any experience in making espresso can use it easily and have a consistently good result.

Dripping your espresso cup also doesn’t take much time but grinding your coffee beans to make your puck by tamping it perfectly takes a longer time. Making it might take 5-8 minutes. Actually to master this process you need time and practice.

Final verdict Nespresso vs Espresso

In the overall view of Nespresso vs Espresso, I give extra points to espresso machines and prefer them over Nespresso. Being a true coffee enthusiast nothing can satisfy me more than my authentic espresso cup. Moreover in the long run it is more cost-effective also. But if you are just starting your coffee journey and don’t have much time to play with the steps of espresso, you can go with Nespresso. As it brings the consistent thickness of the drink to your comfort zone.

You can also read, Best Espresso machine under $150

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