There’s certainly no shortage of places to buy a cup of coffee. Heck, in a certain area of Manhattan two separate Starbucks locations are within a dozen steps of one another! But no matter how common the corner coffee shop may be, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as brewing your own coffee at home. I used to spend over $5 a day buying coffee out, now I spend less than $1 making them myself. The only issue is the upfront cost – once you have a good machine the cost per cup goes way down! I often get questions sent in about comparing different brands so in this post I have compared Nespresso vs Keurig (and Verismo!)
SPOILER ALERT: my favorite machine (and one I use at home) is here.
You might be thinking should I pick Nespresso or Keurig – which is why I’ve compared Nespresso vs Keurig, Keurig vs Verismo and Nespresso vs Verismo so you know which to buy. I’ve tried and tested so many over the years – hence updating this post in 2018 as I first started writing 4 years ago.
There are three major manufacturers of home coffee brewing machines. Each company has some stuff they’re good at… and some stuff they’re not so good at. I’ve done extensive research (and drank extensive amounts of coffee in the process) in order to bring you a complete overview of the home brewing market.
If not, check out our complete review below:
Which Coffee Machine Should I Buy?
Nespresso vs Keurig vs Verismo
These three companies each have a certain way they stand out in the marketplace. Below is a few examples of what Nespresso, Verismo and Keurig are really good at, and the reasons you should think about buying them:
Why Should I Buy a Nespresso?
These guys are the espresso kings. The Nespresso Citiz, Nespresso Inissia and Nespresso Pixie (and more recently the Virtuo) are all designed to give you an authentic espresso experience, so if you love an intense, flavorful coffee, these are the machines for you. Their machines come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles, so there is lots of selection and outside of the USA they are the most popular brand of single cup coffee machine.
Why Should I Buy a Verismo?
Plain and simple, you’re addicted to Starbucks! Verismo is a Starbucks brand, so finding both machines and pods is pretty easy. This is also the best way to re-create the Starbucks experience at home. If you love Starbucks, this is probably the home brewing system for you.
These are also generally the least expensive machines on the market. Starbucks, being Starbucks, can afford to sell these machines for a loss. They’ll make up the difference by selling the pods. Verismo is a kind of “odd man out” in that they’re the only home brewing machine which is also associated with a brick-and-mortar store. Verismo V is the stand out model in this range.
Why should I Buy a Keurig?
Keurig are the market kings in the USA. They’re completely dominating the competition in terms of sales. The K-Cups have really become a part of popular culture, even. Their success has allowed them to create a variety of machines. I personally love the K55.
The best selling point for a Keurig though is the variety of capsules, or “K-Cups”. Tthey have a huge selection of very reasonably priced capsules to choose from, so you’re sure to find a favorite. You can read a little bit more about which Keurig to buy in this article.
The home brewing market is interesting. Due to its competitive nature, each company has been forced to specialize in some way. Here’s where each company has some issues:
Nespresso – The Price Tag
They’re a bit pricier. Nespresso has positioned themselves as the high-end brand in the United States. Their machines have a very stylish design and a quality build. Many models are made with stainless steel instead of hard plastic. Their more high-end models are made directly in Switzerland.
Interestingly enough, while they’re the smaller, more exclusive brand in the U.S. they’re actually the largest brand everywhere else in the world. They haven’t quite been able to find the same success here. The main issue seems to be that, while they’re able to create a very authentic espresso, many Americans don’t want that. Instead, consumers here like espressos with whipped cream, syrups and other non-traditional additions.
Verismo – Not Quite The Real Thing
The Verismo is a bit of a victim of its own success. While the Verismo isn’t the most popular home brewing unit, Starbucks is the most successful coffee chain. So consumers don’t seem to be very interested in re-creating the Starbucks experience at home when the restaurants are so easy to access. Don’t get us wrong. These units still do respectable sales, but they’re not really able to directly compete when it comes to Verismo vs Keurig.
Keurig – Does What You Expect
These guys dominate the U.S. market, but they don’t seem to really be placing much emphasis on innovation. Their new machines haven’t caught on as quickly as their previous models – perhaps because most Keurig customers already own a working machine and aren’t interested in upgrading.
International sales do pose some problems with Keurig and their business model, however. They dominate the U.S. market but are continually in second-place internationally. The reasons why Americans avoid Nespresso (they don’t like the authentic espresso taste) are the same reasons why Nespresso dominates internationally (international customers love that taste).
So who are we going to pick for our winner? It has to be Nespresso! Many companies have tried to take their market share over the years, but I still come back to using mine. They regularly update the models so you can occasionally get a good deal but click here to see my favorite!
Here is a recap and more information below about brewing coffee at home!
If you’re looking for a home brewing machine, there are three major brands to choose from. Here’s a brief recap of the brands and their top models:
|Nespresso is a Swiss company who are well known for their one-cup coffee capsule machines. They have a wide variety of models, but their most popular are the Citiz, Pixie and Inissia. If you love authentic espresso, the Nespresso is one of your best choices without a doubt.||Verismo is Starbucks’ home brewing brand. The coffee machines are sold in Starbucks stores (which, as you’re probably aware, are pretty easy to find). If Starbucks is your favorite, or if you really like the convenience of purchasing pods in a brick-and-mortar store, then maybe Verismo is the best choice for you.||This is the big brand, at least in the United States. They’re the ones behind the popular K-Cup, which you’ve probably seen before. They’ve got many popular machines, including the K45 and K40. The Keurig is probably the best all-around machine for coffee, and you can see my review: Which Keurig Should I Buy? for more information on which Keurig would suit you.|
|Top Models||Top Models||Top Models|
Why Buy A Capsule Coffee Maker?
The traditional coffee pot has dramatically dropped off in popularity over the past few years. There are a few reasons for this. Traditional systems are slow, messy and make more coffee than one or two people want to drink in one sitting.
Instead, consumers have really warmed up to the idea of single-cup machines. These are machines which brew one cup of coffee, espresso or lungo at a time. They have a lot of advantages over traditional machines.
Single cup machines are…
- Easier to maintain. They usually have a self-cleaning button, which is certainly preferable to dealing with used coffee filters and dirty coffee pots.
- The entire household no longer has to wake up to the gurgling and dripping of a traditional coffeemaker.
- More economical. By only brewing one cup at a time, you’re no longer left with coffee nobody wants to drink.
- You can brew a cup of coffee in about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Auto shutoff features prevent accidental fires.
How Single Cup Machines Work
These machines work with capsules. When using a Keurig machine, these capsules are called K-Cups. Nespresso calls them Nespresso capsules. Verismo calls them pods. Regardless of the branding, they all work in basically the same way.
Learning how to use a Nespresso machine, Verismo machine or Keurig machine is easy and straight-forward:
Each capsule creates one cup of coffee. To do so, the capsule must be inserted into the respective machine. This is usually through an area on the top of the machine.
Closing the lid causes the capsule to be pierced by the machine. Some units do this automatically while others require a small bit of pressure from the user. Regardless, when the capsule is pierced the contents – the coffee blend – are then brewed through the machine.
Each machine has a water reservoir. The larger the reservoir, the more cups can be made without having to refill the tank. This means a larger reservoir lets you make more cups faster. This isn’t a huge issue in a household but it can be a factor in a busy office.
The brewing process takes about 30 seconds. A fresh cup of coffee is then dispensed into your waiting cup. Most machines let you remove the drip tray so you can fill up a large mug, a travel cup or any other irregularly-sized dish.
When you’re finished, you open up the machine and remove the empty capsule. Some machines store empty capsules so you don’t have to do the removal step every time you make a cup of coffee. Smaller machines will only allow one capsule at a time, no matter if it’s empty or full.
Maintenance is usually minimal. The water tank and drip tray are usually just washed with dish soap every so often. About every six months you’ll probably want to use a manufacturer’s approved cleaning solution to clear out any residue. Many machines have a self-cleaning button.
Just to be clear, you can only use K-Cups with Keurig machines, Starbucks pods with Verismo machines and Nespresso capsules with Nespresso machines. The capsules are really how the manufacturer makes money. This doesn’t mean the capsules are expensive, however. They usually run about a dollar per capsule, as long as you buy them in sufficiently large packages (usually around 10 to 30 capsules at a time).
All three companies offer a pretty wide selection of capsules. You can buy variety packs if you want to try new flavors. You can also just buy specific flavors. Most companies have some sort of subscription plan you can join if you want to set up a standing order.
I hope this post gave you a good overview of Nespresso vs. Keurig – it’s a long running debate for espresso machine professionals as both products have made it easy for people like us to make their own coffee (that looks and tastes like the real thing) at home!