What’s the Difference Between All the Nespresso Coffee Machines?
Here’s a breakdown of the brand’s 18 different machines.
Picking the right coffeemaker can be a challenge — especially when it comes to a brand with so many options. As with any piece of equipment that takes up precious real estate on your kitchen counter, deciding on which Nespresso model to purchase can feel like a major commitment. With so many options on the market, learning the basics is key to making the right choice. Here's a breakdown, so you can choose which Nespresso is right for you.
First, Nespresso coffee machines are divided into two categories: Original and Vertuo. The Original line only makes espresso-based drinks, but their variety expands with the complexity and price of the machine. The Vertuo line can make a wider range of drink sizes, including espressos, double espressos (2.7 ounces) and lungos (espresso with more water), in addition to regular cups of coffee in both eight-ounce and 12-ounce sizes.
Before you dive into the differences between all the machines, here's a handy way to narrow down which models you should consider.
If you want an 8-ounce cup of coffee...
- go for the Vertuo Series. (The Original line makes exclusively espresso drinks.)
If you want only basic espresso...
- the Original Series has the following options: Essenza(s), Pixie, Citiz, Expert
If you want a variety of espresso drinks (think: cappucinos and lattes)...
- these Original Series are for you: Lattissima line, Creatista line, Citiz & Milk
Where you'd like to buy capsules also makes a difference. The Original line is compatible with Nespresso-brand and Williams Sonoma-brand capsules (Nespresso has a deal with Williams Sonoma). The Vertuo series machines are only compatible with Nespresso-brand capsules. All capsules are recyclable through Nespresso.
This line of Nespressos not only brews espressos, but American coffee as well. All machines make 1.35-ounce espresso, 2.7-ounce double espresso, a 5-ounce gran lungo, a 7.7-ounce coffee and a 14-ounce alto. These machines can be bought with or without a free-standing milk frother.
The Vertuo machines use capsules embossed with a barcode that tells the machine what to make, and then spins the capsule at very high speed to extract the coffee. This process creates a thick, bubbly crema topping for the espresso or coffee.
The following Original machines make 1.35 oz espressos and 3.70 oz lungos. All machines in the Original series work by piercing the Nespresso capsule, and then pumping hot water under high pressure through it to create a variety of espressos and sizes topped with a cap of foam.
The most basic and least expensive machine uses the same technology as the higher-caliber models and produces the same quality of espresso. This compact machine has a small tank that holds around 20 ounces of water and can make four to six espressos per tank. The capsule tray can hold six used capsules. If you are looking for a machine that doesn’t take up a lot of space, but still makes a good espresso this is the model for you. The exterior is made of plastic, but that’s why it only weighs 5 pounds. With only two buttons, this model is also simple to operate.
Slightly more versatile than the Mini, the Plus can make an espresso, lungo, both Americano and extra-large Americano, and even tea. The water tank is 33 1/2-ounces, which makes seven to nine espressos, and the used capsule container can hold nine to 11 capsules.
Slightly heavier than the Essenza Mini at 6.6 pounds, the Pixie is housed in an aluminum casing which gives it a more elegant look. Even though it’s compact, this machine heats the water in 30 seconds. The 24-ounce water tank can produce five to seven espressos or lungos. The used capsule container holds up to 10 capsules.
Stylish and with a larger capacity, the Citiz is better for bigger groups. The buttons for the espresso and lungo can be programmed to adjust to the size of drink you would prefer. This machine has a 33-ounce water tank, which can make seven to nine espressos and has a capsule tray that holds nine used capsules.
Bluetooth connectivity sets this machine apart from others; it enables you to operate the machine and customize your drinks via the Nespresso app. It has four cup sizes: espresso, lungo, ristretto and Americano, with a separate spout for hot water on-demand and Americano preparation. There are also three temperature settings: warm, hot and extra hot. The removable water tank holds 37 1/2-ounces so it can produce eight to 10 espressos, and the used capsule container can hold 10 empties. This machine weighs in at 10 pounds.
A sub-category of the Original line is the Lattissima series, all of which have some type of milk frothing capacity.
This machine can make ristrettos, espressos and lungos, and, because of its built-in milk frother, cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos. The milk tank with attached frother is removable, so unused milk can be stored in the refrigerator. The water tank holds 30 ounces of water and can make six to eight espressos, and the milk tank is eight ounces. The used capsule capacity is 12.
This model has a touch screen which can be programmed for ristretto, espresso, lungo, hot water, cappuccino, latte, machiatto and warm milk. It’s slightly larger than the Lattissima+ and has a 44-ounce water tank and eight-ounce milk tank that can produce nine to 11 espressos. Added features include a water hardness setting and an automatic rinsing feature. Up to 16 used capsules fit in the tray.
If you are looking for a machine to make only one milk-based espresso drink a day consider this one. Unlike other Lattissima machines the One does not have a cleaning system, so you have to wash the milk frother each time you make a milk-based drink. The 33.8-ounce water tank can make seven to nine espressos and can hold up to eight used capsules.
You can prepare any one of six drinks — latte, latte, macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, lungo or warm milk — with the touch of a button. The 30.4-ounce water tank can produce six to eight espressos. There is also a milk froth knob to vary froth texture. The used capsule container holds 10 capsules.
Made for those who love the classic KitchenAid design and power, this model weighs in at 19 pounds. This machine is solid and large with a 44-ounce water tank, which makes nine to 11 espressos and has a used capsule capacity of 14. It has six pre-programmed cup sizes and a separate milk frother.
The second sub-category of Original Nespresso machines, the Creatista, have integrated manual frothers. With full control over your cappuccino and latte foam, you can create your own latte art, hence, the name which derives from the word “creative” in Italian. All three models heat up the water in three seconds and the tanks hold 50.72-ounces of water.
You’ll get eight beverage settings — ristretto, espresso, lungo, latte, latte macchiato, cappuccino, flat white and milk froth — with adjustable settings for coffee volume, milk temperature and milk texture. There is also auto frothing with four different texture levels and five different milk temperature settings.
The main difference between this machine and the other two is that it does not have a colored display to program your settings. Instead, you use buttons, which you can press multiple times to program the settings. Uno has three levels of milk texture and three levels of milk temperature. There are three programmable buttons for ristretto, espresso and lungo. The other drinks need to be built manually with a button.