Starbucks versus Nespresso Taste Test

I recently got a Nespresso C100T capsule based espresso machine. I decided to compare the shots it makes with a shot from Starbucks. Here’s the results of my very non-scientific taste test:

Shots

  Nespresso Starbucks
Flavour Intense flavour, smooth. Very bitter, almost burnt.
Crema Good None
Price $0.52 $1.55

As you can see Nespresso makes a great espresso, including a nice crema. The beauty of Nespresso over traditional espresso machines is that there is almost zero maintenance. So if you like espresso based drinks this is a must buy.

Nespresso is popular in Europe, but it seems to be fairly unknown in the US. I was introduced to Nespresso by my brother who lives in Belgium and swears by it. When I found a Nespresso machine in an Italian home I was staying in, I figured if it’s good enough for the Italians it’s good enough for me.

The big disadvantage for this system is that you can only buy your capsules from Nespresso (unless you do what this guy does). Fortunately you can order online and the capsules are shipped to you in a couple of days.

[ Note this post is not sponsored by Nespresso, but if they want to send me some free capsules I won’t complain 😉 ]

96 Responses

  1. Mikko says:

    We don’t have Starbucks here in Finland and I would like it to stay that way =) Your picture tells it all.

    • Marcio Costa says:

      StarBucks are a “fast food” coffee shop chain. In New York, where it is cold,
      they sell coffee as a heating device: A large cup, with a hot beverage, keeps
      your hands and face warm, while you walk from the subway station to work.
      In Miami, in hot weather, there are a few StarBucks, and they sell mainly
      iced flavoured tea and a bite size food. And YES, they mask the poor quality
      of the beans by over-roasting them.

  2. Alfred says:

    It’s a shame that people are buying those Nespresso capsule !
    Do you even know how many liters of petrole are required to make those capsule that actually taste bad ?

    Save your money, grind your beans, think about the earth, GET REAL !!!

    Actually to live in a world where people wonder if starbuck is better than nespresso is quite a shame ! It’s even more a shame to write an article about it ! GET REAL !!! THINK !

    • frednurk says:

      The capsules do seem a waste until you compare to using a proper machine – with the proper machine I have to heat it up over 10 minutes – it heats the whole reservoir, then I have to adjust the grind for temperature / humidity and then try a few. Usually it tastes crap until Ive made a few shots, and I end up with heaps of wasted grind. Although the capsule is a wasted package, the nespresso uses heaps less energy (heats less water), its right first time (less wasted heated water, less wasted grind), and I reckon for the home situation the coffee is better because I dont have the time and patience to get a proper espresso machine humming.

    • Marcio Costa says:

      Nespresso tastes way better than my own home ground gourmet beans. I have access to some of the best beans in the world (brazilian and colombian). The mess and
      noise of cup by cup grinding, the elevated cost of good espresso machines and
      grinders… And we use NO OIL for electricity, for aluminum recycling. We just
      water. I try to save the nature by not eating fastfood (tons of garbage per meal)
      and by not leaving my car engine on during errands, just to keep it cool or warm.
      Three years worth of capsules can’t account even for half a pound of waste alumi-
      num, which is 100% recyclable.

    • JR says:

      Interesting….HOWEVER, LOOK WHO IS EVEN HERE READING AND WRITING IN THE FIRST PLACE….YOU!

      Only reason i cam here is to send a friend a link showing visually how grand of an espresso this machine makes in a 1 step form, easy for any level coffee drinker.

    • Clinton says:

      The coffee costs a bit more than whole beans or pre-ground coffee, but I’m paying extra for the convience, and to be honest, the taste. I can’t imagine going back to regular drip coffee.

      As for the aluminum waste, I take the time to cut open the used capsules and use the coffee grounds in my compost pile. I rinse the spent capsule and recycle it with my aluminum cans. Karma +1 point.

    • Echo Dee says:

      LOL! (Whisper) Alfred hates that fact that he lives in a world of people doing product comparisons. Grinding your own beans is definitely a good option – I agree. How about you try and grow your own beans, raise your own chickens, slaughter your own cows?

      Ladies and gentlemen – Imagine Alfred’s life?

    • Sandy says:

      Espresso capsules are aluminum not plastic …..

      • Farnsworth says:

        You can send the cups back to Nespresso for recycling free of shipping fees. At least they’re trying unlike starbucks, and others, with their plastic and paper cups everywhere.

    • Dennis Chin says:

      I can’t agree with u more, Alfred, and believe me!! I have done a lot of research online and reviews and comparisons. Everywhere is talking about how much waste does the nespresso machine creat.
      BUT…. unfortunately, in the real world, most of people(like myself) has kids, work, families,etc. nespresso capsules are the fastest way and not mess way to brew an expresso with a taste that so close to fresh beans. TIME is money, there is no way around it. Nobody can actually buy you time. Also, I am not saying fresh beans are no good, only if you have the moment to grind it and brew it, fill it into the filter holding cup(make sure it tight, after brew then you have to clean it.

      I will like to protect the earth as much as I could too. That’s why I choose the nespresso instead Keurig, they uses plastic, which not only it couldn’t contain the coffee taste, also at least nespresso is doing some recycling actions of their aluminum.
      There is already too many all the other much bigger stuff that damage our earth, my philosophy is, let’s try to protect the earth in many other ways.

    • Nat says:

      firstly, what Alfred says might seem right. it is right., yes. but, it cannot be implemented practically. k-Cups, nespresso pods are recyclable as long as it is separated accordingly. the point here is, including the plastic bags we use at grocery stores, the water bottles and so on… the plastic consumption is always and will become a big issue in the long-run. each one of us can stop and limit as much as we can. example: to use cloth grocery bags and avoid plastic, to limit buying water bottles and instead refill our own water bottle from a filter. starbucks, use our own cup. Nespresso, which is my most favourite espresso machine and the best of the best, is in fact good and I recycle my caps/pods. so, as long as we do our best to recycle, that is a good samaritan. God Bless!

  3. Emilio says:

    As an Italian… I don’t like Starbucks coffee (but the brownies are gooood!)

    The Nespresso capsule machine, as well as the Lavazza one, are quite popular in Italy.
    Compared to Lavazza’s capsules (I have one at home in Rome), Nespresso’s is smoother.
    The best option, by the way, it’s always the good ‘ol Moca and grinded coffee.

  4. AntoWeb says:

    In Italy we don’t know Starbucks, but Nespresso yes we know, it was advetised by actor George Clooney. But it is better to buy a coffèè in a bar.
    They have the real machine to make the espresso.
    I am used to have a coffee in a bar.

    Bye

  5. MadMark says:

    No way, Italian Espresso is better!! 🙂

    • JR says:

      OF COURSE AN ITALIAN EXPRESSO IS BETTER! THAT WAS NOT THE TOPIC YOU REPLIED TO THOUGH.
      THE TOPIC IS WHAT IS THE BEST HOME MACHINE FOR A GREAT ESPRESSO….NESPRESSO IS OVERWHELMINGLY THE WINNER APPARENTLY.

  6. Giuseppe says:

    I agrree full with you!
    I am addicted to coffee. I use a semi-pro SAECCO( fully automatic) at home and I have a Nespresso machine for travelling. Whenever I do a vacation staying at one place I take my NBespresso and capsules with me. Only Italian Espresso bar is better. Of course I also am a Starbucks fan. But the reson for going their is not their coffee quality….
    Giuseppe

  7. […] y en a qui s’amusent à comparer Nespresso avec Starbucks, d’autres qui se lancent dans le bricolage pseudo économique et surtout pas […]

  8. Connie says:

    These machines are

    environmental unfriendly because too much energy and material is wasted to produce one cup of coffee, even these coffee pads are more environmental friendly than the capsules

    as the only supplyer is Nestlé it shows that you with open eyes and working brain are victim of marketing and a perfect object of capitalism

    you give up your freedom and waste your money and create a bunch of rubbish for a “shot” of coffee

    America, America! (OK, it is used in Europe as well, I must admit )

    • Marcio Costa says:

      Well,

      I gladly giv up my freedom, as nespresso allows me to drink better, faster, cleaner coffe, at home. I prefer going to a bar, with real espresso, but it is
      not always possible. Besides, nespresso machine + capsules is way cheaper than
      grinder + espresso machine + beans + grinding + mess. Moreover, aluminum is
      100% prone to recycling, so, this is capitalism working for my freedom.

  9. Callum Alden says:

    hah- yes, I saw George Clooney advertising this brand in Italy, wow- thought imagined that for a moment… thanks for bringing it back to me.

    Starbucks have this deal wherein if you’re not satisfied with your first sip of coffee you can bring it back to the counter as many times necessary until they sort that flavour out. goes without saying- they’re stuff shouldn’t suck already – but i’m guessing 75% of customers (with their skinny jeans, badly fitting hats and check shirts) are ordering caffè latte, or some other warm mug of milk with a drop of coffee, and therefore can’t tell the difference. 😛

    been a while since i had a take-away espresso with ‘crema’. wow.

  10. Manuel Dahm says:

    Hmm, difficult topic as the reactions show I guess.
    I for myself grind my own beans and then throw them in a proper espresso machine (isomac giada) that can build up some pressure in its copper kettle, and I experimented with different grinding levels, coffee’s etc… and then one year I was living in a furnished flat with a Nespresso machine – when I saw it first I thought I would never use it (to me, Nespresso seems like the Coca-Cola of coffee, (whereas Starbucks is McDonald’s of the coffee bars and should be avoided at all costs if you can go to a nice place with a soul where the Barista’s still take some pride and style in what they do)).
    But after some shots from the machine, I can now say that taste-wise Nespresso coffee is really really good, no doubt about that.
    But I also agree that it’s definitely the most environmentally unfriendly possibility of drinking a coffee.
    So well the choice is the choice of the century – Comfort vs. Sustainability.

    Enjoy your coffee though!

  11. Emilio says:

    > (OK, it is used in Europe as well, I must admit)

    It is *widely* used in europe. It’s really, really popular in Italy as well, that is quite an achievement since everybody knows how us – italians – are quite anal about coffee 🙂
    And I can say it’s quite popular here in London as well.

  12. Keeping with the spirit of this Web site, I had hoped the espresso graphic would be flash-enabled. 😉

    Now we know how you manage to do so much brilliant work.

  13. 10signs says:

    Ahahahah very funny comparison !).

  14. Margaret says:

    I love the Nespresso too, but in fairness, the Starbucks shot pictured was not a good shot, and would not be served at the Starbucks where I work.The crema is always visible when I serve a shot, along with the body and the heart.
    The Nespresso was demonstated to me at a Williams Sonoma store and I was very impressed, so much that I am hoping to get one soon.

  15. Emil says:

    I was undecided about getting a Nespresso machine until I read all the loony environmentalists slamming it. I am getting one for sure now. But don’t get me wrong, I support environmental efforts having joined PETA.
    People
    Eating
    Tasty
    Animals

  16. Peter says:

    I’ve used all sorts of contraptions to make espresso, and if you’ve got the knowledge, you’ll get a good cup out of any appliance. So, I prefer simpler tools- I think the stove-top brewers are great. That said, for my parents, espresso is something pretty foreign. They like when I make espresso, otherwise coffee needs to be automatic. Nespresso can consistently make a yummy cup (though not a super-great one), and all my parents have to do is keep it filled with water and drop in a capsule.

    Now Emil, you can’t figure out if this system is actually works for you, but you can contribute flame-bait?

    The environmentalists have a valid point here- not even Starbucks is using this system, though it’s much more convenient in many ways. They would have to spend even less on training, and they could move through a line of customers quickly. The capsules can sit for months if needed. The size and complexity of the hardware would go down. But, if something goes wrong, there’s no alternative to produce something to sell, especially if you run out of capsules. This is a cardinal sin in food service.

  17. uel says:

    okay all you tree hugger’s……all espresso requires energy to produce….nespresso is a good quick shot! Not about to put a pinch between my cheek and gum to please you, however I will save energy in many other ways to compensate!

  18. lozit says:

    Starbuks is for coffee what Mc Donald is for food…
    Nespresso system allow you to make a good coffee quickly, but it is far from the coffee graal.

    http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/285218?LastView=1227181339&Page=1

  19. Lila says:

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    Firstly we pay a premium price for the AAA coffees we buy

    Second we invest in the whole farm assessment and verification process and do not pass this cost on to the farmer.

    Third, we analyse the data from the TASQ™ assessments and work with the farmers to suggest and make improvements at the farm and regional level.

    Fourth we set up technical training and assistance workshops for farmers.

    Lastly we invest in specific projects in the communities

    BY BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS THAT LAST:
    Building sustainable relationships is an essential aspect of our approach to the long term cultivation of AAA coffees. In collaboration with our green coffee suppliers, we are improving the traceability in the supply chain, so that we can build closer direct relationships with the farmers themselves, something that has not always been possible until now due to the complexity of the supply chain and the remoteness of the farms.

    Each of our green coffee suppliers of AAA coffee has made a strategic commitment to work with us towards the sourcing of AAA coffees.

    As part of our commitment to AAA we have also entered into new partnerships with non-governmental organisations which are dedicated to improving agricultural practices in line with the principles of sustainable development, and to setting up specific projects in the countries of origin to make a real impact on the socio-economic and environmental conditions in the area.

    Increasingly our AAA Program is attracting much interest in the coffee producing world. In 2005 we convened the First NESPRESSO AAA SUSTAINABLE QUALITY™ Coffee Forum together with the Forum for Corporate Sustainability at the IMD in Lausanne, an event which brought together farmers, suppliers, academics, agronomists and NGOs to define AAA and generate feedback from stakeholders. You can download the AAA SUSTAINABLE QUALITY™ Coffee

    TASQ: ASSESS AND ENABLE:
    In order to assess the performance of individual farms and mills towards the achievement of AAA practices we have worked in close collaboration with farmers, agronomists and our NGO partner, the Rainforest Alliance to develop a unique tool, The Tool for Assessment of Sustainable Quality (TASQ™)

    The TASQ™ self-assessment tool has been developed after significant consultation and collaboration with Nestlé (co-founders of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative), farmers themselves, suppliers and the Rainforest Alliance. The unique fusion of both sustainability and quality assessment criteria has given rise to a range of TASQ™ based workshops and technical assistance programs to help farmers improve practices.

    TASQ™ has a dual role. Firstly it acts as a guide to farmers, assisting them by setting out in a user friendly way the practices required by the AAA standard. Second it acts as the more formal assessment process with all of the indicators required of AAA standard farms.

    FIELD PROJECTS:
    Once farmers in a particular AAA ‘cluster’ or region have been assessed, Nespresso can work in partnerships with suppliers, local communities, cooperatives, the farmers themselves and development agencies to establish field projects that will enable the farms and the community to advance towards AAA SUSTAINABLE QUALITY™ practices and to reap the social, economic and environmental advantages that derive from this.

    The field projects may include specific technical assistance on subjects relevant for the region e.g. use of agro-chemicals or water usage. In some cases there will be investment in processing equipment to improve quality.

    THE FUTURE:
    Our pursuit of AAA SUSTAINABLE QUALITY™ is not a short-term project. It is a long-term commitment to evolving our supply chain towards the high standards of AAA SUSTAINABLE QUALITY™. Despite our rapid growth, we have committed ourselves to 50% of all coffee being sourced from the AAA by 2010. This is a significant undertaking and it can only be achieved by close teamwork with our suppliers, farmers and the Rainforest Alliance.

    As we learn more about the long-term impact and benefits of AAA our farmers and their communities we also expect to work with project NGOs and development agencies to help roll out and scale up the program more rapidly

    HAVE A THINK

  20. stacy v says:

    nespresso was the first coffee machine i bought over 5 years ago and i have never changed since . it’s tasty , it’s quality and convenient. as for buying capsules only from them , hey i order one day and its arrived the next, excelent customer service . granted its not the authentic italien coffee bar but i unfortunely can’t got to one every day nor does my pocket allow it( ching- ching) it’s the next best thing so LIFE’S TOO SHORT ! ENJOY!!!

    buy the way before i got a coffee machine home i was a starbucks regular ( once a week ) and besides the fact that it was expensive , it turns out after making my own drinking nespresso , it s lost its charm too bad starbucks you sold yourself to the capitalist devil!

  21. Sergio says:

    I traveled around the world and discovered in Buenos Aires (Argentina) a place called CAFE MARTINEZ, “………the best”, believe me, its incredible.

  22. Elie says:

    I have tried all sort of espressos, coffee shop, cafes (I’m French), my own machine, $1,200 espresso machines at one of my friends, $2,000 Miele machines.

    There are so many parameters to making a good enjoyable espresso. With their capsules, Nespresso (and Lavazza) nail down water temperature, and pressure, they also always get the same degree of humidity (0%) in the capsules. All the capsule always have the same amount of coffee, at the same pressure, at the same fineness.

    With all these parameters right, all you have to decide is how much water you like. So the result is always consistent and enjoyable, with so many to chose from. I love the grey capsule, I love the green, I love the black, and the blue…

    And it’s soooo darn clean.

    Can you tell I’m awaiting my next shipment, and I’m in withdrawal? 🙂

  23. Kate says:

    Don’t know where you got your average cost. But by my reckoning you can get between 35 and 40 double expresso shots per pound of expresso ground coffee. At $10 per pound that’s 25 cents per double expresso. The break even for pods versus coffee by the pound is about $20 per pound of bulk coffee. (More if you include shipping for the pods. Plus one can turn the coffee into compost or just put it on plants that like a more acidic soil- like lilacs and rhododendron . Just think how much it must cost to clean and recycle all those pods. The pods might be cleaner–but this is the kind of thinking that leads to many of our environmental problems.

    I usually don’t write into blogs, but as the market go’s towards environmental foolishness I think people should think about the effects of their decisions.

  24. greg says:

    My review last year wasn’t so generous:
    http://theshot.coffeeratings.com/2007/05/nespresso-c180-review/

    Both Nespresso and Starbucks fared rather poorly.

    Worse with the Nespresso, despite the step forward in convenience, there are steps backwards in:
    * Using stale, pre-ground beans that have been left oxidizing for weeks after roasting (you cannot use fresh roasted coffee in a Nespresso, and it isn’t even available)
    * When “ristretto” becomes a flavor rather than a preparation: run, don’t walk, away from the device
    * Excessive environmental waste with each and every serving

  25. Phil says:

    Firstly I would like ask how you got that Nespresso machine into Starbucks to do the comparrison; by the the state of the crema on the Starbucks it looks like you’ve taken it home to photograph! I don’t like Starbucks but I’ve never had an espresso that looks like that from them, and I’m sure they’d change it if I had.

    I bought a Siemens TK70 machine about 3 months ago. Demonstration espresso in shop looked & smelt great with good crema, so I bought top machine for £450.

    Espresso has never been hot enough, and I can only get coffee to correct temperatue by making cappuccino, which I don’t drink.

    I bought this machine because I thought coffee would be quick and easy to prepare. However, in practice I spend so much time heating the water up in container and then running water through machine to make it hotter, that quite the opposite is true.

    Also, if you put cold water in the tank, condensation occurs, ‘tricking’ the sensors that the tank is empty, and so even more time is spent taking the tank off and off and off, wiping the condensation away to get rid of fault so that machine works.

    Finally, after putting about 50 pods through in 2 months (no a lot really), water has started pouring out of the bottom of machine when making espresso. Tried de-scaling but made no difference, except soaked the kitchen! Furthermore, I know two other people who have Krupps Nespresso machines (£150) and one has developed the same problem.

    Perhaps I am being a bit harsh on Nespresso, after all they did convince me to buy one in the first place, and I am a sucker for quality products, but this Siemens machine is probably the worst purchase I have ever made. I think Siemens should stick to making computers! What’s all this electronics about in coffee machines anyway – one of the best espresso’s I’ve ever had was in Lucca from a manual pump machine without an lcd in sight.

    In Nespresso’s favour, the brochures etc supplied with the machine, display boxes for coffee pods, and whole product in general are superbly made and well thought out, it’s just a pity that the ultimate goal is not met, and therefore I am taking this machine back for a refund.

    Sorry Nespresso, it’s a good idea and quality product, but my personal advice to anyone who loves coffee is try someting else.

  26. Paul says:

    Nespresso does make an excellent espresso. I just returned from Portugal, where coffee is ALWAYS good no matter where you get it , and this machine does produce a nearly identical flavor. relatives there (every one I knew, actually) had them, and they work great.

    the problem is really one of waste – the damned capsules and all the plastic you use and waste… too bad.

    As for Starbucks, I suppose they are so successful in the States because they hit a market who had no taste (or experience) with real Espresso. The stuff they serve you is burnt and bitter, as you say, and Americans have learned (sadly) to identify strong espresso with burnt espresso. I never set my feet inside those stores.

    so, if it were not for the waste, I would probably buy one of these things. The coffee they make is really good.

    Bertie

  27. Marcos - Brazil says:

    No wonder coffee in Europe is good…it is always espresso ! You have to be a magician to make bad coffee with an espresso machine. But those drinks made with those Italian kettles one puts on the fire…they are awful, like Turkish coffee ! But I say bravo to Italians for making the best espresso machines.
    The real test for a good coffee is to make it with a regular cloth or paper filter and pouring boiling water on it. In this, there is no better coffee than the one grown in the highlands of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is not a shot, it is a rich and fragrant drink you can enjoy for a long time, during a good conversation with friends. You can easily drink 300 ml in half an hour and not notice you are drinking so much.
    And, of course, it also makes good espresso.
    Italians, remember this coffee has been grown for a century by Italian immigrants !

  28. Mónica Runa-Portugal says:

    My husband just gived me an Nespresso this week and it´s really good; In Portugal, as Paul mencioned, the coffe is great no matter where , but now we don´t have to leave the house to have great coffe.
    Has for the “saving the planet”, i recicle the capsules, so if everyone does it, we´re doing our share, right?
    It´s also cheaper; in 100 units of Nespresso I pay €32 (about 35$) and 100 coffes at a regular coffe shop would cost me €55. It´s also god for the crisis, right???

  29. andre lisboa says:

    Starbucks sucks

  30. Monique G says:

    Having grown up in the US of French parents, I always loved good coffee and will go days without if there isn’t any to be found. Starbucks and the like were a blessing though I always chuckled when asked, “what flavor” for the coffee. I respond, “coffee flavor”. So after drinking Nespresso at several cousins’ homes in France, I bought one myself. I agree with all the positive comments above. I would like to add that if you have a problem with a machine, Nespresso mails you a temporary replacement one first. You place your broken on in the box and it is picked up prepaid, then shipped back. You then return theirs in the same case, all at no cost to you. I must add that my machine was not broken when I sent it back. It was a silly mistake. Nevertheless, it is nice to know how they handle problems should they arise. I Love My Nespresso. By the way, there are stores in Manhattan where you can buy your coffee on site.

  31. Here (Italy), we use this
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moka_Express
    …nespresso&co can only make us laugh!

    ciaooo!

  32. Amitn says:

    Hi,

    Greetings, Nespresso markets itself as a very up market high-end luxury brand worldwide. The crux of which being Swiss quality and Swiss made.

    We got a rude shock when we got the delivery of our much-awaited coffee machine when we saw that it was actually made in China. We inquired and when we insisted that they show us their demo machine we realized there was something fishy about the whole deal.

    The demo machine is in fact made in Switzerland and the machine that we actually bought is made in China. When we bought this to the attention of the Nestle guys here they conveniently said they are not aware of this and when raised to the next level as per them both the machines are the same irrespective of their country of origin!!!! This is funny coming from a Swiss company, how would you feel your Rolex dealer, which is again a high end up market luxury brand telling you that….
    The one delivered for us

    The demo piece

    Also when we spoke to the delivery man here as per him this is how they do it and have sold quite a few pieces in the market and I am sure this is how they do it in lot of the other countries where this machine is sold and guess what both are the same price!!!!

    Hope you guys will take this forward and make the general public aware of the same….

    Regards

    A concerned customer……

  33. Stephen Bonner says:

    I’ve an a Nespresso machine for 3 months now. Ours is made in Switerland, we have a Nespresso Lounge 15 minutes walk from our home in Vancouver, and I’m pretty happy with the coffee. It is a lifestyle machine; quick and convenient. We also have a French press when we want some unusual coffees. If recycling is an issue – you can empty the capsules and recycle them with your aluminum. Overall I have no issues with the machine, coffee, or Nestle.

  34. Trabajo en Extension Rural en el Departamento de Nariño-Colombia

  35. […] marcas prometen que el ázucar dura hasta 10 segundos s0bre la crema. Para comprobarlo, el sitio Airtight Interactive comparó los cafés de Nespresso con los de Starbucks. La prueba, realizada con el rigor […]

  36. Christine says:

    I have had my Nespresso for almost 2yrs. Bought it through their online auction, which included warranty. It is a beautiful machine and works like a charm. I am spoiled as I do not like to order espresso out anymore. Nothing compares to the creme that the Nespresso produces or the flavor intesity. I used to only drink capacino and lates, now I would prefer the rich flavor of espresso thanks to Nespresso.

  37. marlene whelahan says:

    We have a Nespresso now for almost three years – LOVE this machine and all the coffees. I have a red machine – beautiful color. The machine is easy to use and the quality is excellent. It is always the big hit of all gatherings at our home – and when you order, the box is usually outside my door within 48 hours. Amazing service and low cost shipping…

  38. Amanda C says:

    In regards to all the “environmentalists” frowning upon the (recyclable) capsules…

    Well, let’s just say I highly doubt every single time you walk into a Starbucks, you leave
    A. Having spent only 55 cents and
    B. With something in your hand that you will reuse or recycle.
    I know I walk out of those doors at least $5 lighter and all my paper cups and plastic lids go right into the nearest trash can.

    Long live delicious, convenient, and affordable Nespresso!

  39. Aelfwine says:

    Nespresso is Nestlé is corporate evil and environmental nonsense (so is Starbucks, obviously) but good god it is good. Very easy to use as well, very quick. We’re getting a bit schizophrenic coffee-wise in my family, what with using both zapatist organic coffee and Nespresso.

    Starbucks though ? Bleh. Coffee for people who don’t like coffee, eh ?

    Oh and yeah, Clooney advertises for Nespresso in France as well. If there’s one English phrase the French know well, it’s the Nespresso catchphrase, “What else ?”

  40. Susan says:

    Nespresso is awesomely good, will never be as good as a cappuccino in Rome. But what is it with all these anti-capitalist coffee lovers? Without capitalism you would be sitting in a cave somewhere, no coffee or anything else, just leaves for toilet paper. Grow up, you holier than thou enviro-wackos.

  41. Roel says:

    Alfred, your “get real” comment surprised me.
    I’ve been using a manual machine for 2 years now. It’s Italian made, and produces fairly good espresso. I’m a coffeelover, coffee fan, know very much about all sorts of coffee but I don’t want to clean up a mess after every cup I make. Also, I don’t have time to manually prepare every single cup. So after two weeks I’ve only prepared maybe 5 espressi and my coffee is old. So I have to throw it away! That’s bad for the environment (I’m not so green-oriented, but everyone seems to be) and not fair for the people who spent all this time at creating my perfect blend.
    Now I have bought a nespresso machine and some cups (more expensive than ground coffee but less expensive than a new pack of ground coffee every 2 or 3 weeks) and I love the coffee. It’s better than I can prepare at home, because I have no barista-like quality material and I don’t want to spend a fortune at buying it.
    So to you Alfred, all the best at using you own grinder and machine, I hope to do so one day to, but to everyone else who want quality and simplicity: Nespresso, what else..

  42. gina says:

    i just bought my new nespresso machine with capsules all together. Its great , convenient to use. I guess we have to accept change … try it first before you comment . Imagine just a simple click on a button and you’ll have a steaming hot cup of nespresso to perk your day !!!!!!!!!!!!! keep it up !
    bye the way if u have some time out and feel like going to the starbucks its not a bad idea .

  43. peter says:

    you can get re-fillable capsules now
    so you even use starbucks coffee!!
    http://www.ecospresso.fr/?q=node/13

  44. Jorgen says:

    Aloha Coffee Lovers!
    A Rich Brew with a Rich History:
    Almost ‘banished’ by Pope Clement VIII in Rome, whose
    Cardinals called it “the devil’s brew”; it caused them to
    pick up the skirts of their red cassocks and skip! In the
    ‘Nick’ of time [Pun intended] Pope Clement tasted it and decided
    instead to “Bless” the beverage rather than ban it, claiming:
    “It is so delicious it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it.”
    Ah, as to those capsules: Human Ingenuity – Mother of All Invention:
    We are four Green Vegans who quite simply ‘refill’ our capsules with Organic Shade Grown
    Coffee we buy Bulk on our bicycles. Any capsules we don’t ‘refill’, say over
    family holidays are all bucketed and the grounds ‘scooped out’ as ‘good-for-the’garden-mulch’ and/or Compost-Bin, then we Recycle the container(s) and the Foil cap(s)
    Mmm … Il me semble que nous odeur lourde hypocrisie puritaine d’Alfred
    ‘inditement – Relax Alfred, prendre une tasse de café avec vos amis:
    Les gens qui travaillent ensemble sur des solutions opérer des changements positifs
    arriver.
    Aloha!

  45. nate says:

    I have to say, I love the coffee my nespresso machine makes. My wife and I won a Nespresso CitiZ from a blog and said we’d sell it as soon as it arrived. We are coffee purists; we made our daily coffee in a bialetti moka, were saving our pennies for a La Pavoni Europiccola, and we go out for espresso 4 days out of the week. I have to say, this thing is rad.

    Coffee consumption is a petrol-heavy industry, no matter how it’s consumed. Growing the beans often devastates local habitats where it is produced. Workers are often paid pitiful wages to farm the crop. I’ve worked alongside many coffee farmers from Central America that came to America to earn a living! Transportation consumes a large quantity of petroleum, as it is most widely consumed in places where it does not grow. Roasting is a high-energy process as well.

    Long story short, Nespresso is no more harmful than any other coffee consumption. It’s delicious, and it makes my life more enjoyable. I can enjoy it due to my privileged existence in America, and I’m okay with that.

  46. Jack says:

    You have to love the arguments against the Nespresso machines. I think, very often, they come from people who pay $2000 for a fancy European vacuum cleaner only to find out that a $300 vacuum at their local Sears was rated much higher in Consumer Reports. Or maybe it’s those folks who pay $300 for a Technivorm coffee machine only to find out that their friend is brewing tastier coffee in a $30 Aeropress. Or is it that guy who’s paid $3000 for a high end notebook only to find that his friend who paid $600 for a notebook built to yesterday’s specs can launch MS Excel only a second slower. Bottom line is I paid less than $300 for a Nespresso Essenza C100 and can make a satisfying shot with minimal effort and virtually no cleanup. If I go to a respectable cafe with well-trained baristas, like “Joe the Art of Coffee” in NYC, I can tell you that their shots are not that much better despite all the control they exhibit on their high end machine. No regrets…Nespresso makes a wonderful product that outputs consistently great espresso.

  47. Matthew says:

    Beans and a grinder for me..

    But, If I am at work, and there is a nespresso machine, and it is provided free, why not.

  48. becca says:

    By the way this is a lie. i am a starbucks partner at pull hundereds of shots a day and not one look the shabby picture shown. Also neither bitter nor burnt. You obviosly can not use a home espresso machine to well.

  49. Steve says:

    I have owned a Nespresso machine for 3 months and now drink real coffee. Excellant kit and speed of delivery of new pods. Sadly the UK book chain Borders has closed but a positive side of this is that with it has gone their chain of Starbucks, awful places, why are Americans so proud if such a brand.

  50. mike says:

    Have been drinking Nespresso and I continue to be amazed at how so many people here in the US don’t know about this product. I have not been able to drink coffee from the largetst US chain, becuase the coffee is terrible. Thanks Nestle for brining Nespresso and the upscale experience to the world.

  51. Christian says:

    15 years on nespresso and still going. I have 4 machines scattered about our two houses. If Nespresso brought the real espresso into homes, try the new Latissima – the cappuccino is fabulous.

    On the Eco front, not only does nespresso have deep relationship with the coffee growers but recently they have set up a system they pick up the used pods for recycling without cost (at least here in Belgium)

  52. Felix Turner says:

    I’m getting a suspicious amount of very pro-nespresso comments on this post, 2 years later. Are there really that many rabid nespresso customers, or does the company employ a ‘social media marketing’ company to post comments like these? Also – I never got my free pods 🙂

    • skypekid says:

      Because if you use iPhone, you know what quality is. Nespresso machine is like the iPhone in the coffee area.

      I like iPone and I like Nespresso.

  53. David Feliciano says:

    I living in New Zealand. Nespresso is good if you have no time. But there is no art in Nespresso. To make great coffee for friend or partner or yourself a real espresso machine is more reward. Also this Nespresso cap does not keep forever. Even if coffee is sealed it break down chemically so only really good coffee is fresh roast.

  54. Diana says:

    LMAO…I can’t even go back to STARBUCKS since I’ve had my Nespresso!!

  55. Lorenzo Mosna says:

    Hi,
    I’m Italian, I live in Italy and I owe a Nespresso machine. As an Italian person, I have the tradition of a nice espresso coffee running through my veins, anyway I believe Nespresso coffee is very good. If you buy an espresso machine for your home, you’d probably buy a cheap machine (150-200 euros IS cheap), while a good “italian bar-quality” coffee machine costs more than 1500 euros. And it’s HUGE. Nespresso offers a good quality, fairly superior than all the coffes made by a cheap espresso machines. But capsules are not cheap at all (0,40 euros per coffee, while an espresso in a bar here costs 0,80) and the coffee isn’t hot enough. But it’s a nice coffee that often impresses my Italian friends.

  56. Debo2 says:

    The thing about Nespresso is convenience. Prep time and clean up are next to nothing, taste is very good but maybe not Italian barrister quality, but then again, I can drink it in my pjs, and not have to get dressed and peddle down the street to the local coffee bar. Yes, I may miss the atmosphere of the coffee bar….but then again, I’ve had some wierd experiences there. I never used my old espresso maker because it was manual and a pain to clean up for one shot. Now I find myself having 2 or 3 shots a day…expensive habit, I agree, but not as expensive as some and isn’t life worth some indulgence. For the tree huggers…The Swiss now have a new device that enables you to recycle your capsule.

  57. Simon H. says:

    Quick note :

    Don’t believe that all the positive comments you read about Nespresso are legit. There are people getting paid to post positive reviews for products like Nespresso (Shills). Just saying.

  58. heidi says:

    Considering the low and reasonable cost of the Nepresso machine, it makes consistent, very, very good espresso every time. It’s fast, convenient, compact and even good for travel. From an economic standpoint; it costs more to fuel a car to go to a coffee shop whenever an espresso is desired. Having an easy to use espresso maker in your own home or hotel room SAVES energy. I put my used aluminum pods into my recycle bin where they are picked up weekly with my other household recyclable items. And in terms of health – drinking espresso in moderation – it’s good for us! Thank you kindly and enjoy your Nepresso beverages.

  59. Lucy says:

    I had a nespresso machine for a couple of years, before buying a Jura-Capresso. Nespresso is fine, and the appliance itself is pretty inexpensive (compared to the automatic Jura). However, if you drink a lot of coffee (our household makes 6-8 shots daily), the Nespresso soon becomes much more expensive. While I spent much more on the Jura machine, it has actually saved me money in the long run. I can buy whatever beans I want, it grinds, and produces a wonderful espresso with a nice layer of crema. I may buy a little Nespresso Pixie for when we go on vacation….but for daily use, Jura is it! (Oh, and it takes less than 60 seconds to heat up, and 20 seconds to grind and pour a shot. Super easy to clean and maintain.)

  60. gary says:

    Never take advice from an American on coffee. They know nothing about cofee. Popularity of Starbuks says it all! Nesspresso machines are the best convenient alternative to an italian machine made coffee in one of their coffee bars. End of story!

  61. Nick says:

    I’ve had an Nespresso and I’ve sold it on ebay. For starters the capsules were a rip off for the amount of coffee that they contained. Also, most of them tasted the same although they supposed to be different to each other.

    The most ridiculous thing was the “crema”. That’s not a real crema but fake, full of tiny air bubbles to make it look thick.

    I’ve bought a proper espresso machine and I am able to choose the flavours and amount of coffee and they are far superior to the Nespresso’s (see Nestle).

    • Wing says:

      Nick, as your comment is recent I thought I’d reply and ask what machine you purchased. Also I wanted to understand how much work is involved compared to pressing the button after you’ve popped a capsule into the Nespresso machine. My reason for wanting to ditch my Nespresso machine – after I found out they use shellac to seal those little aluminium capsules (aluminium being a neurotoxin). Also I want to drink Jamaican blue mountain coffee, didn’t notice an capsules with that in yet…wonder why, perhaps the taste is too distinctive.

    • Kat says:

      You must be a smoker, Nick, because obviously your sense of taste has been dulled. Either that or your palate just isn’t developed. There is quite a marked difference between the 16 different Nespresso roasts. I can certainly tell the difference and I am, by no means, a coffee snob. I just bought a Pixie recently to have at home (we have a larger Nespresso machine at work) and I really like how easy it is to use. Enjoy your “proper espresso machine” and I’ll enjoy my Pixie. It’s more than proper for my needs and saves me a ton at Starbucks.

    • Gabo says:

      Its ok, Nepresso is not for everybody.

  62. Vanessa McGregor says:

    Interesting reviews, I have a Nespresso Latissima plus and am so happy with it! Firstly I have zero connections with Nestlé for all the cynics out there. I am a stay at home mum with 4 kids and simply love the convienence of the pod style espresso. It is fast, no mess, decent coffee. It isn’t bitter and their decaf range is great for a late evening latte! Grinding beans, heating a machine is all too time consuming for my hectic home life. Putting aside the outlay for the machine, I am rarely buying coffee at a cafe, (at $4:00-$5:00 a cup Aus $), and instant coffee at home, compared to approx $0:65 a pod plus milk, for me personally I am better off with my

  63. […] An interesting read: Starbucks versus Nespresso Taste Test. […]

  64. Deborah George says:

    First, let me assure you, I have no connection with Nespresso. I have the Nespresso Pixie. My daughter, who lives in Switzerland raved about her Nespresso coffee, so I thought I would give it a try with the least amount of investment. It is very popular in Switzerland, France and Italy, with machines in most office buildings. I have found that most Americans are not familier with the Nespresso coffee, so to say it favors American wastefulness is unfounded. I’ve found the coffee to be quite good to excellent, and I appreciate the convenience. As far as all this talk about the pod not being environmentally friendly…the Swiss are the most green of all people, and they have no problem with cleaning the used pod out, using the grounds as compost, and recycling the aluminum. It takes all of 10 seconds to do this proceedure. The aluminum crumbles up to the size of a quarter or the cap off a bottle of sparkling water. You have one to two espresso per day, not 10. Seriously people…I think using “not being environmentally friendly” is unjustified. When you can’t complain about the quality of a product, you play the envirnment card. I think I got a great deal, and continue to use mine daily, a year or more later.

  65. Kowalski says:

    I do not remember whose it was testing, but I read somewhere that only a fraction of one percent of humanity is capable enough smell to distinguish scents to create fragrances (perfume). There’s a reason tasters earn a fortune, which penetrate only salaries of chemists in laboratories Nestle.

    However, this knowledge for the curious, I invite you to a small presentation
    http://www.slideshare.net/larskflem/the-inside-of-nespresso-capsules

    In addition, a very useful logic.
    I use the knowledge that each ciśnieniowiec no answer that is complex and very difficult to duplicate and repeat the process.
    Even the humidity outside the window changes the taste and effect.
    Each of us also know that a cup of coffee you need to grind up quite a few minutes prior to mating, because otherwise it will be stale.
    Capsules are often several months in the coffee …
    I ALWAYS COMES TO SUPER Jackdaw

    I really seem to you that Nestle came suddenly and found a solution? Here the same parameters as in ciśnieniowcu relied on group (suuuuper their green coffee, suuuuper their smoking, suuuper their grinding and squeezing method suuuper their hole …. suuuper statements to the press) suddenly bypass the rules and the natural constraints that each of we know? Buchchcha

    So far the company has Mac for years claimed that no artificial preservatives added to fries and spoke only of “natural flavors”. They paid for their beef tallow frit on and I can not say. It is another way to “natural”.
    Remember that movie where they put color frits for a few weeks in a jar and …. even a fraction has not changed. In addition to constant natural … rotten …
    Nestle uses, and uses the same sources, is a global player. And for improvers have http://www.eioba.pl/a/1zn/dlaczego-frytki-mcdonalds-sa-tak-smaczne
    I really prefer a bit of reading to do and make sure that pour down your throat.

  66. Izzy Isabel says:

    My husband ordered the Nespresso Lattisima for me because I like lattes and cappuccinos. Have used it for a few days and like it a lot. Very easy to use, clean, and tastes great. Will have to sample all the capsules to narrow down my favorites.

  67. Mrs C says:

    I’ve been mooching around coffee-based websites and forums for weeks as I wanted to get my husband a coffee machine as part of his Christmas gift. While I’ve taken on board much of what is said about the Nespresso being wasteful and not as good as the ‘real thing’ I think it has to be balanced against what most people want from a coffee machine.
    In our house, only my husband drinks coffee. Until now he’s used a caffetier on weekends and made do with instant on weekday mornings as he doesn’t have time to faff about. The trouble is, the ground coffee goes stale because unless we put him into caffeine orbit, he can not drink enough coffee to use it up before it goes off.
    So, all things considered, I’ve bought him a Nespresso U. The capsules will keep it reasonably fresh as long as he doesn’t over-stock, price per cup isn’t very high (lower considering his fresh coffee waste)and they have a pretty good recycling scheme where they’ll collect the used pods (or I can put them in my household recycling and put the grinds on the compost).

    I know my husband and I know our lifestyle and short of growing our own coffee (good luck with that in the UK!) it is probably less wasteful than other machines/concepts.

  68. JimmyBoy says:

    People who buy these Nespresso machines are suckers.

    Why let nestle install a vending machine in your house when you can get a better cup of espresso from a stovetop?

    Did you bring your nespresso machine to the starbucks or did starbucks bring their machine to your house Mr. Science?

  69. John says:

    > Do you even know how many liters of petrole are required to make those capsule that actually taste bad ?

    No. Do you? Please show us your citations. Thanks.

  70. […] Read the original review by airtight interactive here. […]

  71. Mark Mathosian says:

    The number of hits you received on this post is amazing. Shows you that people are sensitive and opinionated when it comes to espresso. Actually, so am I. I own two machines, a Gaggia Baby and a Nespresso Citiz. No matter how hard I try, I can’t pull a decent shot with the Gaggia. I even tried pods, and that too produced a lousy cup. And clean up, well forget about it. Cleaning a classic espresso machine is a pain. Period. The Nespresso machine on the other hand, consistently makes a good espresso. Good, not great. And cleanup is a snap. My only regret is that the capsules contain too little coffee for my taste. I prefer a strong shot. It is my opinion the shots from the Nespresso are average, not strong by any means. Bottom line – The Gaggia now sits in the closet and the Citiz on the kitchen counter. Regarding Starbucks, I have had shots there, and they are small and pretty flat. Nothing to write home about. At least the ones I had.

  72. Bill says:

    Neither Nespresso nor Starbucks can really be called coffee. Nespresso is too watery – you can make a far better coffee/espresso by using a Moka and it only takes a couple of minutes. I find Nespresso weak and lacking any real taste. As for Starbucks – its the MCDonalds of coffee – harsh tasting, over-priced for what it is, but successful for having convinced people that its real. Considering this you understand why a Starbucks in Italy is such a dumb idea – a bit like Pizza Hut opening in Rome 🙂

  73. […] bought $3.1 billion worth of coffee pods — versus $132 million in 2008. In a comparison I read on Airtight Interactive learned why people choose Nespresso espressos over Starbucks espressos. First off the price of a […]

  74. […] If you prefer the taste of Arabica coffee but still to save money, you could also look into brewing your own. Each capsule of Nespresso or Dolce Gusto costs an average of $0.91 and $0.75 respectively. You’ll need to buy the machine, but at $274 and $332, they’ll still cost less than two months of daily coffee at Starbucks. Some people also believe they taste better. […]

  75. Edwardo Giambatti says:

    I am Italian, and drink coffee from all over the world. Nespresso coffee is absolutely DISGUSTING. It’s a shame we live in a world which is so easily manipulated by fancy packaging and expensive advertising. Even more of a shame that Nespresso are raking in millions of sales to poor consumers. Usually the bad tasting products don’t make it this far, some how this got through the net…

  76. Pierre says:

    Wish me luck
    After having an espresso machine with seperate grinder, I then got tired of making coffees and spending all day int he kitchen.
    Along comes the Bean to cup machine, a delonghi esam 5500 for £800
    IT worked well for a year or so until i jammed and killed it.
    So, back tot he manual – what a pain!
    I NEVER thought I would consider a Nespresso, with it giving me a sick feeling inside, like Apple phones…. however in the interest of science and convenience for the whole family Im pulling the trigger on one for a silly £30 on ebay!
    Having tried all manners of coffee from drip to Gaggia, im now going to taste test this machine thats making so much noise in the coffee industry!

  77. Nespresso beans are ground months before you use them. There is no way this will taste good. It may look good, but it doesn’t taste good. You must not be using the Starbucks beans correctly. They are actually quite fresh and good if used properly.

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