Being a coffee lover is hard when you have SO MANY brewing options. It'll make your head spin.
Some coffee companies have tried to make coffee brewing at home easy and convenient.
Enter Nespresso and Keurig!
Pod brewing has its pros and cons generally, but if you're debating between popular names like Nespresso and Keurig, you've come to the right place!
In this article, I compare the two brands to help make your choice between Nespresso and Keurig easier, depending on what you're looking for...
What Is Pod Coffee?
Pod coffee brewing is done by using ground coffee that is encapsulated in individual serving pods.
These single serve, disk-shaped coffee capsules (in comparison to tea bags) are often referred to as coffee pods or k-cups!
A coffee pod is punctured by a coffee pod machine a the top and bottom to allow heated, pressurized water to pass through it and brew coffee quickly.
Pod brewing is a special type of coffee brewing method that yields enough volume for a regular single serve cup of joe.
The term "single-serve coffee" is often used interchangeably with pod brewing.
Coffee pods and capsules come in a variety of different flavors and strengths to accommodate every coffee lover's unique palate.
Coffee made out of pod brewing is different from instant coffee and drip- brewed coffee -- it tends to be a little better than instant coffee, but not as good as drip, unless you use your own coffee grounds.
Many pod coffee machines include a reusable capsule so that you can use your own coffee grounds, and I typically suggest doing this for the best brewed coffee, if you care about better flavor, because you can use your own freshly ground beans.
No matter if you choose to get a Keurig or Nespresso pod coffee maker, if your pod coffee machine doesn't come with a reusable filter, you can typically get one that works separately, like this one.
Are Keurig and Nespresso safe?
Originally designed for office use as a solution against the so called "office sludge" (coffee leftovers), single-serve coffee solutions are now preferred by more than 1/3 of American households.
Obviously, more and more coffee lovers lean towards the magic of "K-cups" (capsules) because they're so much simpler and easier to use, and limit coffee waste of a regular drip brew.
But is it safe to use coffee pods and capsules especially on a daily basis?
As much as you love the idea of enjoying your premium brew in a matter of minutes, you also need to take a closer look at what you are drinking.
As mentioned earlier, capsules / K-cups are made of plastic and aluminum.
Both of these materials come with chemicals that can easily mix into your brew with the help of hot water.
On the other hand, consistent exposure to aluminum can be linked to serious health problems such as autism, Alzheimer's, anxiety, and many others.
While Nespresso pods are encased in aluminum, have a liner and can be recycled, Keurig pods are encased in plastic.
Before I compare Nespresso and Keurig machines for quality of coffee and the coffee brewing experience, I think it's important for coffee drinkers to know what their coffee is packaged in.
**While you may be saving coffee waste by brewing one cup at a time, they should understand the potential for chemicals that may be introduced to their coffee and they impact of single use pods on the environment, no matter which machine you choose!
Nespresso VS Keurig
In the world of single-serve coffee or pod brewing, two big names come out on top - Nespresso and Keurig.
But which of the two provides a richer coffee experience?
What is Nespresso?
Nespresso produces capsules that range from espresso forte to espresso vanilla and regular coffee.
They also have an arsenal of Nespresso machines in different sizes with add-ons such as milk frothers.
Nespresso machines have two major categories - the original and the Vertuo series.
The coffee capsules for Nespresso are lined with a biodegradable food grade liner.
Original Nespresso machines use a high 19-bar pressure pump and the coffee grinds are compressed in the brewing process. The Vertuo line uses a patented centrifugal system, spinning the capsule 7K RPM while brewing, also compressing the coffee.
Both methods provide the lovely creme’ that you often associate with a high quality espresso, rarely seen in a “regular” cup of coffee.
The Vertuo capsules are punctured in the center and many around the perimeter on top. The capsules are sealed aluminum, keeping coffee as fresh as fresh ground til punctured, another reason that provides the creme’.
Nespresso original line espresso capsules are on average $.70 each, and are blends of premium coffee.
What is Keurig?
Compared to Nespresso, which is more popular in Europe, Keurig on the other hand, is a more resounding brand in the North American region.
Keurig is a branch company of Keurig Dr. Pepper, which is one of the leading makers and distributors of both hot and cold beverages in the United States.
Keurig boasts a huge collection of K-cup variants as a result of their partnership to a number of major coffee brands.
Although their partnership endeavors were focused more in the development of more diverse collection of K-cup variants, Keurig didn't lag in producing their own line of machines.
What's The Difference Between Keurig and Nespresso?
Here are the main differences between the Keurig and Nespresso brands:
One notable difference between Nespresso and Keurig is that the former offers a limited number of choices for its capsule flavors.
Nespresso however boasts that their minimalist approach in capsule variants is for the sake of preserving high quality brew in every cup.
Nespresso has partnered with reputable brands to make top performing coffee machines that can make both espresso and regular brew coffee.
Keurig on the other hand, offers the luxury of more K-cup variants and a range of pricing options. It's also much easier to use your own grounds and re-usable compatible cup with Keurig, a huge benefit if you already know what coffee you like to drink regularly.
In general, Keurig is great for coffee drinkers who love drip coffee.
Keurig also offers a number of beverage options other than coffee, including teas, ciders and hot chocolates, something Nespresso can't do.
For espresso lovers, Keurig coffee machines are incapable of making espresso as compared to the Nespresso, which is a big deal if you're trying to have an easy at-home latte or cappuccino daily.
Pod Coffee Machine Price
The price of Keurig machines vs. the price of Nespresso machines vary drastically.
Nespresso is significantly more expensive for both the machines and coffee pods, although they frequently have sales. Nespresso machines run anywhere from $150-$700, and Nespresso coffee pods are an average of $11 a sleeve.
Nespresso can up their prices because of partnerships with really good machine brands like DeLonghi. They're targeting a gourmet market with European line coffee machines and products.
Keurig, on the other hand is a more accessible, mainstreet brand.
Keurig machines often go on sale and can range from $50-$250.
Coffee pods for Keurig or "k-cups" also range drastically, averaging $5 a box of 12 for lower quality coffee, all the way to Starbucks brand for $11 a box.
The great thing about Keurig is the K-cup variety offers a range of coffee pricing options.
Nespresso pods are recyclable and Nespresso totes a recycling program that allows you to ship used Nespresso pods via mail for free recycling.
You can also drop Nespresso pods off at a brick-and-morter location.
Nespresso provides you the mailing envelopes free, with every purchase of coffee online or in-store. This is super convenient and limits waste, which Keurig has had to work on as a brand.
It's unclear whether all k-cups are recyclable, and many k-cups are made from plastic, which we all know is bad for our environment.
I love that Nespresso has a range of optional accessories that make your coffee experience even more luxurious.
Nespresso's aeroccino is one of the best milk frothers on the market, and you can often snag one of these babies with a machine around the Holidays.
Nespresso also has a range of luxe Nespresso brand mugs and serving sets. Great for coffee hosts with the most!
Keurig offers both name-brand and non-name brand compatible coffee accessories. This is great because you can find replacement accessories pretty easily and inexpensively.
Many off-shoot brands have cropped up that make everything from refillable coffee pods to cleaning and storing tools for Keurig that seem to be easily compatible.
It's hard to find great replacements or alternative options for Nespresso accessories.
The main question of whether to go for Nespresso or Keurig depends on your thirst for premium brew and your budget.
Nespresso offers a limited number of premium brew options at a considerably higher price, but in my opinion Nespresso is better, fresher coffee, if you're sticking to pre-filled pods.
If you're an espresso lover, Nespresso gives you that option.
Keurig on the other hand, is a cheaper alternative but provides the opportunity to sample a wide spectrum of different flavors and beverages, beyond coffee, unless you want to regularly have espresso.
And if you're willing to fill your own pod, Keurig will give you a better drip coffee experience because you'll be using fresh coffee for every cup.