My first experience with a Nespresso single serve coffee me maker was when we stayed at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Resort & Marina 4 years ago. Every room was equipped with this handy coffee maker that brewed single cups of regular coffee or espresso. I loved it! The machine heated water in about a minute and soon after that you had a fresh cup of delicious coffee.
I was familiar with Nespresso machines, they’re in many of the breakfast rooms of the hotels we stay at when we’re in Italy, they make awesome cappuccinos. But those were big bulky commercial machines that seemed to be connected to the room’s plumbing and electric. I had once looked into buying one of those machines, a smaller household version to be exact. I had found some on the internet but they were very expensive, some even over $1000.
I resigned myself to enjoying the machine only when I traveled. Last summer we again stayed at the Westin Dubai and I made coffee every chance I got. Then I noticed there were Nespresso Boutiques in the local malls. I briefly toyed with the idea of purchasing a machine from one of them, but decided against it due to the different voltage on the machines and the bulky box it came in. If I was going to buy one I would have to buy it back home to avoid having to adapt it to 110 plugs we have in the US.
Then when we got home we started seeing TV ads featuring George Clooney and Danny DeVito sipping coffee made by a Nespresso. I vowed to get one soon. This Christmas provided me with the perfect excuse to finally buy a Nespresso Machine, my Cuisinart Single Serve Brewing System (it uses Keurig K-Cups) went on the blink. It was a great time for a small appliance to breakdown! Coffee machines were on sale everywhere!
I noticed that Target had Nespresso Machines, but the sales associates weren’t much help when it came to answering my questions, most importantly where could I get the capsules. It was odd that they sold the machine and the capsule caddy but didn’t carry the coffee capsules. I went home to do research. Here is what I learned!
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First of all there are basically 2 lines of Nespresso machines for the home consumer, OriginalLine and VertuoLine; each line has several models at different price points starting at about a $100 for the OriginalLine Inissia.
The OriginalLine uses pods or capsules to make espresso. You can not brew a “regular” cup of coffee with this machine. You can however make a Lungo or Americano using this machine by adding hot water to the brewed espresso, basically a 50-50 mixture.
If your goal is simply to make espressos or cappuccinos then this is a great machine. I’ve heard many folks rave about the “crema” this machine produces. Crema is the layer of foam found on the surface of a shot of espresso. It is formed by the type of bean and pressure used when brewing the espresso. The OriginalLine has high pressure and produces excellent crema, it also brews a hotter cup of coffee. Another plus for this line is that the pods are nicely priced and are available in brands other than Nespresso. The pods in a variety of flavors sell for $0.80 a piece on the Nespresso website and compatible pods are sold by Bestpresso or Gourmesso on Amazon for almost half the price. Since my husband is an avid regular coffee drinker first thing in the morning this line of machines would not work for us.
The VertuoLine was the perfect machine for us! This line, available only in the US, was introduced a little over a year ago. In an effort to capture it’s share of the US coffee market Nespresso introduced this line to appeal to our preference for “filtered” or “regular” coffee. The line has several models, the newest is the Evoluo which is available in Gray or Red.
Best of all depending on the pod you insert the machine automatically adjust to the type of coffee you are brewing. No need to fiddle with buttons to program regular or espresso. Just load the pod, press the button, and in less than a minute you got coffee!
It is sold in a bundle with the Aeroccino (Milk Frother), and a sample box of pods for around $260. Or you can buy them separately, the Evoulo for about $150 and the Aeroccino for about $70. Pods cost $1.10 each. [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
I of course bought the bundle. My husband may love his regular coffee, but I love my cappuccinos and mochas!
The box was huge! I sometimes feel sorry for the UPS person, specially around the Holidays. This year he delivered this as well as a bunch of other big heavy boxes to my doorstep. When I unpacked the box there were three boxes inside; the coffee maker, frother, and coffee samples.[spacer height=”-20px”]
The sample box contains a pod of several different types of coffee. 4 Espresso pods, and 8 regular coffee pods 2 of which are flavored, 1 half caffinated, and 1 decaf. As you can see the pods are colored to reflect the type of coffee. The coffees, including the espresso range from mild to intense. They are made from a mixture of different beans from around the world.[spacer height=”-20px”]
Here’s the difference in the coffee and espresso pods. The larger capsule is for regular coffee, the smaller one for espresso. [spacer height=”-20px”]
Now here’s what I like and don’t like about my new Nespresso Bundle.
First of all I like the streamlined design as compared to my old Cuisinart. And I love red! I know minor stuff, but when you have counters full of small appliance space matters, and if you’re OCD like me and everything must match or coordinate, color counts.
I love that the used pods slip out of the machine each time you open the top. The pod slips out and falls into the receptacle on the right. You just pull it out to empty when full.
I love that the water is ready to use within a minute or so of turning on the machine.
I love the fact that I just pop in a pod and the machine automatically knows if I’m brewing regular coffee or espresso. No need to program anything. You can however program a larger size of regular coffee, the instructions to do so are in the owner’s manual.
My husband loves the different types of coffee available. He also loves that his morning cup of coffee brings him back to Italy! Even regular cups of coffee have a top layer of foam![spacer height=”-20px”]
I absolutely love the Aeroccino! It make wonderful froth in less than a minute. It comes with 2 attachments, one for hot froth and the other for cold drinks. You pop in the correct attachment, they’re magnetic, when you want to make a cappuccino or other specialty coffee. Add whatever type of milk you use….
Press the button and the milk starts frothing! When the light goes off your milk is done.
I like to make my cappuccinos by first frothing the milk, putting it in the cup, then letting the espresso drip directly into the milk.
My all time favorite are Mocha Cappuccinos.
Add 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup to the cup.
Add frothed milk.
If it’s not sweet enough for you add sugar or sweetener to taste.
Here are the cons – in our case they aren’t such a big deal, but if you’re a true espresso aficionado it will probably be a huge factor for you.
The crema is not as thick as the one made using the OriginalLine. The pressure is greater on the OriginalLine machines.
Coffee is not very hot. If you like your coffee scalding this is not the machine for you, it doesn’t heat the water to very high temperatures. On the other hand you will never burn your mouth with the first sip.
It doesn’t have a clock or a timer. If you like to program your coffee maker to start heating the water before you wake up this isn’t your machine. But the water does heat up and the machine ready to brew within a minute of turning it on. It does however turn off if not used within a few minutes. I used to program our Cuisinart Coffee Maker to turn on and off, works great until the power blinks off. Then I have to figure out how to reset the clock. This turned into more of a chore than the convenience it was supposed to be.
The machine costs a little more than say a Keurig or other coffee makers. However if you’re a Starbuck’s regular it can save you money in the long term. After about 50 cappuccinos at $5 a cup the machine and frother should just about pay for itself.
The coffee pods cost more than other pods or capsules. They cost $1.10 a piece as opposed to $0.85 for the OriginalLine pods, or about $0.70 for Keurig pods. You can even buy Keurig compatible pods from Sam’s Club or Costco. At this time Nespresso pods aren’t available at either store.
The pods as far as I can tell are only sold on the Nespresso website, or at a Nespresso Boutique if you happen to have one nearby. Amazon does sell them as well, but at this time it was less expensive to buy them directly from Nespresso. The site offers free shipping on qualifying orders.
I ordered a selection of coffee capsules from the site on a Thursday, I got free standard shipping to Hawaii. I got my box of coffee pods by Saturday! Great service.
That’s another thing I love about Nespresso. When you place your first coffee order you’re automatically a Nespresso Club member. You receive a free gift with your first order, assuming you meet the minimum quantity. You’re notified of specials, can order online via a laptop or mobile device, place phone orders, get coffee recipes, machine cleaning and care instructions, and more.
Over all we’re quite pleased with our new Evoulo machine. I treat myself to a Mocha Cappuccino at least once a day. A cup costs me less than $2 and I don’t have to stand in line to place my order!