Lasy Christmas, I noticed a medium-sized box under the tree with my name on it. I’d steal glances at it every day for the two weeks leading up to the big unwrapping day… Was it what I thought it was? Was it the biggest-ticket item on my Christmas list? Could it possibly be the item I’d been dying to unwrap for several Christmases?
Finally, Christmas Eve arrived, and I had my way with that silver wrapping paper… And there she was. The most beautiful thing this coffee lover has ever seen… A cream white Nespresso machine complete with 5 sleeves of espresso capsules! My sister had made my year with this!
Now having had my lovely Nespresso all year, and having had a Keurig at my old workplace, I’ve pretty much become an expert on both systems! Have you been wondering which coffee capsule system is better? Some people may say that it’s not about which is better, but which one is better for you. I beg to differ. I have a clear favorite (it is featured on my favorites page).
Since both systems are a bit of a splurge, it’s good to know exactly where they stand compared to each other.
So, I’ll be rating each system out of 10 based on 5 points:
1) Machines 2) Coffee Selection 3) Coffee Quality 4) Cost per Cup 5) Sustainability.
1 – Nespresso wins on the machines; there are simply more of them. They have 2 types of machines (those that can make coffee and espresso, and espresso-only machines). If you really want to splurge and get one of the higher-end models, you can even make latté art if that’s your thing! All machines come with the option of adding a milk frother as aa bundle so you can make lattés and cappuccinos.
Keurig offers 7 machine varieties, only 1 of which can make cappuccinos.
2 – Keurig definitely takes the coffee selection category. It partners with all of the well-known and even some lesser-known coffee brands to create a library of over 75 capsule varieties. This collection even includes teas and cocoas, which makes Nespresso’s 50 capsule varieties pale a bit in comparison. But Nespresso does offer about 25-27 types of coffee capsules for the 2 types of machines.
3 – Okay, as for coffee quality, there is absolutely no contest. Nespresso wins by a landslide. Nespresso coffees are the best I have tasted, many times even beating out some great coffee shops! (And definitely better than both Starbucks & Coffee Bean)
Keurig coffees are always watery, no matter what brand they are. Keurig teas are typically rancid & acidic, and the cocoa selections are always artificial tasting and leave that gross film in your mouth.
4 – So for the cost-per-cup category, I nearly fainted running the numbers! I’ve never been so grateful to have a Nespresso at home! A cup of coffee sounds simple enough, but when you add almond milk, and you want an extra shot, maybe some vanilla or pumpkin… All of a sudden, a cup goes from being $3 to $5.80! And god forbid you want a grande/medium/regular size, then it can run up to $7! For ONE cup! I am so guilty of this…
See the screenshot below for a peek at my Coffee Bean loyalty program screen. Each point is $1. In just under a year of signing up for their program and going to the Coffee Bean in the mall where I worked about 3 times a week, I managed to spend $848 on overpriced coffee. Almost $900! That’s almost $1000! This is crazy to me! If I had been buying coffee daily, it would’ve come to at least $1400 per year!
With either of these systems, it seems like it’s expensive, but you’ll only be spending about $252 per year on capsules plus the cost of the machine. I’m saving over a thousand dollars a year, and I get to have a delicious cappuccino every day, and not just 3 days a week.
5 – This one is huge for me. While the Nespresso machines may average about $50 more vs comparable Keurig models, and there are some Keurig capsules that average a bit less than Nespresso capsules, this part is a deal breaker for me. I am huge on sustainability, and I know that if I wanted to use an at-home coffee machine, I wanted to consider the environment.
I haven’t purchased a Keurig myself, but I have a ton of experience with it. In the last year of my old job the back room got a Keurig, and there was a variety of coffee/tea/cocoa capsules from various brands going in and out on a weekly basis.
Nespresso has an established recycling program that is easy to utilize and free! Once you make your first order with Nespresso, you can order free recycling bags. They have a paid-for UPS label on them and have many ways to ship it. You can drop it into any UPS box on the street, bring it to a UPS store, or even wave down the UPS driver! Another option is to stop by a Nespresso boutique, Williams-Sonoma, or Sur la Table store and they ship them to Nespresso for you!
Once Nespresso receives the used capsules, they separate the grounds from the aluminum. The grounds are then composted into soil that is used by landscapers and regular people like you and me in their yards! Then the aluminum is melted down and used to create new aluminum goods like reusable water bottles!
In comparison, Keurig spends a lot of website space talking about how much they “believe” in sustainability, but have no program in place, and most Keurig capsules are not at all recyclable. I’ve seen a couple of brands that have a way to take the capsules apart with recycling as the intention, but consumers are not given clear instructions on how to do this, and most of them don’t. Plus, the grounds inside the capsules are held by a netting that will end up in a landfill anyway.
So, obviously, Nespresso is the clear winner here. You could say I’m biased because I adore my Essenza Mini, but I have presented my case quite thoroughly. I hope I was able to give you a little insight into your coffee machine dilemma!
I’ve also made you a lovely little infographic summarizing the 5 points! Good luck shopping!
‘Till next time!
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