Nespresso vs. Keurig: Which Pods Are Right for You?

Person holding coffee pods

The world of single-serve coffee makers has been taken over by two big names: Nespresso and Keurig. If you’re currently wondering which brand to give your loyalty to, we’re here to help. 

This isn’t a decision that you should be making half-heartedly. 

No, no! Keep in mind that once you pledge loyalty to one of these big names, you’ll be stuck in their market for a while. For one thing, they use proprietary pods. 

To help you decide, we’ve put these two brands against each other. So, grab a cup of your favorite coffee and enjoy the show as the brands battle it out in different categories.

Want to know what we think?

If you simply want a good cup of coffee, you should definitely buy a Nespresso. Keep on reading to find out why.

Single Serve Coffee Makers 

Single-serve coffee machines have become quite well-known in the market. They’re fast and convenient for households that have fewer coffee lovers. 

Even novices can learn how to use one in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is insert a pod or capsule into the machine and press the start button. The machine then pierces both ends of the coffee pod, which contains coffee grounds, and runs hot water through it. 

The steaming hot coffee then flows right into your cup, ready to give you the boost you need to get on with your day.

Coffee and tablet on the table
Source: Pexels

Nespresso: A Brief Overview

Nespresso was developed by a Nestle employee named Erich Favre in 1976, making it the oldest single-serve coffee-making machine. The brand still operates under the Nestle Group. You can currently find Nespresso in over 70 countries and 700 locations.

While they are rather popular in the European coffee industry, they haven’t quite impacted the American market in the same way. 

When it comes to Nespresso, you’ll find two options: 

  • The Original Line 
  • The VertuoLine 

Here are some key differences between the two lines:

The Original Line The VertuoLine
Has far more third party options available Has a better variety when it comes to size options
Produces a more genuine espresso taste Makes more crema
Has better variety-pack options Made for North American markets
Can’t read barcodes Pods come with barcodes that let the machine know how to brew the pod

Keurig: A Brief Overview

Where Nespresso holds a larger market share in Europe, Keurig dominates the coffee industry of the United States.

Founded in 1981 under the name of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, it has been a part of the Dr. Keurig Pepper Company, the third-largest beverage company in North America, since 2006. 

Compared to Nespresso, Keurig partners with significantly more brands to make their pods. Consequently, there are over 60 different brands for Keurig’s K-cups. Add into that equation the 50+ models under Keurig’s name; whatever your taste or preferences may be, Keurig will probably be able to satisfy them. 

The Pods

Coffee pods
Source: Unsplash

Nespresso Pods

Nespresso pods come with aluminum bodies that are sealed to preserve freshness and taste. The aluminum bodies can be recycled if they’re disposed of correctly.

Each capsule consists of 5–6 grams of coffee. The VertuoLine models have barcode scanning capabilities, which means that you can make a wide range of coffee with the push of a button without any hassle. 

Even though there are only 17 types of coffee pods, coffee fanatics tend to pick Nespresso over everything else. This is primarily because the machine brews high-quality coffee every single time.

Keurig K Cups

Conversely, Keurig K-cups have plastic bodies and aluminum lids, which make them less environmentally friendly. It also consists of a filter to prevent coffee grounds from making their way into your cup.

On the plus side, Keurig has more options from many different brands than you can try in a lifetime. With 400+ types of capsules produced by 60 brands all over the world, you don’t have to limit yourself to just coffee. You can find a pod to make you tea, hot chocolate, or even fruity drinks like lemonade.

All K-cup pods, either proprietary or 3rd-party, work perfectly fine with the K-series coffee makers.

The Price 

With Nespresso, you get quality brews that justify the high price. For that extra bit of money, you end up with a machine that has quality build materials and design and serves you authentic espresso or cappuccino.

However, if you want an option that’s going to get you a lot of features and is less expensive, you should pick Keurig. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll also be sacrificing the quality of the brew.   

Here we’ve broken down the cost of using both brands. For comparison, let’s assume that you spend $3 every day for a year to buy a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop, which costs you $1095 annually. 

The Cost of Using Nespresso

Product Unit Price Annual Cost
Nespresso Machines (VertuoLine) $90-$300 -
Nespresso Original Line Pod $0.80 $292
Nespresso VertuoLine Pods $1.15 $419.75

The Cost of Using Keurig

Product Unit Price Annual Cost
Keurig Machines $80-$250 -
K-Cup Single-serve $0.50 $182.5
K-Mug/K-Vue Brew $1.50 $547.5
K-Vue Brew $0.99 $361.35
Rivo $1.25 $456.25
K-Carafe Pods (x4 cups) $2.00 $730

The Brew

Both Keurig and Nespresso use similar brewing technology. Using pressure and heat, the coffee makers bring out the flavor from the coffee grounds into the water.

Here’s how the two brands differ when it comes to the quality of the coffee they produce.

Nespresso

Nespresso coffee is of such high quality because the Nespresso machine uses the Centrifusion brewing technology. The technology combines centrifugal action and water infusion to spin the capsules 7,000 times per minute.

The only disadvantage that Nespresso machines have is they’re limited to coffee and espresso. 

Unlike Keurig, Nespresso machines can brew espresso. Even if you decide to buy one of the cheaper models, it’ll be able to make an Americano. If you also want to have lattes and cappuccinos, you can buy a frother accessory called the Aeroccino. 

Keurig 

Even though Keurig can’t make espresso, the Keurig K Cafe brewer can make a lot of other beverages, including hot chocolate, tea, and fruit drinks. With the built-in milk frother, you can make more coffee variations. 

Keurig owns a patented brewing technology that’s considered one of the finest in the single-serve coffee-making industry. This technology comes with every Keurig machine and serves you a perfect cup of tea or coffee.

The bottom line is if you can live without espresso, you’ll most likely enjoy the Keurig K cup range.

Final Verdict: Nespresso vs Keurig 

If you want a single-serve coffee maker that delivers an excellent cup of coffee all the time, Nespresso has our stamp of approval. 

On the other hand, if you want to opt for a budget-friendly option that comes with a lot of bells and whistles (and if you don’t particularly care for espressos), then a Keurig is for you. 

We always recommend that you go for the option that serves you the best cup of coffee. And that’s why it’s also easy for us to suggest that you check out one of our coffee subscription plans.


Featured Image: Pexels by Lisa

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