Want espresso? Here are the top Nespresso machines
Coffee is life. If you agree with that statement, we’re guessing you need a few cups of the strong stuff to get you going in the morning, and more to keep you going throughout the day. One simple way of doing this without spending a fortune on takeaway java is to get yourself a Nespresso machine. These small countertop devices, like our overall pick the Nespresso XN760B40 Citiz coffee machine by Krups, use Nespresso coffee capsules to give you home-made caffeine hit within a matter of seconds.
Best overall: Nespresso XN760B40 Citiz coffee machine by Krups
Small, but powerful with 19 bars of pressure behind that diminutive facade, the Nespresso Citiz gives you barista-grade espresso or a longer “lungo” coffee serving which you can fancy up with some hot milk thanks to the bundled Aeroccino milk frother.
Once you’ve filled up the 35oz water tank, you press a button to wait the 25 seconds it takes to reach operational temperature, then make your go-go juice. The smart energy-saving mode automatically turns the machine off after nine minutes.
- 19 bars of pressure
- 25-second warm-up time
- Espresso and Lungo size options
- Small footprint
- Integrated Aeroccino milk frother
- No steam-based milk attachment
Best high-end choice: Nespresso Creatista Plus by Sage
Ideal for anyone who tends towards a milky coffee option, as well as your smaller black coffee basics, this can rustle up cappuccinos, cafe lattes, latte macchiatos and flat whites using its smooth dial control and attractive LCD display. The built-in milk frother offers no less than eight texture levels and 11 different milk temperature settings.
If you need a quick caffeine hit in the morning, this heats up in an impressive three seconds. The generous 1.5-litre removable water tank will have you covered for a fair few brews, and when you’re done, the auto-purge steam wand and fast, automatic cleaning process will have this ready to use again in a jiffy.
- Ristretto, Espresso and Lungo size options
- Can make cappuccinos, cafe lattes, latte macchiatos and flat whites
- Built-in milk frother with texture and temperature settings
- Easy-to-read TFT LCD display
- 1.5L removable water tank
- 3-second warm-up time
- Auto-clean functionality
- High cost
- Large footprint
Best for frothy coffees: Nespresso EN550.BM Lattissima Touch by De’Longhi
Available in black, red or silver, this boxy little number will give you a tidy menu of options that should cover most tastes — espresso, ristretto, cappuccino, latte, and lungo, — all generated at the press of a button. If you want to tinker under the hood, all drinks can be personalised and programmed by changing the quantity of milk, froth, and coffee.
On the practical side of things, the milk container can be removed and stored in the fridge when you’ve finished making your beverage. The adjustable sliding drip tray is designed especially for larger coffee drinks.
- 30oz water tank
- Espresso, ristretto, cappuccino, latte, and lungo options
- Milk/coffee quantity variation
- Descaling alert set to different water hardness
- 25-second warm-up time
Best for your desk: Nespresso Essenza mini coffee machine by Magimix
We know, suggesting you might buy a Nespresso machine for your workplace is a little over the top, but if you were to do so, this cute Mini machine would be a perfect choice. It’s very portable, weighing around five pounds, and has a slimline footprint of just 12.5 x 4.5 x 8 inches which also means it’s useful for compact kitchens.
As you’d expect, it offers basic functionality compared to rival models. Still, if you want a reliable, 19 bar pressure option that will deliver decent espresso and lungo-size shots of energy throughout the day, this could become your new fave cubicle buddy.
- Espresso and lungo options
- 19 bar pressure
- 25-second warm-up time
- Minimal footprint
- Weighs less than 6 pounds
- Limited functionality due to its “Mini” design
Best value: Nespresso Vertuo Plus by Krups
Although this is one of the more affordable options, it offers bang up-to-date Nespresso technology, using the newer Vertuo capsules. The VertuoPlus system uses intelligent extraction to “recognise” each capsule thanks to a barcode on the rim. The centrifusion tech then takes care of the brewing, spinning at up 7,000 rotations per minute for what’s promised to be the perfect blend.
This machine will deliver you an espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, coffee and a 14oz alto. Other features of note include the under 25 second start-up time, up to 60oz water tank on specific models and auto shut-off after nine minutes.
- VertuoPlus system
- Centrifusion extraction technology
- Smart design with movable water tank
- Motorised brew head
- Can’t use cheaper Nespresso alternative pods
Best for on the go: Wacaco Minipresso NS portable espresso machine
Obviously a little different to the other Nespresso solutions we’ve looked at, the Minipresso has one very unique selling point — it allows you to make and enjoy espresso coffee while you’re out and about, even when camping. This is thanks to its manual operation. As long as you can rustle up some boiling water, with the help of the semi-automatic piston, a few pushes and your espresso is extracted from the capsule.
As you’d expect, the Minipresso has portable dimensions, making it ideal for slipping in a backpack or adding to your camping gear. It weighs in at 354grams and measures 19.99 x 7.49 x 7.49cm.
- Small and lightweight
- Coffee anywhere you have boiling water
- Not fully-features, as you’d expect from a niche device
What’ll it be, hon?
All these machines used the original Nespresso or newer Nespresso Vertuo systems, but there are significant variations between the current crop of models out there. How you prefer your coffee will make a huge difference to which Nespresso model will suit you and your household.
If you’re fans of coffee-based beverages that involved a copious amount of frothy milk, then obviously a machine with a built-in foam-a-rater, like the all-singing, high-end Nespresso Creatista Plus or the more affordable Nespresso EN550.BM Lattissima Touch are going to appeal.
Anyone who just needs regular shots of the good old-fashioned black stuff should consider our overall pick, the classic Nespresso XN760B40 Citiz coffee machine by Krups. Or, if you’re short on space, then consider the capable, yet desk-friendly Nespresso BEC220BLK1AUC1 Essenza Mini.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Amy-Mae Turner As the recent recipient of a “Don’t talk to me until this mug is empty” coffee cup, caffeine-fiend Amy-Mae was buzzing to be asked to write this feature.
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