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Starting the day with a smooth espresso or a perfectly balanced latte offers both a welcome caffeine boost and a hint of indulgence. It's a practical-yet-luxurious form of self-care, and the massive popularity of this strong Italian coffee and its milk-based spin-offs can’t be overstated.
However, anyone who regularly visits their local coffee shop can attest to the fact that espresso drinks aren’t cheap. If you’d like to cut your java bill by making your own espresso at home, then Nespresso, a company that produces user-friendly machines with single-serve pods to brew espresso, is about to become your best friend.
We’ve rounded up the best Nespresso machines available, along with guidance on which model best suits which particular priorities and customers.
Best Overall: Nespresso VertuoPlus + Aeroccino Bundle
Nespresso’s Vertuo line sets itself apart from the original Nespresso collection by featuring innovative brewing technology. Vertuo machines read the barcode on each Nespresso pod and use that information to perfectly calibrate the water temperature and brewing time, resulting in the best possible cup of espresso.
A more advanced version of Nespresso’s first mega-hit Vertuo, the VertuoPlus is tops thanks to its versatility and remarkable ease of use. This machine does it all with the touch of one button. It can brew both espresso and drip coffee, and the barcode technology means that you don’t need to adjust settings or manually program your brewing time. The VertuoPlus includes automatic capsule (pod) ejection, which pares down your cleaning needs while also preventing you from burning your fingers.
The VertuoPlus uses a 40-ounce adjustable water tank and can make coffee or espresso in 5 different cup sizes (espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, coffee, and alto). This bundle includes Nespresso's milk frother, the Aeroccino, for your cappuccinos and lattes.
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Nespresso Vertuo Next
The newest iteration of the Vertuo series, the Vertuo Next is a genuine “small wonder.” This sleek but powerful machine weighs in at only 9 pounds, and it packs all of the innovation and efficiency of the other Vertuo models into a compact 5.5-inch wide frame ideal for smaller kitchens.
Another notable modernization in the Vertuo Next is its sustainable construction. The machine is made from 54 percent recycled materials, making it the greenest espresso maker currently offered by Nespresso. Also, the Vertuo Next utilizes Bluetooth connectivity, giving you the ability to automatically update its software and keep it running in optimal fashion without going through a tedious process of manual downloads.
The Vertuo Next features a 37-ounce water tank and makes beverages in 6 cup sizes (espresso, double espresso, 5-ounce, 8-ounce, 14-ounce, and 18-ounce carafe). Vertuo Next bundles usually include Nespresso’s Aeroccino milk frother, and if you prefer pour-over-style coffee, you can purchase a Nespresso Pour-Over expansion set.
Best for Beginners: Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother
If you’re new to the world of Nespresso machines, then you may be seeking a model that’s easy to operate, that doesn’t take up too much space, and rings in at a very reasonable price. You’ll find that the Inissia model, made by beloved Italian appliance brand De’Longhi, scores on all three counts. The Inissia brings water up to an ideal espresso-making temperature in 25 seconds flat, and its simple two-button control system (one button for espresso and one for “lungo” coffee) takes any guesswork out of your morning brew.
The Inissia uses a 24-ounce water tank and only produces those two cup sizes. It’s available in three neutral color schemes, and the machine automatically shuts off after 9 minutes to save energy.
Related: The 7 Best Espresso Machines in 2021
Best for Lattes: Nespresso De'Longhi Lattissima Pro Espresso Machine
Nespresso’s Aeroccino frothing attachment is enormously popular among Nespresso enthusiasts, but if you’re a die-hard latte drinker, then you may want to consider a machine that has a milk frother already attached and integrated. Meet the Lattissima Pro, a sophisticated piece of coffee-making equipment specifically developed to create espresso-and-milk beverages, like lattes and cappuccinos, with perfect layering and proportions.
The Lattissima Pro has a 44-ounce water tank and comes with 6 programmed modes for drink creation (ristretto, espresso, lungo, cappuccino, latte, and steamed milk), so you’ll be able to whip up exactly what you want with no threat of error. One bonus of this machine is you simply press the button and it automatically begins brewing your drink once the water is heated. The milk nozzle can also be used to simply dispense hot water for tea time.
De’Longhi crafted this machine with an auto shut-off feature that can be programmed for up to 8 hours. It comes with intuitive descaling features and rinses automatically.
Related: The 7 Best Coffee Makers in 2021
Best Mini: Nespresso Essenza Mini Original Espresso Machine
A smash hit among solo dwellers and anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice their love for great espresso on the basis of spatial concerns, the Essenza Mini weighs only 5 pounds and is equipped with a 19-bar pressure pump, allowing the machine to optimize water flow and produce smooth and flavorful espresso. The machine’s sleek construction includes a base that measures just 4.3 inches wide, making it possible to store this petite workhorse in even the coziest cabinet or the tightest corner of your countertop.
The Essenza Mini includes a 20-ounce water tank and makes two beverage sizes (espresso and lungo). This is one of the fastest Nespresso machines since the water heats up in only 25 seconds. It comes with a low-eco mode and auto-shutoff and can be used alongside the Aeroccino frother to make lattes and cappuccinos.
Best Professional-Grade: Nespresso By Breville Creatista Plus Espresso Machine
Some espresso hobbyists prefer machines that enable easy and speedy drink prep with zero bells and whistles, while others yearn to dive into the intricate world of latte art and really stretch their creative muscles. If the latter description sounds like you, then the Creatista Plus could be your Nespresso soulmate. This high-tech model features modern technology that leaves you with a frothy foam that’s ideal for shaping into latte art masterpieces.
With a 51-ounce water tank, the brushed stainless-steel Creatista Plus has an easy LCD interface for creating 7 different coffee beverages (espresso, lungo, ristretto, cappuccino, cafe latte, latte macchiato, and flat white). There are also multiple milk temperatures and texture presets, and the steam wand essentially cleans itself. The water heats up in only 3 seconds so you won’t be waiting long for your coffee. This all-in-one machine gives you all of the tools necessary to make lattes that put Starbucks to shame.
Best Design: Nespresso CitiZ Original Espresso Machine
Espresso lovers who also value aesthetics will find an equally functional and beautiful Nespresso machine in the CitiZ. This lightweight and streamlined appliance takes style inspiration from retro espresso makers and mid-century modern design, resulting in a powerful little Nespresso. An integrated milk frother further simplifies the process and offers buyers plenty of beverage-making versatility.
While the 8.9-pound CitiZ only makes beverages in 2 sizes (espresso and lungo), it does heat up in less than 30 seconds and has a 33-ounce water tank for multiple cups.
Related: The 8 Best Coffee Grinders in 2021
If you're looking for an all-in-one machine that will satisfy your every coffee need and had all the latest technology, the Nespresso Vertuo Next with Aeroccino bundle (view on Amazon) will keep you caffeinated for years to come. For those who can't make it to dinner without their afternoon latte, we recommend the beautiful Nespresso Lattissima Pro Espresso Machine (view on Williams Sonoma) with its built-in frother and automatic cleaning.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Taylor Tobin is a freelance journalist who specializes in recipe testing and deep-dives into popular dishes and ingredients. A self-confessed caffeine addict and a regular at her neighborhood coffee shop, she recently got her hands on a stovetop espresso maker but is ready to upgrade to a Nespresso and broaden her java-creating horizons.
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