Keurig vs Nespresso – Choosing Your Pod Partner

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Keurig vs Nespresso

Keurig and Nespresso are the world’s renowned brands when we talk about pod brewing systems in the coffee industry. Although, coffee pods are not our preferred way to brew for our daily cup of Joe. But sometimes, we have to compromise the precious taste of a barista pulled espresso for convenience and time constraints. People often get confused when making a decision between both the pod coffee brands. They are confused into the following:

  1. Which one is better for them?
  2. Which has more features?
  3. What brand makes a better cup of coffee?

Well, there isn’t really a simple answer since both the brands have literally different preparation processes. Here, in this detailed comparison between Keurig vs Nespresso, we will take you closer to all the aspects you should know and care about before making the final choice.

About Keurig

Keurig is one of the most popular automatic pod brewing coffee brands in North America. The origin of this brand is in the United States after all, and Keurig offers numerous models to choose from. The Keurig single-serve coffee machines are priced from $65 to $350 depending on the features opted for. They are mostly manufactured in-house by the brand itself. Keurig has also partnered with several coffee manufacturers to provide a large variety of K-cup flavors to their users and has Officially Licensed products from other familiar and respected coffee brands.

You might like to know: Which is the Best Keurig Coffee Maker

Little About Nespresso

Nespresso, another leader in single-serve espresso machines that is most popular in Europe has been widely accepted by coffee and espresso lovers in the States as well. The origin of the brand is Switzerland and it is a subsidiary of the Nestle group. You will find many of their gears labeled with other partnering brands from the top of the espresso industry, such as Breville, Philips, and De’Longhi.

The reason behind such a partnership is to produce quality machines that brew great coffee. Nespresso focuses primarily on producing capsules that taste better and consistently always.

You might like to know: Which is the Best Nespresso Machine

Nespresso Vs Keurig – Which One is Better

When Nespresso announced its arrival, Keurig was the unchallenged champion of single-serve coffee maker units in American and European countries. Nespresso certainly challenged the capsule king with its Nespresso Vertuo machines, and now the competition is almost dead even.

One major difference that sets both apart is the process and output – “The Keurig brews a regular cup of coffee whereas Nespresso prepares an espresso”. Though, there are now some exceptions to this with the launch of the Nespresso Vertuo line. It can with patented Centrifusion technology can make both coffee and espresso.

To combat the rival, Keurig K-cafe brewer was launched that makes coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and latte as well with just a touch of a button.

Nevertheless, the coffee drinkers mind is always curious about finding the best coffee maker in the market. Let’s get to know, shall we?

Capsules vs K-cups

Coffee pods are ground coffee seal-packed into small capsule-type containers. Both the brands use coffee pods for brewing. The pods that Keurig uses are K-cups whereas the Nespresso pods are commonly called capsules. So when we are comparing Nespresso vs Keurig, we are also comparing the pods they are going to use.

  • K-cups: It consists of an aluminum lid and a plastic cup. These are sealed perfectly so that optimum freshness is ensured. There is a filter inside the pod that prevents the ground coffee from mixing with the beverage. Keurig has tied up with many brands and thus has numerous flavors and beverages to choose from. You can even brew tea, green tea, and a host of other exciting drinks that you could never have thought of.
  • Nespresso Capsules: These are made of recyclable aluminum capped with an airtight lid to keep the coffee grounds at supreme freshness. Each capsule contains about 5-6 grams of coffee inside. The interior of these coffee capsules is lined with food-grade lacquer so that the taste doesn’t get stale over time. The brand itself is involved in the manufacturing of capsules and they are subdivided into two types – Original Line(only makes espresso) and Nespresso Vertuo (espresso and coffee both). The brand has a maximum focus on providing a quality coffee experience to its buyers and so has fewer options than Keurig.

While the K-cups has many other brands tied up for so many variants, the Nespresso has not. Its Original line machines are only compatible with capsules from 3rd party brands whereas the Vertuo machines don’t allow capsules from any other brand.

You might like: Where to Buy Nespresso Coffee Pods

The Taste

The main emphasis of Keurig and Nespresso machines is to provide the best single cups of coffee without any hassles, but there is a slight difference. Keurig also gives the option of making hot chocolate, tea, and other hot beverages with its endless variety of K-cups. On the other hand, Nespresso has an aim to only brew coffee and espresso-based drinks.

Nespresso takes a win here as they are very precise about their quality of capsules.

The Brew

Well, the most important difference that can really help you decide between Nespresso vs Keurig is – Nespresso brews espresso whereas; Keurig makes a regular cup of coffee like any other drip coffee maker. This variation keeps them apart and therefore both brands have a different cluster of buyers. If you want to learn the differences between both types of coffee drinks, you should better read our article about Espresso vs Coffee.

Both with a sense of competition now have machines that make both kinds of caffeine, but still, Nespresso is best for espresso whereas Keurig makes a better coffee.

Brewing Time

When it comes to brewing time or length, it varies from model to model. But on average, both machines take fewer than 4 minutes. Nespresso’s can be said a little faster as most of their models heat up in merely 25-30 seconds.

For brewing, both brands recommend using distilled water to achieve the best intriguing taste. A pressure-based system is used in Keurig machines, whereas Nespresso uses an exclusive extraction system for brewing. Keurig normally brews at a higher temperature than Nespresso at 192 °F (89 °C), a default setting in most machines Keurig.

Nespresso machines are faster than Keurig with their quick heat-up systems.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Periodic maintenance is a requirement to ensure the purity of flavors. Maintenance is not a mess with Nespresso. There is an option of self-cleaning in some Nespresso models. But mostly, you will need to run hot water once or twice a week. Overall, cleaning both, Nespresso or Keurig is quite simple and easy.

Both the brands are easy to maintain but Nespresso takes a plus here as many of its machines have a self-cleaning option while Keurig doesn’t.

Durability and Reliability

Both machines have compact designs. They are designed to endure pressure and overuse for quite some time. These single-serve coffee makers can last for 3-5 years or maybe more, but it all depends on the usage.

When it comes to reliability, both machines have come a long way after years of enhancements and testing. It can be said that both machines are reliable for the long term.

Milk Frothing

For a couple of years, Nespresso added the option of combining the Aerocinno milk frothers as a separate unit for steaming and frothing of milk for espresso-based drinks. With time, the brand now has induced in-built frothing systems into its machines for better froth. Nespresso Lattissima series is the one with this feature and has one-touch brewing options for many popular specialty drinks.

Keurig on the other hand is mostly into regular coffee. Most of its brewers don’t come with a frothing system. Only the Keurig K-Cafe has a milk frothing feature since it brews coffee as well as pulls espresso shots.

Nespresso clearly wins here when milk frothing is a requirement.

Drink Options

Keurig takes the lead in coffee brands since it offers a wide range of several drinks that include some of the prominent coffee and tea brands such as Green Mountain, Folgers, Celestial Seasonings, Starbucks, Twining’s, etc. Nespresso also offers coffee from all around the world such as Ethiopian Bukeela, Brazilian Dulsao, Colombian Rosabaya, Indian Indriya, etc.

One difference can persuade tea lovers to choose Keurig over Nespresso. Also, the variety is huge in Keurig when compared to Nespresso.

There is no deal between tea companies and Nespresso and since there is a tie-up with Keurig, a tea lover can surely be tempted towards Keurig. Moreover, Keurig K-Elite is a new addition to the family that makes iced coffee with a K-cup.

So when we talk about Nespresso vs Keurig in terms of variety in drink options, Keurig surely has a win.

Caffeine Content

Since Nespresso has two different types of capsules Original and Vertuo, the variation of caffeine is huge. According to Caffeineinformer

Caffeine Content in Nespresso

  • Orignal Line – Espresso shot contains 55-65 mg whereas Lungo contains 77-89 mg of caffeine
  • Vertuo – Espresso contains 60-150 mg whereas its coffee and alto variety contains 130-200 mg of caffeine

Caffeine Content in Keurig

Keurig yields 75-125 mg of caffeine in each k-cup that makes an 8 oz drink. It also has some extra bold variety which yields about 150 mg per k-cup.

No winner here as caffeine is all a personal preference. Some people get the kick from less of it whereas some can even need over 200 mg in a single shot.

Monthly Expense

Well, Keurig surely takes up the game here as K-cups are more budget-friendly. The brand itself has tied up with numerous coffee manufacturers and third-party vendors too. With so much variety comes great discounts also. These can cost from $0.30 to $1.5 depending on the type of blend, brand, and origin.

On the other hand, Nespresso pods are slightly costly when compared to K-cups. When we checked the third-party vendors, they too mostly averaged $0.60 for each capsule. The original capsules by Nespresso can cost from $0.7 to $2.0 depending on the variant.

If we talk about monthly expenditure in Keurig vs Nespresso, Keurig is a winner since the K-cups cost less than Nespresso capsules.

Reusable Options

Both the brand offer reusable options that allow using your own coffee beans from your favorite roaster.

Since Nespresso has two different lines of machines, both use different setups. Previously, there was no reusable option for the Nespresso Vertuo capsules, but now few options are available. Still, the barcoding feature of Nespresso sometimes obstructs people from using them.

On the other hand, Keurig has plenty of reusable k-cup options and there is no restriction by the brand to use them.

Since Keurig is a coffee brewer manufacturer and Nespresso is more into manufacturing capsules, both have different intentions. The former wants to sell more brewers whereas the latter needs more sales of their capsules.

So, if flexibility is a concern, Keurig wins here.

Machine Price

The single-serve machines from Keurig are price somewhere between $65 to $350 depending on the features opted for.

Nespresso on the other side is slightly costly and has a broad price range. These can cost anywhere between $100 to $600. Since these are espresso machines, they need some more sophisticated components than in a coffee maker.

If budget is a concern, Keurig leads here for its budget-friendly machines.

Environmental Impact of K-Cups and Capsules

We are taught by both the brands that their pods are recyclable but in reality, it’s not completely true. When we talk about Keurig, the K-cups are made up of plastic capped with an aluminum lid. The plastic is certainly not recyclable if it does not reach the correct center. These are small in size and so, are often get filtered out.

On the other hand, Nespresso pods are made up of recyclable aluminum. Though, it takes years but has less harmful effects than plastic ones. The brand also has a quality recyclable program that spreads awareness to the users and has a plethora of collection centers all over, so that every used capsule reaches its recycling center. They have a dedicated Recycling program that takes care of used capsules. The only care you have to take is to hand over the used ones for their program.

Read More: The Best Nespresso Pods


  1. Are K-cups Compatible With Nespresso Machines or Vice Versa?

    The straight answer to this question is NO! Neither Keurig K-cups are compatible with Nespresso machines, nor do Nespresso capsules work with Keurig coffee machines. Both are differently built and have varying brewing processes. They both are big competitors and so this might never get mixed up shortly too.

  2. Is Nespresso Better Than Keurig?

    Frankly speaking, there is no better machine, rather it’s just the personal preference about which one to pick. Nespresso machines make espresso exclusively but their Vetuo machines can make both the regular drip coffee, as well as espresso.
    Keurig can only make regular coffee. The plus factor about Keurig comes to variety in choosing the flavors, their are numerous as compared to Nespresso.

  3. Does Nespresso make stronger coffee than Keurig?

    Nespresso prepares espresso drinks whereas only K-cafe by Keurig makes espresso. Though the drinks from Nespresso are stronger, K-cafe has an extra-strong setting to result in a more dark strong espresso.

  4. Does Nespresso has more caffeine than Keurig?

    The caffeine range in Nespresso Original capsule averages 55-89 mg whereas, in Vertuo, it is 60-200mg. In Keurig, this range squeezes from 75-150mg. So Keurig has more caffeine than Original capsules whereas less than the Vertuo.

Wrapping Up

Still, confused?

One main deciding factor between both is whether you want espresso or simply coffee. If that’s the case, you already have a solution as Nespresso is for espresso and Keurig for coffee. But if you need a combo that makes espresso as well as coffee, you have to decide between the Nespresso Vertuo machine and the Keurig K-cafe.

If you like to have a wide variety of coffee flavors along with some other beverages or a caffeine drink in a matter of no time at all, go with Keurig. It is less expensive than the Nespresso machines and also the K-cups are cheaper than capsules.

But, if you are a person who does not compromise on high-quality espresso that has exquisiteness and rich taste, along with a constant feeling of an Italian café, then it is recommended that you should go with Nespresso.