Difference Between Nespresso And Keurig - Pick Your Pod!

Difference Between Nespresso And Keurig – Pick Your Pod!

Last updated on March 3rd, 2024 at 11:37

Coffee fanatics and enthusiasts often get lost in the world of confusion regarding single serve coffee machines, coffee pods and coffee capsules. If that is you, fear not as I lay out the difference between Nespresso and Keurig.

By the time you have finished reading this article, you will know all about both machines, their coffee capsule pod options available and third party capsules that may be a good option.

If you need to know which machine makes the best quality of coffee, then stay tuned and keep reading!

What Are Single Serve Coffee Machines?

Single serve coffee machines and the coffee brewing technology behind them is something that has gained popularity over the past decade and more and due to improvements being made and the reduction in price of both the single-serve brewers and the coffee capsules and coffee pods.

Speaking of which, despite the growing number of options available, most of the capsules are made “on brand” by the manufacturer, or in the case of Keurig, by their company Green Mountain.

This type of coffee machine functions by piercing the coffee pods, and heating water and then running hot water through your coffee pod and dispensing it straight into your coffee cup ready to be enjoyed.

What Are Single Serve Coffee Machines
A Single Serve Coffee Maker

Read: K Cup Competitor

The Nespresso Machine Summarised

Nespresso is a name that, perhaps you have guessed based on the name or logo and a range of other products from the parent company, Nestlé. Nespresso, at least for now, have not yet broken into the American market but, I can confirm due to my location, are hugely popular all over Europe.

The Asian market remains untapped for Nespresso.

Nespresso machines have two variations, which are the OriginalLine and VertuoLine. At this moment in time, VertuoLine capsules are exclusively made by Nespresso and have no 3rd party off-brand capsules available.

The introduction of the VertuoLine is for the US and Canadian markets as the preference is for a larger cup of coffee when compared to the regular coffee cup size in Europe.

The Nespresso Vertuo, which is available in the EU. They use centrifuge-based technology, or as the company claims, “advanced centrifusion technology” to spin the coffee pod at high speed to brew, infuse and blend the water and coffee grounds.

The machines use barcodes that are on each pod, so the machine knows intuitively how to perfectly brew every pod.

Not all Nespresso machines are manufactured by Nespresso or bear the brand name. Other Coffee brands like Phillips, De’Longhi and Breville have partnered with them and make their own machines that are compatible with their pods.

The Nespresso Machine Summarised
A Nespresso Machine.

Read: Are Keurigs worth it?

The Keurig Machine Summarised

Keurig, behind Coca-cola and Pepsi, is part of the third-biggest beverage company in the United States. They started by marketing their range of products for office use and then expanded into the larger domestic retail market.

This is where the two companies slightly differ. Nespresso partners with coffee machine manufacturers and licenses their technology, permitting other companies to produce their machines.

Keurig partners with a wide range of coffee companies and permits them to produce their coffee pods. The result of which is 60+ brands making a wide variety of 600+ different pods to choose from, which gives you a huge range of brewing options no matter what kind of coffee you like.

The Keurig Machine Summarised
A Keurig Machine

The Coffee Pods

Nespresso capsules have very few varieties available when compared to Keurig. The quality is great, but they do lack options and are limited by their current policy of only manufacturing them by themselves. This, I hear, is set to change with other companies set to make their capsules.

The company is planning on expanding their own range also.

When compared directly to Keurig K-Cups, hands down they are the clear winner with 600+ options from 60 different brands.

On top of offering coffee, Keurig K cups allow you to make just about any hot drink you can think of.

The Availability And Variety Of Coffee Capsules And Flavors

Keurig, as I have mentioned, wins this one hands down due to their opposing business strategy to focus on the consumable side of the business rather than the machine that makes the drinks.

They have 600+ coffee drinks from brands like Starbucks. Twinnings, Tully’s, Celestial Seasonings, Green Mountain, Folgers and Dunkin’s and make many more drinks other than just coffee.

Nespresso also have a very ample wide range of coffee from across the globe, including Ethiopian Bukeela, Indian Indriya, Brazilian Dulsao and many interesting African and Asian blends. Their focus on coffee includes a variety of flavors including caramel, vanilla, and outstanding Hawaiian Kona and Maragogype reserve.

The biggest difference between Nespresso and Keurig is that, disappointingly, they don’t offer anything other than coffee.

Both Keurig and Nespresso use proprietary technology for brewing their coffee capsules and have been known to take legal action against competitors that offer cheaper products. This seemed to halt after Keurig was accused of and lost a class action lawsuit related to anticompetitive practices by the monopolies commission.

This has led to a number of machines that accept both Nespresso capsules and pods and Keurig K Cups.

The Availability And Variety Of Coffee Capsules And Flavors
Coffee Capsules Are Not Hard To Find

Size Matters! How Big Is The Brew?

Nespresso gives you the option of a 1.35 ounce (40 ml) espresso or 3.7 Ounce (110 ml) lungo. Either way, only 1 cup of what you will be able to brew, hence the name single serve coffee makers.

Keurig gives you a much better option as their machines have good-sized water tanks of 80 ounces (2.36 litres). Which can make you 10 ounce cups of coffee or 6 x 12 ounce cups of coffee easily without the requirement of refilling the water reservoir.


you have to use the right pod of your required coffee quantity, K-Carafe, K-Vue or K-Cup. The machines read the capsules automatically and “know” what you want to make. A K-carafe pod can make 4 or 5 cups of coffee using a single pod.

They are the biggest single serve coffee brand with  more pods than Nespresso.

The Cup Of Coffee Brewed

This is perhaps the most important aspect of which machine you want, be it a Nespresso Vertuo, or Keurig K Cup. The biggest factor for many is the lack of espresso by Keurigs and Nespresso, well while they can make an espresso their effort, despite their brilliant marketing and TV ads, falls short of the mark.

Neither are anywhere as near as good as a home espresso machine when it comes to brewing top quality espresso shots.

This is more important than you may realize as an espresso forms the base of many milk based coffee drinks like a cortado, flat white, mocha, latte, cappuccino and many more.

If their espresso is questionable, it reflects on the rest of the drinks on offer.

The coffee brewed by Nespresso vertuo is good quality regular coffee.

Keurig has no espresso option, which for me speaks volumes. If you can’t get that right how can you expect your machine to make a great mocha for example!

Nespresso Pods Vs K-Cups Cost

The average cost per capsule of pod is shown in the table below. There is not at all a great difference in price of them as you can see.

Capsule or Pod Cost Per Serving Savings vs Coffee Shop
Nespresso Vertuo $0.90-$1.25 $1,058
Nespresso Original $0.70-$0.85 $1,168
Keurig K-Cup $0.35-$0.65 $1,241
Coffee Shop $3.50-$4.50 $0

Nespresso Vs Keurig Caffeine Content

There are many different coffee pods available for both Nespresso and Keurigs. Most Keurig K-Cups range from 75 milligrams to 150 milligrams of caffeine while Nespresso Capsules range from 50 milligrams of caffeine to 80 milligrams.

The Nespresso Kazaar Capsule has 120 milligrams of caffeine.

Clearly, a Keurig has slightly more caffeine

The Environmental Impact

Both companies have a negative environmental impact regardless of what the material of their pods are made from plastic or aluminum as they lead to both plastic and aluminum waste.

Some may claim there is less waste or a lesser impact with aluminum capsules. As I am not a material scientist, all the aluminum bodies and the aluminum lid are still waste and have a negative impact.

Nespresso, to their benefit, has a well respected recycling program and works hard to improve the coffee industry and the sustainability of it on a global level.

Both Nespresso and Keurig machines now have a range of aluminum pods that can be reused time and time again which you need to use your own coffee with.

The Environmental Impact
There Are Environmental Impacts Regarding Coffee Capsules

Machine Maintenance And Cleaning!

Both machines are easy to clean. There is nothing difficult about it at all. You can run both with a simple hot water rinsing cycle a few times and then run a proper cleaning cycle with distilled white vinegar to clean the pipes properly and descale your machine.

Pro Tip: Use filtered water on all your coffee machines to reduce the probability of the build up of lime scale.

Rinse your machine very well with several cycles of hot water after using distilled white vinegar.

Keurig has their own cleaning solution, but to be honest, white vinegar or baking soda gets the job done just as well.

 The Final Verdict! The Winner Is…

It all depends on you and what you want and what you like to drink. For ease and speed, these kinds of machines are great, but they make coffee that is less than perfect.

If you want to or need to make espresso-based drinks, then a Nespresso is what you are looking for.

If you are not at all bothered by espresso and want a better range of drinks at your disposal then cast your eyes to a Keurig.

Frequently Asked Questions About Difference Between Nespresso And Keurig

In terms of caffeine content, a Keurig K Cup tends to be stronger as they contain from 75 mg to 150 mg of caffeine. Nespresso caffeine content ranges from 50 mg to 120 mg.

Having taste tested the strongest flavored Nespresso pod and a dark French roast Keurig pod, particularly strong roast, neither was stronger than the other. If anything, the Nespresso edged it but only slightly.

How Is Nespresso Different From Regular Coffee?

Nespresso is thicker and denser than a regular coffee, and has a greater consistency and fuller body. There is also more caffeine per fluid ounce (or per 100 ml) than drip coffee. Nespresso is “espresso like” coffee, closely resembling an espresso but not quite an espresso

Yes, select a strong coffee, preferably a dark roast, add sweetener as desired, and then pour twice as much frothed milk into your strong coffee shot as there is coffee.

What Makes Nespresso Coffee So Special?

Nespresso coffee is special and unique due to the way in which coffee is brewed using a centrifugal force. The coffee is stronger than drip coffee and can be used for making cappuccinos, lattes, and other gourmet style coffee drinks. All you need is a milk frother. 

You should never put milk in a single serve coffee maker. Always use water. The milk can burn and leave the internal parts of your coffee maker smelling off and rotten. It is also very difficult to remove milk stains from inside your machine.

Eventually milk will go off an cause bacteria to build up inside your machine.

Yes, select a strong dark roasted K-Cup coffee pod, preferably a French roast and brew a strong shot of coffee. Use the smallest cup size setting available or use the shot setting if you Keurig has one.

Make frothed milk and pour an equal amount of frothed milk as there is coffee and add and equal amount of milk foam.

 Frappé-Ing It All Up! – Difference Between Nespresso And Keurig!

There is not a lot between both these machines in terms of quality of brew but what does stand out and the real big difference between Nespresso and Keurig is the coffee options that you have at your disposal when it comes to Keurig.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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