The AeroPress and Nespresso both provide alternatives to traditional espresso.
You can brew rich, creamy coffee with minimal effort using either device. Yet, you may only have room for one new coffeemaker in your kitchen.
So, is the AeroPress better than Nespresso? Or is Nespresso better than the AeroPress?
In this post, I’ll be comparing the AeroPress to Nespresso to help with your selection. I’ll cover:
- What is a Nespresso?
- What is an AeroPress?
- Taste differences
This should be more than enough to help you decide which one is right for your needs.
It’s AeroPress Vs Nespresso time! Let’s get to it!
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What is a Nespresso?
The machine also contains a water reservoir and a heating element.
After inserting the pod into the machine, you press a button. The Nespresso pierces the coffee pod and starts brewing. It’s that simple.
The machine mirrors the function of the Keurig, but with more pressure. The high-pressure system produces coffee similar to a creamy espresso.
This is likely the main selling point of the Nespresso machines.
Each coffee pod (capsule) contains about five to seven grams of ground coffee.
The original Nespresso machines only produce two sizes of coffee. You can brew espresso (40 milliliters) and long pour (110 milliliters).
In 2014, Nestle released a new line of Nespresso machines called the “Vertuo” line.
The newer machines include two new technologies for better coffee. And more brewing options.
The Nespresso Vertuo machines use “centrifusion” to spin the coffee pod at speeds up to 7,000 rpm. The machine also reads a barcode on the coffee pod.
Each blend of coffee has its own optimal settings for:
- Rotational speed
- Infusion time
- Water volume
- Water flow
While the Nespresso is convenient, it is also costly and takes up counter space.
What is the AeroPress?
If you are looking for something smaller and less wasteful, you may want to check out AeroPress.
The AeroPress was released in 2005 and invented by coffee enthusiast Alan Adler. He was in search of a coffee brewing method with less acidity and bitterness.
Espresso makers and French-presses did not meet his needs. Both options offered limited control over brew time, grind size, and water temperature.
AeroPress solves these issues thanks to its unique design. It features a cylindrical chamber and a plunger that creates an airtight seal.
It resembles a large syringe that sits on top of a container.
The bottom of the chamber holds a plastic filter. You add coffee grounds and hot water before stirring and closing the system.
After letting the coffee beans and water steep for up to a minute, you press the plunger to create pressure. The pressure forces the coffee through the bottom and into the cup below.
The pressure creates a concentrated coffee. It can produce about 0.35 to 0.75 bars of pressure while an espresso machine uses at least 9 bars.
It’s not quite the consistency of a true espresso. Yet, it’s more concentrated compared to coffee made using drip brewing or a French press.
AeroPress vs Nespresso – Brewing Process
The AeroPress and Nespresso machines use different brewing processes. The AeroPress is a manual device while the Nespresso is automated.
If you want a quick shot of espresso in the morning, the Nespresso has you covered. It takes seconds to insert a coffee pod and press the start button.
Depending on the size of the drink, the Nespresso can brew coffee in 30 to 60 seconds.
Here’s a video of one of the more recent Nespresso models, the Vertuo Next, in action.
The AeroPress takes longer to use. You first need to heat water to a temperature of about 200-degrees Fahrenheit.
You may also choose to grind whole coffee beans for fresh coffee, which adds more time.
For optimal results, let the water sit for at least 30 seconds before stirring and plunging.
The whole process can take several minutes to brew a cup of coffee with the AeroPress.
Both systems rely on high pressure to press the hot water through the coffee grounds. Yet, you have almost no input when using the Nespresso machines.
If you want to use a different water temperature, pressure, or brew time, you need a different machine. This is where the AeroPress shines.
AeroPress vs Nespresso – Which Tastes Better?
Both options can produce tasty coffee drinks. Yet, the AeroPress offers more control, which allows you to brew the coffee to your liking.
Fresh Ground Coffee
You may also enjoy fresher coffee with the AeroPress. The Nespresso uses pre-ground coffee contained in pods.
While the pods are sealed for freshness, the coffee grounds may not stay fresh.
AeroPress allows you to add fresh coffee grounds. You can use pre-ground coffee or buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself.
This isn’t an option with the Nespresso.
Fresh ground coffee almost always produces a better cup of coffee.
Grinding starts the oxidation process. This unlocks the aromas and flavors of the coffee.
Yet, if the coffee grounds sit in a pod, they can start to go stale.
Grinding coffee beans also leads to the loss of oils that contribute to the sweetness of the coffee.
Allowing the coffee grounds to sit exposes the beans to moisture. This increases the loss of oils before you can brew coffee.
Contamination and CO2 depletion are also a concern when using pre-ground coffee beans.
Basically, fresh coffee tastes better and the AeroPress provides the fresher option.
AeroPress Vs Nespresso – Advantages
The Nespresso involves fewer steps and no manual effort.
You insert a coffee capsule, close the lid, and press a button. The machine is designed to brew a perfect espresso every time.
Nespresso machines are also affordable compared to other automated espresso machines. Traditional household espresso machines tend to cost well over $500.
The various Nespresso machines cost a fraction of the price of an espresso machine. But they still cost more compared to the AeroPress.
In a direct comparison, ease of use and speed are the only advantages of choosing the Nespresso.
Yes, the Nespresso Vertuo and Nespresso Original machines are quick and easy to use. But the AeroPress has many benefits:
The AeroPress is an affordable item. It retails for about 1/5 the price of the cheapest Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine.
Along with the lower upfront costs, the AeroPress may offer long-term savings.
Instead of buying costly coffee pods, you can buy your choice of coffee beans or ground coffee.
Coffee pods are sold in packages containing dozens of pods.
Depending on the size of the package, an individual Nespresso pod may cost you about $0.65 to $0.80.
The Nespresso also produces more waste. The one-time-use pods are made from aluminum, which is recyclable.
Unfortunately, the pod also contains parts that you cannot recycle.
You need to strip the pods down to recycle them, but they still produce waste.
Most people toss them in the trash (hey, prove me wrong people!), which is not environmentally friendly.
Yet, if you use reusable filters, you have nothing to toss after brewing coffee with the AeroPress. Except of course the coffee itself, which you can even use in your compost.
The AeroPress is also easier to clean and requires less maintenance.
All you do is unscrew the components and wash them. The plunger even wipes the chamber clean to remove buildup.
A simple rinse cycle in the dishwasher on the top shelf can clean the AeroPress components, if needed.
Keeping the Nespresso clean requires more work.
You need to rinse the coffee capsule container after each use. You also need to rinse and clean the water tank before refilling.
Over time, the internal parts may accumulate calcium.
At least once per month, you may need to use a descaling liquid to clean the Nespresso machine.
The Nespresso Vertuo is also a complex machine. It includes a variety of mechanical and electrical parts.
These parts may wear and break down, requiring you to replace the machine or have it serviced.
The AeroPress does not have any electronic components. It’s made from durable plastic materials.
You don’t have to worry about anything malfunctioning.
The parts of an AeroPress won’t last forever, though. And you could lose the filter cap or the rubber seal on the plunger, for example.
But don’t stress. You can buy individual replacement parts, without having to buy a whole new AeroPress.
As the AeroPress is a manual device, you also have more control over how you want to brew your coffee. You can adjust any of the following:
- Water temperature
- Amount of coffee grounds
- Amount of liquid
- Steep time
- Brew time
You also have the freedom to use almost any type of coffee.
The AeroPress works best with fine drip grounds but can also support the espresso grind size.
Conclusion – Is AeroPress Better Than Nespresso?
The AeroPress and the Nespresso are both quality products. But they come with different features.
The Nespresso is an automated system with a one-touch operation. The AeroPress uses a plunger to manually press fresh coffee.
If you want a quick cup of coffee, the Nespresso is a convenient option.
Brewing a cup of coffee involves almost no effort. All you need to do is insert a coffee pod and press a button.
Unfortunately, keeping it clean requires more effort.
The AeroPress is more durable and easier to clean. It’s also much cheaper, produces less waste, and takes up much less space.
Everyone has different preferences. But the AeroPress stands out as a reliable choice for brewing coffee exactly how you want.
Have you tried the AeroPress and Nespresso machines and prefer one over the other?
Is there something that I missed in my comparison that you think I should add?
Let me know in the comments below. Stay caffeinated!