Top Nespresso Machines for Stay-at-Home Workers & Coffee Lovers in 2021
In a year where unprecedented numbers of us stayed at home, searches for the best Nespresso coffee machines skyrocketed as people look for easy-to-use and simple coffee machines, that give a better cup of coffee than a normal instant coffee. Whether you’re looking for the “cheapest good” option or “the one with all the bells and whistles” we have you covered – let’s take a look at which Nespresso coffee machine in 2021 is the right one for you.
The Best Nespresso Coffee Machines for You in 2021
There is no such thing as the perfect coffee machine, but there is such a thing as the one that suits you the best. Some people really enjoy milk-based coffee, while others only care about getting that perfect shot of espresso consistently, every single time. Some people enjoy different types of capsules for a longer coffee, and others prioritise having a small machine to fit on a kitchen counter-top. Nespresso coffee machines can also range in price massively from under £70 / $100 to over £400 / $550.
For this reason, now is a good opportunity to explain some of the basics for Nespresso coffee machines:
Almost all Nespresso coffee machines (Original Line) have the same default extraction settings for your coffee. Basically, no matter what machine you buy, Nespresso want to make sure the same capsule produces an espresso exactly the same way across different machines, so that if you changed your machine the base flavour of your coffee won’t change. Useful to know!
There are two types of Nespresso machine. The Original Line takes the original or what we consider (at time of writing) ‘normal’ coffee capsules, like the luxurious Creatista range, the compact Essenza machines or the smart and sleek CitiZ coffee machines. The newer VertuoLine coffee machines take a larger coffee capsule, and extract your coffee using a centrifugal process that gives you a larger crema. The best example of this second type is the Vertuo and VertuoPlus coffee machine range.
There are then also Nespresso alternatives, some of which use different capsules. If you’d prefer to explore these options, we have a recommendation for you further down this page as well, never fear! 🙂 Many of these won’t have been in the coffee machine business for as long, but have their own interesting takes on drinks like adding flavours (less authentic, but just as tasty!) which may appeal to your taste.
Armed with this information, it should be a lot easier to spot which of our machines below is likely to appeal to you the most! Let’s crack on and show you what we think are the best Nespresso coffee machines heading into 2021.
The Best Nespresso Machine for Lattes: Creatista Plus
For milk-based coffee lovers that put time and effort into their coffee and want to mimic the results from their favourite coffee shop, the Creatista Plus is the must-have machine.
Manufactured by Sage, the Creatista Plus comes with an automatic steam wand, allowing you to froth your milk perfectly to pair with your Nespresso coffee capsule. You can choose a large number of different frothing options (8, in case you were wondering) at 11 different temperatures, so you can even perfect your froth to practice your latte art on if you so desire.
The main differences between the entry level Creatista model and the more advanced Creatista Plus are:
The Creatista Plus is made of stainless steel alloy while the regular Creatista is a plastic and metal hybrid
There are 4 milk texture levels and 5 temperature settings on the Creatista, whereas on the Creatista Plus you get 8 milk texture levels and 11 temperature settings
The Creatista Plus heats up faster, at 3 seconds instead of 10 seconds
The Creatista range really pushed the boundaries on Nespresso’s premium offering, and for milk based coffee lovers this will absolutely be the top pick heading into 2021.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini focuses on the core of your cup of coffee, and little else: the espresso shot. It nails the perfect espresso from your coffee capsule, every single time. For people who are looking for a good, consistent budget option, look no further than the Essenza Mini. It is compact and sits nicely on a kitchen surface without taking up too much space, and is sufficiently small that you could easily have it on a shelf in your office, for example!
This no-nonsense but dependable Nespresso coffee machine starts from under £100/ $140, and is perfect for the person who wants a pick-me-up before they leave home, or simply needs a decent shot of espresso in the morning prior to beginning their work day.
You can change the level of the base to accommodate different sized cups, there is programmable water amount control and space to discord up to 5 or 6 used coffee capsules before needing to empty the rear tray.
For those who are looking for a consistent high quality Nespresso coffee machine on a budget, or simply prefers focusing on a good cup of espresso, this is our pick of the lot.
Best Nespresso Machine for Long Coffee: Nespresso VertuoPlus
Rather than an espresso or a lungo sized coffee, if you prefer a longer drink and measure your coffee in full mugs’ worth, the Nespresso VertuoPlus will likely suit you best.
As mentioned in our introductory section, the VertuoPlus has different capsules to the original Nespresso machines. The coffee extraction process is different because of this – using a centrifugal extraction method – and this in turn allows long coffees to be brewed. This means that instead of topping up your coffee with hot water, or using multiple capsules to make a larger mug of coffee, the VertuoPlus has you happy from the get-go.
Instead of espresso-based sizing alone, you have Alto (414ml), Mug (230ml), Gran Lungo (150ml), Double Espresso (80ml) and Espresso (40ml) sizes at your fingertips. If you use the regular Vertuo machine instead of the VertuoPlus, then Double Espresso is omitted, so if you wanted one of those you’d have to hit Single Espresso twice instead. You can see our full review of the Nespresso Vertuo and VertuoPlus here.
A cool feature of the Nespresso VertuoLine range of machines is that the edges of each capsule actually form a barcode, allowing your machine to read exactly what capsule is being put inside so that it can spin you (centrifugal extraction method, remember!) the perfect cup of coffee.
For those who prefer longer drinks, the Nespresso VertuoPlus is undoubtedly our favourite going into 2021. It is also worth noting that it can be paired with an Aeroccino machine, so that if you want a longer coffee but also like frothy milk, you don’t have to choose between them – you can have both!
The Best Nespresso Alternative: Nescafe Dolce Gusto
If you are a big fan of flavoured coffees and enjoy the sweeter side of things, or simply enjoy a coffee but don’t take it super seriously, then a Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine might actually be right up your street.
More popular in the UK than US (although there are plenty of options available through Amazon, take a look through the link below and have a browse), there are all sorts of flavours you can choose from. The Dolce Gusto is even compatible with various pods for both teas and hot chocolate!
Through a partnership with Starbucks, Dolce Gusto machines also offer Starbucks coffee beans and various menu items that you can recreate from home. So for a ‘fun’ machine that isn’t purely about coffee, we quite enjoyed checking out all the different options available via the Dolce Gusto.
The design is also quite unique – very futuristic, almost reminiscent of an egg chair (or Eve from Wall-E, anyone?). The Dolce Gusto Jovia in particular has our eye in the UK, although various options also exist in both the UK & US to suit the aesthetic of your kitchen.
If you’d like to have a browse of all the different Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules that are compatible with the machine, have a peek at the range through the link below to help decide if this is the right choice for you.
Things to Consider when Choosing Your Nespresso Coffee Machine
There are many different types of Nespresso coffee machines (and indeed, alternatives!) but which machine you choose can end up being reasonably straightforward. Depending on your preferences below, you can almost always narrow down your options to 1-3 machines at the most:
Milk-based coffee? If you prefer frothing your own milk, or having lattes instead of espressos, this instantly narrows down a lot of the Nespresso range to the higher-end (but also very tasty!) milk based machines such as the Nespresso Creatista Plus. If you don’t care for milk-based coffee and simply want a consistent, good espresso, then something like the Essenza Mini may be right up your street.
Custom / Personalised coffee? Some of Nespresso’s range can help remember your exact milk, water and extraction options, if you like your coffee a specific way and don’t want to change any manual controls. While these usually cost more, it also makes getting your consistent, perfect coffee a lot easier!
Manual milk frother? In addition to whether you like milk, you should decide if you want to be able to froth your milk yourself and have a chance to create your own latte art. If this isn’t necessary you can simply buy an Aeroccino to go with many of the base Nespresso machines. However, if you want a steam wand to create everything by hand yourself, you’ll want something like the Creatista range.
How big are your coffees? Many Nespresso machines cater to smaller coffee sizes, around the espresso and double espresso / lungo range. If you enjoy a longer coffee on a single capsule, we’d highly recommend a machine like the Nespresso VertuoPlus machine which gives you up to a 414ml size of coffee.
Do you enjoy the lighter side of coffee? While we don’t normally go out of our way to talk about Nespresso alternatives, the Nescafe Dolce Gusto is compatible with so many mods that they even include teas and hot chocolate – this could be a versatile option if you take your coffee a little less seriously and prefer a wide variety of flavours and options.
We hope this has been a useful guide to finding which coffee machine is perfect for you in 2021 – be well, stay safe, enjoy your coffee and have an excellent year! 🙂