Nespresso makes the most popular capsules coffee machines developed by Nespresso. The aluminum capsules produced by Nespresso are filled with coffee grounds shortly after the beans are ground, and are then sealed. Nespresso promises a high quality flavor when they limit the expiration date of Nespresso capsules to up to 9 months from the roasting stage.
One of the cores of the Nespresso system is really in the coffee machines that are made for the Nespresso capsules. It is the way water is pumped, heated and then injected at high pressure into the coffee capsule that is said to make the perfect espresso. The method is called “Thermoblock”. In this method, water is pumped from the water tank, and injected at high pressure of 19 Bar to the Thermoblock unit, where the water is quickly heated to 86°C-89°C and injected at the same pressure into the coffee capsule. This way, only the water that’s going to the next espresso cup gets heated.
Other coffee machine machines use either a boiler system, that preheats the water to 100°C and even more, so that steam passes through the coffee grounds to produce the coffee drink, or a combination of a boiler and a high pressure pump. Using that combination, the water is still preheated but is then injected at a pressure of 6-12 Bar with a temperature of between 90°C-100°C through the coffee grounds.
While it is argued that Thermoblock system produces better flavor, aroma and creaminess of the coffee, there is somewhat of a problem with the Thermoblock machines that have milk steaming hoses, since injecting steam at high pressure for a long time becomes a problem when more water than is needed for a single espresso cup need to be heated.
Another issue to take in mind when purchasing a Nespresso system machine is the Nespresso capsules available in market. In this system, only capsules with flavors made by Nespresso can be used. This is different from other systems like Caffitaly, which has allowed other coffee capsule manufacturers to produce capsules that fit the Caffitaly system, with their own flavor. However, Nespresso has a wide range of 12 flavors which you can easily order online at their website.
There is a wide variety of home Nespresso machines for different price levels. I will note some of the most popular coffee makers for this system:
Nespresso Entry Level Espresso Only Machines
When I say entry level and espresso only, I don’t mean low quality. These are very popular machines that could be well fitted for your first home espresso machine. I am referring to the Magimix M100 and the Krups Nespresso XN2000. They are great for making espresso in small 50ml cups, but not so great for bigger cups. Furthermore, these machines do not include a milk steaming hose (that function is done with an additional accessory developed by Nespresso called Aeroccino).
Nespresso High Level Espresso Only Machines
Still with no built in milk steamers, these two slick Nespresso capsule system espresso makers, the Magimix Le Cube M220 and the Krups xn5000 Le Cube series, are beautiful and brew really good espressos. They include a dosing system to control the exact amount of water in your drink and a height adjustable cup tray, so you can prepare your coffee in espresso cups as well as latté glasses.
Nespresso Machines with Built-in Milk Steamers
Another couple is the Magimix M200C and the Krups xn4050 coffee makers. These capsules system machines have built in milk steaming hoses. You can use the built in hose to steams milk manually or install the plug-and-play AutoCappuccino accessory which will do the milk frothing for you, and all you have to do it connect a plastic hose to a milk container.
Read more about these coffee makers here…
One more advanced machine with a built-in milk frothing system and two separate pumps for the milk and the water is the Delonghi Lattissima EN660 / 670 / 680. This coffee maker has a programmable sequence mechanism to produce a great tasting cappuccino in just a press of a button.
Nespresso Citiz Machines
The newest and very successful line of machine for the Nespresso capsule system. These Nespresso machines, such as the Krups XN 7006 and Magimix M190 are perfect for making espressos and have models with built in milk frothers. Read our review about Nespresso Citiz.
Overall, Nespresso has been very successful with its capsule system technology, and thanks to the Thermoblock system, the machines produce great espresso with very little maintenance.