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Nespresso vs Espresso – The Real Cost Explained

by Lily

Nespresso vs espresso? That is the question! I see Nespresso machines in all of my friends’ homes. I even have one. And they are a great efficient way to get a nice shot of espresso. But if you do the math on the actual cost to own and operate a Nespresso machine for a full year, you will be SHOCKED. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are paying more for a sub-par shot of espresso.

Nespresso vs Espresso – Let’s Do the Math

I purchased an espresso machine for $600 – the Breville Barista Express to be exact.

You can purchase a Nespresso Machine for $100 – $200, so let’s pick somewhere in the middle and say $150. Below is similar to what I purchased – the Nespresso machine and milk frother bundle.

Side note – I really like the Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother because it’s very easy to use, and I still use it with my Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine.

Nespresso Machine First-Year Costs

Cost USD
Purchase Cost$150
Cost Per Shot$0.75**
Shots Per Day
Days Per Week We Make Coffee
Weeks Per Year52
Cost in Nespresso Capsules Per Year$936
Total Cost First Year$1086

** This cost is calculated by dividing the cost of an average Nespresso sleeve with the number of capsules in the US.

Breville Barista Express First-Year Costs

Cost USD
Purchase Cost$600
Cost Per Shot$0.37**
Shots Per Day
Days Per Week We Make Coffee
Weeks Per Year52
Cost in Coffee Per Year$462
Total Cost First Year$1062

** Cost per shot is calculated like this: Cost of 12 oz. whole bean coffee bag is $7. There are 340 grams in a 12 oz. bag. A double shot consumes 18 grams on the high side. So, there are around 19 double shots in a 12 oz. bag of coffee, which makes it about $0.37 per double shot.

nespresso vs espresso

So it costs $24 CHEAPER to have a quality home espresso machine over the span of the first full year. Most espresso machines last longer than a year. Let’s say the machine will last 5 years. That means, that you will save a whopping $1,894 over the next 4 years of using the machine. Not only do you have better quality espresso shots, but you have some serious cost savings.

Nespresso vs Espresso – What is the Quality of the Espresso Shots?

espresso being made

When I was in college, I had some friends that were exchange students from Italy. They REFUSED to drink Starbucks and compared the quality of the Starbucks coffee to drinking watered down coffee. I thought they were nuts- Starbucks was my morning routine and I couldn’t imagine life without a white chocolate mocha.

Little did I know that what I was enjoying about my coffee was all of the sugar and whipped cream, not the coffee.

espresso coffee beans

When you make GREAT quality espresso shots from quality fresh espresso beans, you do not need to disguise your drink with a bunch of sugar and whipped cream. A nice espresso shot will have this layer of foam on top called, crema.

nespresso vs espresso

Nespresso vs Espresso – Variations of Drinks You Can Make

If I’m eating strictly Keto, I have a go-to recipe for a low carb Keto Almond Cream Latte. Or you can drink your espresso shot in an iced vanilla latte, flat white, or cappuccino. Sometimes, I make my homemade cappuccino with homemade almond milk.

You can choose any type of espresso beans: french roast, dark roast, medium roast, or light roast. Personally, I prefer medium roast coffee beans.

After Two Years of Owning an Espresso Machine, My Opinion is Get One!

It’s two years that I’ve made the change from a Nespresso machine to a home espresso machine (I have a Breville Barista Express), and I could not be any happier. I have made at least 3 espresso double shots per day for TWO YEARS!

I’ve never had any mechanical issues with my machine. The only thing I’ve had to do for maintenance is to function the clean mode of the machine, which you can learn how to do here.

I purchased an off-brand cleaning tablet container from Amazon. I’ve only had to run the clean cycle for my machine 3 times since I’ve had it.

After using the Breville Barista Express every day, below is a list of my top 3 tips:

  1. If you are making a drink with milk, you can save time by using a frother. I have found that the Nespresso milk frother is easier to clean and use than the frothing wand on the espresso machine. Also, it reduces the number of times you have to refill the water tank.
  2. Try medium roast whole bean coffee beans instead of the traditional espresso dark roasted coffee beans. I have never had a better espresso, cappuccino, or latte outside of my home. My friends and family think the same thing and joke about me traveling to see them with my espresso machine.
  3. Use filtered water in the water tank. The tank has it’s own filter, but I prefer to use already filtered water, to begin with. It will reduce the amount of build-up and scaling that occurs naturally with these machines.

And There’s More… Nespresso Capsules Create Waste

Part of Nespresso’s business model is to sell you more capsules. Well, guess what! Those capsules get thrown away, leading to a lot of waste. Yes, it’s true that Nespresso offers a recycling program, but how many people actually recycle their capsules?

I hope this post has given you some points to consider. This post is entirely 100% my own opinion.

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