Buying Guides

Nespresso vs. Aeropress: Strengths and Weaknesses

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Are you struggling to decide between an AeroPress or a Nespresso machine? Both are fantastic alternatives to a traditional espresso machine and are easy and accessible options to help you upgrade your coffee game.

So how do you choose between a Nespresso machine or an AeroPress? Read on to learn more about the similarities and differences between these two coffee brewing systems, and decide for yourself!

nespresso vs aeropress

AeroPress and Nespresso: Background

AeroPress has been a giant in the coffee world since 1976, when founder Eric Favre was inspired during a vacation to Rome to create an easy-to-use espresso machine that could create authentic and delicious espresso from home.

The first Nespresso machines launched in 1986 and today, they’re one of the biggest names in the coffee world. Nespresso coffee makers are known for their line of single-serve capsule machines that create espresso and coffee drinks in a matter of minutes.

On the other hand, AeroPress has a much more recent backstory. The AeroPress first debuted in 2005 after the inventor and founder Alan Adler sought to create a better way to brew coffee. The aim of AeroPress is to create an inexpensive and accessible coffee brewing system that allows for user control over grind size and brew time.

How do these brewing systems work?

Nespresso is a capsule-based one-touch brewing system that’s all about quality coffee, speed, and convenience. To operate a Nespresso machine, simply open up the capsule chamber, insert the coffee capsule of your choice, fix the cup size settings (if your machine has any), and press start. The machine will do the rest.

Some Nespresso machines use bars of pressure to produce authentic espresso, while machines in their VertuoLine will use centrifugal force to spin the coffee to produce a thick coffee foam.

AeroPress can also brew a delicious cup of coffee in a matter of minutes, but it’s much more hands-on. To brew with an AeroPress, you should heat your water, insert the filter into the basket, add your coffee, then quickly fill up the chamber with hot water and let it brew momentarily. Finally, push the plunger through the chamber to release the coffee into your cup. The plunger works similarly to a French press to push the brewed coffee through the filter.

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For a quick and easy guide for brewing with an AeroPress, check out this video!

What are the Downsides of the AeroPress and Nespresso Machines?

No piece of coffee machinery is perfect, and there will always be drawbacks to whichever kind of coffee maker you choose. But understanding those drawbacks can help you pick the better, more convenient option for you.

Nespresso coffee machines are a great introduction to the world of home espresso. With a simple one-touch brewing system, coffee aficionados can enjoy a cup of espresso with a rich, delicious crema, all in a matter of a minute or two.

But it’s not the right machine for you if you like the manual process of brewing coffee, or if you want control over your settings. There’s also the issue of cost; over time, Nespresso’s costly coffee pods can add up. If you’re on a budget, it’s worth considering how much you value convenience before you take the plunge.

AeroPress coffee makers are quick, easy, and affordable, but they’re also one of the more hands-on brewing methods you can choose. But unfortunately, it’s not the most versatile. Using an Aeropress machine will result in a strong cup of coffee, which may not be for everyone, and it doesn’t work as well with light roasts.

It also can only make about two or three cups of coffee at one time. Basically, the Aeropress does one thing (strong, dark roast coffee) really, really well. But it has limitations, and if you prefer to mix up your brewing options, it likely won’t be the only coffee machine in your arsenal.

Who is Best Suited for Each Coffee Brand?

Nespresso lovers are all about speed, convenience, and great-tasting coffee above all else. The type of coffee lover that uses a Nespresso machine wants a quick and convenient espresso drink without ever having to leave their home. With Nespresso’s one-touch single-serve brewing system, there’s not much for the machine owner to do but wait.

However, Aeropress is better suited for someone who doesn’t have room for a large espresso machine. If you live in a small space or don’t have much counter space, you may prefer the small syringe shape that fits neatly in a drawer. It’s also the perfect option for people who travel frequently, since it’s small, durable, and doesn’t require much more than coffee grounds and hot water to work.

Nespresso vs AeroPress: A Side-By-Side Comparison

Nespresso

On Sale

Nespresso machines are beloved by coffee lovers all over the world, and for good reason! They’re quick, convenient, and so easy to use. Plus, with their extensive line of machines at different price ranges and sizes, there’s a Nespresso machine to fit just about every home and lifestyle.

Nespresso machines are designed to make it simple, quick, and easy to enjoy coffee or Nespresso at home, without hands-on approach of a system like AeroPress or pour over, and without having to learn to pull a shot with a traditional espresso machine.

Things We Like:

  • Most Nespresso machines feature a one-touch brewing system that’s intuitive and convenient.
  • Both the Original Line machines and the VertuoLine each feature capsules with over 20 different flavors, roast levels, and kinds of coffee,
  • The coffee pods sold by Nespresso don’t contain any additional sugars — just quality ground coffee.
  • While individual capsules can be pricey, they’re still cheaper than a daily shot of espresso from a coffee shop.
  • The coffee capsules are 100% recyclable, and Nespresso offers a program for you to send back your used capsules to be recycled.
  • The Original Line machines use 19 bars of pressure to create beautifully rich, authentic espresso with crema in a matter of minutes, all with the touch of a button.

Things We Don’t:

  • Long-term, the cost of Nespresso capsules adds up. Since many of the Nespresso machines are not compatible with cheaper 3rd party capsules or reusable pods, Nespresso owners are locked into using pricey Nespresso-branded coffee capsules for the long term, rather than being able to grind their own coffee beans or choose from 3rd party roasters.
  • The disposable pods can cause harm to the environment; however, there are a couple of solutions. Choose a machine from the original line and use reusable capsules, or participate in Nespresso’s capsule recycling program.
  • Not all machines come with milk accessories like frothers and steam wands, which come at an extra cost.
  • Since a Nespresso coffee maker is meant to be minimal and intuitive, there’s little to no control over settings like water temperatures or cup sizes.
  • Nespresso machines require consistent daily/weekly cleaning and descaling every three months (which requires the purchase of a descaling solution).

The Bottom Line

There’s no question that when it comes to convenience and speed, Nespresso machines deliver some of the best quality coffee in half the time.

Coffee enthusiasts who prioritize speed and convenience in their morning coffee routine will love the Nespresso. But these machines are not suited for everyone.

If you’re someone who likes getting involved with the process of making your own coffee, or you simply want to control your water temperature, cup size, and other settings, then a Nespresso may not be right for you.

AeroPress

On Sale

The AeroPress is a cylindrical coffee maker that uses air pressure and a paper filter to produce coffee. The main advantage of AeroPress is its simplicity. There are only three parts: the coffee maker, the plunger, and the filter.

These three parts, along with the included stirrer and coffee scoop, create an ultra-portable and travel-friendly brewing system that creates consistently bold, strong coffee every time.

For someone looking for an affordable coffee solution that doesn’t compromise on quality, AeroPress is an excellent option.

Things We Like:

  • The AeroPress is incredibly portable and perfect for travel. Its small size is also a big plus if you have a tiny kitchen with no room for a larger machine.
  • The brewing process is fast and easy, and you can have a delicious cup of coffee in a matter of minutes.
  • It’s super affordable, and a perfect solution if you’re looking for a brewing system on a budget. The quality of coffee is excellent given the price point.
  • It’s sturdy and durable, and sure to last you for the long run, even if it’s frequently being thrown in a travel bag.
  • The Aeropress is easy to clean because it can quickly be taken apart and thoroughly scrubbed.

Things We Don’t:

  • This brewer is really only suited for single users or to brew coffee for up to two people at a time; it’s definitely not suited for larger gatherings.
  • Not all roast levels are ideal for this system. The AeroPress brews best with medium to dark roasts, but lighter roasts don’t work as well.
  • This is a more hands-on system, in the same vein as a pour-over setup, which may not be for everyone.
  • This system does not brew espresso with crema. You may want to give this system a pass if you’re looking for something more versatile that can handle espresso.
  • AeroPress creates an “espresso-like” drink using finer ground coffee beans, but it doesn’t create authentic espresso.

The Bottom Line

The AeroPress is a straightforward method that produces a strong, delicious cup of coffee in a short amount of time. It’s affordable and user-friendly, even if it’s a little more hands-on.

While it may take a time or two to get used to the brewing system, you’ll quickly find that it can become one of the quickest and easiest ways to brew coffee in your arsenal.

However, those who don’t like strong coffee or prefer light roasts may want to steer clear of the AeroPress. It’s also not great for large gatherings, since it can only brew up to 2 or 3 cups at a time. For single coffee drinkers and frequent travelers, this may be the perfect fit!

Final Thoughts

Nespresso and AeroPress are both convenient and easy-to-use coffee brewing systems, but they have a few significant differences. Hopefully, after checking out the pros and cons of each brewer, you’re more prepared to know which one is best suited for you and your lifestyle.

Who should choose AeroPress? If you’re a single coffee drinker, if you travel a lot, or if you simply love a straightforward, strong cup of coffee without any fancy equipment, then the AeroPress may be for you.

It’s also worth pointing out that once you buy the AeroPress, the only ongoing costs for this brewer are the paper filters, which are quite cheap, and buying your own coffee beans. Not to mention, the AeroPress is going to be much more affordable than a Nespresso machine, the long term.

If you’re not looking for a coffee system to take with you wherever you go, and you simply want a “set-it-and-forget-it” kind of brewer that will deliver great results with minimal work on your end, then you’ll likely prefer a Nespresso machine.

There are so many Nespresso machines to choose from, so make sure that you take a look at our guides for choosing the best Nespresso machine and coffee capsules.

Happy Brewing!

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