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Nespresso Essenza Mini
The Nespresso machine we recommend
The Essenza Mini makes the same espresso as $400 Nespresso machines but has a smaller footprint and no unnecessary features.
The Essenza Mini is small and mighty, capable of making the same ristrettos, espressos, and lungos as any other machine in the Nespresso line. Its slim, attractive frame can fit in even the smallest kitchen, and its simplicity makes it the easiest Nespresso machine to use and clean. Don’t be bamboozled by the wide array of machines that make you pay hundreds of dollars more for features that won’t make your coffee taste any better, such as Bluetooth technology or a latte art wand. The Essenza Mini offers the most bang for a still-sizable buck.
Nespresso Essenza Plus
A more versatile Nespresso
This larger-capacity machine can also brew Americanos, making it a good option for households that want both espressos and more diluted coffee drinks.
Most people need only the Essenza Mini, but the larger Essenza Plus is a more versatile machine that can brew two sizes of Americano in addition to the regular Nespresso repertoire of ristrettos, espressos, and lungos. This machine takes up a bit more counter space than the Mini, but its expanded water tank and used-capsule drawer make it a better option for brewing drinks for large groups of people. Even if you’re brewing for one, you won’t have to empty capsules or refill water as frequently. The Essenza Plus also includes two additional features—a hot water button whose results aren’t quite hot enough for tea, plus app connectivity that allows you to order new capsules with the touch of a button—that we find less useful. But its ability to brew preprogrammed Americanos makes it a solid upgrade, especially if you enjoy both concentrated espressos and less-concentrated coffee drinks.
A machine for Nespresso and Keurig
Big but inexpensive, the Instant Pod is the only machine that can brew both Nespressos and K-Cups.
The CatDog of pod coffee, the Instant Pod brews both Nespresso capsules and Keurig K-Cups, making it a good option—and the only option—for households that want both in one machine. Made by the company responsible for Instant Pot multicookers, the Instant Pod can make Nespresso drinks in 2-ounce, 4-ounce, and 6-ounce sizes, which are roughly equivalent, respectively, to a Nespresso espresso, lungo, and larger lungo—everything our main pick can brew, except the ristretto. And it can brew 8-ounce, 10-ounce, and 12-ounce Keurig coffees. Nespresso’s line of Vertuo machines ostensibly make espresso and coffee, too, but we found the Vertuo coffee, which is capped with a thick layer of crema, unpleasant. We don’t like the watery taste of Keurig coffee much, either—and we don’t recommend those machines—but if you want the option to brew K-Cups, the Instant Pod offers the versatility to do both, while taking up less space on your counter than two machines and costing less than the cheapest Nespresso. It also has a cavernous water tank that makes back-to-back brewing easy, as well as an accessible interface friendly to first-timers.
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: The Best Nespresso Machine (But It’s Not for Everyone)