Buying My First Nespresso Machine

Breville Nespresson machine review

My experience with buying a Nespresso machine for the first time – which one we picked, our favorite coffee pods, and more

Many years ago, I won a Keurig coffee machine through a blog giveaway. It was too tall for my counter and I immediately sold it on Craigslist. I saw it as a sign, we didn’t need a coffee machine, we were just fine with our French press. I then had a campaign with Tassimo and with it received a machine short enough for my kitchen counter and a big box of T-Discs. Since having Emerson a few years prior we strived to be as eco-friendly and healthy of a home as possible. We stopped using paper towels and napkins, we composted, we line-dried, we made our own hand soap, we cloth diapered, we collected shower water in buckets for our garden. But dang if we weren’t obsessed with our trash-creating Tassimo. We were struggling to keep up with a little kid, a stressful job with a long commute, shooting weddings on weekends, and the blog. It was so nice to pop in a disc, press the button, and have quality coffee in just the right size. But after a year we just felt too guilty (and to be honest, too low of an income bracket) to keep up with the Tassimo and I gave it away on Freecycle. We went back to the French press.

I just didn’t like French press coffee as much. I never mastered the right ratio of bean grinding and grounds per water. I was always in a rush in the morning and the French press just pissed me off.  The Tassimo made it quick and foolproof, and I was able to buy different T-Discs from my husband so we could both get the roasts and flavors we preferred. When I was working out of the house, I was leaving 10 minutes early so I could buy coffee on the commute. My husband bought a jar of organic instant coffee that was easier for me to make when still blurry-eyed in my bathrobe. It got the job done, but it wasn't delicious. I started researching traditional coffee makers to buy myself one for Christmas.

Choosing a Nespresso Machine

This fall, we visited friends. We spent the day outside, it was bright and clear but a bit chilly. We came back to their house and one of them offered me a cup of coffee to warm up. She asked what kind of coffee I liked, I said it didn’t matter, she brought me the most delicious smelling mug of foamy goodness. It was rich and flavorful and tasted creamy though it was black. She shared they had a Nespresso. My husband also had a mug. We spent the next couple of weeks thinking about and discussing the Nespresso. We don’t need it, it’s so wasteful, our counter space is already minimal and this will take up so much room. It’s expensive, it’s ridiculous, but damn if that coffee wasn’t more delicious than what we’ve had at Dunkin or Starbucks or Vigilante or Peet's or any of the other places. And when you think how much we spend on a drink at one of those places versus the price of one Nespresso pod, well we’re saving money right?

And then I read that Nespresso recycles their pods. The aluminum is recycled to make new things, the coffee grounds are composted, they offer free UPS bags to collect the pods and send them back postage paid, or they can be dropped off at a Nespresso boutique (which I have never seen in the wild but looking at their site I see in the DC/VA/MD area there are boutiques at Tyson's, Pentagon City, and Montgomery Mall). Now in NYC, you can throw Nespresso pods right in your commingled recycling.

Our Nespresso Machine Review

A campaign I didn’t expect, doing work I knew I’d enjoy creating and sharing showed up in my inbox. With part of it, we treated ourselves to a Nespresso machine and some sleeves of coffee pods.  Nespresso machines are hella confusing.  Do you get the old classic pods or the new VertuoLine ones?  Do you need a milk frother?  Why is everything in some sort of code you need a degree to understand?  We ended up getting this machine, which is perfect for us.  No milk frother, no complicated extras.  It comes with a mix of pods so you can figure out which ones you may like to buy. The reservoir on the left holds water, the one on the right collects used pods. Open the top, put in the pod, close and turn until it locks and press the button. It's easy to remove the reservoirs to refill or empty and they slide back in super easy. We've had it for two months and have no complaints.

We’re obsessed. My husband has his favorite roast, I have mine, and we occasionally try a new one for fun. We even bought a drawer for our pods to go under the machine. If you sign up for Nespresso's emails you'll know about any promotions but take it from someone who has been stalking Nespresso all holiday long, they hardly have sales and promotions and when they do they're pretty disappointing (Buy 10 sleeves of pods and get a box of chocolate! Buy 30 sleeves and get one sleeve of a random brew you don't know and won't like for free!). It does take up valuable counter space. It is more expensive than a French press or a traditional coffee maker (each pod is around $1). You can argue the fuel to transport our bags of Nespresso pods back to their headquarters to recycle is counterintuitive. But I love it. I love how I can have delicious coffee any time of day, delicious coffee that doesn’t require flavored creamers and stolen packets of Splenda. My Nespresso machine is one of my not-so-guilty pleasures of 2019.

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23 Comments

  1. Barbara
    January 8, 2020 / 2:17 pm

    I love my Nespresso. Peet’s also makes delicious Nespresso-compatible pods that I have on a subscription that includes bags to send spent pods to a recycler post-paid. Their decaf blend is helping me break my holiday-induced “Where’s Dessert?” conditioning. A nice post-dinner espresso is a lovely treat.

  2. Heather
    December 31, 2019 / 12:23 pm

    Is the Nespresso acidic? I’ve had to go to making cold brew because the acidity of regular coffee upsets my stomach.

    • December 31, 2019 / 5:53 pm

      It is coffee, it’s just a different way that it is brewed. But they have dozens of different roasts.

  3. December 30, 2019 / 2:24 pm

    I’m glad you’re recycling your pods, however, I am against these machines on principle because of the vast amounts of plastic they consume and the fact that not very many people are recycling the pods. This is an important post, and I hope a lot of people get the message about how wasteful these pods can be and how important it is to practice recycling if you’re going to use one. 🙂

    • December 31, 2019 / 5:54 pm

      I like that other than parts from the machine, Nespresso doesn’t use plastic for their pods or the pod packaging. I’m grateful many shared here and on Facebook reusable pods and will be trying them and reporting back on how well they work!

    • Brenda
      January 7, 2020 / 8:36 pm

      The pods are not plastic – they are made from recycled aluminum – aluminum is one of the materials that can endlessly be recycled. And if you reach out to Nespresso and express your concerns about recycling, they may be able to partner with your municipality (as they do in ours) to put the pods in your recycling container. Are they perfect? Nope – and responsible consumers can feel ok about them, I think.

  4. Jacquie
    December 30, 2019 / 12:56 pm

    Thank you so much for the article on Nespresso’s wonderfully generous funding of NYC’s recycling equipment to help handle small metals . That’s the way corporate business should think and act!

  5. Phyllis
    December 30, 2019 / 11:04 am

    Love our Nespresso! Xoxo

  6. Cynthia Ryan
    December 30, 2019 / 10:00 am

    Love my Nespresso ( same model as yours) And I have a secret…..you can reuse the pods and use your own coffee!
    GEESTA Reusable Aluminum Foil Seals Kit Compatible with Nespresso Vertuoline Capsules work awesome!

    • December 31, 2019 / 5:55 pm

      You are the BEST Cynthia, thank you so much for this!!!

      • Cynthia
        January 1, 2020 / 12:03 pm

        You’re very welcome! I like to buy organic coffee as well so now I get awesome crema with no guilt!

  7. Krista
    December 30, 2019 / 9:31 am

    My son raves about this. At 18, he’s quite the coffee connoisseur. He asked for one for graduation. My husband and I go through a pot of coffee each morning so I always feel like this would be an unnecessary expense. But it does make great coffee. So I keep perusing the machines and options. This unexpected post is appreciated.

  8. Roseag
    December 30, 2019 / 9:04 am

    I passed on the coffee maker but bought the stand-alone milk frother.

    • EngineerChic
      December 30, 2019 / 1:10 pm

      I bought one of those as well. It is the most used appliance in the house, 3-4 times each morning. It is so easy to clean and I love the cold froth setting for when I want to cool down a cup of coffee asap and chug it before heading out.

  9. Melissa
    December 30, 2019 / 8:48 am

    I have a Ninja that was gifted me, and I love it. I also have an old fashioned percolator like my mom had, and it makes amazing coffee. Seems for company, I always get out the percolator and everyone raves. Also? That blurp blurp blurp sound of coffee brewing brings me back to my childhood and is so satisfying!

    • December 31, 2019 / 5:56 pm

      I love it when my mom brings out her percolator, if we entertained more for coffee situations I would totally get one!

  10. Karen Eugenio
    December 30, 2019 / 8:15 am

    Totally agree on the Nespresso. We had some coffee made with one while in Europe and when we got home, we bought our own. The beautiful crema is what got us hooked.

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