Not Really

In this Amazon advertisement cunningly disguised as a newspaper “article” ., the Nespresso Vertuo Next is described as the “best capsule coffee on the market”, a statement with which I take issue.

I’m not interested in starting a Keurig vs. Nespresso war (I use a Keurig), but the plain fact of the matter is that I find all the Nespresso offers so strong as to be undrinkable.  Indeed, when I was confined to quarters in Free Market Towers lo those many years ago, I was forced to use one of those Nespresso things, and discovered that the only way I could stomach the stuff was to make it “Americano-style”:  half coffee, half hot water.

As a company, Nespresso irritates me because like Starbucks, they’ve built a marketing ethos around the alleged high quality of their product which appeals very much to the wannabe social climbers of this world.  I was even more irritated when I wanted to buy Mrs. FM a Christmas present of a large selection of Nespresso pods, only to discover that I couldn’t because I wasn’t a “registered user” (i.e. an owner of the machine).  So I got her something else.

I also prefer Keurig because rather than using expensive pods, I can use one of the little “buckets” as a substitute, and fill said bucket with my own choice of coffee (Dunkin’ Donuts, or a 50-50 mix of Peet’s Light Roast and Tim Horton’s when I need to wake up quickly).

So no;  Nespresso isn’t the “best capsule coffee on the market”, either by quality or by offering.

Your mileage may differ.


  1. Personally I love my Nespresso Virtuo (I also use a shared Keurig at the office). I’ve never used the Nespresso classic machines, but I did buy the Nespresso Virtuo because I like a full size cup of coffee and not the espresso that they were known for with the original machines.

    They have many different flavors from very strong to very weak. They sell the pods on amazon, and in Target, so being a registered Nespresso owner isn’t really required. I think they actually do that to make sure people aren’t buying the wrong type of pod (it can be quite confusing at first).

    My biggest complaint about the Virtuo is that the pods are still under patent so they are quite expensive ($1-2 each) vs. the no longer patented K-cups (3/$1). Keurig tried reinventing the K-cup (Keurig 2.0, etc.) in order to keep their profit margins up, but that ultimately failed as K-cups are pretty much ubiquitous at this point.

    Personally I like the Nespresso coffee better, but it’s not for everybody. The great thing is there’s plenty of ways to brew coffee, so you do what you like.

  2. Ditched my Nespresso a couple years ago. While I actually enjoy dark roast (not the burned over starbucks crap) coffee, I found nespresso offerings left a lot to be desired and their ‘special’ blends were only good in the first run, then the quality declined rapidly. At close to $2 each it was cheaper to go back to making my own blends.

  3. I’ve tried both, at home and in the office. And quite frankly neither compares well to actually making a full pot of coffee with either drip or percolator (oh, I love me some percolator coffee). I’ve used the little plastic buckets for the Keurig, using the same Dunkin Donuts blend and it still tastes like shit compared to the el cheapo drip machine. I generally drink enough coffee in the morning that making a full pot is way cheaper that using the Keurig three times in a row just to fill my thermos. YMMV.

    1. You beat me to it.

      I’m not a huge coffee drinker. We have a Keurig, but the wife mostly uses it.

      When I’m jonesing for a coffee, I break out the old school percolator, load it up, and plop it on the stove.

      The percolator mellows out the bitterness, and you get the whole aroma thing going before it’s done.

      That’s how the morning should start – with the smell of coffee perking.

  4. aaahhhh coffee!!! One of my pet vices that I will never, ever give up regardless of the scientific mumbo jumbo du jour that comes out. One month it’s great for you then a few months later another study comes out decrying coffee and caffeine as the devil’s work. Decaffeinated coffee, now that is the the devil’s work.

    We use a drip machine that has a built in grinder but the grinder broke so we bought a separate grinder. A couple of power outages put me onto a manual grinder that makes the best coffee bar none. The daily use grinder we have is adequate. We use 8 O’Clock coffee and grind our own beans. It makes good hot or iced coffee. We tried a roaster across the state and their coffee is good but I can’t justify the high cost per pound. It’s Redding Roasters somewhere near the NY border.

    We have had a Keurig for ages and receive a mixed bag of keurig cups for Christmas from a relative. It’s ok and depending on the pod it can make a pretty good cup of coffee.

    I haven’t tried Nespresso or whatever it is. As soon as I see proprietary, I get turned off.


  5. I don’t drink coffee as I’m allergic to it, when I was in Russia though, their coffee tasted great, didn’t make me sick and didn’t give me a killing headache. They made it from a tin! I’m missing something somewhere.

  6. Our grown up kids gave us a Keurig about 12 years ago and it was all right for awhile, kind of convenient to make one cup of coffee and then about six years ago it stopped working, I took it apart to see if it could be repaired and nope, the guts are genuine Kraut designed and when it dies, it’s dead. At least that’s the way I called it so I went down to Walmart and purchased a $30 Mr. Coffee machine and a large can of coffee, gave all my useless Keurig cups to a friend who still used a Keurig and I never looked back.

    Every morning I enjoy making a large pot of coffee and then I unload the dishwasher, my wife loads it in the evening and starts it, by the time the dishwasher is unloaded I can pour a nice large fresh cup of coffee. Over the next few hours my wife and I drink most of the pot, rinse it out and we are good to go for the next day. We purchase a nice large can of HEB coffee, use a can in about three weeks and life is easy, one 1/4 cup measured into the basket and ten cups of water squirted into the back of the Mr. Coffee from the sprayer hose and it takes less than one minute to start a pot of decent coffee. When my Mr. Coffee stopped working about two years ago I threw it in the trash and spent another $30 on a new one and we were good to go. Simple things work well for us.

  7. “Your mileage may differ.”

    Indeed it does. My wife and I both drink short blacks — espresso or sometimes even ristretto. Years ago, we bought a reasonable espresso machine with built-in grinder, steam and hot water dispenser. Then we bought a Nespresso classic to take away when we went on the motorbike. Now, I prefer my coffee from the Nespresso, while my wife still prefers the older machine. She gets her beans from a little Italian coffee shop in the local shopping mall, and I (usually) buy just the Nespresso Roma or Ristretto pods. I have tried other brands in my machine, including Starbucks, but always go back to the original. We probably drink half a dozen cups a day, but none after about 3.30 pm or we’re still wide-eyed at midnight.

    Can’t stand the watery bilge they serve in some coffee shops here as a “long black”.

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