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Keurig K-Cafe vs Nespresso Vertuoline: Which is Best & What is Different?

Keurig K-Cafe vs Nespresso Vertuoline: Which is Best & What is Different?

If you’ve spent any time looking into fast, single-serve coffee makers, you’ve probably begun to understand the difference between Keurig and Nespresso coffee makers. They both brew single servings of coffee in a quick manner by brewing hot water through a capsule filled with coffee grounds

Of course, within each brand lies a wide range of products with different features which change the overall functions of the machine. It can be difficult to figure out what would be best within brand, let alone when comparing two different brands altogether.

Sometimes making a decision of what brew method and product you will choose can actually be easier when compared between two different brands instead of within a brand. Instead of trying to choose between the many varieties of coffee maker Keurig provides, you can lay down a list of the functions you need and see what other machine fits those needs the best.

In this case, we’ve taken a look at two common competitor products with a long list of features that can make narrowing down a choice difficult. The machines are the Keurig K-Cafe and the Nespresso Vertuoline.

Both brew espresso and coffee from a pod, so figuring out which one to choose can be a bit of a challenge if you aren’t clear on what else they offer.

While the two have a lot in common as single-serve coffee makers, there are some key differences to consider before deciding which machine to buy. You’ll need to take all of the features and differences and see how they align with your personal needs for coffee brewing.

Some people need a machine that will suit their home and make their mornings more convenient. Others may want to put an instant coffee maker in a lobby or lounge where it will get lots of use. These two reasons may call for different machines altogether.

Main Features of the Keurig K-Cafe

Compared to some of the smaller versions of Keurig with less functionality, the K-Cafe has a long list of capabilities. The first notable feature of K-Cafe is that it’s compatible with all types of Keurig pods, which is convenient if you are planning on upgrading your machine but don’t want to have to toss your old pods and buy a new variety.

A lot of other Keurig coffee makers are only capable of brewing K-Cups, and will not accept K-Carafe, K-Mug, or other types of Keurig pods. Since this machine can handle any type of Keurig pod, you won’t have to worry about making sure you have the right pod each time you’re at the store.

You can brew coffee with this machine, as expected, but you can also get way more creative with this machine than other Keurig models. With K-Cafe, you can brew regular drip, or make lattes and cappuccinos with the milk frother.

To make a latte or cappuccino, you can easily change the settings to brew concentrated shot of coffee, like you would for espresso. You can easily take off the milk frother and clean, as it is dishwasher safe.

The machine can accommodate travel mugs with the drip tray removed. You can brew a 6, 8, 10 or 12-ounce cup of coffee.

The button controls are super easy to use, with simple switches between coffee and espresso. You can also choose between an iced setting and strong brew.

The water reservoir can hold large amount of water, about 60 ounces at a time. You can program the machine to turn off two hours after the last brew.

Main Features of the Nespresso Vertuoline

Much like the K-Cafe, you can choose between espresso and drip coffee with this machine. This option is easily overlooked, but the convenience can help slim down the amount of items you have on your countertop at a given time.

You need to use different capsules if you’re brewing espresso versus coffee with the Nespresso Vertuoline. A large capsule is used for coffee, and a small capsule for espresso.

The machine is not compatible with original Nespresso pods. You will need to purchase compatible pods before you can brew espresso or coffee with this machine.

The Nespresso Vertuoline only takes 15 seconds to heat up, which is fast and convenient for rushed mornings. The water tank can hold about 40 ounces.

The drip tray is removable to accommodate a travel mug. You can also use tall glasses with this machine. After 9 minutes of inactivity, the Nespresso Vertuoline will turn off. This is a great feature for anyone who forgets to shut off their appliances when they leave the house.

The machine makes alto (14 ounces), coffee (8 ounces) and espresso (1.35 ounces).

What Are The Main Differences Between Keurig K-Cafe and Nespresso Vertuoline?

Both machines are built to make single-serve coffee in a quick manner, making either choice a convenient one.

They brew in the same way, forcing hot water through a pod filled with a perfect dose of coffee grounds. The K-Cafe machine is compatible with any Keurig pod, and the Nespresso Vertuoline requires specific pods for either espresso or coffee, and they are not interchangeable. The Vertuoline is not compatible with other Nespresso pods, so you will have to buy specific pods and if you want to make both espresso and coffee, you will need to buy both pods.

The Keurig K-Cafe can hold 60 ounces of water in its reservoir, and the Nespresso Vertuoline can hold  40 ounces. If you’re looking for more efficiency, the K-Cafe can brew more coffee without having to be refilled.

The Keurig K-Cafe offers more functionality overall. You can choose between espresso or coffee with either machine, but the K-Cafe comes equipped with a milk frother. The frother is also dishwasher safe, which makes the machine even more convenient.

The Nespresso does not have a milk frother, so you’d have to go without making lattes and cappuccinos, or get your hands on a milk frother on the side.

The K-Cafe also offers extra settings, such as a strong brew and iced coffee setting. The Nespresso does not offer this, though it does have a built-in technology that recognizes which pod has been inserted and will create the perfect blend.

The Keurig K-Cafe can be programmed to turn off two hours after the last brew, and the Nespresso Vertuoline will automatically shut off within nine minutes.


Both the Keurig K-Cafe and the Nespresso Vertuoline offer a lot of features that make them great machines. They both heat up quickly, and can brew between espresso and regular drip coffee.

The Keurig K-Cafe has more functionality than the Nespresso Vertuoline. With K-Cafe, you can use any other Keurig brand pod in the machine to brew espresso or coffee. If you already have a Keurig, this would be a convenient upgrade because you don’t have to buy any new pods like you would for Nespresso.

The K-Cafe also holds 60 ounces as opposed to the 40 of Nespresso. If you’re looking to be able to make a lot of coffee at once, the K-Cafe machine would be more efficient and require you to refill less.

If you’re concerned about energy efficiency, the Nespresso heats up a bit faster than the Keurig and may be a better choice. It also will shut off after nine minutes, whereas the Keurig will wait two hours after the last brew to shut off.

If you are in a shared office space, or somewhere people come in and out and make coffee sporadically throughout the day, having the machine turn off after nine minutes would get really old. But if you’re at home, the nine-minute shut off would be useful if you don’t plan to come back and brew more.

If you want to be able to make specialty drinks, the K-Cafe will offer more freedom for you as well. You can make lattes and cappuccinos with the milk frother.

Take all of this information into consideration as you choose which machine is best for you. It comes down to personal needs, so don’t feel like you need to buy something you don’t actually want.

For me, the K-Cafe is a no-brainer for my next machine. This is because I love to make espresso drinks, like lattes and cappuccinos, and this machine will give me the capability to do this.

I love to make iced drinks, so the strong brew and iced option on the K-Cafe will be useful to me as I make my daily drinks. I won’t have to worry about getting the correct pod, either.

For someone who isn’t big on milky drinks or making larger amounts, the K-Cafe may not be the best option. You don’t want to buy something with a bunch of features you don’t end up using.

Whatever you choose, be sure to think through what features you want most from your single-serve coffee maker.

The Keurig K-Cafe and Nespresso Vertuoline are both very close in price, though it fluctuates so be sure to check up on the product listings.

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