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Nespresso vs Aeropress: Two Espresso Alternatives Compared

Most are familiar with the basic methods of brewing coffee, like drip coffee makers or Keurig machines. Keeping up with the many brewing options can be a daunting task, especially when they all are similar in some ways, but with key differences.

Many brewing methods we see these days have come from combining or bettering the functions of other methods, and creating a new brew method itself. We see this with the Aeropress, a method of brewing that essentially combines the features of French presses with the brand name Aerobie.

And then we have the Nespresso, Nestle’s venture into brewing espresso. This method uses a pod inserted in the machine to brew espresso, similar to the way Keurigs work.

Nespresso will always remain consistent, as the pods have the right amount of coffee already inside of them. There is also some room for variety, with lots of different flavors of pods. The appearance and functions of the machines range as well, with some being short and all black, and others taller with different colors.

Aeropresses don’t vary too much in appearance, as most are tall, thin and with two chambers. They are significantly cheaper than Nespresso machines, though the extra cost of other equipment will need to be considered.

The two brewing methods have a lot in common, especially the end result of a rich, bold cup of coffee. There are a lot of differences as well, and they will need to be taken into account before deciding what kind of brew method is best for you.

The Differences Between Nespresso and Aeropress

Before we evaluate the main features of each brewing method, we need to look at what sets the two apart.

The most obvious difference between the two is the way the grounds meet the hot water. With Nespresso, the coffee is always in a pod, so you won’t ever have access to the ground coffee or need to provide your own.

The Aeropress on the other hand works like a French press, so you’ll need to grind up some fresh coffee and add it to the Aeropress before brewing. This brewing method works with total immersion, where a gentle pressure forces a rich extraction of flavor from the coffee beans.

Nespresso pods do not leave room for customization, so you can’t adjust the amount, strength, or texture of the beans as you would with Aeropress. You can choose from a variety of different pod flavors, though. This also means you will always have a consistent cup of coffee if you use the same type pods each day.

As far as equipment needed, Nespressos require the machine and the pods, whereas Aeropresses require a grinder, a scooper, and a stash of your own coffee. Many coffee-enthusiasts already have some of the items necessary for using an Aeropress laying around their kitchen.

Nespressos brew at the touch of a button, and Aeropresses require manual grinding of beans and heating of water before any coffee can be brewed.

Now that we’ve laid out the main differences, let’s take a look at the individual brewing methods.

Is Nespresso Better Than Aeropress?

When it comes down to it, the Nespresso cannot make coffee as good as a skilled Aeropress brew can. That’s not to say there aren’t good reasons to choose a Nespresso, or that the brew is not quality. Both methods produce delicious, high quality coffee, but the Nespresso can only reach a certain taste, whereas the Aeropress allows for more skill to craft a bold cup.

The Nespresso works with pods, so you will never have to measure out how much coffee you’re grinding, or even purchase coffee in bulk. As a result, you will have consistent coffee with each brew, because it will always use the same amount.

Another great feature of the Nespresso that the Aeropress cannot offer is the inclusion of a milk frother. If you get a Nespresso with a frother, you will be able to make more creative drinks and experiment with achieving the perfect foam.

This is a great feature for someone who takes the presentation of their drinks seriously, or just wants to experiment more with their barista skills. I love frothing milk and making homemade lattes, so this is a great feature to be included in these machines.

The overall time it takes to brew coffee with a Nespresso machine is very short, making it an outstanding choice against an Aeropress if you are looking for convenience. You can brew a cup of coffee in under a minute and know that the taste will remain consistent each time.

Since everything you need for Nespresso is included in the machine, with the exception of the pods themselves, this machine takes up less counter space than others. If you’re really looking to condense, there are plenty of mini Nespressos available that brew delicious espresso.

There are lots of varieties of Nespresso machines, so users are able to choose exactly what features they want.

Is Aeropress Better Than Nespresso?

Good coffee brewed in an Aeropress is going to taste better than what a Nespresso can brew, though the two are both able to brew bold and rich flavors.

It’s important to keep in mind that Aeropress does not brew espresso, although the result is a very similar bold and rich brew. The method is very similar to a French press, and the resulting coffee is a close match.

A decent Aeropress is going to be cheaper than a Nespresso machine, although you’ll have to factor in the extra gadgets you’ll need in order to use the Aeropress. Luckily, there are many bundles including extra gadgets for use. You’ll still need to get your hands on a good grinder, as the best Aeropress coffee will come from freshly ground beans.

Although you’ll need a bit more to make a successful brew with an Aeropress, the taste and quality is worth it. Making a drink with an Aeropress takes under two minutes, as compared to French presses which take closer to five. The Nespresso brews coffee faster than both of the mentioned methods, but Aeropress still comes out with a much faster brew than a lot of methods.

The Aeropress brew method also offers a lot more control and flexibility than the Nespresso. You get to toy with different amounts of beans to make stronger or weaker brews, and larger amounts.

Again, you’ll want to grind your own beans, so you also will have control over the extraction of the coffee, which depends on how fine or coarse you grind it. For Aeropress, you’ll want finely ground coffee. Aeropresses also cut some of the acid out of the coffee taste, which can be difficult to achieve and is nice to find in a brew method.

If you have the necessary supplies, and know how to properly use an Aeropress, the coffee you brew will undoubtedly top that of a cup brewed from a Nespresso.

Nespresso or Aeropress?

The best choice for a great tasting cup of joe is going to be the Aeropress. Nespresso can make a great choice for a lot of reasons, but if we’re judging the quality of the finished product, it comes out behind.

If you’re an espresso-enthusiast, keep in mind that traditional espresso makers are not the same as these two brew methods. But if you’re looking for a dark, bold roast, a Nespresso or an Aeropress can both achieve that.

If you’re someone who likes convenience, and does not want to experiment with their coffee, a Nespresso is a good choice. You’re guaranteed a fresh, delicious cup with each pod you brew. You’re not entirely doomed to have the same exact tasting coffee each day either, because they offer many flavors for the pods.

The cost of the Nespresso is higher than an Aeropress, although it doesn’t require any extra products except for the coffee pods. Many find that the price of the machine is worth the convenience in their every day life, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons before making a decision for your own needs.

If you like to add your own personal touch to your morning brew, the Aeropress is a great choice. The taste of the coffee is entirely dependent on the steps taken to brew it, so you’ll need to get the hang of the process before reaching the desired brew.

Personally, I go for the Aeropress because I enjoy the process and like to reap the benefits with a bold, rich brew. I find the overall process rewarding. The difference in price is an important factor for me, especially considering I already have the other equipment necessary for using an Aeropress.

Which method is right for you will depend on your lifestyle and preferences. Both will brew a great cup of coffee. This article should help you gather the necessary information to make the right decision for you.


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Gamble Bay Coffee

James Lambert

Owner and proprietor of the Gamble Bay Coffee Company. Its my mission to teach you how to make amazing coffee at home... no barista needed other than yourself.