Keurig is a beverage brewing system developed by the American company Dr Pepper, and was founded in 1990. Keurig systems are single serve brewing machines that uses K-cups which are pods filled with coffee, tea or other beverage products, which are injected with hot water and the beverage is poured into a cup placed on the tray of the machine. It is a competitor to the Nespresso machine by Nestle in single serve coffee brewing systems.
Keurig offers an amazingly diverse list of pods from espressos to lattes to tea and even hot chocolates. There are 55 different models of this brand from inexpensive K15 and K10, to high end K575. There are two types of systems – 1.0 and 2.0. 1.0 systems uses regular K-cup pods and compatible pods to brew upto 10 fl oz of beverage, whereas 2.0 systems can only use Keurig Grand Mountain certified pods and K-Carafe pods which are extra large and can brew upto 30 fl oz which is a full carafe of beverages.
The K-pods are made of a plastic cup with an aluminium lid, the pod itself is flushed with nitrogen and sealed to preserve the coffee or other product inside. The machines spray nozzle pierces the aluminium lid while a discharge nozzle pierces the plastic end. The spray nozzle sprays hot water to extract the product and it flows out through the discharge nozzle and into the cup.
The usual Keurig models aren’t capable of making an espresso and are more suited to make black coffee, however there is a model called Rivo which cannot use other k-cup pods and can only use Lavazza Rivo cups. The Rivo model can only make espresso and espresso based drinks such as the ristretto, lungo, and doppio. This model uses a 15 bar pressure pump which makes for a well extracted shot with a delicious creamy crema layer on top at the touch of a button, however the range of coffee brews are limited for this model.
Nespresso produces two lines of machines – Orginal line and Vertuo line. The Original line machines uses a 19 bar pressure pump to extract the coffee from the pods and the Vertuo line models use centrifugal systems which injects hot water into the cup and spins it at 7000rpm for extraction.
The Keurig system injects pressurised water at a temperature of 89C inside the K-cup where the brewing process takes place. The cup has a patented advanced filtration system built into the K-cup through which the coffee filters through and into the coffee cup.
To figure out how the Keurig and the Nespresso system fairs against each other, let’s look at the following factors and see which single serve capsule based brewing system comes out on top.
The Keurig systems are not limited to just coffee beverages and can brew tea, hot chocolate, flavoured and much more variety of products to choose from. The Nespresso line has been designed solely for the brewing of coffee and coffee based products and currently does not have any pods dedicated to tea or cocoa. The Keurig system wins out on variety as there are innumerable flavours to choose from and all of them are unique.
The Nespresso line distinguishes itself on it’s capability of making a delicious superior shot of espresso and espresso based brews. The Original line uses a 19bar pressure pump which is excellent for espresso shots. The result is a stronger, more aromatic and flavourful shot which cannot be produced by even their own Vertuo line or by the Keurig systems. The Nespresso machines and the espresso pods that they offer make a thick delicious authentic crema layer which many coffee buff will claim that it is the mark of a true espresso shot. Therefore, for espresso purists, the Nespresso machines are the clear victor.
Depending on your preferences, choose the machines – if you want a huge variety of brews not restricted to coffee, go for the Keurig systems, but if you want a superior coffee along with better aroma the Nespresso line makes a better cup. Both systems make better coffee than a typical drip based coffee maker.
Both Keurig and Nespresso machines are pod based systems and are equally easy to operate. Simply push the pod into the receptacle, select the brew you want and press start. Both companies have models dedicated to producing excellent steamed and foamed milk, with comparable results.
In terms of build quality, the nespresso machines are made in Switzerland with a 2 year warranty whereas the Keurig systems are made in China and come with only a year of warranty. The Nespresso machines are more well built, the designs are more refined and the metal components are of top grade. The Keurig machines are also built with high standard regulations but based on customer reviews, the Nespresso WINS this round for build quality.
Both companies have various models from mini kitchen top single serve brewers to commercial grade models which can be used in cafes or offices. The Nespresso does not have the variety of models that Keurig has – 55 models for Keurig and much fewer for Nespresso. This makes Keurig models more easier to choose based on individual preferences. Many Original line models has external Aeroccino jars to make steamed and foamy milk, which means that you will have to brew separately, process the milk and mix them manually. However the newer Vertuo line makes it easier to brew milk based drinks by having an inbuilt milk container like many of the Keurig systems.
There are many Keurig compatible reusable pods where you can refill them using your own coffee grounds or blends. This greatly improves the versatility of these devices and Nespresso lines do not have reusable pods, which is a disadvantage.
Therefore, in sheer variety of models, Keurig wins the round however the Nespresso lines do have better build quality and last longer.
Keurig machines are so varied, that they come in plastic and metal bodies. The Keurig Mini is a small, cute device which fits into any nook of a kitchen and comes in a variety of bright colours. The more advanced systems begin to look more like metal robots with touchscreens on them which feels more corporate and futuristic.
The Nespresso lines have much better refined designs despite having a limited range of models to choose from. The colour variations is also fewer than Keurig systems however, these machines are beautiful to look at and the noise from the machines sound like cafe’s espresso machine.
Keurig systems are unable to create espressos and a different model has been dedicated solely for espresso and espresso based pods – the Rivo. This machine cannot brew anything else however it does have a steam nozzle to make a proper jug of steamed and foamy milk. The Nespresso machines can make excellent espresso shots with a delicious crema layer along with the wonderful aromas that can only be sourced from the top grade coffee produced in the world. Nespresso takes it’s coffee seriously and has an impressive triple A team dedicated in choosing the best coffee for the pods.
The Keurig pods are plastic made and the box is not much to look at. You do get a huge amount of variety and flavours to choose from, but the Nespresso original and vertuo pods come in a luxuriously designed box. The pods are made with aluminium which feel and look amazing. The aroma and the espresso making capabilities are what sets this machine apart from its competitors.
For aesthetics and experience of brewing – The nespresso is the winner.
The average cost of a nespresso original pod is $0.80 and $1.15 for Vertuo pods. The original compatible pods made by other manufacturers are cheaper and come at an average cost range of $0.50 to $0.70. The machines itself are more expensive than Keurig systems due to the fact that it is made in Switzerland with better build quality.
Keurig pods are much cheaper, with K-Cup almost as cheap as non nespresso made original line compatible pods up to more premium Rivo pods which cost $1.20 per pod. Keurig also manufactures reusable pods which makes the system even more cheaper to use.
For sheer cost factor alone, the Keurigs are a better choice.
For new buyers, here are the best picks based on customer satisfaction and the above factors considered –
For buying K-pods, this website has all of the pods manufactured by Keurig – here
Note to Keurig Buyers: There are two systems available – 1.0 and 2.0, with 2.0 being the newer version. All 2.0 pods are compatible with 1.0 machines however 2.0 machines will not accept severable pods which aren’t licensed or Keurig made. The 2.0 system is aimed specifically to brew Keurig Green Mountain pods and Vue cups.
Our Opinion: If you want the 2.0, sure go ahead. However, if you are new to Keurig or single serve brew machines, it’s better to stick with 1.0 since you can use 2.0 pods as well. The K55 model is in our opinion the most ideal Keurig machine to buy considering all factors of price and types of brews being made. It is an all purpose machine and is programmable to brew any pods except the Rivo espresso pods.
For nespresso machine buyers – refer to this article where the machines are labelled and explained for you to choose whichever suits your needs.