How to Use a Nespresso Machine

How to Use a Nespresso Machine for All Kinds of Coffee

The Nespresso coffee-making system has become increasingly popular among coffee lovers, with its promise of high-quality espresso and other coffee drinks with the convenience of a single-serve machine. It produces results rivaling complicated (and relatively expensive) espresso machines with a push of a button.

We’ll fill you in on how to use a Nespresso machine. But we also want you to be familiar with the two distinct types – Original and Vertuo, your Nespresso coffee options, the benefits of this particular coffee-making option, and more.

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Nespresso coffee, how to make Nespresso coffee
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Two Nespresso Systems

There are quite a few Nespresso machine models. You’ll find some with built-in milk frothers and others that are a bit more high-tech. That’s why pricing can vary wildly, from under $200 to nearly $500.

Regardless of the specific model, the one thing you’ll want to know is there are two Nespresso systems:

  1. Original
  2. Vertuo

So, if you want to know how to use a Nespresso machine, it’ll vary slightly. But the most important thing to know is you need to buy the proper coffee, which Nespresso calls pods.

The pods for Original makers are much smaller and consistent in size. Vertuo pods are wider, with height variations depending on the blend. Straight-up espresso pods are much shorter than 7 oz. brews.

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original Nespresso machine
Original Nespresso machine
Vertuo Nespresso machine
Nespresso Vertuo machine
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Differences Between Nespresso Original and Nespresso Vertuo

The Nespresso Original is the classic version of the machine and is designed to make espresso and other coffee beverages. Nespresso Vertuo is a newer version of the machine, designed to make larger-sized cups of espresso with crema.

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Original Nespresso Machines

Espresso is the focus of the original machine. Pods include a variety of 0.85 oz Ristretto options and max out at 3.7 oz Lungo variations.

Original machines retail from $179 to over $600. Some models closely resemble traditional espresso machines with features like built-in milk frothers, and the Creatista Pro even has an integrated steam pipe.

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Spillin' the Beans, coffee

Vertuo Nespresso Machines

You can get a Nespresso Vertuo for less than some of the Original machines. It’s not as “barista-like,” so you’re not going to be using a steam pipe to put designs in the milk froth. However, the Vertuo provides more options, as you can still make espresso the Vertuo pods cover the gamut. Many of the Vertuo blends provide 7.7 oz. brews. There are iced blends, pour-over styles, flavored pods, and more.

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Spillin' the Beans, coffee

What is Crema?

One of the best things about Nespresso, especially the Vertuo model, is the crema it produces. You get a thick layer, regardless of whether you’re making espresso or a large cup of mild roast.

Coffee crema is the layer of foam that forms on the surface of espresso when it is prepared correctly. It’s a combination of air, oils, and coffee particles that are created when the espresso is forced through the filter. Coffee crema adds a smooth, creamy texture and a unique flavor to espresso. It also helps to hold in the aromas and flavors of the coffee, making it more enjoyable to drink. The oils in crema also help to make espresso more velvety and rich, giving it a luxurious feel.

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Nespresso coffee, Nespresso pods
Spillin' the Beans, coffee

How To Use a Nespresso Machine

As we’ve mentioned, using a Nespresso machine varies slightly depending on the model you have. However, the basic process couldn’t be easier. You’ll put your cup or mug on the cup tray, open the pod holder (the old pod automatically falls into a container), put in a new pod, and gently close the lid. One press of a button, and you’ve got a perfectly brewed cup of ristretto, espresso, or coffee.

The high-pressure water circling through the foil capsule produces that rich crema that can take the place of a frothy milk topping. However, many Nespresso machines also come with built-in frothers. Or, you can get a super-affordable one in our Spillin’ the Beans coffee shop, and you’re turning your home into a full-service coffee bar.

Tip: Order your Nespresso pods directly from You get a free sample (two pods) per order, and you can request a prepaid envelope so you can return your used pods for recycling.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make espresso with a Nespresso machine?

The benefit of having a Nespresso machine is that making coffee, including espresso, is fully automated. Coffee variations are based on the specific pods you buy. So, if you want espresso, you’ll use an espresso pod. The machine takes care of everything.

What is the crema that’s produced with a Nespresso machine?

When espresso is prepared correctly, a layer of foam forms on the surface. The espresso is forced through a filter, causing air, oils, and coffee particles to build up. Crema gives espresso a smooth, creamy texture and a unique flavor. Furthermore, it helps preserve the flavor and aroma of the coffee. As a result of the oils in the crema, espresso is velvety and rich.

Can you make iced coffee with a Nespresso machine?

Yes. Nespresso even produces pods specifically made for iced coffee drinks.

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