Nespresso machines are ideal for coffee lovers who love coffee pods. The single-brewing machine makes it easier to brew coffee at home.

Quick Answer: Does Nespresso coffee differ from brewed coffee?

Nespresso differs from brewed coffee in taste. Their brewing methods use different pressures, brewing temperatures, flow rates, and a lower coffee concentration than brewed coffee. Nespresso also uses finer coffee grounds.

Even though both Nespresso and brewed coffee can use a pressure-brewing technique, the method is different.

Nespresso vs. Coffee: How Does It Differ From Brewed Coffee?

This article explains some key differences between Nespresso vs. coffee so you’ll know exactly how these coffee methods suit your needs.

Are Nespresso and brewed coffee the same?

As mentioned, Nespresso and brewed coffee are different. Nespresso makes an espresso-like coffee shot but is significantly different in taste than regular espresso.

Below are some pros and cons of Nespresso coffee and brewed coffee so you can quickly see if one fits your needs better:


Brewed Chiaro Nespresso coffee with coffee pod next to it.


  • Nespresso is relatively easy to brew.
  • Nespresso tastes good.
  • Nespresso has different roast options, including decaf.


  • You can only use coffee pods for Nespresso.
  • Coffee pods are more expensive than coffee beans.
  • Nespresso machines are costly.
  • Nespresso doesn’t taste like regular brewed coffee.

Brewed coffee

Homemade red eye coffee.


  • Coffee machines are cheaper than Nespresso machines.
  • You can use any coffee grounds you like.
  • Coffee beans are cheaper than coffee pods.


  • The brewing method has a tiny margin for error.
  • Brewed coffee takes time to prepare.

Despite their taste differences, Nespresso is as much coffee as brewed coffee. It all comes down to your taste and preference.

It also depends on whether you prefer convenience to precision. As mentioned, Nespresso is easy to make and doesn’t require too much effort or attention to detail compared to brewing regular coffee.

Why does Nespresso taste different from brewed coffee?

Nespresso tastes different from brewed coffee in several ways. Compared to espresso, a Nespresso isn’t as strong as espresso.

It differs in intensity and flavor. But a Nespresso is stronger than regular black coffee.

  • The difference in acidity: A significant difference between the two is that Nespresso is slightly less acidic than regular coffee, which gives it a smoother taste.
  • The difference in brewing method: A Nespresso machine uses higher pressure than an espresso machine but has lower brewing temperatures. Even though it uses immersion brewing, the brewing time is shorter than regular coffee, affecting the flavor.
  • Amount of coffee used. Typically, brewed coffee uses more coffee than a coffee capsule, which intensifies the flavor.

Freshly brewed coffee is usually made with fresher beans as opposed to coffee pods. These coffee beans will have more flavor, making them more interesting in flavor.

Ethiopian coffee beans with bag.

How do you make Nespresso coffee?

Brewing Nespresso coffee is easy. The machine uses coffee pods so that you can relax about measurements and quantities.

However, the water-to-coffee ratio does matter. The Nespresso machine’s water tank needs to be full.

Otherwise, your coffee may not have enough water and taste extremely bitter. Let’s see how you can make a tasty cup of Nespresso.

Using the original Nespresso machine

The best thing about Nespresso is that you don’t have to do much. You only need to push a button, and the machine will do the rest.

You don’t have to measure water. Fill the tank up and start brewing.

You must, however, choose the right mug size for the pod you pick. You can make three types of coffee using a Nespresso machine based on size:

  • The 25 ml (0.8 oz) cup size is called a ristretto.
  • The 40 ml (1.35 oz) cup size is for espresso.
  • The 110 ml (3.7 oz) is a lungo.

You must choose the right-sized pod for each size.

Now let’s see the steps to make coffee in a Nespresso machine:

  1. Fill the water tank with water and attach it to the machine securely.
  2. Press the espresso button on your Nespresso machine so it starts flashing. The flashing means your machine is heating up.
  3. When the button stops blinking, the Nespresso machine is ready for brewing.
  4. Now, place your espresso cup under the machine’s nozzle.
  5. Next, you must pick the coffee pod you want.
  6. Now open the lid on top of the Nespresso machine. Drop the pod in the slot and close the lid.
  7. Now, you must press the espresso button that was blinking earlier for brewing to start.
  8. Your espresso starts dripping out within a minute.
  9. Once you have your Nespresso espresso, you can open and close the lid to dispose of the coffee pod.

Your machine may have two buttons for small and large cups. I’d advise using a 40 ml (1.35 oz) cup for espresso. The other button is for a lungo coffee, which will be less strong.

So, you must press the button with the smaller cup. The machine pours water into your mug according to the cup size.

The other type of machine you might use is the Vertuo Nespresso machine.

Difference between the original and Vertuo Nespresso machines

You can also brew Nespresso using a Vertuo Nespresso machine. The difference between the machines is the types of coffee they make.

The Original machine is mostly for espresso drinks and lungo coffees. The Vertuo machine makes different coffee sizes with various different coffee pods.

You can check out this article where I compare the two machines so you can easily see which will be better for your needs.

Nespresso Vertuo and Original machines next to each other for comparison.
Nespresso Vertuo on the left. Nespresso Original machine on the right

Without the machine

You can make coffee using coffee pods without a Nespresso machine. You only have to boil water and mix it with the coffee pod’s coffee. But since it won’t use the Nespresso brewing method, it may taste different.

This method is like making coffee using instant coffee. But remember, though there are many similarities between the two coffees, coffee pods aren’t instant coffee.

You’ll instead be stuck with ground coffee inside your cup, so be careful not to drink the coffee all the way to the bottom.


  • Instant and pod coffee is easy to brew.
  • They both have several brands.
  • Both instant and coffee pod brands have several flavor options.


  • Coffee pods and instant coffee use different coffee beans.
  • They both have different manufacturing processes.
  • Coffee pods are available in single-serving pods, unlike instant coffee.
  • The coffee is more finely ground in coffee pods than instant coffee.

Can you make Nespresso with regular coffee beans?

Just the way you can make Nespresso without a Nespresso machine, you can also use regular coffee beans to brew coffee using a Nespresso machine. But you must have reusable pods/capsules to use coffee beans.

Geisha coffee beans.

You may also have to choose your Nespresso machine carefully because not all machines are suitable for brewing regular coffee beans, even with pods.

The reason is simple: their brewing technique is slightly different, and Nespresso machines can only make Nespresso coffee.

Remember, you can’t make Nespresso coffee without pods. When you don’t put a pod in the machine, the machine only pours water into the cup. So, you can use any beans if you put them in a pod.

The only downside of using regular coffee beans is that you may not get the right taste or coffee concentration. Here are several reasons why:

  • Reusable capsules may not be the same size as single-use pods, upsetting your water-to-coffee ratio.
  • The ground size may not be correct and can affect caffeine concentration.
  • Your Nespresso machine isn’t ideal for regular coffee.

What exactly are coffee pods?

Coffee pods are small single-serving containers that contain ground coffee. The term single serving means each pod makes only one cup of coffee.

Each pod has approximately 7 grams (0.5 tbs) of coffee and has its own filter. You can compare coffee pods to tea bags.

Are coffee pods and capsules the same?

Coffee pods and capsules are different. But you can use both to brew Nespresso using the machine.

The differences are:

  • The sizes of coffee in pods and capsules are different.
  • Being more biodegradable, pods are environmentally friendly, whereas capsules aren’t.
  • Not all capsules can fit into a Nespresso machine. Some can be bigger, while others may be smaller.
  • They are different in shape.
  • You need more pressure to extract coffee from capsules compared to pods.
  • Coffee capsules are more expensive than pods.
  • Capsules work best with Vertuo Nespresso machines.
Comparison between Nespresso Vertuo and Orignal pods.
Nespresso Vertuo capsule on the left. Nespresso original pod on the right

Benefits of Nespresso

Nespresso coffee may taste different, but it’s still tasty with many benefits. Let’s see what’s good about Nespresso machines and their coffee pods:

  • There is practically no waste with coffee pods. They are single-serving, so you don’t have to brew too much to get the correct ratios if you live alone.
  • They have a variety of flavors. You can buy coffee pods in different flavors and use the same brewing method to get fresh and flavorful coffee.
  • Nespresso machines are very easy to handle. You don’t have to worry about ratios and getting the brewing technique right.
  • You can get consistency with coffee pods. It means you’ll serve your favorite coffee with the same tasty flavor each time because of the precision of the ingredients.
  • The manufacturers seal the pods immediately after roasting. Freshly roasted coffee is the most flavorful, and the pods are able to retain the flavor and freshness.
  • Nespresso machines are easy to clean. You can clean the machine yourself. It doesn’t need specialized tools or cleaning equipment, making cleaning easy.


Comparing Nespresso and brewed coffee isn’t that fair because they both have unique flavors and characteristics.

They also use different brewing methods and machines. Nespresso machines use single-serving coffee pods.

On the other hand, brewed coffee is available in various sizes and packaging.

But one thing is sure: Nespresso makes life easier by simplifying the brewing process.

Learn more about coffee

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