Nespresso VS AeroPress

Nespresso vs AeroPress – what are the differences between these two innovative approaches to brewing coffee? And, more importantly perhaps, what are the pros and cons associated with Nespresso machines vs AeroPress espresso makers?

In this article, we are going to compare Nespresso and AeroPress coffee machines and brewing methods, giving you a comprehensive yet concise overview over the pros, cons and details that make each unique. Chances are, you don’t have counter space for more than one new coffee machine, so we aim to help you decide which cofee maker is going to be the best fit for you and your kitchen.

Without further ado, let us get started.

Revolutionary new approaches to brewing coffee

Coffee enthusiasts have grown increasingly aware of both Nespresso and AeroPress coffee makers in recent years, for obvious reasons. Both types of coffee maker offer an extremely convenient, innovative approach to coffee brewing – without compromising on quality. 

The AeroPress and Nespresso machine distinguish themselves from other automated espresso machines in that they are both able to brew espresso style coffee, without the multi-step process that brewing true espresso usually involves. For busy coffee lovers, the ability to brew a great cup of espresso quickly and reliably is, understandably, a huge draw.

What Nespresso machines and the AeroPress have in common is that they are able to produce a cup of coffee that resembles true espresso so closely that even critics might be fooled! Espresso is, of course, known for its smooth, clean mouthfeel, clear, rich flavor notes, and delicate crema. While a French Press or a Moka pot will never be able to replicate these characteristics, the AeroPress and Nespresso machines come pretty close.

Making the most of your coffee beans

Brewing the most delicious coffee possible is all about the extraction process. In this regard, Nespresso and AeroPress cofee machines both have much to offer.

A Nespresso machine handles the extraction process completely automatically – all you need to do is to insert the Nespresso capsules, add water to the tank, press the brew button and stand back while the Nespresso machine’s internal Thermoblock brewing system takes care of the rest. 

Hot water is passed through the coffee grounds at high pressure (up to 19 bars, depending on the Nespresso machine model), and a large brew head ensures even extraction. The result is a reliably delicious cup of coffee with a body, texture and flavor that is very similar to espresso.

If you prefer a more manual process, you are likely to find the AeroPress brewing method more appealing. The AeroPress brewing method is completely different to the fully automated Nespresso brewing method, and involves steeping the coffee grounds for 10 to 50 seconds in the coffee maker, before slowly pressing down the internal plunger to complete the extraction. The pressure of the plunger forces the coffee through a filter, which catches any floating debris to ensure a truly smooth and clean cup of coffee. In this sense, the AeroPress coffee maker is reminiscent of a French Press, although the resultant brew is much more akin to traditional espresso.

Nespresso machine overview, pros and cons

The first Nespresso machine was launched in 1986, and over the elapsing years Nespresso coffee makers have made their way into kitchens across the world. Since the launch of the first Nespresso machine, the line has expanded and today there are numerous different Nespresso machine models to choose from, from the compact Vertuo Next to the impressive Gran Lattissima Pro.

Nespresso machines don’t use coffee grounds but rely on Nespresso pods, which come pre-packaged with precisely the amount of ground coffee needed. Many different blends are available, both from the Nespresso brand itself and from its competitors who have figured out how to manufacture Nespress0 compatible coffee capsules.

All Nespresso machines are fully automatic, meaning no part of the brewing process is controlled or influenced by you. This can be seen as a pro or a con, depending on whether you prefer ease of use or the ability to experiment with the brewing process or want the ability to use your own freshly ground coffee beans, which of course you are not able to do with a Nespresso machine.

Speaking of pros and cons, let us take a closer look at the specific pros and cons to keep in mind while weighing up whether a Nespresso machine or an Aeropress is the right choice for you. 

Pros

The biggest selling point of any Nespresso machine is convenience. What could be easier than popping in the Nespresso capsule containing your favorite brew, filling some water in the tank and pressing a button? A Nespresso brew is able to consistently brew high quality coffee in a matter of a minute or two. With a Nespresso machine, there is no messing around with coffee grinders or paper filters, ever. And there is also never a cup of bad coffee. 

Another pro worth highlighting is that there are many different Nespresso machines to choose from, so whether your preference is a creamy espresso style brew or a freshly prepared latte, there is a Nespresso machine that is perfectly equipped to accommodate your taste in coffee.

It should also be said that the pre-made Nespresso pods, which you can order in bulk or as a subscription via the Nespresso website, add another layer of convenience and ease. 

Cons

Of course, Nespresso machines are not perfect, so here are the cons you should take into consideration before making your choice to go with a Nespresso coffee machine. For the most part, the cons mentioned here are merely the flip side of the pros.

As convenient as a Nespresso machine is, it is also considerably more clunky and less transportable than the small, sleek AeroPress. A Nespresso machine also locks you in in other ways by not allowing you to try different brewing methods that might result in a more bold brew or more creative drinks. With a Nespresso machine, everything is pre-set, without much wiggle room for the curious coffee connoisseur to experiment.

You will also never be able to brew coffee using freshly ground coffee beans, as Nespresso coffee makers only work with capsules.

Where to get it

The Nespresso Lattissima Pro is available from 1st in Coffee. Many other models are available from Amazon, as well as from Nespresso’s own website.

AeroPress espresso machine overview, pros and cons

Now that we have looked at what makes Nespresso machines special, it is time for us to turn our attention to the AeroPress.

Launched in 2005, the AeroPress is a newer invention than the Nespresso machine. It is inspired by traditional brewing methods and is specifically designed to produce a single cup of creamy espresso style coffee at a time. 

The AeroPress is completely manual – no electricity or technology is needed. Its dual cylinder body is made from a safe and durable plastic.

There are two different AeroPress brewing methods, regular and inverted. 

The regular AeroPress brewing method involves the following steps: First, measure out and place the appropriate amount of coffee grounds (14-20 grams) on a paper or fine mesh filter, then place the filter carefully at the bottom of the larger of the two AeroPress cylinders. 

Next, pour 200ml hot water into the cylinder and stir for at least 10 seconds before pressing the plunger downwards, which forces the coffee brew through the filter.

The inverted AeroPress brewing method involves the same steps, but done in reverse. The reverse brewing method is ideal for preparing cold brew coffee but can also be used for hot coffee.

First, place the plunger into the cylinder. The AeroPress should be standing on is head, with the plunger close to the top of the column. 

Add coffee grounds followed by water, stir and mix. Place a moistened paper filter on the filter cap, and then screw the AeroPress filter cap in place on top of the column. Leave to brew for as long as desired.

Now, flip the AeroPress coffee maker over so that it is no longer standing on its head, or hold it horizontally while pressing the plunger. 

Et voila! You should now have a smooth and delicious cup of espresso style coffee ready to enjoy.

Pros

The AeroPress is easily one of the most versatile coffee brewers on the market. It’s versatility is absolutely one of its finest hallmarks. The AeroPress is not only able to brew regular coffee, but also cold brew coffee and even tea.

Another wonderful thing about the AeroPress is its compact and convenience size paired with its sturdy build and design, which mean that the AeroPress is easy to take with you on camping trips or weekends away. The fact that the AeroPress is a manual coffee maker means that you don’t need anywhere to plug it in.

At just $35, the AeroPress is an imminently affordable coffee maker.

Cons

Nothing in life is ever perfect, not even the AeroPress coffee maker. Let us take a good look at the potential cons that go hand in hand with it – not that there are very many!

The most obvious AeroPress con is that it is completely manual. In other words, you don’t have the option of plugging it into a wall or pressing a button. From adding the coffee grounds to pressing the plunger to cleaning the mesh filter between uses, the brewing process is handled by you rather than by technology. 

You don’t have the option of using convenient coffee capsules – only ground coffee will do.

Where to get it

The AeroPress coffee maker is available from Equator Coffee.

Nespresso vs Aeropress FAQ

Why is AeroPress coffee better?

AeroPress brewed coffe is known for its clean, smooth mouthfeel and clear, strong flavor notes. The secret lies in the brewing process, which allows for the fullness of the nutrients and flavor notes of the cofee beans to be extracted and develop. A well brewed cup of AeroPress coffee tastes and feels very similar to true, high quality espresso.

Is there anything better than AeroPress?

If you are true coffee nerd and swear by authentic espresso, there are better coffee makers out there for you than the AeroPress coffee maker. A few good examples include The Europiccola by La Pavoni, either the Signature or the NEO by Flair, the Dinamica ECAM35020 by DeLonghi or the EC100 Espresso Machine by Capresso.

Is AeroPress real espresso?

No, AeroPress coffee is not considered true espresso, although it is very reminiscent of espresso in both taste and texture. You could say that AeroPress very closely mimics and resembles true espresso.

The primary difference between espresso and AeroPress brewed coffee is that espresso is made by passing hot water through ground coffee at 9 bars of pressure or above. An AeroPress cofee maker is simply not capable of that. 

Why is AeroPress coffee less acidic?

Did you know that AeroPress coffee typically contains just one-fifth the acidity of drip brewed coffee, and just one-ninth the acidity of French press coffee?

There are several reasons for this. One reason is that very fine grind coffee is recommended for AeroPress brewing, which results in better extraction and a less acidic cup of coffee. Another reason is the brewing method itself, which allows the ground coffee to be more fully extracted.

Can I use espresso grind in AeroPress?

Yes, you absolutely can.

You can use any coffee grind you like in your AeroPress – you can even use tea leaves. Having said that, the AeroPress’s main claim to fame is its ability to brew coffee that every closely resembles true espresso. To that end, using an espresso grind is a good idea.

Is espresso better than AeroPress?

The answer depends on what your personal preferences and taste. Some might prefer espresso, while others are more likely to prefer the slightly more subtle and mild flavor of AeroPress brewed coffee. Still others may not be able to tell the difference between the two, since a well-brewed cup of AeroPress coffee tastes and feels very similar to a cup of true espresso.

Can AeroPress make cold brew?

Yes! 

The AeroPress lends itself just as well to producing cold brew as it does to producing hot brew coffee. If you want to prepare cold instead of hot brew, simply use room temperature water instead of boiling water for the steeping process. You should also use fine ground coffee beans for ultimate flavor extraction when preparing cold brew, plus you should stir the coffee brew for longer (for approximately a minute, as opposed to the usual 10 seconds) before it is ready to serve and enjoy. 

Can AeroPress make tea?

Once again, the answer is yes!

If you want to use your AeroPress for making tea, use the inverted brewing method for the best results. 

Preparing tea using the AeroPress involves these easy steps: Insert the plunge upside-down into the AeroPress’s column, then add your tea blend of choice to the column, add hot water. Stir the tea brew for a minute to a minute and a half before adding a tea filter to the AeroPress cap and turning the AeroPress over so that it sits upright. Press the plunger through the cylinder to extract the full flavours and aroma of the tea blend, in exactly the same way that you would make an extraction from coffee grounds.

Closing thoughts

Have you decided yet whether a Nespresso machine or an AeroPress is right for you?

There are similarities as well as very pronounced differences. If you value ease and convenience, a Nespresso machine is the right way to go. There are plenty of different Nespresso machines to choose from, from the smaller, more compact and budget-friendly models to high-end, multi-purpose Nespresso machines like the DeLonghi Lattissima Pro mentioned in this article.

If, on the other hand, you are enamoured of the idea of being able to take your new coffee maker on a camping trip, you prefer the flexibility and meditative process of manual coffee brewing, or you are on a tight budget, the AeoPress coffee maker is a fantastic choice for you.

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