Nespresso vs De’longhi: What’s the difference?


It’s one thing to make the decision that you want a coffee maker at home. The story changes when trying to decide which coffee maker to get. You’ve heard people talk about how easy and convenient it is to have a Nespresso machine. On the other hand, your coffee-obsessed friends talk about the versatility of the De’longhi Nespresso.

Wait, is a Nespresso the same as an espresso machine? Does the brand De’longhi make Nespresso machines? Does De’longhi make all Nespresso machines? Which home brewer is better?

You may find yourself drowning in a sea of brand names when shopping for a home coffee maker thanks to Nespresso’s manufacturing partnerships with other appliance brands from around the world. Panic not my friend, because you are in good hands. You are not the first to be caught in this coffee machine quagmire.

We want to clear up some of the confusion and make it easier to make the best decision for your home.

We will start with the terminology.

  • De’longhi and Nespresso are two of the heavyweight champions of the espresso coffee maker manufacturing industry.
  • Nespresso is one of the best single-serve espresso machines you can find on the market right now. It uses a patented brewing technology that is distributed around the world by other brands.
  • De’longhi is an Italian company specializing in all kinds of kitchen appliances and includes a variety of coffee makers.
  • A Nespresso machine makes espresso coffee. While they are a tad cheaper than espresso machines, they don’t often come with a frothing mechanism.

A quick background of the two companies


Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, under the Nestlé brand’s family, Nespresso is a linguistic combination of Nestlé and Espresso. The same mechanic is used across other Nestlé brands like Nescafe or Nesquick. The Nespresso coffee making system was invented by a Nestlé employee called Eric Favre and was patented by Nestlé in 1976.

It took ten years for the Nespresso to finally catch on worldwide. It started rolling out to consumers in Japan, France, Italy, and Switzerland. The brewing system peaked in the 1990’s after signing a contract with Turmix, Magimix, Krups, Alessi, Siemens, Philips, and others to produce and sell Nespresso machines. De’longhi joined this list during this time. The Nespresso global network has substantially grown to include more than 700 boutiques in 68 countries.

Nespresso was created over three decades ago. The simple idea behind this invention was to enable anyone to ‘create the perfect cup of espresso coffee – just like a skilled barista’. This professional or home brewing machine prepares coffee and espresso from coffee pods or capsules.

While the Nespresso machine system is sold worldwide, the coffee is ground, roasted, and encapsulated in one of three factories in Switzerland, namely Orbe, Anenches, and Romont.


In 1974 during the face of the first oil crisis, De’longhi began their production journey with an oil-filled radiator that became an overnight success. Their bona fide icon Pinguino, was launched in 1986 and was hailed for its design and functionality as a portable air conditioning unit. In 1993, they made their debut into the coffee machine sector.

They ventured further into other household appliances after the acquisition of Kenwood and Ariete in 2001. By 2003, they had crossed technological boundaries by producing the first super-automated coffee machine: Magnifica!

Seeing their success, Nestlé struck a deal in 2004 with De’longhi to distribute capsule coffee machines. By 2007, De’longhi had begun producing Nespresso coffee machines under the brand name Lattissima. As they say, the rest is history.

How the Nespresso machine works

The greatest thing about the Nespresso machine is its simplicity. All you do is insert a Nespresso coffee pod into the machine and press a button. The machine pierces and processes the coffee flavor from the pod by flushing hot pressurized water through it. A fresh cup of brewed coffee drains into your waiting mug in about a minute.

A pod contains specially selected coffee grounds, individually picked from different farms worldwide, each with its distinctive aroma and character. The coffee pods are hermetically sealed and made from recyclable aluminum as part of Nespresso’s on-going commitment to protecting the environment.

The Nespresso machine can be adjusted to fit the cup size you prefer, and you get to choose from different pods with assorted flavors and strengths. The Nespresso machine’s downside is that you would have to purchase separate gadgets like a milk frother to prepare a milk-based beverage like a latte or cappuccino.

The main distinguishing factor between the Nespresso and De’longhi

One main feature that makes the De’longhi stand out from the Nespresso is the integral ‘Hot Milk’ system found on De’longhi coffee machines. This is a detachable milk tank filled with milk, heated, mixed, and frothed for your favorite coffee-based drink. The detachable milk tank can fit in the fridge to store any left-over milk and is easy to clean once empty.

With the Nespresso machine, you would have to heat and froth your milk separately. If you are a fan of milk in your coffee, then the De’longhi packs all these features into one neat package.

Figuring out which one is best for you

Perhaps you like the process of delicately selecting the type of coffee you are in the mood for, that particular morning. Or maybe you need any strong, dark, caffeinated liquid to get you going. Answering this will help to determine whether the Nestle’ Nespresso or De’longhi Nespresso is better for you.

While the two machines function the same way, finding out the one that’s the crème de la crème for you entirely depends on your personality and passion for coffee.

Limited vs limitless coffee options

With the Nespresso machines, you are compelled to use only a specific pod or capsule manufactured by the company to make the coffee maker. It isn’t easy to fit other coffee pods from different manufacturers, and this may limit your choice of coffee flavor.

In contrast, the De’ onghi will require you to use coffee pods, with the main difference being that De’longhi machines are designed to be compatible with pods from other manufacturers.

Convenience, speed and ease of use

If your morning routine involves a little bit of chaos and mayhem, you may be looking for a homebrew espresso machine that does not include a lot of fuss or commotion. This is where the Nespresso machine shines. When you instantly need that coffee pick-me-up, the Nespresso delivers a cup of freshly brewed coffee in under one minute. You do not have to wait for the machine to warm up and say hello before you can consume your cup of coffee. Just place the pod, press a button, and it’s done. It is convenient for those on the go.

The De’longhi Nespresso coffee maker requires some patience. These machines come equipped with a broad range of attributes, allowing you to tweak and finesse your coffee to your taste. Some De’longhi machines have features that let you alter the grind size to perfect coffee extraction. Others let you adjust the water temperature. It would be best if you had time to work out how to get your coffee taste perfect.

When preparing cappuccino’s and latte’s, you need to include time for the De’longhi Nespresso machine to heat up and for the milk to heat and froth. While all of this is done at the touch of a button, it may take up to 5 minutes before enjoying your first sip of coffee.

Maintaining a De’longhi machine will take some effort on your part compared to a Nespresso machine. The only real care a Nespresso machine needs is descaling it once in a while. With the De’longhi Nespresso, you must continuously empty the grounds and brewing unit while the coffee ground tray will need to be cleaned regularly.

When it comes to convenience, the Nespresso machine has this in the coffee bag.

Coffee expenditure: How much are you spending on coffee?

A Nespresso machine requires you to purchase coffee pods. The original Nespresso pods sold online or in their boutique stores vary in cost but are generally pricey. For added strength, some people prefer to use two or three pods per cup of coffee. For the avid, every-hour-on-the-hour coffee lovers, this tasty habit can get expensive as it adds up over time. Of course, you could always try to find compatible coffee pods that are much cheaper than the original Nespresso pods, but you may not get the same quality of coffee from the more affordable pods. You can have a look at the L’OR espresso coffee pods that are price friendly without compromising on flavor or quality.

The De’longhi gives you the option of using coffee pods, pre-ground beans, or whole coffee beans. Whole beans will provide the best possible flavor and aroma than pre-ground coffee or a coffee pod because coffee starts to lose all its goodness as soon as the grinding process begins. The versatility of De’longhi machines that are made for Nespresso makes it possible for you to choose a coffee pod from anywhere in the world. The amount you would spend on 50 original Dark Roast pods comes to about $35. For that price, you can quickly get a 2.2lb bag of your unique brew coffee beans that will last you way longer than the pods, while still producing irresistible flavors every time.

At the end of the day (week, month, and year), the De’longhi Nespresso machine is more economical than the Nespresso.

Capacity: How much coffee can your coffee brewer brew?

Nespresso coffee makers are easy to use because they prepare one cup of coffee at a time. They work well for small households where only one or two people have coffee in the morning or for those who appreciate a cup of strong brew now and then. If you are not fussy about how you like your one coffee cup, then the Nespresso coffee maker is definitely up your alley.

Small offices or households that chug coffee by the liter should invest in a De’longhi Nespresso coffee maker. To explain this further, we can break down the sizes of a single-serve coffee cup. Espresso is about 1.35 ounces, a double espresso about 2.7 ounces, a gran lungo is about 5 ounces, a black coffee about 7.7 ounces, and the alto is about 14 ounces.

While the regular Nespresso machine has a water reservoir capacity of about 6 to 10 ounces, you could get a machine with the ability to hold 60 ounces within the De’longhi Nespresso range. This means that you can make more cups of coffee before refilling the reservoir with a De’longhi Nespresso compared to a Nestle’ Nespresso machine. The choice comes down to how much coffee you will consume in a day.

The overall price tag of the machine

The cost of Nespresso machines varies, but you can find some under the $100 price tag. This works brilliantly for those who want a quick cup of coffee with no added frills. If you are a fan of milk-based drinks, you would have to dig further into your wallet to purchase a milk frother for anywhere between $30 and $115.

On the flip side, De’longhi machines are not cheap. They range in price from $100 to $1000. This is understandable, considering they include gadgets to tickle your fancy and endless potential to become the next home barista. Featuring illuminated LED screens, water temperature controls, and in-built, one-touch recipe buttons to prepare creamy lattes, warm milk, or cappuccinos, the De’longhi machines are respectfully more expensive to purchase. What gives the price tag a healthy kick is the attached appliances and the fact that you can use pods, ground coffee, or whole beans, which is an option that you do not get with the Nespresso.

Also, while the Nespresso may look like a bargain as an initial expenditure, you have to keep in mind the on-going cost of coffee pods. The De’longhi may be a slightly exorbitant purchase, but it gives you more options.

The take-away: Nespresso vs De’longhi

A Nespresso is a single-serve machine that brews espresso coffee using coffee capsules or pods. While the company Nespresso designed and engineered the machines, they are produced and sold by other companies. All Nespresso machines use the same technology to make a fantastic coffee cup, but the De’longhi Nespresso offers you a few more perks.

Having a home coffee maker is a valuable investment that saves you money and time. It would be best if you made your purchasing decision based on the different features you require, such as the design, water tank size or either a built-in or stand-alone frother. Take time to discover coffee pods that are compatible with most machines. Nespresso machines are cost-effective and more comfortable to maintain as compared to De’longhi Nespresso machines. However, you can do more with the De’longhi than the Nespresso.

In conclusion, it’s all about your personal preference. Either way, you can be assured that you will get a quality, home brewing machine from each of them.

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