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How to Use a Nespresso Machine: Pixie, Vertuo, and More

An expertly pulled espresso is a murals, however normally requires coaching and a conventional espresso machine that makes use of steam and a huge quantity of stress to produce the perfect shot. If you do not have the house or funds to put money into a true espresso maker, a Nespresso machine is perhaps a super different.

“A Nespresso machine works the identical approach an espresso machine does, utilizing stress, however on a a lot smaller and doubtlessly less-consistent scale,” says Owen Burke, resident espresso skilled at Insider Reviews. “It is extremely simple for somebody to use, and whereas it does not produce espresso by definition, it is as shut as you are going to get for as little effort as doable.” 

According to Burke, the “espresso” that comes out of a Nespresso machine does not have sufficient TDS, or complete dissolved solids, to qualify as a true espresso. That being stated, it does create a incredible base for espresso-style drinks like lattes and cappuccinos and is a affordable substitute for these eager for a demitasse of this wealthy and intense decoction.

How does a Nespresso machine work?

Nespresso makes a few totally different fashions, however most of them have the identical fundamental construction for making espresso. The physique has a slot to insert a Nespresso-compatible capsule, and when the lid is then closed, the espresso-making course of begins. 


The capsule is pierced, and the exterior tank feeds heated water into the capsule chamber underneath excessive stress, finally creating a crema-topped shot within the chosen measurement. The spent pod is then ejected into a container under the capsule chamber to be discarded later.

Setting up a Nespresso machine

Before its first use, it is necessary to rinse and clear the water tank, filling it with recent consuming water. Switch the Nespresso on and let the machine heat up for about 25 seconds — its lights will blink inexperienced because it’s warming up then flip stable inexperienced when it is prepared. 

Place a cup underneath the spout and as soon as the sunshine is regular, run the machine with out a capsule utilizing the Lungo setting — the one which makes use of probably the most quantity of water, symbolized by the tallest cup — so as to clear the machine. Repeat 3 times, throwing out the expelled water. It is then prepared to use.

What do the settings imply?

A closeup of two coffee size selection buttons on a Nespresso machine


Some Nespresso machines can solely brew two sizes — Espresso and Lungo.

wastaal/Getty Images

Nespresso machines usually have three settings for making espresso, with every button depicting the ensuing shot measurement. 

Ristretto (Italian for “restricted”) makes use of the least quantity of water and is probably the most concentrated. It produces a 25-milliliter or .84-ounce shot and is symbolized by a small espresso cup. 


The Espresso setting provides you with a 40-milliliter or 1.35-ounce pour and is depicted as a medium-sized espresso cup.

Lungo pours are 110 milliliters or 3.72 ounces and have a massive portion of water added, making them most related to an Americano. It is symbolized by the most important espresso cup of the three.

Some older Original line fashions, just like the Pixie, Essenza mini, and the Citiz, solely have the Espresso and Lungo settings. The newer Vertuo line consists of all three settings, plus extra choices for normal drip espresso, symbolized by a tall espresso mug. And the Latissima line, which has a self-contained milk frother, affords extra one-touch settings equivalent to latte, macchiato, cappuccino, and flat white, every with distinctive symbols that present their respective ratios of milk to espresso. 

What pods ought to I take advantage of?

Three coffee pods sitting in a pile of whole coffee beans

Be positive to purchase pods suitable along with your machine.

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Nespresso makes its own brand of aluminum pods meant to be used with their machines, out there instantly by way of their web site or by way of a number of main shops and retailers. The vary of coffees spans single-origin to flavored blends, with seasonal and particular version releases all year long. There are two forms of pods: 

  • The Original capsules are suitable with the Le Cube, Citiz, Essenza, Pixie, Lattissima, Maestria, and Creatista machines.
  • The Vertuo capsules are suitable solely with the Nespresso Vertuo line.

Burke says that there are additionally a number of different alternate options that make Nespresso Original-compatible pods, in addition to reusable variations that may be refilled at residence, like Seal Pods. Note that Keurig Ok-Cups, Vittoria Espressotoria, Ok-Fee, and delicate pods is not going to work in a Nespresso machine.   

How to make espresso with a Nespresso machine

A cappuccino and a pair of hands as viewed from above

Oscar Wong/Getty Images

  • Turn on the machine and insert the Nespresso pod. Leave the duvet open because the machine heats up and lights blink inexperienced. Place a cup underneath the espresso spout.
  • Choose a beverage measurement. For a conventional espresso pour, choose the Espresso button. For a extra concentrated shot, decide the smaller Ristretto setting, and for a extra diluted shot, go for Lungo.
  • Once the sunshine is a regular inexperienced, shut the duvet. It will routinely begin brewing, sending the specified sized pour into the cup under the spout.
  • Wait till you hear the capsule ejecting. Some espresso might proceed to circulation out of the spout till the spent capsule drops, so a cup or the drip tray there till the machine has stopped fully. Some fashions, just like the Pixie, require handbook ejection of the capsule. Simply open the pod chamber once more and it would fall to the waste bin.
  • Dispose or recycle the used capsule. The aluminum capsules might be saved for recycling or thrown away.
  • Insider’s takeaway

    Nespresso machines are a particularly user-friendly approach to replicate the coffeehouse expertise at residence. While they do not make a true espresso, Burke says that they make “an impressively espresso-like drink,” helpful when you do not have entry to a full-scale espresso machine. You can get pleasure from lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, and extra proper within the consolation of your personal residence in simply a few simple steps. 

    Bernadette Machard de Gramont

    As the granddaughter of immigrant restaurant homeowners, Bernadette developed an curiosity in gastronomy at a younger age, cooking every part from her household’s Filipino and Chinese recipes to French classics. She additionally spent seven years within the wine business serving to shoppers buy fantastic and uncommon wines to add to their collections.
    After 18 years of dwelling in San Francisco, Bernadette headed south to Los Angeles, the place she continues to write about meals and tradition, whereas typically working as a meals stylist/photographer, product tester, and advertising guide for the wine business. Her work has appeared on Food52, The Spruce Eats, MyFitnessPal, Made Local, and Far & Wide.

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