We almost automatically associate the name Nespresso with espresso from capsule machines. In our Capsule machine test 2021 you will see that the capsule pioneer is no longer the only option for coffee connoisseurs. Everything about the new capsule specs, you can find out now.
First a confession: I am a coffee junkie! I drink between 5 and 8 espresso every day, read coffee blogs and magazines and I have no problem asking guests at 1 o’clock in the morning whether they want a “café” (which almost always amazes my German friends) . Most drink coffee because of the caffeine kick. For me, the bittersweet taste – pure – weighs even stronger.
But I don’t see myself as a complete dogmatist. My espresso has to be without milk, but I’m open to the production method. I do not insist on the fully automatic machine to satisfy my craving for coffee. Portafilter machines are not worshiped like an altar by me. Espresso from a good capsule machine tastes great.
In the following Capsule machine test I took a close look at the best models from Stiftung Warentest and added my own experience to its statement. The topics were there Cost, sustainability, usability and volume especially in focus.
Capsule machine test 2021 – table of contents
The best espresso capsule machines in 2021 in the GIGA check:
In the following table you will find a selection of capsule machines that we have taken into account in our test overview. There are further tips and useful accessories in the various categories – so it’s worth taking a look.
|GIGA savings tip||Best all-rounder||Test winner Stiftung Warentest||The classic|
|product||Bosch Tassimo Happy||K-Fee One||Cremesso Viva Elegant||De`Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini|
|Price (approx.)||about 30 euros||about 60 euros||approx. 120 euros||about 70 euros|
|advantage||light & compact||cheap capsules||very fine-pored espresso||large capsule offer|
|disadvantage||no capsule container||Cup rack wobbly||slight quality defects||expensive capsules|
GIGA savings tip: Bosch Tassimo Happy
- light and compact
- ready for use quickly
- intense espresso and lungo
- low maintenance costs
- indicates low water level and descaling
- no container for empty capsules
- The throughput time for espresso is too long
Of the Bosch Tassimo Happy is an interesting little capsule machine. The Tassimo Happy fits very well in smaller kitchens or on kitchen units that are already too rubbish anyway. Despite the compact size, the capsules make a really tasty espresso or lungo, according to Stiftung Warentest. All in all, the cheapest coffee machine gets a grade of 2.3 (GOOD). The Tassimo Happy from Bosch is simply an uncomplicated and user-friendly capsule machine that prepares a decent coffee.
Espresso vs. Lungo – what’s the difference? An espresso is traditionally prepared with 7 grams of ground coffee and 25 ml of water. A “lungo” is the same amount of coffee with 50 ml of water – double the amount.
The balanced all-rounder: K-Fee One
- cheap original capsules
- cheapest overall costs in the test field
- Fine-pored espresso crema
- Lungo brew works very well
- heats up very quickly
- used capsules end up in the residual water
- Cup rack wobbly
The K-Fee One I was able to try it out myself for a few weeks. I got it mainly because of the look. The K-Fee-One capsule machine is really pretty, with muted colors and an industrial design. The coffee was also delicious and at 29 cents the capsules are also quite cheap. In the overall rating by Stiftung Warentest, the K-Fee One shares first place with the capsule machine from Cremesso (grade 1.9 GOOD). I ended up sending them back for several reasons. First: It is really a bit disgusting to always fish the used coffee capsules out of the remaining water. But it was too loud for me.
Capsule machine classic: De`Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini
- huge range of capsules
- best ecosystem of alternative capsules
- glamorous Nespresso boutiques
- lowest power consumption of all test candidates
- high price for original capsules
Nespresso, or Nestlê, has long been the top dog as the inventor of the capsule system. When the patents for the iconic Nespresso aluminum capsules expired in 2017, a veritable flood of alternative, inexpensive capsules broke through the market. Since then, Nespresso has lost its radiance, but there are still many good arguments for you to use a Nespresso system in 2021 if you are looking for a capsule machine.
The capsules are quite expensive at just under 40 cents. That being said, there is an incredible variety of different strains that no other system can match. The Nespresso boutiques continue to exude a certain exclusivity. In addition, all discounters offer “cheap capsules” for Nespresso systems. This reduces the price to around 18 cents per espresso. When I owned a Nespresso machine myself a few years ago, however, I wasn’t a big fan of the taste of the copycat capsules. Perhaps the aroma has now also been improved.
That ends up at Stiftung Warentest De’Longhi Nespresso Essenza Mini with a grade of 2.0 (GOOD) in second place. The “King of Capsules” is therefore no longer on the throne, but is still a recommendable espresso machine for everyone who is looking for a large taste ecosystem.
No “espresso” in Italy: If you want to drink a nice espresso while on holiday in Italy, simply order “un caffê”. The term “espresso” is not used in Italy when ordering coffee. It is understood everywhere in tourist areas, but it’s nice to know how to use the correct terms in the local language, isn’t it?
Test winner Stiftung Warentest: Cremesso Viva Elegante
- immediately ready for use
- extra flush button
- cheap original capsules
- also suitable for tea
- Very fine-pored espresso crema
- cheapest running costs in the test field
- first drink a bit cold
- Capsule container a bit wobbly
Technically, the “Cremesso Viva Elegant“- Capsule machine not the test winner at Stiftung Warentest – Cremesso shares 1st place with K-Fee One. In my opinion, the Cremesso wins in the details. It has the lowest total costs of all candidates in the test field. The original capsules are really a bargain at 25 cents. According to Stiftung Warentest, there is even “very fine-pored espresso”. There is an extra rinse button for cleaning the passage and the used capsules end up in a separate container and accordingly remain dry.
Capsule machine test 2021: This is how we made our selection
For the selection of the best capsule machines in 2021, we have relied on the current test by Stiftung Warentest (08/2020) as well as based on personal experience.
Buying capsule machines: what should you know?
How harmful are capsule machines to the environment?
It depends. A life cycle assessment study from 2017 carried out by Nestlê and confirmed by TüV Rheinland suggests that the preparation of coffee with aluminum capsules is no more harmful to the environment than other forms of coffee preparation – provided the capsules are recycled. And exactly here lies the problem. Not every country has such strict recycling requirements as Germany, and in this country too, many people simply throw the capsules in the residual waste. This has a negative effect on the ecological balance. Coffee pods made of cellulose (paper) are much less complicated to dispose of.
However, there are now also reusable coffee capsules for refilling. The coffee can lose its aroma due to contact with the air, but the waste (the coffee powder) is completely compostable.
Are there inexpensive alternative capsules for every system?
Nespresso does best in this discipline. Every discounter offers cheap capsules for the most popular system. With all other candidates from our Capsule machine test, apart from the Tassimo Happy, there are also alternative capsule providers.