How Nespresso Maker Works

If you’re a coffee lover, you’ve likely heard of Nespresso coffee makers. Nespresso is often seen as the highest quality instant or single serve coffee maker, and for good reason.

The machines use higher pressure than most other home espresso makers, meaning they’re closer to what you would expect from a coffee shop.

Additionally, Nespresso sells its own line of capsules for its machines, allowing them to control the quality of their coffees. (They do have third-party coffee from places like Starbucks, too.)

Nespresso Pods

Nespresso pods come in a variety of flavors and styles, including specialty options like pumpkin spice for the holidays. The capsules are color-coded to match the specific kind of coffee each one contains. For example, capsules with a red dot on them are decaf. The capsules contain coffee grounds, a tiny filter, and a foil seal.

Some pods are designed to reflect the coffee style of a specific city or country. They vary in the darkness of the roast, the place of origin, and the caffeine content.

The pods are less environmentally fraught then you might think, it turns out. You can even make tea with special Matcha or tea nespresso pods.

Using a Nespresso Machine

When using the machine, the first step is to switch it on. Once the machine is on, you must fill the water reservoir on the back with filtered water. After that, you press the power button and get your espresso cup ready, placing it under the outlet on the machine.

Inserting a pod, selecting settings

You then open the pod chamber of the machine (generally by lifting a handle), insert a pod, and close the handle.

Most Nespresso machines (including my DeLonghi machine) have two settings – one for a smaller cup and one for a larger cup if you want to make a latte or a larger cup of espresso (they call it Lungo).

Settings buttons on the Nespresso machine

Brewing the Pod

Once the capsule is in place, you press the button for the size of espresso you want. The powerful pump pulls the water in from the back and pushes it through a 1500-watt heater. This quickly heats the water up to the brewing temperature in just a few seconds.

That’s a nice contrast with machines from brands like Keurig, that can take 2 minutes or more to heat water.

The pump then forces the water through a very small channel and out through a needle that pierces the back of the capsule. This pressurizes the capsule and bursts the foil, forcing the coffee out through the filter and into the cup.

You get a tasty cup of espresso, with a surprising amount of crema for a non-barista-grade machine.

Milk Frothers

Some Nespresso machines also come with a milk-frothing attachment.

Simply fill the attachment with milk, select a Latte settings on the machine, and it will blow steam and compressed air through the attachment.

This will froth your milk and it can be poured into the espresso cup to make a latte. The great thing about Nespresso is that you can use soy milk, almond milk, or even raw milk in their machines.


Overall, Nespresso coffee makers are high-quality machines that make delicious cups of espresso and lattes. They’re often pricier than alternative brands (although that’s changed a bit, and there are more lower priced models), but if you want tasty espresso or tea at home, they’re a great option.