The Dolce Gusto single-serve coffee system is a popular choice among Nescafe fans. This system uses Dolce Gusto pods exclusively, and it’s available in variety of delicious coffee drinks like espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte, flavored latte and more.

Dolce Gusto has a range of coffee systems, too. But in this post, we’ll focus on two of the most popular choices: Docle Gusto Genio and Dolce Gusto Esperta. We’ll look at their features, their differences and help you choose the best one for you.

Features of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio:

  • Single Serve coffee maker that prepares drinks like Coffee, Cappuccino, Latte, Iced drinks and more.
  • Exclusively uses Nescafe Dolce Gusto pods.
  • 15-bar pressure pump system.
  • 7-bar LED interface allows you to customize the strength of your coffee drink.
  • Thermoblock heating system requires no preheating.
  • Adjustable drip tray allows you to use cups of different sizes.
  • Water tank capacity: 21 oz.
  • Does NOT have a used capsule bin.

Click here to learn more about the Dolce Gusto Genio, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Features of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Esperta:


  • Single-serve coffee brewer that makes hot and cold coffee drinks.
  • Uses Dolce Gusto pods exclusively.
  • XL Function allows you to brew a large cup of coffee, Cappuccino or any of your preferred drinks, hot or cold.
  • 60 oz water tank capacity.
  • 15 bar pressure pump.
  • Thermoblock heating, no waiting for startup time.
  • 7-LED level bars for customizing your drink’s strength.
  • Scroll wheel for choosing levels makes it easier to customize the drinks.
  • Includes a used capsule bin.
  • Adjustable drip tray.

Click here to learn more about the Dolce Gusto Esperta, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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What Is The Difference Between Dolce Gusto Genio vs. Esperta?

TitleDeLonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio CoffeemakerDe'Longhi NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Esperta Single Serve Coffee Maker and Espresso Machine - 60oz Capacity - Capsule Based
FeatureEasily prepares a variety of hot and cold drinks with the single serve system; produces gourmet coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, iced drinks and more
The consumer must prime the machine by flowing water through it prior to use.
Produces authentic espresso and the perfect cream with 15 bar pump pressure
Quickly customize beverage strength and preparation with the 7-level LED display controls
No preheating required with special thermoblock heating system
All De Longhi North America products are 120 volts and not suitable for Australia
Energy-saving automatic stand-by mode after 5-minute of inactivity
PRESSURE BASED SYSTEM - The Esperta is a professional-grade pressure based system that that will allow you to extract and squeeze the most flavor, aroma, and body from the coffee to deliver a high quality cup every time
EXCLUSIVELY FOR DOLCE GUSTO CAPSULES - The Esperta Single Serve Coffee Maker is exclusively for NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto capsules. Easily prepare gourmet coffees, espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, iced drinks and more. Dolce Gusto patented smart capsules help to keep coffee fresh until the moment you brew, and works with the dolce gusto system to regulate the pressure and ensure every cup is made to your liking
EASY INTERFACE - Boasting a new easy-to-use wheel interface with a 7-level LED display, the Esperta allows you to control the size and intensity of your coffee, giving you a truly customized coffee experience. Just match the led bars to the bars on your dolce gusto coffee or milk capsule and brew by selecting the hot or cold button depending on your coffee selection
HOT AND COLD COFFEE DRINKS - Explore the wide variety of decadent flavors, and both hot and cold coffee drinks offered by NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto with this capsule-based coffee machine. With 18 flavor varieties, you can make an authentic espresso, or choose from Americano, Chococino, Cappuccino, Macchiato, Latte, and many more flavors
SHORTER BREWING TIME - This state of the art equipment has a special Thermoblock heating system that controls and balances the temperature, and requires no preheating. This allows for no warm up time, and the ability to brew a cup of coffee in a minute or less
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  • Capacity: The Genio has a small capacity of 21 oz while the Esperta has a large 60 oz water reservoir.
  • XL Function: The Esperta allows you to brew your favorite drink in a larger size. This is not available in the Genio.
  • Capsule Bin: The Esperta features a used capsule bin that the Genio doesn’t have.

Which One Is Best To Buy?

It might seem like the difference between the Genio and Esperta isn’t a lot. But here’s why these difference matter:

  • The Capsule Bin: The Esperta comes with a bin that you can keep beside your machine to dispose used capsules immediately after use. Does this really matter though? Why not just dispose the capsule to your garbage bin right away? Here’s the thing: making a specialty drink with the Dolce Gusto is a two-capsule process. This means that when you’re making a cup of Cappuccino, for example, you’ll use two capsules: a milk capsule and an espresso capsule, and before you brew the second capsule, you’ll have to dispose the first one. This process is a little messy if you don’t have a way to dispose a used capsule right away. The capsule comes out hot with some coffee or milk residue in it, so with a used capsule bin, you’ll be able to collect these used capsule right away and dispose them at once every few days when its filled up.
  • The XL Function: you like your coffee drink and you’d like more of it, so this function allows you to brew more without diluting your drink. So while most Dolce gusto machines go only up to 8 oz, the Esperta goes up to 12 oz.
  • Capacity: having a larger water reservoir means you’ll spend less time refilling and more time brewing, it’s that simple.

So, these are the reasons we prefer the Esperta to the Genio.

Click here to learn more about the Dolce Gusto Esperta, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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The Dolce Gusto Capsules:

Your purchase of any Dolce Gusto machine will include a pack of sample pods. But here are some of the pods you can buy:

Can I Make Regular Coffee with Dolce Gusto?

Yes, you can. Dolce Gusto has a number of pods available for black coffee drinks, as well as Cafe au Lait, which is coffee with milk.

Can I Use Nespresso Capsules with a Dolce Gusto Machine?

No, that’s not possible. Each machine uses its coffee capsules exclusively.

What Kind of Drinks Can I Make with Dolce Gusto?

  • You can make espresso, coffee, specialty coffee drinks (cappuccino, latte, mocha…). You can also make hot or iced drinks, but not all capsules can be used for making an iced drinks, so make sure to check the label first.
  • You can also make flavored coffee drinks, the capsule pack with include the coffee capsule, milk capsule and the flavor.
  • Tea drinks include iced tea, chai latte, honey black tea, Moroccan tea and more.

What’s The Down Side to Dolce Gusto Capsules?

If you’re serious about your milk-based coffee drinks, you might not like the milk capsules that comes with specialty drinks packs. These capsules are basically powdered milk, so the quality isn’t as good as frothing a fresh cup of milk. The alternative option here is to only brew your coffee pod using the Dolce Gusto and heat/froth your fresh milk separately. You can consider an electric milk frother that makes this process easier.

Dolce Gusto Accessories:

Capsule Storage:

The best way to neatly store your Dolce Gusto capsules is by using a capsule holder. The examples listed above are a great options and will look fantastic next to your machine.

Video Reviews:

Dolce Gusto Esperta Demo:

Dolce Gusto Genio Demo:



The Nespresso Creatista Plus is an impressive piece of design that combines the luxury and convenience of Nespresso’s system with the brilliance of Breville’s design.

Nespresso has always been known to create espresso makers that make you your favorite coffee beverages with a touch of a button.  And Breville is well-know for its top of the line, Barista level espresso makers (like Barista Express and Breville Oracle Dual Boiler ) which give you full control over the creation of your drink. This is the one thing you couldn’t do with a Nespresso machine, as it’s a fully automatic espresso maker, you couldn’t control the temperature of the milk or the espresso, and since it used an electric milk frother, the milk foam wasn’t texturized, so you couldn’t do art latte like you would with texturized steamed milk.

All of this has changed with the Creatista Plus, it is the first truly Barista-style espresso maker by Nespresso that gives you full control over your drink.

Features of the Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville:


  • Single-serve espresso maker that uses Nespresso OriginalLine capsules.
  • Fully automatic brewing and milk steaming.
  • Choose from 7 pre-set and re-programmable drinks: Espresso, Lungo, Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato, Ristretto and Flat White.
  • Choose from 8 different adjustable milk textures for drinks like Cappuccino, Latte or Flat White.
  • Choose from 11 adjustable milk temperatures.
  • Milk is steamed and has ‘micro-foam’, which allows you to create latte art.
  • Cool to touch steam wand with auto purge for cleaning.
  • Color display allows you to easily choose and customize your drink with step by step directions.
  • Quick 3-second start-up time
  • Full Stainless steel housing.

Click here to learn more about the Nespresso Creatista Plus, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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How Is The Nespresso Creatista Plus Different From Other Nespresso Machines?

The Creatista Plus takes your at-home coffee experience to a new level. It is still as convenient as other Nespresso makers, yet, it allows you to do so much more:

  • Using the colored screen on top of the Creatista, you can choose your drink, milk texture, coffee volume, and choose temperature of the milk. You’re customizing everything in your coffee drink.
  • Place the included stainless steel milk jug under the frothing wand. The Creatista features a temperature sensor for the milk, which is how it knows it reached your desired milk temperature.
  • After the brewing and milk steaming is done, it’s your turn to put together the espresso and milk. Latte art will require some practice on your part, and it will certainly be a fun thing to do!

Watch The Nespresso Creatista Plus in Action:

What Kind of Capsules Does Nespresso Creatista Plus Use?

Nespresso Capsules

The Creatista Plus is an OriginalLine Nesprsso machine, so it can use any of the OriginalLine Nespresso capsules and Nespresso-compatible capsules. You can check out our best picks for the best Nespresso capsules for Lattes here.

Can I Make Regular Coffee with the Nespresso Creatista?

No, the Nesprseso Creatista doesn’t make a regular cup of coffee. However, you can always make an Americano, which is a shot of Espresso with added hot water to dilute it, and it results in a coffee-like drink. If you want a Nespresso machine that makes coffee, then check out the Nespresso Vertuoline or Evoluo.

Creatista vs. Creatista PLUS vs. Lattissima Pro, What’s The Difference Between Them?

We have a detailed post answering this particular question. Click here to read the answer.

Should You Buy the Nespresso Creatista?

The Creatista is one of Nespresso’s high-end espresso machines, it comes with a price tag higher than the average Nespresso makers, which might make you wonder, is it really worth it?

With its premium materials and customization options, the Nespresso Creatista is up there with espresso makers like the Breville Barista Express. It gives you drinks that are as customizable as you’d get from a semi-automatic espresso maker, and the fact that you finally get the option to professionally steam (and just froth up) milk, as well as choose the texture and temperature, and it’s all done automatically for you (no room for error here, your milk will be perfect every time), all of these new features makes it absolutely worth the price.

However, if all of these options aren’t important to you, then you can still enjoy quality coffee drinks using an entry-level Nespresso maker like the Inissia or a mid-range like the CitiZ.

Click here to learn more about the Nespresso Creatista Plus, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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When it comes to Nespresso machines and it’s wide range of models, the two models people are torn between are the Pixie and Inissia due to similarities in function but big price difference. So you know for sure you want one of these Nespresso machines, but how do you choose the right one?

Is There a Difference Between The Nespresso Pixie and Inissia?


Let’s look at the features of the Pixie and Inissia:

FeatureEasy insertion and ejection of capsules; For use with Nespresso coffee capsules only
Compact brewing unit technology; Fast preheating time: 25 seconds; 19 Bar high pressure pump
2 Programmable buttons for Espresso and lungo preparation
Removable 24 ounce water tank; Folding cup tray accommodates tall recipe glasses; Used capsule container holds 9-11 used capsules
Energy efficient; A Class energy rating; Automatic power off after 9 minutes of inactivity
Programmable buttons for espresso and lungo, folding drip tray for larger cups and recipes, brew ready in 25-30 seconds
Backlight indicators, water level detection, auto power-off, used capsule container, convenient power cord storage
12.83-Inch length by 4.33-Inch width by 9-1/4-Inch height
24-Ounce water tank
TitleNespresso Inissia Espresso Maker, BlackNespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, Electric Titan
Height9 inch9.25 inch
Weight5.3 pound9 pound
Width4.7 inch4.33 inch
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  • Both Nespresso makers are compact in size: Pixie is (W x D x H) 4.4 x 12.8 x 9.3 in  and Inissia is 4.7 x 12.6 x 9 inches.
  • Both have quick start up time of 25 seconds.
  • Both have 24 oz water tank capacity.
  • The pump pressure on both machines is 19 bars.
  • Both have reprogrammable Espresso and Lungo buttons.

So far, both the Pixie and Inissia are identical. So, what could possibly make you want pay more for the Pixie?

Nespresso Pixie Colors

  • The Nespresso Pixie is built with such premium design and quality that is reflected in its price.
  • It has a metal exterior, unlike the Inissia which is built of plastic. It has aluminum side plates and a sleek steel handle.
  • The Pixie is equipped with LED lighting in the used capsule drawer. This lighting isn’t only decorative, although it makes the machine look gorgeous sitting on your countertop especially in the dark, it also serves as indicator for low water level. The light flashes in red when the water tank is almost empty, otherwise, it lights up in blue/gray.
  • Pixie more energy efficient with A-40% Energy consumption class.

Click here to learn more about Nespresso Pixie, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Is It Worth It To Pay More For the Nespresso Pixie?

This is ultimately up to you. It’s important to note that whether you choose Nesprsso Pixie or Inissia, you will be getting the same coffee quality, and that’s the best part. However, you should decide if it’s up to you to get a better design and more premium build quality, as that’s exactly what you’ll be paying for.

Learn more about Nespresso Pixie here:

Watch Nespresso Pixie In Action:



The JURA Impressa A9 is, as you would imagine, a quite impressive super automatic espresso maker. The high-end coffee maker gives you the luxury of having your favorite coffee drinks whenever you want with a simple touch of a button. And we’re not talking about a drink in a capsule here, JURA brews fresh coffee from beans that grind on demand right before you brew them. But does this luxury come with a price? Most of the time, it does. JURA espresso and coffee makers aren’t cheap at all. However, the good news is, we’re here to tell you how you can get this high-end, amazing machine at a highly discounted price.

Why Buy The JURA Impressa A9?

Here are the features that make the JURA Impressa A9:

  • Fully programmable with the ability to program the strength and volume of the drink.
  • Easy to use color touch screen allows you to choose and customize your favorite drinks.
  • Use the touch screen to go through pictures of 12 programmed drinks, customize them and save your customization.
  • Drinks include: coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte and more.
  • Built-in Aroma+ Grinder that is twice as fast as the old JURA grinders and quieter.
  • One-touch milk frothing system.
  • 4.4 bean hopper with aroma preservation seal.
  • Bypass doser for using pre-ground coffee instead of beans.
  • 37 oz. removable water tank.
  • Clearyl Blue water filtration system eliminates chlorine taste and the need to decalcify.
  • Height-adjustable spout (2.2″ to 5.4) allows you to uses cups of different heights.
  • Automatic cleaning cycle.
  •   Swiss designed and Swiss engineered

Click here to learn more about the JURA Impressa A9 and buy it at a highly discounted price (REFURBISHED). Buy It NEW Here: from or


JURA Impressa A9 vs. JURA ENA 9 ONE TOUCH, What’s The Difference?

ENA 9 Front

We’ve featured the ENA 9 One Touch in a previous post and talked about how you can get it refurbished for a discounted price. Here’s how these two espresso makers by JURA are different:

  • The Impressa A9 is somewhat on the smaller footprint size of a machine, much like the ENA9 One Touch.
  • However, the ENA 9 still uses the old LCD display with press buttons while the Impressa A9 has a cool touchscreen that makes controlling the machine and customizing drinks. much easier.
  • Both machines have the same water tank capacity.
  • Both also have the same one touch milk frothing system and hot water dispenser.
  • The ENA 9 has a larger bean hopper at 7 oz capacity while the Impressa A9 has a 4.4 oz hopper.

We believe the biggest difference here is how you control these machines. The Impressa A9 has a much easier control panel thanks to the color touchscreen on it, you simply swipe and select from photos of pre-programmed drinks and customize them to your liking. You can do the same on the ENA 9, however, you’ll be using a backlit LCD display, separate buttons and a dial knob, which isn’t as easy as the touch screen.

Watch the JURA Impressa A9 in Action:

Why Buy the JURA Impressa A9 Refurbished? And Where To Buy It?


Like we said before, JURA’s espresso makers are high-end with big price tags. So why not enjoy the luxury of a JURA super automatic espresso maker and save 30% to 50% on its price?! The machines will be factory refurbished and backed by a 1 year warranty with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. It doesn’t get any better than this!

You can buy your refurbished JURA Impressa A9 and other JURA machines from


What Is a Cappuccino?


A Cappuccino is a popular coffee drink that is made up of espresso, milk and foam. A traditional Cappuccino is made of 1/3 Espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam.

To make a Cappuccino as authentic as an Italian one, the milk has to be steamed. But using an electric foamer makes good foam and makes a great alternative to make a Cappuccino at home.

Does a Cappuccino Have Caffeine In It?


Yes, it does. Cappuccino has a shot of espresso in it, and a shot of 2 oz espresso has about 80 ml of caffeine in it.

What Is The Difference Between a Cappuccino and a Latte?


When it comes to coffee drinks, the main difference is the amount of milk and how it compares to the amount of milk and foam in it.

  • In a Cappuccino, you have 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 foam.
  • In a Latte, has a shot of espresso, milk and only a little bit of foam on top. The amount of milk here is more than the espresso and foam.

Wet vs. Dry vs. Bone-Dry Cappuccino, What’s The Difference?

As general rule, when it a coffee drink is referred to as ‘wet’ then it probably has a more of a creamier texture than a ‘dry’ drink, which will most likely have less milk.

  • In a traditional Cappuccino, you have equal parts of espresso, milk and foam.
  • A wet Cappuccino has less foam and more steamed milk.
  • A dry Cappuccino is the opposite, it has less steamed milk and more foam.
  • a bone-dry Cappuccino is espresso with foam only, no steamed milk.

Is a Bone Dry Cappuccino The Same as an Espresso Macchiato?

No it’s not. While a Dry Cappuccino has espresso and foam only, an Espresso Macchiato has espresso and a dollop of lightly foamed milk, similar of the foam of a latte.


Now we’ve explained all kinds of possible Cappuccino drinks, the question is, how can you make all these delicious coffee drinks at home?

How To Make a Cappuccino at Home:

Can I Make a Cappuccino Without a Machine?

This is the most common question we get. Is it possible to make a Cappuccino without a machine? Because the base of every Cappuccino is espresso, and it’s impossible to have espresso without a machine, then you need an espresso machine for making Cappuccino and other coffee drinks.

What’s The Best Way To Make a Cappuccino at Home?

We’ve already established the fact that to make an authentic cup of Cappuccino you’d need an espresso machine. Luckily, espresso machines are available for every budget, so you shouldn’t be worried about breaking the bank for a cup of Cappuccino at home.

When it comes to espresso machines, you have two choice:

  • An automatic single-serve espresso machine
  • A traditional style, manual or semi-automatic espresso machine.

A single-serve espresso machine is the easiest option to use. It uses pre-measured coffee pods and makes your desired drink with a touch of a button, so there’s no work on your part.

A manual or semi-automatic espresso machine is what you’d see at a coffee shop, but on a smaller scale for the home user. It uses ground coffee and you have to manually brew your shot and froth your milk.

Here are our favorite machines to make a Cappuccino at home:

Nespresso Inissia:

Nespresso Inissia Red Bundle

The most affordable and compact Nespresso machine. The Inissia is a very popular choice right now. The machine uses Nespresso capsules to brew a single serve of an Espresso or Lungo automatically. The bundled Aeroccino milk frother heats and froths milk automatically, either for a Cappuccino (with more froth) or Latte (less froth and creamier texture). It can also make cold froth for iced drinks, all with a touch of a button.

Click here to learn everything about the Inissia Espresso Maker.

Watch How It Works:

DeLonghi Dedica:

DeLonghi Dedica Pump Espresso Machine

The DeLonghi Dedica is a very slim semi-automatic espresso maker. You can create your shot manually (manual start and stop of the shot) or automatically as the machine is pre-set to the perfect dose. The steam wand allows you to manually heat and froth your milk. The Dedica makes an excellent choice for a beginner user.

Click here to learn more about the DeLonghi Dedica.

Watch How It Works:

Mr Coffee Cafe Barista:

Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium Espresso:Cappuccino System, ECMP1000

This espresso maker by Mr. Coffee combines the best of both worlds. It has the classic protafilter and uses coffee ground, but it also has automatic brewing and milk frothing. It has a dedicated button for each coffee drink, a detachable milk reservoir and it includes all accessories for you to get started right away: portafilter with both single and double shot filters, coffee measuring scoop and a tamper.

Click here to learn more about the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista

Watch How It Works:


Nespresso machines are still popular as ever, and we see many of your questions floating around. Our job here is to answer these questions for you to help you decide if Nespresso is the right machine for you.

We’ve already covered many aspects of Nespresso machines here on our website. That includes comparisons, questions about coffee capsules, accessories and more. And in this post, we’ll answer a new set of questions.

What Coffee Drinks Can I Make with My Nespresso Machines?

Nespresso Cappuccino Set

Nespresso is a single-server espresso maker, so you can make espresso as well as ever coffee drink that has espresso as its base. That includes: Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato, Iced coffee drinks and more. Since these drinks have frothed milk as an ingredient, you’ll want a milk frother. You can get this bundled with your Nespresso machine, or you can get a Nespresso with a built-in frother, and lastly, you can get a frother from any brand you like. The choice is yours here!

What Is Lungo and What Is Ristretto on the Nespresso Machine?

All Nespresso machines have two sizes in them: Espresso and Lungo (and some have Ristretto). What is Lungo, you ask? It’s like Espresso, but it brews longer, so it is lighter than an espresso as it has more water. Ristretto on the other hand is the same volume as Espresso but it’s made with less water, so it’s stronger than Espresso.

How Do I Make a Cappuccino Using a Nespresso Machine?

It’s super simple. First, brew one shot of espresso using your favorite Nespresso capsule. Then, froth your milk using the frother with a simple push of a button, and after its done heating and frothing, add it to your shot. It’s important to know what makes a great Cappuccino and that is: 1/3 espresso (one capsule/shot), 1/3 milk and 1/3 foam. Here’s a video of how it’s done:

Note: if you want the layered coffee look you see in the video, then first add the frothy milk then brew the capsule on top of the froth.

Alternatively, if you have a Nespresso with a built-in frother, then you can simply press the Cappuccino button and the machine will do everything for you. See how the Nespresso Lattissima Pro works for example:

Does The Nespresso Machine Make Regular Coffee?

Nespresso A+GCC1-US-BK-NE VertuoLine Evoluo Deluxe Coffee & Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother

For a long time, Nespresso was made for espresso only and espresso based drinks. Now, Nespresso has the Vertuoline machines which are able to make regular coffee. Click here to check out the Vertuoline and Vertuoline Evoluo machines.

Can You Buy Hot Chocolate Capsules For Nespresso Machines?

No, unfortunately, that’s not an option. However, here’s a quick tip: you can heat and froth milk using Nespresso frother then add your chocolate to make the hot chocolate.

Yes! now you can make hot chocolate using your Nespresso machine. Click here to see the best nespresso-compatible hot chocolate capsules.

Can I Use Dolce Gusto Pods in Nespresso Machine?

No, that’s not possible. Nespresso can only use its own pods and vice versa.

Can I Refill Nespresso Capsules?

Sealpod Nespresso Refillable Pods

If you’re talking about the official Nespresso Capsules, then no, these are for single use and cannot be refilled. However, you have the option to buy an unofficial refillable capsule that you can use your own coffee ground with.

Which Nespresso Machine Can Make Lattes?

DeLonghi EN680.M Nespresso Lattissima Single-Serve Espresso Maker

Basically all of them. To make a latte, you’ll need a milk frother, so make sure you get your Nespresso bundled with a frother or get a Nespresso with a built-in frother. Here are our recommendations for the best Nespresso for Cappuccino and Latte. You should also find our guide for the best Nespresso capsules for Lattes useful, too.

More Nespresso Buy-Guides You Can’t Miss:


We’ve mentioned both the DeLonghi Dedica EC680 and Gaggia Classic as two great choices for a beginner’s first espresso maker. We know that many will disagree with us on this, these two espresso makers are not the cheapest and not the easiest to use. So on what basis did we decide to recommend them for a beginner?

Perfecting a shot of espresso isn’t an easy task, it takes some practice until you get the ratio and timing right. The DeLonghi Dedica and Gaggia Classic will help you develop your skills, you get to really control your espresso shots manually or automatically. They’re not the type of espresso makers that you’ll use for a few months and then outgrow, these models will last you a long time before the need to upgrade. And that’s why we recommend them as your first machines!

But the question now is, which one of them should you choose? Let’s start by listing their features:

Features of the DeLonghi Dedica EC680M:

DeLonghi Dedica Pump Espresso Machine

  • Very slim design, takes about 6″ of counterspace.
  • Sleek stainless steel housing.
  • 15 bar pump pressure.
  • Quick 40 seconds start up time.
  • Cappuccino frothing system.
  • Automatic stop flow.
  • Pre-set espresso measurement, all can be re-set to your taste.
  • Can be used with manual options too.
  • Water reservoir capacity: 1 liter.

Click here to learn more about the DeLonghi Dedica, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Features of the Gaggia Classic:

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

  • espresso maker with 17 1/2 bars pressure pump.
  • 72 oz water reservoir capacity (about 2 liters).
  • Stainless steel housing.
  • Brass portafilter and grouphead to help stabilize temperature.
  • Only manual brewing.
  • Frothing wand doubles as a hot water dispenser.

Click here to learn more about the Gaggia Classic, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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What Is The Difference Between the DeLonghi Dedica EC680M vs. Gaggia Classic?

TitleDe'Longhi EC680 Dedica 15-Bar Pump Espresso MachineGaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel
FeatureSleek Design provides outstanding espresso while only taking up 6 Inch of space
Thermo block technology allows the machine to heat up to the ideal temperature in a quick 40 seconds
Cappuccino Frothing system provides Barista quality foam
Automatic Flow Stop
Stainless Steel Construction
Coffee/espresso machine with 72-ounce removable water reservoir
Stainless-steel housing; brass portafilters and grouphead for temperature stability
17-1/2-bar pump with high-voltage boiler; hot-water dispenser; frothing wand
Single- and double-shot stainless-steel filter basket, tamper, and measuring scoop included
Measures 14-1/4 by 8 by 9-1/2 inches
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Pressure power:

  • The Dedica has a 15 bar pump pressure which is standard for most espresso makers.
  • The Gaggia Classic has a 17 1/2 bar pump pressure.

Reservoir capacity:

  • The Dedica has a 1 liter water tank capacity.
  • The Gaggia Classic has a 2 liter capacity.


  • The Dedica is quite compact with only 6-inches in width.
  • The Gaggia is about 8 inches wide.


  • The Dedica has both automatic and manual options. It’s overall easier to use than the Gaggia Classic.
  • The Gaggia Classic is only manually operated. Using the switch buttons, you’ll have to manually start and stop the shot. This is harder to do, but it’s good practice.

Which One To Choose?

  • If you’re looking for a fool-proof way to create delicious coffee drinks, you’ll love using the DeLonghi Dedica. Its preset and programmability give you room to quickly make your drink, and if you’re ever in the mood for an espresso brewing lesson, you can use the manual settings.
  • On the other hand, if you’re serious about your espresso brewing skills, you’ll want the Gaggia Classic for sure. It’s a commercial grade machine designed with the home user in mind, and it is able to produce a better shot due to its temperature stability.

Watch How They Work:

DeLonghi Dedica:

Brewing a shot of espresso using Gaggia Classic:


Nespresso Inissia Machine

Ever since its release, the Nespresso Inissia has become one of the most popular Nespresso models. It’s understandable as the Inissia is Nespresso’s entry-level machine with an affordable price and a great design.

If you’re reading this post, then chances are you’ve already settled on buying a Nespresso Inissia and was wondering about its model variation, which is what we’ll explain in this post.

Is There a Difference Between the Inissia C40 vs D40?

You probably noticed that some Nespresso Inissia machines have the model name C40 and others have D40. To be specific, here are the exact model numbers and colors (cited from Amazon):

  • Black: D40-US-BK-NE
  • Pacific Blue: D40-US-PB-NE
  • Red: C40-US-RE-NE
  • Silver: D40-US-SI-NE
  • Titan: C40-US-TI-NE
  • White: C40-US-WH-NE

So, why do some have C40 and others have D40 in the model number?

Nespresso Inissia C40 vs D40

There is no real difference between the C40 and D40 models other than the colors and some aesthetic features. As you see in the photo above, the D40 models feature a differently shaped spout and drip tray/capsule drawer than the C40. The colors: Red, Titan and White are C40 models, while the Silver, Blue and Black are D40.

Other than that, all Inissia models work exactly the same way and produce the same delicious coffee.

Click here to learn more about the Nespresso Inissia, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Read More about Nespresso Inissia:


Having your own espresso bar at home, you’ll be making your own delicious espresso and coffee drinks how you want and when you want. It’s not only fun, but it will save you a whole lot of money (no more trips to expensive coffee shops).

To be honest, if you’re looking for the best gear out there, then $500 is not considered to be a high budget. However, we can absolutely work with it. Your budget will go on an espresso machine and a conical burr grinder. The grind and consistency of your coffee will make all the difference in the quality of your espresso, so it’s important not to skip the grinder.

Below, we’ll list a number of espresso makers and conical burr grinders with a sum price of $500 or less. Please note that these prices can change by their sellers which we have no hand in, but we do our best to find you products at these prices.

Best Espresso Makers For $300 Budget : *Cost a little less or more than $300*

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine:

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

This is a favorite among many people, because for its price, this is a top-notch espresso maker. Gaggia is an Italian brand well-known for its high quality. The Classic is a manual machine that will allow you to practice barista skills with ease.


  • 17 1/2 bar pump pressure.
  • 72-ounce water reservoir.
  • Stainless steel housing.
  • Brass portafilter and grouphead for temperature stability.
  • Frothing wand and hot water dispenser.

Our Gaggia Classic Reviews and Comparisons:

Click here to learn more about the Gaggia Classic, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Breville 800ESXL Triple-Priming Espresso Machine:

Breville 800ESXL 15-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso Machine

A beautiful machine from Australian brand Breville. This die-cast espresso maker doesn’t only look good, but has enough features to make it such a steal for its price:

  • 15-bar pump pressure.
  • 75 oz water reservoir with a front window that shows the level of water.
  • Auto-purge function adjust water temperature after steam for the best espresso extraction temperature.
  • Triple Prime function releases 3 bursts of hot water to wet the coffee ground for an even extraction and full flavor.
  • Stainless steel housing.
  • Dial knob allows you to select from espresso, steam or hot water.

Also Read:

Click here to learn more about the Breville Triple Priming Espresso Machine, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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DeLonghi Dedica Espresso Machine:

DeLonghi Dedica Pump Espresso Machine

This espresso maker by DeLonghi is exceptionally slim in width, but don’t be fooled by its size, you can use it to make fantastic coffee drinks.


  • Only 6-inch wide, doesn’t take a lot of counterspace.
  • Quick 40-seconds heat up time.
  • Stainless steel exterior.
  • Auto flow stop.
  • Cappuccino frothing system for a delicious and creamy froth.
  • Pre-set and reprogrammable settings.
  • Can be used manually, too.

Click here to learn more about DeLonghi Dedica, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Conical Burr Grinders Under $200:

Bodum Bistro Conical Burr Grinder:


The Bodum Bistro is a mid-range conical burr grinder that gives you many decent features for its price range.


  • Choose from 14 grind settings from fine to coarse.
  • Borosilicate glass ground bean container that reduces static ‘jumping beans’
  • Timed grind setting allows you to set a timer for your grind.
  • 220g bean hopper capacity.
  • 11 oz coffee ground container.

Click here to learn more about the Bodum Bistro Electric grinder, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder:

Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder

The Capresso Infinity is somewhat similar to Bodum’s Bistro with some slight differences. For example it has 16 settings instead of 14, which isn’t huge, but can make some difference in the result of your preferred coffee method.


  • 16 grind settings from coarse to fine.
  • 8 1/2 ounces bean hopper capacity.
  • 4 oz coffee ground container.
  • Built-in timer.
  • Available in plastic housing or die-cast housing.

Click here to learn more about the Capresso Infinity, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Breville Dose Control Pro Grinder:

Breville BCG600SIL The Dose Control Pro Coffee Bean Grinder

  • Choose from 60 precise grind settings.
  • Built-in timer allows you to choose from increments as little as 1 second.
  • 12 oz bean hopper capacity.
  • Holder allows you to grind directly into a portafilter, gold-tone filter or coffee container.
  • Stainless steel housing.

Click here to learn more about the Breville Dose Control Pro Grinder, read the customer reviews and buy it.

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Watch Video Reviews:

Here are some videos of the gear featured above for action:

How To Use Gaggia Classic:

Pulling an Espresso shot using the Breville Triple-priming Espresso Machine:

Full Review of the DeLonghi Dedica:

Review of the Breville Dose Control Pro Grinder:


Cuisinox Espresso Cup and Saucer

Despite being a really strong and somewhat ‘an acquired taste’ of a drink, Espresso remains to be a very popular coffee drink. Why? Because Espresso is the base of every popular coffee drink: Cappuccino, Latte, Machiatto and every hot or cold coffee drink out there.

Espresso is made by using a really high-pressure machine that forces boiling water through the finely ground coffee beans. The result is a shot of coffee with a thick layer on top known as Crema. Espresso can be enjoyed on its own or with milk which creates a variation of drinks like latte, cappuccino or more.

Can Espresso Be Made Without a Machine?



As espresso makers can be relatively expensive, many people wonder if it’s possible to make espresso without an espresso maker. Truth is, no, it is NOT possible to make an authentic shot of espresso without an espresso machine. Actually, the name ‘Espresso’ refers to the fact that the coffee has been made using high-pressure (i.e: an espresso machine). Espresso has to be made using a high-pressure pump espresso machine.

Espresso can be tricky to make. Whether you’re using a home machine or a commercial one, it requires some training to get the ratio right. However, luckily, there are many options of a decent quick and easy espresso at home (you’ll still need a machine).

Espresso At Home On a Budget:

We’ve already mentioned that espresso can be somewhat tricky to make in an authentic way and it requires some practice. If you’re an aspiring home barista and you want to learn the process of making great espresso, you’ll need a manual espresso maker, which luckily is available for every budget. If you’re someone who wants a quick shot of espresso without the work, a single-serve espresso maker would be a great choice for you.

Capresso 118.05 EC Pro Espresso Machine

For the Barista Wanna-Be: If you prefer to make your espresso shot manually, you’ll be happy to know that there are many affordable manual machines to choose from. Now to be perfectly honest, these are not the greatest machines as you won’t be able to control many aspects of your espresso shot like temperature, pressure and other aspects that an expensive espresso machine will allow you to do. But they are a good product to start learning your espresso making and milk frothing skills.

There are many machines we covered, so refer to these lists according to your budget:

Nespresso Inissia Red Bundle

By using a single-serve espresso maker like Nespresso, a shot of espresso is only a click away. Nespresso uses pods that have pre-measured coffee ground in it, insert the pod, hit the espresso button and the machine will do everything for you automatically. Some Nespresso makers include a milk frother (or you can purchase one separately) which will allow you to create a variety of coffee drinks. The milk frother will also create a delicious froth automatically.

The downside of using a single-serve espresso maker (Nespresso or others) is that the pods soon become an expensive habit. But the great news about Nespresso is that there is a big variety of non-official Nespresso compatible pods to choose from that are not expensive. There are also refillable Nespresso pods you can use to brew your favorite coffee and save on pods.

Alternatives To Espresso:

If you like a short coffee with a strong flavor, there are alternatives to espresso:

Vev-Vigano Vespress Oro 4-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Espresso Maker
For example, you can use a stovetop Moka maker. This is a popular coffee brewing method, especially among Italians who are serious about their Espresso. a Moka stovetop maker is commonly known as a ‘stovetop espresso maker’, but the produced coffee is not really espresso. However, it is very strong and is consumed in small cups, just like Espresso.

AeroPress Coffee Maker

An Aeropress is also a great way to make a short cup of coffee. Using an Aeropress, you can brew finely ground coffee using a small amount of water to brew a short espresso-like shot (still doesn’t make it a real espresso though).

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