Expressi vs Nespresso Coffee Machines
Nespresso is often the brand that first comes to mind when you think of a pod coffee machine. They offer an impressive selection of coffee machines at different price points as well as a large selection of coffee pods to satisfy all tastes.
Nespresso collaborates with multiple brands including Breville and DeLonghi to create excellent pod coffee machines. The Nespresso capsules can be purchased individually or in assorted packs so you can choose the coffee capsules you most enjoy.
Expressi is a low-cost espresso machine from European supermarket chain Aldi. Aldi partnered with Kruger to create this cost-effective alternative to Nespresso. The Expressi offers fantastic value for money, ease of use and it can be used to make hot chocolate as well as coffees.
Features and Performance
Automatic capsule ejection – the Aldi Expressi and the Nespresso machines have automatic capsule ejection so the capsule falls into a collection bin once the coffee is made. This saves time and makes it easier to make a few coffees in a short period. The capacity of the empty capsule container depends on the model but to give you a rough idea it is usually between 8-11 capsules.
19 bar pressure – 19 bar pressure is the standard for pod espresso machines and both Nespresso and Aldi machines come with this as their pump pressure.
Water tank – a good sized water tank makes it easy to make multiple cups of coffee without needing to refill. The Expressi has a 0.8L water tank while Nespresso machines come in a variety of sizes depending on the model.
Automatic shut off – if you’re in a rush and forget to turn the coffee machine off before you leave the house, don’t worry. Both of the brands models feature an automatic shut off that turns the machine off after a set amount of time has passed. This is a great energy-efficient feature.
Fast heat up – as you can see, despite being a considerably cheaper option the Expressi is managing to keep up with Nespresso’s features and it doesn’t disappoint with the heat up time either. The Expressi machine actually heats up slightly faster taking only 20 seconds while the Nespresso models, including the Citiz and Lattissimo One, heat up in 25 seconds.
Adjustable settings – in our opinion, the Expressi lacks sufficient settings options. It is easy to use and is able to make a good standard coffee but you can’t make any tweaks to the settings to get the cup of coffee exactly as you like it. It does have a programmable fill quantity meaning you can adjust how much water is used when you press the short and long buttons but aside from that, you can’t make any cpersonalisation.
Milk Steamer – some of the Nespresso models come with a milk frother. This is a good to have option as it lets you froth milk for cappuccinos, lattes and other milky drinks. The Expressi doesn’t have a milk frother option but it does offer at least one milk-based capsule (hot chocolate).
Size and Appearance
Nespresso has a large selection of models available varying in size and design. Some of the machines include a milk frother which is perfect for making milky coffee at home.
The Nespresso coffee makers are sleek, well-made and thoughtfully designed. They are user-friendly and don’t take up more space than they need to. Depending on the model you choose, you may be able to choose the colour of the machine too. The most common colours include black, white or silver (brushed aluminium/ stainless steel).
The Expressi is available in a steel grey colour scheme, it looks smart and has a slim design. It won’t take up too much space in the kitchen and it is very easy to pack away. There are 3 simple buttons on the front of the machine and it has a cleaning function for easy maintenance.
Expressi works with its own pods and any pods with the K-Fee System Logo. Although, it’s important to know that using capsules from another brand will void the machine’s warranty so take care when selecting pods for the machine. The Aldi pods are low cost at $5.99 for a pack of 16, the downside is that they can only be bought at Aldi.
Nespresso has a much larger collection of branded capsule flavours than Aldi does. There are some compatible pods from other brands available in supermarkets now but these are only compatible with Nespresso Original coffee machines, not the Vertuo machines. Aldi pods can be used with Nespresso coffee machines but not the other way around.
The downside to using other brand pods is that they often don’t work as well (for example issues with piercing the film or ejecting the capsule after use) and the taste usually isn’t quite as good. However, it may be worth a try because there is a lot of potential savings when choosing compatible pods rather than the machine branded ones.
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The Aldi Expressi is currently available for $79.99. This is almost $100 cheaper than the cheapest in the Nespresso range. The coffee pod machines from Nespresso range from $179 (Essenza Mini) up to over $1000 (the Creatista Pro is $1199). The incredibly low price of the Expressi is what makes it so popular. It boasts many of the same basic features as the smaller Nespresso models at an excellent price.
Aldi’s espresso machine isn’t available year-round. It seems to be a seasonal offering from Aldi so it’s worth keeping your eye out for when it’s available. It also comes with a 2 year warranty which is fantastic for peace of mind.
Expressi vs Nespresso Coffee Pods / Capsules
Range of Options
Nespresso offers a wider selection of flavour and intensity options. The Nespresso pod coffee selection includes everything from traditional espresso to flavoured pods include caramel, cocoa and vanilla. There are more Nespresso-compatible pods available in supermarkets now too which gives users a larger choice of coffee and other drinks to make with their Nespresso machine.
The Aldi Expressi has fewer options but they do offer other drinks such as hot chocolate which is great for families and for getting more from the machine. Aldi also brings out limited edition flavours occasionally which are worth looking out for.
Flavour and Strength
Each of the Aldi pods has nearly 8g of coffee whereas Nespresso pods generally contain 5-6g (this can vary depending on the pod chosen). Aldi currently has 12 varieties of coffee available ranging in intensity from 7-14, they also offer a rich hot chocolate pod. There are sometimes limited edition flavours available too such as vanilla and hazelnut.
Nespresso offers around 30 different capsules for their Original models. These pods vary in flavour, origin and intensity. The Nespresso pods range in intensity from 4- 13.
Coffee Pod Recycling
Nespresso capsules can be recycled, they are made from aluminium and Nespresso has a recycling system in place. You can recycle Nespresso pods by returning them to Nespresso via their boutiques, drop off points or via Australia Post.
Aldi did have a recycling program with TerraCycle but this is currently unavailable due to it reaching its capacity. However, Aldi is working on bringing a recycling program in for their coffee pods so hopefully, it won’t be long before the pods can be recycled again.
There are also brands that have created reusable coffee pods that are compatible with Expressi and Nespresso machines.
Making Your Selection
The Expressi from Aldi has a lot to offer and is a great machine for its price point. If you are looking for your first pod machine then it is a fantastic option. As you can see from the comparison, it does offer a lot of the same features the entry-level Nespresso pod machines offer. It’s a great option that will save you money and gives you plenty of coffee to choose from.
The downside is that it doesn’t have adjustable settings, the machine is possibly not quite as durable and the taste of the coffee isn’t quite at the same level as Nespresso (if you are used to drinking Nespresso you may be disappointed by the taste of the Expressi coffee). With that said, $79.99 is an amazing price for a coffee machine and it does everything you need it to do.
If you are a coffee lover and you don’t mind spending a bit more for the quality, consistency and reliability of a Nespresso machine then go for it. You can’t go wrong with a Nespresso machine as they are tried and tested and there are lots of models to choose from so you can find the one that fits your style and coffee preferences. There are also lots of coffee pods and flavours to choose from and if you like milky coffees, there are models that come with a milk steamer too.