Today’s post is about a coffee/espresso machine that has been a HUGE addition to our home over the last few years. For years Jon and I relied on our Keurig machine, I mean who doesn’t have one now a days?? My only complaint about the Keurig is that it doesn’t make lattes (well, didn’t until recently). If I’m looking back at where my iced latte obsession started I would say it was when I worked at Apple. Every break that me and the rest of the crew took pretty much consisted of Starbucks - hello, caramel macchiatos every. single. day. LOL! I am truly embarrassed to even think about how much money I was spending there every month!
Since I left Apple I did give up my daily Starbucks habit because let’s me honest, spending $6 every single day on an iced latte adds up over time. So when Jon and I were planning our move from our first place together to our current apartment I started doing some research on a new machine to replace our Keurig. The criteria I was looking for was a machine that would have the capability of making both lattes and regular coffee. I remember my friend Nikole telling me about her Nespresso machine and how much she loved it. One time when her and I were in Boston we stopped at a Nespresso store to grab a latte and ever since then I knew a Nespresso machine was in our future. I had never made my own latte at home, and I knew I didn’t want any of those extremely expensive, fancy, or complicated espresso machines. For me the goal was to find a machine that would fulfill my daily iced latte craving and was as quick and easy as the Keurig machine. I’m a no fuss kind of girl, and I don’t have much time in the morning to play around with a regular espresso machine. Well, I’m happy to say that we definitely found that our Nespresso Evoluo is no fuss. When Jon and I moved, I couldn’t stop talking about this machine and how excited I was to finally be able to make my own morning lattes! Probably a little too excited haha. I was so obsessed with it that my mom actually ended up offering to buy the bundle for us as a housewarming gift. Thanks momma!! <3
Now about the machine! I chose the Vertuo line machine for us rather than the Original line mostly for the cup size options as outlined below.
With the Vertuo machines you have five cup size options:
Espresso 1.35 oz
Double espresso 2.7oz (fairly new to the line)
Gran lungo 5oz
Alto XL (basically a double coffee) 14oz.
With the Original machines you only have three cup size options:
Now I knew I’d never get away with replacing our Keurig if the machine I was replacing it with didn’t offer standard coffee cup sizes. Jon drinks coffee ALL day long and I do too, but he was slightly skeptical about using the Nespresso when we first got it. Both of us were so accustomed to our Keurig that I feel like he wasn’t sure it would actually be that great. It didn’t take him long to taste the difference in the quality of the coffee that you get from Nespresso. His current verdict: he can’t get enough!
The biggest reason why we enjoy our Nespresso machine so much is the ease of use. It is just as easy to use as a Keurig. There are “pods” instead of k-cups, and just like a Keurig you just open up the top of the machine, pop the pod in, close the top, lock it and press the start button. It is quite a bit louder than the Keurig is, for sure. When we first started using it we would joke about how it sounds like it’s about to take off haha!! It’s not THAT crazy but it is definitely louder. I attribute the noise to the fact that the machine actually spins around the coffee pod inside the machine once it starts brewing. Each pod has a barcode on the edge of the pod that the machine reads and determines the characteristics of the pod, such as the cup size and what type of coffee/espresso it it. This determines how the machine will brew the cup. Pretty high tech!
As far as pricing goes, I would say it is absolutely reasonable for the quality of the machine you get. It’s comparable to the cost of a similar Keurig machine. It is also a lot cheaper than having to purchase both an espresso machine and a single cup coffee maker. The Vertuo machine that we got is the Evoluo, and the bundle which includes the Aeroccino milk frother (must have!) is $249. The milk frother sold alone is around $100, so to get the machine and the frother for $249 isn’t too bad. When my mom bought the bundle for us they were having a special on Nespresso’s website, and we got everything for $175 before taxes. I rave about our machine to all of my friends, and I’m always telling people to keep an eye out for sales because their website often runs specials for 30% off. As of right now they are running this same special until tomorrow 3/18, but if you continue to check back this type of offer will definitely come again.
So I’m sure you guys are wondering about the coffee pods: where to get them and how much they are. The coffee pods are available on Amazon (sometimes), in Nespresso stores and on their website. The pods come in sleeves of ten pods each and the Nespresso website has a five sleeve minimum.
Espresso single shot (1.35oz) $0.85 per pod, totaling $8.50 per sleeve
Double shot espresso (2.7oz) $1 per pod, totaling $10 per sleeve
Gran Lungo (5oz) $1 per pod, totaling $10 per sleeve
Regular coffee (7.77oz) $1.10 per pod, totaling $11 per sleeve
Limited edition coffees (7.77oz) $2 per pod, totaling $20 per sleeve
Master origin (7.77oz) or Alto XL (14oz) pods $1.20 per pod, totaling $12 per sleeve
The easiest way to make sure you won’t end up running out of coffee is to set up an “easy order” which allows you to choose your frequency of shipments and which coffees/espressos you would like sent in each shipment. You can always change the frequency if you know you are going to run out sooner or if you know you won’t use all of the pods you can always push the shipment out further. Shipping is free if you choose standard but the two day shipping fee is only about $6 which I always opt for. The coffee ships from New Jersey FYI, so if you’re nearby like I am it should come pretty quickly regardless of shipping method.
For nearly two years we have received a monthly shipment of about $100 worth of coffee, some months we run out sooner and other times we still have some left. I have found that for us it’s always better to have too many pods then too few, neither of us are happy when we have to bring out the Keurig as our backup LOL! I love how quick and easy it is to change your order online pre-shipment too, just log in and switch up which types of coffees you’d like. Some of the coffees in our shipments never change, like we always have two sleeves of vanilla (Jon’s favorite) and caramel (my favorite) in our shipments, but as far as regular non-flavored coffees go I change those every few months just to switch it up. We also order between 30-40 double espresso pods per shipment too, considering I make a latte every morning before I leave for work and I’m often making one for Jon too, we need a lot! When we first got our machine they only had the single espresso pods, so each time I made a latte I would use two pods. The single espresso pods as mentioned above are $0.85 each, to make a double shot latte it would cost $1.70. Once they came out with the double shot pods we switched to those, it saves time and they’re only $1 per pod, so we save $0.70 on each latte. When I think about how I am now saving about $5 every morning that I make my own latte at home I’m blown away! Starbucks is nice every now and again but I find that since I’ve started to make my own, I prefer my own over store bought!
Below is your step by step guide to make your own latte at home!
Making a basic iced latte is VERY easy, I feel like a child could do it! You only need a few things:
An espresso pod - single or double, your choice
Milk - we prefer whole milk because it froths really well
Sugar - or any sweetener of choice
Ice cubes, about 5-9
A glass or travel mug/tumbler - we prefer our Tervis tumblers they keep drinks nice and cold for long periods of time
Add about 8-9 ice cubes into the large (24oz) tumbler. I’m that person who always asks for extra ice haha!
Place a double espresso pod in the Nespresso machine, press start - if I were to guess it takes only about one minute to brew.
Add sugar to the hot espresso which is key to making sure it melts before you add everything over ice. Stir it up!
Add milk to the frother up to the max fill line, put the lid on, place it on it’s base and hold down the start button. Holding down the start button will tell the frother that you want this done cold, this will be indicated by a blue light. If you wanted a hot latte you would just place the frother on the base and hit the button once quick, which would indicate you want your milk warm by the red light. If for some reason you do the wrong temp, just hit the button quick and it’ll stop frothing then just press the button again to your desired temp. You can’t really mess this part up, there are only two temp options cold and hot so this is a no brainer!
Once the milk is frothed, about 90 seconds later you just pop the top off and pour the frothed milk over ice.
Next pour the espresso on top of the milk, stir it up and you’ve got yourself a homemade iced latte! Top to bottom this literally takes less than 5 minutes, quick and easy.
Now if you’ve watched your barista at Starbucks make your latte before, you may notice that sometimes they add the espresso to the cup first, then the milk and then the ice. I guess this depends on the drink and I haven’t worked for Starbucks before and don’t know the reasoning for this process, but I find that if you pour the cold milk over the ice first and then add the hot espresso you prevent premature ice melt. You kind of ‘protect’ the ice from the hot espresso by surrounding it with cold milk first. Just an FYI I have also noticed that the milk will become settled and not really be frothy anymore if you let it sit for too long after you’ve run it through the frother. I really enjoy fully frothed milk in my lattes, so if this happens you can always just turn on the frother again for a second time. I do this pretty regularly because I’m often multitasking in the morning when I’m making my latte before I hit the road.
As far as add-ins go, such as mocha and other flavors that’s no biggie. There is this local coffee shop near me that has the BEST iced cafe mochas and they actually sell their house mocha powder. When I first bought the powder to take home, I was new to using the Nespresso and I thought that I would just add the mocha to the frother. Yeah well that didn’t work out very well. The mocha is quite gritty and the little frother element in the bottom of the frother did NOT like the mocha. It actually ended up shutting off and refusing to froth the milk haha. So I just add the mocha to the hot espresso as I would normally add sugar, stir it all up and pour it over the milk like usual. The same goes for any liquid flavors which you can find tons of these at Homegoods or at Starbucks. Just add your desired amount to the espresso and stir. This fall/winter I have been LOVING adding pure maple syrup to my lattes. This is another latte I’ve started making that was inspired by one of my favorite local coffee shops. Super simple, grab your favorite maple syrup and add a spoon or two to the espresso and BAM, maple latte!
Lastly, if you are in the market for a new single cup machine the Nespresso Evoluo bundle is the way to go. We have had this machine for almost two years and we are completely obsessed. I tell Jon all the time that if it ever died I would literally cry and have to buy a new one same day haha! We literally can’t live without it. The machine requires such little upkeep, in two years of daily use it has only had to be descaled once. The machine is also so smart it tells you when it needs to be descaled. The descaling kit from Nespresso is under $10 and it only takes about 20 minutes to complete. Another very appealing part about the Nespresso brand is that they recycle all of your pods for FREE! That means no more wasteful k-cups in the trash that are just polluting the environment. When you order your pods from their website you can add up to two pre-paid recycling bags to your order. These bags hold about 100 pods or maybe a bit more in each bag, you seal them up once full and drop off to your local Nespresso shop or at a UPS store like I do. In and out, no waiting in a line, quick, easy and free recycling - I LOVE that part! Keep an eye out for sales as they happen all the time, and I hope you feel inspired to become your own at home barista!
P.S. This post is not sponsored in any way nor am I being paid for my review. The opinions are my own from two years of usage of this machine. There are some affiliate links utilized throughout this post. I have linked the machine in multiple places throughout the post to Macy's website because they also have an extra 10% off right now for Macy's card holders. I linked Nespresso's website above where I mention the pods pricing. The machine on Nespresso's website is also HERE and the pods HERE.