De’Longhi vs Nespresso – An In-Depth Review

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delonghi vs nespresso

Here we have a heavyweight matchup between Brad Pitt (De’Longhi) and George Clooney (Nespresso). De’Longhi and Nespresso are two state-of-the-art coffee machine companies making a splash in North America. 

Nespresso is the famous Swiss company under the Nestle umbrella, specializing in pod-tech, simple brewing processes. De’Longhi is an Italian company that prides itself in high-quality coffee right from your home.  

Who will come out on top? Place your bets; these coffee giants just stepped into the ring.

Let’s Have a Closer Look

Before we dive into the product lines, we have to look at each company to help you understand all the minor differences. It all depends on your personal preferences. 

De’Longhi is built to be sophisticated. Combining a passion for coffee with technology and traditional Italian design, De’Longhi is meant to remind you of the old country while giving you today’s rich flavor with an automated machinery feature.  

Nespresso is built for speed and ease of use. Nespresso is intended to make your cup of coffee fast while still giving you a full-bodied, delicious flavor. If you’re chronically late and want uncomplicated coffee, Nespresso can get the job done with one touch.  

The Top Contenders From Each Company

Since there are so many makers to choose from, I’ve narrowed it down to two. These machines are the flagship brewers from Nespresso and De’Longhi and showcase the best that both offer. 

Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 

The Magnifica is the Cadillac of De’Longhi brewers. While not as expensive as the S-Smart ECAM2326OSB, the Magnifica still offers distinct designs with additional features. 

With this brewer, you can make customizable espressos and milk-based drinks, including lattes and cappuccinos with the adjustable milk frother. All you have to do is select your preprogrammed choice into the brew settings, and you’ll have barista-style coffee every time. 

The milk tank is hidden to maintain this machine’s stylish good looks. This also helps it achieve accurate milk temperatures so you don’t end up with super hot milk. 

There’s also an automated, quiet burr grinder with 13 settings, so you can grind your beans as fine as you’d like. Plus, its quiet operation means early birds won’t be waking up the house to get the java going. 

The Magnifica is made with durability in mind and made to last. It features a decalcification indicator for clean water that takes the guessing out of maintenance, so your brewer stays squeaky clean. The 60-ounce water tank and removable drip tray are dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up. 

This brewer is also made out of stainless steel, with two boilers for heat distribution. Needless to say, stainless steel is one of the most durable materials out there and, in turn, also gives you delicious coffee. 

Pros

Timeless, premium design

Can make two drinks at the same time 

Decalcification indicator 

Built-in burr grinder with 13 adjustable settings 

Built-in milk frother with custom texture levels 

Program drink references

Energy efficient with automatic shut-off 

Cons

Less user friendly and will require some practice 

High-end price point 


Nespresso VertuoPlus

The VertuoPlus exemplifies the single-button, pod tech brewing system Nespresso is famous for. Pop the pod in, pop it out, and there you have it, coffee done effortlessly. 

This machine averages a brewing time of less than a minute, with hot water in just 15 seconds, which means more time for hitting the snooze button. 

The Nespresso VertuoPlus offers espresso shots and black coffee, with an added layer of crema to give you a cup above what other coffee machine companies provide. You can now have a straight espresso or some soft and savory coffee. 

The 60-ounce water tank is visible so you always know when you need to refill. 

It also features Wifi and Bluetooth compatibility, with automatic software updates via Firmware. These additional features are for your maker to be able to read new pods as they’re released. Sign up for the Nespresso app and connect. Stay up to date. 

Once your machine is connected, you can access all the advanced technology Nespresso has implemented, like descaling alerts, water volumes, machine info, and support. 

Pros

Easy breezy operation

Offers coffee with crema as well as espresso

Competitive brew time, averaging less than a minute  

Connects to Wifi and Bluetooth

Doesn’t take up a lot of kitchen counter space 

Cons

No milk frothing capabilities for specialty drinks

Only compatible with Nespresso Vertuo coffee pods 

Only brews one cup of coffee at a time 


Key Feature Comparisons 

Here we look at each key feature and what you can expect from these popular models. 

 Delonghi Magnifica ESAM3300Nespresso VertuoPlus 
Weight 23.2 lbs10.1 lbs
Height14.4 inches12.8 inches
Width 15.3 inches16.66 inches 
Cup Size ChoicesMax of 2.35 ounces1.35, 2.75, 5, or 7.7 ounces presets
Brew SpeedMore than 2 minutesLess than 2 minute
Brew Strength ControlsYesNo 
Transparent Water Tank No, with 1.8-liter sizeYes, with 1.8-liter size
Display No, LED indicators with button controls akin to commercial settingsYes, LED button designed for simplicity 
Included Add-OnsMilk frothing capabilities and burr grinderWifi and Bluetooth connectivity

Brewing

The biggest difference in design between these two espresso machine models is that one uses a single-button extraction method, while the other is a bean-to-cup brewer. 

The Magnifica gives you the flexibility to choose any type of coffee, from big brands to local markets and coffee shops. You can easily grind your beans just the way you like with the built-in burr grinder. The possibilities are endless. 

The Nespresso Vertuo technology is only compatible with licensed Nespresso pods, though there is a wide range of choice for people from all over the world. The speed and ease of Nespresso VertuoLine machines are a trade-off for the freedom to experiment with De’Longhi espresso machine models. 

The Vertuo brews fast, but the Magnifica provides more choice for people.

Nespresso Vertuo has the advantage in brew time in almost all their brewers; you’ll have your quality coffee and start your day off right in less than a minute. The Magnifica can take more than 2 minutes, with some reviewers claiming their machine takes almost 5 minutes. 

You’ll be able to cut down on time with your pre-programmed choice of brew, as more often than not, it will take longer to sip that sweep java when you’re not taking advantage of the automated settings. Another key feature is you can make two drinks simultaneously, which will undoubtedly help out households with a few coffee lovers.  

It’s tough to pick who has the advantage here as it all depends on what you’re willing to give up: speed or freedom. Still, I’ll give it to Magnifica, as I would weigh the flexibility of brewing higher. 

Winner: De’Longhi

Design

The absolute 10/10 winner here is the Magnifica. This machine looks so good that you’ll start to feel underdressed using it.  

The stainless steel accents and traditional Italian aesthetic designs will add a touch of extravagance to your morning routine. Its compact design also means it won’t take over your kitchen counter space. 

The Magnifica looks sophisticated and polished without being pretentious. It’s a machine that looks like if you squint your eyes for long enough, you can see yourself making a cup of espresso in the hills of Tuscany. 

The Nespresso Vertuo offers a black matte finish with distinct designs on the handle and drip tray. 

While the novelty of the non-metal finish Nespresso machines is wearing off, you still have a sleek and compact size that doesn’t require any extra space. But when comparing the two, the Vertuo just can’t hold a candle to the Magnifica. 

Winner: De’Longhi

Ease Of Use

The Vertuo’s single-button pod brewing can make a barista out of anyone. It’s hassle-free coffee and simple espresso that requires no measuring, grinding, or guessing

The Magnifica, on the other hand, will require some more trial and error to find that perfect cup and requires a little more work to get there. 

With 13 bean fineness settings for the grinder and multiple settings for brew strength, brew size, and presetting controls, this is a machine where you’ll definitely want to read the instruction manual first. 

With the Vertuo, that’s not the case, so I’ll have to give the nod to Nespresso. 

Winner: Nespresso

Value For Money

The better espresso machine models will be the ones that cost more, i.e., you’re going to get what you pay for. It’s ultimately up to you what you can live with and without. 

If you drink your cups of coffee and your basic espresso black, and if you want a reliable machine that will take the fuss out of your mornings, I recommend the Vertuo.

For the Magnifica, you will get your money’s worth based on its milk froth options, quiet burr grinder, the reliable extraction process, and the difference in design. If you love straight espresso and everything that goes with it, you should invest in the Magnifica. 

I will have to give this round to the Nespresso VertuoPlus, as many coffee drinkers just can’t afford the De’Longhi price tag. Nespresso has made a shot of espresso more accessible with their pricing; the pod price point averages to a little over 80 cents per pod. 

Winner: Nespresso

Customer Reviews 

Online customers tend to agree with the overall breakdown of these brewers: one is for fast servings of coffee, convenience, and auto-pilot brewing, while the other takes a different approach to coffee creation through variety and a premium design. 

Here’s what Gurasis on the Nespresso VertuoPlus had to say:

“That one button takes the experience to the next level!…[this brewer is] so simple so wonderful. Highly recommend it.”  

Another anonymous reviewer on the corporate site highlighted the only issue that I could find: leakage. 

“Sent for repairs 2-3 times. It’s ridiculous!”

There are claims that the Nespresso VertuoPlus can leak from the inside or dilute your coffee grounds because of not being able to read a pod’s unique barcode correctly. This has been an issue in the past with other Nespresso brewers. 

The company confirms the best way to troubleshoot this is by connecting your maker to Wifi and downloading the app for system updates. 

For the Magnifica, Daniel writes: 

“We have had this machine for 1 1/2 years now. It brews a tasty cup of coffee. Easy to use once you get the hang of it! We love it and is the best coffee maker we have ever owned.”

Customers love the Magnifica and De’Longhi for their durability, easy maintenance, coffee quality, and simple espresso. Experts everywhere unanimously agree that using fresh ground beans will always have a tastier brew than pre-ground coffee and is worth the wait. 

Alternatives  

If you like the Magnifica, but you’re more for the fast and easy types of coffee that coffee capsules allow, I’d recommend the De’Longhi Gran Lattissima Espresso Machine

Partnered with Nespresso and optimizing pod tech, the Gran Lattissima will still give you all the efficiency and ease Nespresso is famous for while still allowing you to customize the De’Longhi way. 

The brewer has a 9-button, LED digital display featuring a one-touch system for beverage selections such as cappuccino, espresso, americano, creamy latte macchiato, etc. You can now spice things up and experiment with different types of coffee. 

The Verdict  

It’s a tough call, but I think I have to give the win to De’Longhi. I’d give the Magnifica the win based on two reasons: 

  • Variety. With the Magnifica, you can choose any bean from the diverse world of coffee to try, with more drink options like cappuccinos, lattes, flat milk recipes as a bonus. You’re not restricted to automatic coffee pods.
  • Old world class and charm. With milk froth options, grind size choice, and even turning the handle into place, you’re part of an extraction method with elevated aesthetic designs. 

It was a photo finish and as close as it gets. Still, the Nespresso Vertuo’s limited use of only Nespresso automatic coffee pods, the all-too-familiar Nespresso design with no color options, and the inconsistent water volumes can’t compete with the Magnifica by De’Longhi. 

Although it has a higher price tag, the Magnifica is made for coffee purists and coffee lovers. That’s why I love it, and it is my pick for victory.

See Also: Breville vs De’Longhi

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Clint's skills as a barista have made it easy for him to transition into writing about coffee. With so much personal experience and passion, he is able to shed light on all aspects of coffee to ensure you can enjoy this delicious beverage as much as he does.

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