Best Pod Espresso Machine 2022; Single Serve Model Reviews
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Here in this article “Best Single Serve Pod Espresso Machine” we’ve rounded up 15 top capsule espresso machines that are compatible with either ESE pods or Nespresso capsules and are of different specifications, and budget. Below, you’ll find in-depth reviews of each, as well as an elaborate buying guide to pick out your favorite.
Pod espresso machines are a great way for anyone to cut back on spending money at the cafe without shelling out $500 on an espresso machine such as Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine or fiddling with time consuming manual espresso machines.
The pod espresso machines are perfect for the working professionals on the go who are looking for fast and affordable espresso based drinks.
The best of these single serve pod espresso makers are quick, neat, and give totally consistent results. Shot after shot comes out with a beautiful layer of crema, the signature of a true espresso.
Add a bit of steamed milk and invest in some flavored syrups and you’ll have a hard time telling the difference between the espresso drinks you make at home from those made in your favorite café.
Pod machines also save money and counter space by combining up to five gadgets into one. Inserting a capsule is much easier than messy grinding and tamping, so these machines allow a few extra minutes to catch up on sleep each morning—and require very little skill to use.
To help you get the most bang for your buck, we chose 15 espresso machines that work with capsules and we have also included a few best ESE pods espresso machines, all priced competitively, and put them to the test. We examined the temperature, time to brew, affordability of the capsules, and density of the crema, among other features.
|TopTop Top Top||Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus||Best Overall||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Nespresso CitiZ||Best Looking||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||De'Longhi ECP3120||Best Affordable||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Nespresso Vertuo Next||Best With Bluetooth||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Nespresso Lattissima Pro Original||Best With Frother||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Nespresso Essenza Mini Original||Best Small Option||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Nespresso VertuoPlus||Best For Home||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||De'Longhi EC685M Dedica Deluxe Automatic Espresso Machine||Best For ESE Pod||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Nespresso Vertuo||Best Rated||See on Amazon|
|Top Top||De'Longhi ECP3420||Best For Office||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Nespresso Lattissima Plus||Best Smart||See on Amazon|
|Top Top||Nespresso Inissia Original||Best Budget Pick||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||De'Longhi EC155||Best Basic||See on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||DeLonghi EC702||Best For Cappuccino||See on Amazon|
Table of Contents
- 1 Single Serve Pod Espresso Machine - Buying Guide
- 2 Features To Look For In A Good Pod Espresso Machine
- 3 Single Serve Pod Espresso Machine Reviews
- 3.1 Best Overall
- 3.2 Best Looking Pod Espresso Machine
- 3.3 Best Affordable Pick
- 3.4 Best With Bluetooth Connectivity
- 3.5 Best With Frother
- 3.6 Best Small Pod Espresso Machine
- 3.7 Best For Home
- 3.8 Best ESE Pod Espresso Machine
- 3.9 Best Rated
- 3.10 Best For Office
- 3.11 Best Smart Pod Espresso Machine
- 3.12 Best For Fast Heat-Up
- 3.13 Best Budget Pick
- 3.14 Best Basic Machine
- 3.15 Best For Cappuccino
- 4 Pros & Cons of A Single Serving Pod Espresso Machine
- 5 Conclusion
Single Serve Pod Espresso Machine - Buying Guide
To help you get the most bang for your buck, we chose 15 espresso machines that work with capsules and we have also included a few best ESE pods espresso machines, all priced competitively, and put them to the test. We examined the temperature, time to brew, affordability of the capsules, and density of the crema, among other features.
What Is A Single Serve Pod Espresso Machine?
A single-serve espresso machine, as the name suggests, delivers just enough coffee or espresso for one serving for one person.
While many of these pod-based machines make regular coffee, you can also find plenty capable of delivering espresso, too.
These machines are extremely easy to use and take out the guesswork involved with making a perfect espresso. All you need to do is top up the water reservoir then insert a capsule. Press a button and the machine does the rest.
Now, espresso connoisseurs and espresso snobs might insist that single-serve machines deliver less than perfect results but we have to disagree here. A great single serve pod espresso machine gives consistent results in very little time.
When you’re investing in any type of coffee espresso maker, all that counts is whether or not it gives you what you want. If speed and ease of use are uppermost in your priorities, you can’t go wrong with a single-serve machine. What’s more? You don’t even have to deal with messy clean up afterwards.
Why A Single Serve Pod Espresso Machine Might Be Perfect For You.
Try making a summary of your mornings and tell us: how much time do you actually have to yourself? A coffee lover that respects himself (or herself) will spend quality time in the morning brewing the perfect cup of coffee.
They’ll make sure it has the right amount of beans that have been freshly ground and that the water has the right temperature and quantity. There are many other things you need to be careful of when you make coffee.
This goes double if you and mornings don’t have a very good relationship and end up oversleeping most of the time; that’s when you don’t even have time to think about coffee.
Thankfully, Pod espresso machines were made with that same exact thought in mind: Make the most delicious espresso in no time.
A capsule espresso machine, however, will allow you to make coffee with just a press of a button – a professional kind of coffee – in just a few seconds, without compromising the taste of the brew.
Features To Look For In A Good Pod Espresso Machine
Your choice of coffee
Here, you may want to consider this: do you take your coffee with or without milk? In this circumstance, you may want to make sure that the capsule espresso or the ese pod espresso machine will make that certain type of coffee that you like.
For example, if you are a fan of cappuccinos, you may want a pod espresso machine that has a milk steamer so that you won’t be required to prepare the milk separately.
Not all espresso pods or capsules are compatible with every pod espresso machine, so if you have a preference towards a particular type of capsules, make sure that they are compatible.
Quality of the drink
Pay attention to this one. There are espresso machines that are expensive and some are cheap, either way, it will make a good quality drink.
Sometimes one of the cheap pod espresso machines will work out best for you and make the drink that will satisfy your craving for caffeine in the richest flavor according to your flavor.
Now how will you know which one is the best if the price doesn’t guarantee the taste you desire? We have reviewed many good capsule espresso machines, check out our reviews, and you can easily decide which one may work best for you.
On the basis of those reviews, you can decide if you want to stick to the basic conventional drinks and likes you already have in regards to the flavor and type of drink. Or do you want to have the options of a variety of flavors made by one espresso machine?
Aesthetic appeal of the machine
We live in an age where looks are everything, which is why it’s very important to be mindful of the design when picking out the best single serve pod espresso machine.
Size also matters. If you live in a place that has limited space, you do not want a machine that will take up half your kitchen. You have to look for an espresso machine that is compact in its size but still has the key features that you’ll need.
Ease Of Use
What help would an espresso machine be if you can’t even use it? If it seems too difficult to operate, you may just quit the thought of brewing coffee altogether and just grab a to-go from the first coffee-shop.
The best pod espresso machine shouldn’t have controls that are difficult to navigate. They should offer easy access to the buttons, but also be intuitive enough so that you won’t have to pull out the instruction manual just to make one espresso.
You need to keep your convenience on the top when it comes to pod espresso machines. If you are a person that is always in a hurry or you are too lazy, then you need an easy to use and easy to clean capsule espresso machine. This will save a lot of your time and energy.
You can spend that time enjoying the cup of espresso you made for yourself instead of being busy in cleaning the machine. This will help you make the espresso easily and without much effort.
If you are buying the espresso machine that many people are going to use, then you probably should consider buying a machine that has a larger water reservoir. This will help you easily make drinks for multiple people.
It will save your time going again and again to refill the water reservoir. But if you are considering buying the best pod espresso machine that will be used by a single person, then there is no need for a large water reservoir.
A warranty may be a lifesaver in case your machine experiences problems or issues – which have nothing to do with you dropping the device on a concrete floor. The longer the warranty, the safer you will be in case your machine decides you no longer deserve a coffee.
Single Serve Pod Espresso Machine Reviews
Nespresso Creatista Plus
Nespresso and Breville, two of the biggest companies in the world of consumer coffee machines, have united their forces to bring forth their latest espresso maker, the Breville Creatista Plus.
The Creatista Plus has a stainless steel body that looks sleek on any counter. Though, you can order it in 3 other color options: smoked hickory (grey), sea salt (white), and black truffle (black).
The heat up time on this machine is only 3 seconds, thanks to its ThermoJet heating element.
This machine can handle a pretty impressive range of brewing and it gives you the convenience of a top class pod espresso machine.
There is also an auto-off feature that activates after 9 minutes of inactivity. That was, you stay safe and save energy.
This is undoubtedly one of the best single serve pod espresso machine available in the marketplace today.
It’s most impressive feature, the frothing wand is really a smart one as it automatically steams the milk to 8 different textures with 11 temperature settings allowing more flexibility in drinks. Moreover, it’s not hot to touch and auto purges when finished.
This machine can handle a pretty impressive range of brewing. It has 3 programmable cup sizes (0.84, 1.35, 3.72 oz), 8 texture levels, and 11 milk temps.
With those options, you can make a ristretto, espresso, lungo, caffe latte, cappuccino, latte macchiato, and more with just a few button presses.
Instead of using coffee beans, or freshly grounded ones, all there is about it is to buy capsules. These capsules are air-tight ones that contain coffee.
These are available in a monstrous variety of brews so you’ll never fail to find one that suits your taste.
A capsule is simply thrown inside the Breville Creatista Plus, and the machine processes it into your choice of drink.
You can make latte art with the Breville Creatista, to some extent, and that’s primarily attributed to the machine’s state-of-art steam wand.
The machine produces textured milk in the exact consistency as per selected, and it’s extremely accurate in milk temperature, as the machine’s thermometer sits just below the milk jug.
Additionally, because you make the shot first and then start the milk separately, using the Creatista Plus resembles the process of operating a regular espresso maker, which is great for regular espresso machine users.
The steam pump also self-cleans after each use, and the wastewater automatically goes into the built-in drain. It features the largest water tank of this roundup at 60 ounces.
- Milk-frothing capabilities are mind-blowing due to the automated steam wand
- No coffee bean hassle thanks to the Nespresso capsule system
- Extremely durable stainless steel body
- Amazing, user-friendly interface and system
- Assisted, step-by-step cleaning guidance
- Nespresso capsules are a bit limited in comparison to freshly ground coffee beans
Best Looking Pod Espresso Machine
If you are looking for a quick shot of delicious Nespresso, and you want a machine that produces coffee quickly, the CitiZ might be for you. Its small size is entirely at home in kitchens and offices, and it’s well suited to espresso drinkers who want something fast and easy.
The CitiZ is one of the best small single server pod espresso machine as it combines the best of Nespresso tech in one sleek little package: single serving pods and a hands-free milk frother to bring milk based espresso drinks literally anywhere, with minimal fuss and total ease. Making a latte or cappuccino is literally a 2 button process with the CitiZ.
The CitiZ is only meant for use with original line nespresso capsules only, so you shouldn’t expect to use Vertuo pods with it.
What you should expect though is not to fill in water every time you need to make a drink thanks to the large 1-litre water reservoir. This is great since it means you get to make more espressos for every time you fill the water tank. The machine also has a decent used capsule capacity of up to 10 capsules.
The Nespresso CitiZ is ridiculously simple to operate. Even someone who has never used a Nespresso machine before should be able to figure out how to work it without a problem.
As is true of all Nespresso models, the capsules are quite easy to insert and eject. All you have to do is lift the lever, drop the pod in, and push the lever down again.
The CitiZ, like the base nespresso models, offers two brew strengths: espresso and lungo. Espresso will be your standard shot and lungo will be a longer pull, a little closer to an Americano from this machine.
The capsules are targeted for the different brewing options and will give you a different strength, lungo is usually a little less intense. Espresso is a bit stronger. If you’re making a latte, using the stronger espresso is a good choice.
When it comes to coffee quality, customers choose Nespresso for the excellent quality of their products. The brand operates under the premise that the best espresso machine in the world is useless if you use subpar coffee, and we have to agree.
You can expect full-bodied crema from Nespresso’s capsules that pairs flawlessly with perfectly frothed milk from the Aerrocino milk frother. There are lots of different blends to choose from, and they’re classified by drink type and intensity.
- Comes with integrated Aeroccino 3 frother
- Actual pump pressure is better than VertuoLine Centrifusion
- One-touch sizing system lets you adjust brew size by pressing and holding brew buttons
- Solid internal construction means it won’t break down quickly
- Can used 3rd-party capsules
- Limited to 2 drink sizes
Best Affordable Pick
For the competitive price, this is one versatile espresso machine. It will make single and double espressos, latte macchiatos, and cappuccinos.What strikes the first-time looker of the DeLonghi ECP3120 Nespresso Lattissima is its style and color. Featuring an onyx-black housing, the DeLonghi ECP3120 did not go for the typical shiny look common on its competitors and instead made looks modern and unique with its matte surface. This product size can be counted as a plus as it’s very compact and would not have a hard time fitting on the spot in your kitchen.
With the Advanced Cappuccino System, there will be no waiting between cups. The bottom tray can easily be adjusted so it can fit taller as well as shorter cups.
The water tank is easy to remove, and, most importantly, it is easy to track the water level so you can refill the tank in a timely manner. All parts are rather easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.
At the core of any espresso machine lie two important parts: the heating element and the pump. Other espresso machines are equipped with a single Thermoblock, which is fine actually but props to Delonghi for outfitting their machine with two – this translates to faster heating and operation of the machine.
The 19-Bar pressure pump self-primes and releases just the right amount of pressure to extract full-bodied and smooth coffee from each Nespresso capsule. The result? A cup or glass of your favorite espresso filled with thick milk and smooth crema.
The control panel of the DeLonghi ECP3120 Nespresso Lattissima houses four illuminated buttons, with a 2-Milk and 2-Coffee option present as well. Once done with brewing, the machine automatically ejects the capsules from the brew unit and dispenses it to an integrated container for used capsules.
- Great coffee with rich smooth cream
- Versatile- makes espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos
- Easy to operate
- Single switch knob with indicator light
- Removable and washable drip catcher
- No heat adjustment option for milk
Best With Bluetooth Connectivity
Nespresso Vertuo Next
The Vertuo Next’s design is fabulously stylish and, one of the best compact pod espresso machine. The build quality feels a lot better as well: in comparison to the light plastic mechanism on the previous model, the Vertuo Next’s new sliding lock system feels far more robust.
The centrifusion brewing system the Nespresso Vertuo is known for is pretty much the selling point for this model as well. The system basically makes the coffee pods shake at a high RPM, maximising the flavor that gets into your double espresso, your espresso, or other beverage you make with this machine.
Another plus point for the brewing quality this machine can provide can be found with the Nespresso pods as well. The Vertuo pods actually hold up to 15 grams of coffee compared to the 15 grams in traditional capsules. As a result, you get more flavorful and richer coffee in return.
One new addition to the Vertuo Next is its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. You can pair the Vertuo Next to your phone via the app, which allows you to do things such as check the water status, reset the machine to its factory settings and update the machine’s software.
On the other hand, Vertuo Next doesn’t offer up any new drink choices or milk options, especially considering this machine specialises in bigger coffees typically taken with milk. Still, you can always buy a separate milk frother if milk-based coffees are more your thing.
You can choose from 28 different capsule varieties, some of which are intended specifically to go with milk and others without, and each capsule type is matched to a specific cup size in order to get the best results.
Making a coffee couldn’t be simpler: you don’t even have to manually select the coffee size you want. By default, the machine reads the barcode attached to each capsule and dispenses the ‘right’ amount of water for that capsule type.
Of course, you can top up your coffee manually by pressing the button once to start the water flow and again to stop it. And, if you want even more control, there’s also an option to customize the water volume for each drink.
Given the streamlined design, it is quite easy to clean the outside of your coffee machine. A simple wipe with a damp cloth is all you need to keep the exterior clean and pristine.
The pods come out of the machine relatively dry, keeping the entire coffee machine quite pristine to being with. Even the capsule bin has been refined by the manufacturers, which definitely needed an upgrade compared to previous models.
The drip tray of this coffee machine does not get dirty easily because of the centrifusion system, which ensures not much of your coffee is wasted and gives less drips down the drip tray. Of course, you still have to clean the drip tray every now again to prevent permanent stains.
Finally, you will need to descale the interior of the coffee maker every now and again. This coffee maker will actually give you a warning when descaling is needed, as you will be able to spot an orange light on the machine.
- Huge style upgrade
- Easy to use
- Wide range of drink options
- Delivers excellent mug full of coffee
- No in-built milk option
Best With Frother
Nespresso Lattissima Pro
For those looking to make excellent espressos, lattes and cappuccinos at home, without the hassle of a manual machine, Nespresso’s top-of-the-line Lattissima Pro is the way to go.
The Nespresso Lattissima Pro is a top of the line machine that consistently crafts high-quality espresso-based coffee creations with ease. It is easy to set-up and use, which makes it perfect for use in a home or office.
It makes creating multiple drinks straightforward. So, whether you enjoy a straight-up shot or a macchiato, you can in just a few minutes.
The machine’s stainless steel exterior has a great look and feel. Unlike many machines, it is not bulky. Nespresso has genuinely created a beautiful piece of kitchen equipment with attractive lines. The simplistic style gives it a timeless appearance, and it does not take an excessive amount of counter space.
The machine is undoubtedly one of the best capsule espresso machine. The one-touch features built-in to the Nespresso Lattissima Pro include: Ristretto, Espresso, Lungo, Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato, Warm milk froth and Hot water.
The water reservoir located at the back of the machine holds 44 ounces of water, and the location does not take away from the appearance of the device.
The Nespresso Lattissima Pro has a built-in milk frother that is easy to adjust for the perfect foam.
The descaling options make it easy to maintain your machine. Just follow the simple steps to perform the descaling.
A pod disposal system makes it easy to remove used pods from the machine. It can hold up to 16 pods before you have to empty the container. You can also send the pods to Nespresso to have them recycled.
A foldable, metal cup rest, unique to the Pro among the Lattissima models, lets you accommodate glasses up to 5.5 inches tall or small espresso cups.
Refilling the water reservoir is simple. A pop-up lid on the top of the tank lets you refill the tank without removing it from the machine, or pull the tank off and fill in your sink.
- Multiple functions for coffee and more
- Small footprint saves counter space
- Nearly hands-off operation
- High price might be off-putting
- Uses pods rather than ground coffee
Best Small Pod Espresso Machine
Nespresso Essenza Mini
The smallest and simplest automatic single-serve Nespresso Essenza Mini is a reliable espresso machine at home. It’s affordable and quick to make you a good-tasting espresso with luscious crema in minutes. Easy to operate and maintain, very reliable to make espresso or lungo.
It’s also designed to be pretty zippy. The machine’s ready to brew its first cup of the day in just under 30 seconds. That’s great if you’re in a hurry in the mornings and don’t have time to wait around.
If you’ve only got a little bit of kitchen space for new appliances, the Essenza Mini is a very good option. The dimensions are 3.3 (W) x 12.9 (H) x 8.0 (D) inches -that’s extremely narrow!
Just be aware that you’re limited to using Nespresso pods with the Essenza Mini.
Unlike some other single-serve machines, there’s no – official – way of using your favorite ground coffee. That means you’ll have to commit to buying more pods over time.
This machine’s 19-bar pressure pump lends the power needed to puncture the Nespresso capsule and release the grinds and aroma. It’s a lot of power for such a small machine and helps water flow evenly through the coffee grounds in the capsule for a rich aroma and intense flavor.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini works well for beginners who do not want to spend hours learning how to operate a complicated espresso machine. Because the Essenza Mini uses capsules, brewing espresso is as easy as placing a capsule in the machine and pushing a button. There are two programmable settings to make the process even simpler.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini is one of the best small single-serve espresso machine that uses capsules to brew espresso. It has a sleek minimalist design and promises easy operation that delivers full-bodied flavor in every cup, along with a strong aroma and rich crema.
The Essenza Mini reaches ideal brewing temperature in less than 30 seconds. You don’t have to wait long to enjoy your espresso, which makes this machine a convenient option for a quick jolt when you are short on time.
The Essenza Mini includes several environmentally conscious features. It has an eco-mode for low energy consumption, as well as an automatic energy-saving function. It also shuts itself down after nine minutes of inactivity to save energy.
- Brews tasty coffee
- Heats up very quickly
- Compact size; easy to take on the go
- Brews espresso and lungo
- Easy-to-use controls
- Easy to clean
- Only brews Nespresso pods
Best For Home
If you like the taste and convenience of Nespresso but think the pods are too small for a knock-your-socks-off dose of caffeine, consider the alternative, Nespresso Vertuo system. Where the contents of a standard Nespresso capsule weigh in at a pretty paltry four grams, a single-shot Vertuo espresso capsule contains a much more substantial seven grams.
But it doesn’t stop there because the whole concept of the Vertuo system is to provide a range of coffee styles and five different pod sizes to suit everyone.
This one of the best single serve capsule espresso machine is sleek, it’s pretty self-contained, and there are few kitchens, living rooms or offices you couldn’t sneak one of these into.
Nespresso’s coffee pods use enticing colors, and while the machine looks pretty low-key, it’s deceptive. Clicking the silver leaver at the front raises the top of the machine, where you leave the coffee pod to spin up to 7000 times a minute to blend ground coffee and water to produce the perfect crema.
The tiny dashes on the sides of the pod are actually a barcode – the machine reads this to tailor its blending technique to suit the capsule.
The Vertuo range is made up of three different sized capsules capable of delivering five different types of extraction: Espresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug and extra large Alto. The single-shot Espresso capsule produces 40ml of coffee, the Double Espresso 80ml, the Gran Lungo 150ml, the Mug 230ml and the Alto a whopping 414ml.
As explained above, each capsule comes with a different barcode which the machine reads before extracting the perfect dose.
There’s no getting around it, the Vertuo pods make great-tasting coffee. From crema to decent espresso and long blacks, it gets close to doing it all. And there’s no “adding two pods to get a bigger coffee” vibe of pods of yore.
The Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville’s compact design makes it easy to keep on your countertop or store where space is limited. It boasts a 40-ounce water tank that can swivel out easily.
The motorized head opens with a light lift, different from traditional Keurig machines that often require a forced push and thus increase the chance of wear and tear.
The machine can also automatically eject the used capsules into a hidden container, saving you from burning your fingertips by manually taking out the pods.
For the eco-conscious coffee lovers, the capsules can be dropped off at various collection sites and their boutique retail stores for the manufacturer to recycle.
Perhaps the greatest aspect of Nespresso’s machines is how user-friendly they are. You’d be hard-pressed to find something that’s easier or more intuitive to use. Even someone who’s never seen a Nespresso machine before could figure out how to work it with relative ease.
- No-fuss functionality
- Ridiculously easy to use
- Produces rich, full-bodied coffee
- Delivers thick crema
- Offers more possibilities for coffee variants than similar models
- Water reservoir swivels to fit various spaces
- Cost of the pods is high
- Larger pod size takes up more storage space
Best ESE Pod Espresso Machine
The De’Longhi EC685M offers a manual latte brewing experience in a small package, and makes some pretty tasty espresso shots too.
The EC685M makes a great ESE pods espresso machine, if you want to try out making cafe style coffee at home. It is a good looking, sleek machine that you can probably find space for in your kitchen.
The machine has an adjustable frother to alter various levels of steam and milk to make different flavors of coffee. It has an auto-shutdown feature that conforms to whatever espresso volume could be filled over your cups.
If you have large and tall cups, then don’t panic, this latte machine has a double dip tray to help you with that.
The Delonghi Dedica Deluxe EC685M can also be used with ground espresso as well as ESE (easy-to-serve) pods, meaning it is perfect for a first time user.
Ground espresso is probably the choice you ought to end up making, as it’s cheaper. But it’s nice to have the option for ESE pods when you’re in a rush so that you don’t make a mess.
The Delonghi Dedica Deluxe EC685M has stainless steel casing and has been designed with the beginners in mind. The machine is slim line and sleek looking, and doesn’t take up too much space on your counter.
The top of the machine can be used as a cup warmer which we always like and it looks elegant in the kitchen.
There are three buttons on the top for single shot, double shot and steam, but it doesn’t feel overly plastic or engineered, which is often a problem with cheaper machines.
The back of the machine houses a removable water container that can hold enough water to make several beverages. The steam spout is located on the right side of the body, with an on/off dial above it. Directly on the spout is a rubber switch, which determines how much foam your milk will have when you steam it.
The front of the machine has a metal portafilter that looks and feels like a professional-grade filter. It has a good weight to it and makes you feel like a real barista when you’re using it.
The EC685 comes with three filter baskets, a removable drip tray and stand, and a plastic scoop/tamper.
- Stylish and compact
- Utilizes both ground espresso and ESE pods
- Convenient way to have a variety of espresso drinks at home
- No grinder
Nespresso Vertuo is a single-serve home espresso machine that can be used to brew gourmet traditional coffee.
With a nice variety of features and a sleek, modern design, the Nespresso Vertuo will look great on your countertop and function twice as well.
The Nespresso Vertuo is one of the best pod espresso machine and it is a single-serve machine that makes one cup of java at a time. Instead of brewing an entire pot, you simply stick in a “pod” for making either coffee or delicious espresso.
It’s sleek, it’s pretty self-contained, and there are few kitchens, living rooms or offices you couldn’t sneak one of these into.
Each purchase of the Nespresso VertuoLine comes with 14 complementary pods, and they offer a range of flavors, textures and aromas.
One of the benefits of a single-serve home espresso machine is that you can experiment with different blends without worrying about the possibility that you’ll hate something and waste an entire pot on it.
It offers three adjustable cup heights to accommodate small espresso cups, standard coffee mugs, and larger travel mugs.
The machine defaults to 1.35 ounces for espresso and 7.77 ounces for coffee, although you can customize these settings to anywhere from 0.3 ounces to 17 ounces. A single button controls the entire espresso machine, and you can adjust the settings via a combination of different button presses.
A latch at the top locks the pod into place and releases it smoothly into the disposal bin after it brews your drink.
VertuoLine takes 15 to 20 seconds to preheat. During the brewing process, the pod spins rapidly due to Nespresso’s trademarked Centrifusion Technology. That tech is supposedly what creates the decadent crema layer of foam. VertuoLine will automatically power down after 9 minutes.
Nespresso-branded Vertuo pods come in five sizes of varying levels of intensity and flavors. This is a good thing.
The different pod sizes mean that while the machine is using the same amount of water for each pod, the different pod sizes determine the intensity of flavor. Espresso, being the strongest, is followed by a double espresso, Gran Lungo (5 oz.), Coffee (7.77 oz.) and Alto XL (14 oz.). There is also a line of pods for milk-based drinks, crafted for milk.
- Excellent Espresso +”Double Espresso” pods
- The Aeroccino milk frother severely froths and warms the milk
- Crema coffee is the best
- Brew 5 different single serve coffee cup sizes
- 40 oz. water removable water tank
- Fast heat up time – 15 seconds
- The water isn’t hot enough, compared to other home cappuccino machines
Best For Office
DeLonghi ECP3420 provides the kind of control you need to prepare the perfect solution. Be it single or double espresso this machine has in it to provide the best taste and overall experience.
The De’longhi ECP3420 is one of the best ese pod espresso machine as it brews good barista-quality drinks like those you enjoy at the fine dining or renowned coffee shop.
The integrated 15-bar pressure feature along with self-priming operation guarantees superior outcomes each time you use it. This machine is easy to start, in just one press of a button; your coffee is now ready.
This coffee maker is also integrated with 2 separate thermostats for steam and water pressure which are controlled separately.
As a result, you are able to make cappuccino or espresso at the right temperature.
State of the art cappuccino system integrated into De’longhi ECP3420 allows you to mix and steams milk to make a creamy and rich forth for equally textured espresso or cappuccino.
The boiler is made of stainless steel material so you can depend on superior and valued drinks for many years to come.
Additional features include a slim removable water tank that is super light. You should be able to make quite a few espressos with the 37-ounce tank and at least 3 larger drinks using the steam wand.
When replacing it into the machine, you can feel the tank click back into place as you put it back into its original position.
There is ample room in the storage compartment to hold the water tank, extra portafilter inserts, and any espresso pods you have.
For the true coffee nerd, there are two separate thermostats to control your water pressure and steam pressure separately, allowing you to adjust your personal preferences as you see fit.
This coffee machine is integrated with a 3-in-1 filter holder that has a holder for one cappuccino shot. There is also a holder for two shots of espresso as well as one for easy to serve coffee pod- no matter what is your choice.
The De’longhi ECP3420 is equipped with an Advanced Cappuccino system that maintains the best favorable temp so that you can brew many cups of coffee instantly.
- Single or double espresso/cappuccino/latte machine.
- Rich, creamy and textured drink.
- Every cup of coffee can be personalized in term of taste.
- Constant services, cup after cup.
- Can intake any cup size.
- Minimum startup time.
- Less maintenance, more coffee.
- Sleek and stylish design.
- The startup time becomes longer over time.
- Shorter steam time compared to similar models.
Best Smart Pod Espresso Machine
Nespresso Lattissima Plus
Nespresso Lattissima Plus by DeLonghi is a great looking capsule espresso machine that will blend in with your lifestyle to become one of the most used appliances in your home.
The Lattissima Plus is packed with a gamut of features and has a compact form that won’t make it hard to fit in your kitchen.
This machine is designed to impress. Your guests can enjoy barista quality drinks whenever they visit.
The Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima is a coffee machine that uses compatible capsules with different roasts to quickly brew cappuccino, espresso, latte, and macchiato.
The patented coffee capsule system means you don’t have to grind beans or load anything except a coffee pod into the machine. After that, getting a delicious cup of coffee is a matter of pushing a button.
For a machine this small, you will definitely appreciate the 30 oz. tank. Depending on how often you have your coffee in a day, the tank can go for a day or two. The water tank is one of those features that you want to check on before buying any coffee maker.
Most espresso makers have one problem, which is the frother. In this case, the machine delivers quality both with the final product and the dispenser. The one -touch dispenser on this machine produces good froth that makes the texture of your drink much better.
To make it even more attractive to modern users on the go, it has clever programming to make a users favourite drinks with speed and a sense of style.
Inserting the capsule is one of the hardest task for coffee drinkers. That is, however, not the case with the Lattissima Plus. The machine has a twelve capsule holder which means you don’t have to keep inserting capsules.
In the end, the overall value of this machine is what you make of it because you could either find yourself using the product regularly and finding that lots of pods rack up a large bill or, alternatively, saving a lot of time and money by cutting down on coffee shop visits and making a quick brew at home.
The Delonghi EN520 Lattissima may not make coffee to your exact preferences but it has the looks, function, technology and produce to ensure that it lives up to its aim of being a clever, stylish and convenient coffee maker that can provide a range of drinks with speed and quality.
- Easy to use capsule system
- Removable milk carafe
- One-touch brewing
- Fast heat-up and brewing time
- Sliding drip tray
- Can only be used with Nespresso capsules
- Drips after dispensing is complete
Best For Fast Heat-Up
Mueller Nespresso Machine
- 20 bar pump system
- 25 seconds heat up time
- Easy to use
- Large capacity, small footprint
The Mueller Espresso Machine is one of the best pod espresso machines in the market for its price, and it will help make sure that you’ll always be able to stick to your routine. One of its highlights is that it comes fitted with a large 800ml water tank that’ll keep you from having to do hot water refills every so often.
It’s 20 bar high pressure pump lets you enjoy the distinct aroma of each capsule, and its premium italian design lends it a small footprint so that it doesn’t take up too much space at the counter.
But the best part is its powerful 20 bar high pressure pump, the key to a high quality, rich espresso with an intense aroma and very creamy top, almost one and the same as you can find in coffee shops or Italian coffee bars made with expensive commercial machines.
This home machine also heats up very quickly, about 25 seconds, and brews an espresso in 15 seconds flat, the ideal for a quick coffee break in your daily working schedule, without the mess and wasted time for loading grinds in the portafilter.
The Mueller Espresso Machine works very much like a Nespresso unit and is designed to be totally compatible with Nespresso pods, even though some customers have successfully used it with different kinds of pods as well.
It also features a 10-minute energy saving system which turns the machine off automatically, helping you save energy. If you need another espresso some time later, the Mueller is very quick to warm up to temperature anyway.
It has a small footprint that suggests that the machine occupies very less space as compared to other machines. The machine needs very minimal space on the counter. The machine has a large water reservoir that can be removed easily to refill and clean.
The machine has a 2-year warranty and is an approved product that gives you all the authentic types of coffee you need at home.
This 20 bar espresso machine is designed for use only with nespresso capsules, and in our opinion, it could be the best espresso machine you can get for both its price and high end looks.
You can be sure that other coffee makers with the same features are definitely much more expensive, leaving it as one of your best bets for being able to make a good espresso every now and then without leaving a dent in your pocket.
- Higher pressure provides better flavor and aroma
- Beautiful, sturdy design
- Portable pod espresso machine
- Excellent machine for the price
- Easy to clean and operate
- A bit noisy
Best Budget Pick
This uncomplicated capsule espresso maker will deliver your coffee quickly with no fuss or muss. It has individual pods and a one-touch button; this machine is ideal for anyone who loves espresso without the effort.
The Inissia has a small footprint and a simple design, streamlined down to the most basic needs in an espresso machine. It has a one-touch button that automatically turns the device on and will have your coffee ready in 25 seconds. The tool will automatically turn itself off again after 9 minutes.
The water reaches the ideal temperature you want your coffee to be at, and the pods eject automatically into an interior container, which will hold several pods before needing to be emptied. The water container holds 25 oz. which, although small, will still make multiple shots of coffee.
The Inissia’s interface really couldn’t get any simpler or easier to use. Just one port to put the espresso capsules in, one button to pull a normal shot, and one other button to pull a long shot. We’re pretty sure you could easily train a monkey to make espresso with the Inissia.
The Inissia can warm up and pull a shot in just about two minutes, and requires no effort apart from turning it on, inserting a capsule, and pressing a button.
The Nespresso Inissia is stylish and compact. It weighs only 5.29lbs and is only 12cm wide, making it ideal for small spaces. If you have a small office, kitchen, or dorm, it will take up minimal area. You also won’t have to worry about needing a grinder that would take up even more room.
It’s a basic style, which makes it fit into any space. It comes in a wide array of colors: white, cream, red, blue, sun, velvet, and black, so you can match the design of wherever you put it. The cable length is 33cm, a medium length that allows for reach without too much cord.
You can choose from a standard espresso size, which is a small shot of coffee, or you can opt for the larger lungo size.
The patented extraction system operates on an impressive nineteen bars of pressure. This means your coffee will be consistent, poured quickly and have the maximum flavour.
It comes with a welcome pack which contains 16 Nespresso Grands Crus capsules.
- Budget-friendly initial purchase
- Ease of use with one-touch buttons and automatic shut off
- Brews your coffee quickly
- Capsules are easy to take in and out
- Container for the used capsules is large enough that you won’t have to empty constantly
- Won’t take up a lot of space on your counter
- Pods are recyclable
- Comes in multiple colors
- Capsules can be expensive
- Milk froth option isn’t included
Best Basic Machine
This machine is perfect for someone who desires the convenience of having a very easy-to-use espresso and cappuccino machine at home or a small cafe.
The De’Longhi EC155 is equipped with a stainless steel boiler, which is monitored by an integrated thermostat separate from the thermostat that measures the temperature of milk when frothing.
Perfect for lovers of espresso, americanos, and cappuccinos, the De’Longhi EC155 also creates two kinds of coffee beverages, brewing a straight espresso or a cappuccino, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
Espresso is extracted using the 15-bar pressure pump to get quality, balanced espresso every time you brew.
Aside from the easy operation of the brew cycle, the self-priming system creates a smooth start-up without needing to prime manually, meaning the process is automatic, convenient, and hands-off. Just turn it on, start your brew, and stop it once you have the desired amount of espresso.
This machine is no doubt one of the best basic ese pod espresso machine. The De’Longhi is compatible with E.S.E. coffee pods as well as with normal ground coffee, so you can choose the coffee type that best suits your convenience.
The De’Longhi EC155 comes with a built-in swivel jet frother. The frother is connected to the cappuccino maker just next to the portafilter and designed with a natural angle for milk steaming and frothing.
The brewer is equipped with a cleaning light to let you know when your machine is in need of descaling.
The dual function filter holder also makes cleaning out the portafilter easy. Keeping your portafilter and tamper clean is important to the longevity of the machine and the quality of your brew.
- 15 bars of pressure
- Uses pods or grounds
- Swivel jet frother
- Great value
- Good for espresso beginners
- Includes cup warmer
- Mediocre form factor quality
- Steam dial operation is required to use frother
Best For Cappuccino
The De’Longhi EC702 is a pretty solid choice for an entry-level home espresso machine. It’s competitively priced and its Stainless steel components give the espresso machine a hardy, durable look.
The machine comes with the kit to allow for both single and double shots. Also, you can use either fine, loose grounds or ESE pods.
The machine has a self-priming operation, allowing the boiler to heat up and prepare for brewing on its own.
The De’Longhi has a patented dual-thermostat system so you can monitor and set the temperatures for the steam wand and the water tank separately.
Also, you have control over the amount of coffee you want to brew at once with both single and double pressurized filter baskets. Thanks to the machine’s consistent thermoblock heating mechanism and optimization for brewing more than once with every use, you can count on good espresso cup after cup.
DeLonghi EC702 is a 15-Bar-pump machine that is integrated with a Cappuccino System frother. It makes it easy for you to make cappuccino, latte as well as coffee.
Due to its 15-bar pump, it creates a perfect pressure which extracts out the full flavor of coffee. The 1.3 liters and 44 oz water reservoir are removable for fast water refilling.
The De’Longhi EC702 is ESE (easy-serve-espresso) pod compatible, so you can easily pop in an espresso pod if you don’t have time to grind your beans.
The EC702 is the best home capsule espresso machine for cappuccino on our list as it features a “Rapid Cappuccino System” which allows you to brew your cappuccino, steam and froth milk, and then go immediately back to brewing to prepare yet another cappuccino, latte or other frothy beverage of choice.
- No fuss, or confusing extra features
- Comes with cup warmer
- Easy to use, beginner friendly
- Rapid Cappuccino System
- Pressurized portafilters and Pannarello steam wand require no skill to use
- Pulls a very hot shot
- Sturdy build with some stainless steel components
- Compact, lightweight, good looking machine
- Not suitable for professional baristas
- Can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes to heat up
Pros & Cons of A Single Serving Pod Espresso Machine
This is the number one reason people are buying single-serve machines. they are truly convenient, very quick, and require less to no clean up after use (obviously, you’ll have to clean it after a few uses, but not necessarily right away). They prepare you a cup of coffee, espresso or any other beverage literally with a single push of a button, in a minute or less.
Precise Ingredients/Always Perfect Cup of Coffee
With single-serve machines, everything is automatically working to make you the perfect cup of coffee, every time. The ese pods are already packed with the exact amount of coffee needed, the machine will use the exact amount of water and pressure needed, and as a result, the brewed coffee will always taste as perfect as it should.
Coffee pods provide a uniform taste
Since the pods contain exact ingredients, you can be sure that you’ll have flavourful coffee every time you use your best pod espresso machine. Because of this, your drink will taste exactly how you remember it.
Therefore, regardless if you prefer vanilla infusion ese pods, double shot coffee pods or ese pods, you can guarantee that you will have the exact same flavourful taste every time.
Espresso pods and espresso machines make cleaning simple
If you are using an ordinary coffee maker, then you’re very accustomed to the things that ought to be completed after drinking coffee. You’ll need to clean the glass component of the coffee maker plus the stirrers that you’ve used.
But with pod espresso machines, all you need to do is wipe the machine with a damp cloth and replenish its water tank. When it comes to the used coffee pods, you only need to discard them accordingly.
Espresso pods offer single serve portions
It is common for individuals to make more coffee than they can drink. As a result, the extra coffee ends up unpleasant and spoiled. In many cases, the stale coffee is thrown on the kitchen sink.
But then again, by utilising pod espresso machines and best ese pod machines you will not have unwanted coffee ever again since every pod only produces espresso enough for a cup good for one person.
Less control over your espresso
This is mainly for advanced users who know how to really control an espresso maker. With a single-serve machine, you can’t control the temperature of the machine, as well as other features. However, you can re-program the volume and memorization settings (if available), which gives you some control.
Espresso pod commitment
As we mentioned before, committing to a single-serve espresso machine also means committing to its brand of coffee as many machines only use their own coffee pods exclusively.
This could also mean, less coffee variety available. So make sure you check the available coffee pods for a machine before buying it.
More expensive espresso
This habit of buying capsules or pods could get costly over time. It is still way less expensive than buying your coffee from a coffee shop, but it’s more expensive than ground or whole coffee beans.
Some varieties of pods are non-recyclable or difficult to recycle
Most types of coffee pods are difficult, and in some cases, impossible to recycle. The main culprits there are coffee capsules, which are made from plastic or aluminum, or a mixture of both.
Recycling them properly and effectively would mean separating the plastic, aluminum, and organic matter, and disposing of them properly. That in itself requires special recycling systems and resources not available in many countries.
Some types only fit a certain brand (capsules)
You have to be careful before buying your best single serve pod espresso machine because systems vary, and some only work with a particular-size capsule or pod, and use various technologies to do so.
From this point of view, it might be more logical to find out which types (brands) of coffee pods you like, and then buying the machine for them. Or you can do your research in parallel. Well-equipped showrooms should offer tasting sessions, allowing you to see and taste the results before deciding to buy.
What’s The Difference Between Pod Espresso Machines And Regular Espresso Machines?
Firstly, the mechanics of pod coffee makers and pod espresso machines are rather different. Brewed coffee asks for a coarse grind to prevent the coffee from being too bitter. Espresso, on the other hand, requires a fine to medium grind so more bean surface is exposed to the hot water when it’s pumped through.
Coffee machines use hot water to slowly filter through the coffee grounds, while espresso machines pressurize and shoot boiling water through fine coffee grounds packed into “cakes,” giving the resulting coffee its aromatic smell, velvety mouthfeel, and rich taste.
What Is ESE Pod Espresso (Easy Serve Espresso Pods)?
Some people prefer ese pods over ground espresso because of the grinder and the potential of spilling grounds on their counter top, which can be inconvenient to clean up after every use.
With pod espresso, all you have to do is open a new pod, place it in the portafilter handle, place the handle in the machine and turn on the brew switch. Using pods is a quick and clean way to get a good espresso shot. To help you pick out the one for you, we have also included 5 best ese pod espresso machines in our list. The best one among them would be De’Longhi Dedica.
How Is Ground Espresso Different From ESE Pod Espresso?
Ground espresso is a loose powder that can be bought in whole bean or pre-ground form. With the whole bean, a grinder is required to grind the espresso before it can be brewed.
For people who like to have complete control over their espresso brewing experience, there is ground espresso.
Although grinding whole beans can be messy at times, the end result can be far superior to pod espresso. When grinding and tamping espresso beans, there is much more control over the variables attributing to an excellent espresso.
The only downside to this method is that figuring out what grind and tamp pressure to use with each kind of bean can be time consuming and messy. However, another upside to grinding your own espresso is the ability to adjust the strength of your espresso shot by increasing or decreasing the amount of ground espresso in the portafilter handle.
Can These Machines Also Make Latte And Cappuccinos?
Yes, you can make latte, cappuccino, espresso and much more with all 15 of the pod capsule espresso machines that we have chosen for you.
Built-in milk frothers give you the ability to use your espresso as the base for other specialty coffees. Many of the machines below give you this option. You’ll often have the opportunity to choose the machine only or to add a frother into a bundled deal.
You’ve come to the very end of this review, and now it’s time for us to reveal our best pick. It’s the Nespresso Vertuo Espresso Machine. It’s versatile and very compact. It’s affordable, probably the best buy on the list.
Compatible to almost all capsules, so, you don’t worry much about the brand of the coffee pods, instead, focus on how this machine can pull out a wonderful coffee. With all the positives pushing all the negatives aside, we are proud to say that we highly recommend Nespresso Vertuo as the best single serve pod espresso machine.