Nespresso machines allow you to make barista-quality coffee and espresso drinks at home.
You can get a better cup of coffee and discover a world of inventive beverage options with these 10 Nespresso tips and tricks we’ve put together.
To get the finest coffee possible, try out these tried-and-true Nespresso tips when you make your next cup of coffee:
Nespresso tips and tricks
1. Prime Your Machine
Priming your Nespresso machine is integral to making the best cup of coffee and can extend the life of your coffee maker. Warming up the machine also heats the cup and the group head of your unit, which can improve the performance of the machine. You can heat the machine in under a minute.
Running your machine cold can compromise the quality of your coffee and the longevity of your Nespresso machine or other coffee machines.
To prime your machine, simply run a brewing cycle without a coffee capsule or pod. Use the Espresso or Lungo setting and let the machine run through with clear hot water. Then dispose of the hot water, add a pod, and make your delicious coffee.
2. Change the Settings
Program your Nespresso machine to suit your distinct tastes. Remember that your machine comes pre-programmed, which may not be to your exact coffee preferences. You can re-calibrate the unit so the brew ratio matches your taste.
It’s easy to change the settings: just start your coffee, holding the brew button for whichever cup you choose. Release the brew button when you are satisfied with the amount of liquid in the cup. The machine will default to these measurements for future brews. Keep practicing and trying different brewing methods and ratios until you find the sweet spot.
3. Choose Your Machine Carefully
Prospective Nespresso owners essentially have two types of coffee makers to choose from: an Original Nespresso and the Nespresso Vertuo.
The Vertuo offers strong variety and complexity for your beverages, while the Original machine primarily delivers espresso-based drinks. Nespresso pods are used interchangeably between the two machines. The settings and options of each machine will vary.
4. Invest in a Reusable Pod
While there are many options in capsule form for you to try in your Nespresso machine, you should also invest in a reusable pod to fill with your favorite coffee type.
You may want to try a brand or premium type of coffee that isn’t available in pod form, and so a reusable pod can expand the utility of your Nespresso machine.
Try adding flavored coffee oils to your cup for more tasty options!
5. Heat Your Coffee Cup
This one is simple, but not many people know about it: heat your cup before you fill it with delicious coffee. Baristas in the coffee industry often use this trick to make great cups of coffee.
6. Use the Right Cup
If you’re going to invest in a Nespresso machine and premium pods, make sure you use the right kind of coffee cup. Try espresso cups and latte glasses to accompany your Nespresso machine—you might be surprised by the difference they can make. Using the right sized cup or glass helps to keep the amounts exact and gives a better result.
7. Keep Your Machine Clean
Perhaps the most important tip for optimizing your Nespresso machine is to clean it regularly.
A dirty machine can mess with your coffee quality and prevent you from making perfect espressos.
If you run the unit with just fresh water (no coffee) and the hot water is not clear, it’s time to clean the machine.
The best way to clean your Nespresso machine is to use a special detergent offered by the manufacturer, available online.
This detergent is added to the water tank according to the instructions on the label. You’ll want to run several cups of plain water through the machine after cleaning it in order to get rid of any residual detergent and debris. The whole process takes about 10 minutes.
How often you clean your machine will depend on how often you use it, but you should clean it at least once a month to ensure you’re getting the best-tasting coffee.
8. Descale Your Machine Regularly
It’s important to descale your Nespresso machine on a regular basis to remove residue and minerals that can accumulate, especially if you use tap water.
You can purchase distinct products to descale your machine with, such as liquids or sachets that are added to water and run through the machine. Always follow up these procedures with plenty of plain water to remove any traces from the machine before making coffee.
How often should you descale? Again, it depends on how often you use your Nespresso, and on the kind of water you use. As a rule of thumb, you should descale every couple of months.
9. Go High-Caff
If you’re a caffeine fiend, consider Nespresso’s original line of coffee pods. The dark blue pods named Kazaar contain around 120 mg of caffeine per serving, which is considerably more caffeine content than you’ll find in comparable coffees. Caffeine addicts rejoice!
10. Use Fresh, Filtered Water
This is particularly important if your water is considered hard water, which can increase the deposits and minerals left behind in your machine when you make coffee. Coffee shops use filtered, fresh water to enhance their espresso coffee, and you should too!
Bonus Tip: Work with the Best
When you use quality ingredients, you get better results. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised to know how many coffee drinkers there are who think their Nespresso coffee machines will compensate for subpar coffee grounds. Not so!
Don’t render your investment in a Nespresso pointless by feeding it bad coffee. Always strive to use high-quality pods and premium coffee—that’s how you get the most out of your Nespresso machine. (And your taste buds will thank you for the fabulous coffee.)
Don’t have a Nespresso machine yet? We’ll help you find the best Nespresso machine for your particular needs.