Tasting: illy vs. Nespresso Capsule Espresso Machines

Tasting: illy vs. Nespresso Capsule Espresso Machines

We’ve had folks ask us which of these two capsule machines makes better espresso, so we put them to a little side by side taste test! Jess selected three dif…



Rohil Shah says:

can we use illy capsules in a nespresso machine?

KiRaShi says:

You guys have way too much fun at work, it’s AWESOME! If I lived ~160km
South East of my current location here in Canada, I’d totally apply as a
shot-tester! Drinking an Americano a day helps figure out which beans are
more full bodied and I think it’d be fun to help others discover their
favorite coffee too. :D

Karl L says:

Caffitaly beats all, and there is much more availability of the capsules.
Better price points too.

Robb Shecter says:

Not blinded.

Giovanni Brunoro says:

On the average, in Italy Illy is considered to be better than Nespresso,
but slightly more expensive. This is the reason why many choose the second
brand. Personally, I’ve always liked Illy more than Nespresso because I
don’t appreciate aluminum capsules. 

mstura says:

i have no idea what happens when coffee makes it’s way to the USA, but here
in Italy I’ve done this comparison myself, and I’ve tried about every kind
of coffee you can think of, also comparing these capsules to some of the
best bars I’ve gone to. I can’t agree on any of the results you’ve come
with, nespresso coffee might be catered more towards what Americans deem
good, and i wouldn’t know if illy tried to change the taste of their coffee
when they export it to the USA to try and please Americans more, but i can
tell you one thing. I don’t know anyone that appreciates coffee in Italy to
ever dream of saying that Nespresso is worth even the waste of time to make
it. While i do find that the illy capsules are in general better, they
still don’t hold their head high as a great coffee. Just please, if you
really love coffee, buy a proper expresso machine and take your time trying
various ground coffees, i understand that most people would not go to the
extent of myself to mix and grind the beans to enjoy what pleases an
individual palate the most, but in general you will have much better
results using ground coffee that is stored in a properly airtight sealed
container. And an expresso machine that can perform a pre-infusion is a big

wetpet5 says:

what does it matter? They are both are worthless.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

She’ll survive for another few months 😀 – Kat

Umby Brundo says:

sorry iìm italian and i havent understand the results, what is the best?

Craig Anderson says:

I love my illy y1.1 , it looks like a printer too 😛

Sam Flanders says:

If the results are a toss-up (which I don’t think they are), then how about
considering corporate culture and responsibility between the two brands –
how Illy sources their beans and what Nestle does to coffee and chocolate
bean growers around the world? Just google a little….and even though
aluminum is recyclable, the overall carbon footprint is still a good bit
bigger due to the huge energy requirements mining and smelting it. Not to
mention the fluoride and cryolite waste..

henri Henry says:

or under the desk, safely hidden from co workers hahaha

Rafael Schirru says:

Ok, that’s interesting to know. Still I don’t understand why they put the
regular espresso at 40ml, in particular when considering that the capsules
contain only 6g of coffee (vs. 7g which is usually recommended for a single

Roger C says:

Love my Nespresso Pixie

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Yay! – Kat

Joy Ferguson says:

Sam, you’re not alone! I’ve had my Illy Y1 at my desk for a couple years
now. I have been thinking about switching to Nespresso for added variety.
🙂 I like that the Nepresso capsules are recyclable.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

I passed your comments along to her! We still love our Y1 😀 – Kat

Steven Bird says:

Well Kat, you know I LOVE my Illy coffee, but I think I’ll be sticking to
fresh ground beans – cheaper per shot too!!! 😉

gallettony says:

Actually, this will depend on which Nespresso you have. Mine has two
buttons — one for ristretto at 25ml and one for regular espresso at 40ml.
For lungo, I have to push the button and hold to dispense water manually.
Some Nespresso machines have a third button preset for lungo.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

That they’re both good? – Kat

Rafael Schirru says:

The Nespresso machines are preconfigured for 40ml shots. In my opinion the
Ristretto tastes _much_ better if you pull 25ml only. I use a Nespresso in
the office. It is obviously not as good as a good espresso from a
semi-automatic but still much better than a shot from a super-automatic.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

We did do a taste test between superauto and capsule … I guess we could
do a traditional machine, too. I just don’t see the actual point of it
since these are such different preps, comparing them together is kind of
like comparing a bike and a plane 😉 – Kat

SighMN says:

There are some brands that are coming out that aren’t Nespresso or Illy but
are compatible with those machines. I wonder how those taste, and is it
even legal to use non-certified capsules in the machines? One of the draws
of those new brands are they state they are cheaper per cup.

Bryan Petersen says:

So what the verdict?

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Definitely a way to go 🙂 Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Thanks! – Kat

Scotty Moon says:

I think a blind test from a semi-auto, capsule and super-auto would be
interesting. I’d love to hear how the coffee snobs weigh in.

txturbo930 says:

great side by side…. have you tried any of the fillable Nespresso
capsules? I have access to a Nespresso machine at work, but would prefer to
grind and use my own beans from home.

Michelle Calhoun says:

I actually keep my Nespresso Machine with the Milk Frother in my cabinet at
work. Thank GOOODNESS I got one, the coffee here is like swill!

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

We haven’t tried any of those, unfortunately, so not sure how well they
work – Kat

Scotty Moon says:

Thanks for the reply, Kat! I think I’m just trying to determine if I’d
enjoy the Nespresso. I love the ease of use and cleaning but wasn’t sure if
I’d approve of the quality of the shot. It’s hard to get an unbiased
opinion. I suppose I just need find one locally and try it myself 🙂 Thanks
for all your videos, you guys rock!

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Well, I have put your request down on our to-do list, so keep an eye out
for it 🙂 – Kat

SighMN says:

Seems like most people liked the Nespresso capsules more, except Kat who
liked the Illy dark roast more. Both brands produced acceptable shots
though, and I’m not sure any of them disliked a shot. Not sure how much you
can infer from these tests as Kat said the actual blends aren’t the same so
you are comparing two different machines with two different blends.

Sewcoolwash says:

I feel so sorry for Bunny, not being able to drink coffee 🙁

dbph2005 says:

Way to go nespresso. Great video!!

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