The confusion between Nespresso and Nescafe is totally understandable, if you’re new to the world of single serve coffee machines. Asking if Nespresso is the same as Nescafe comes from the fact that both brands come from the same parent company, Nestle. However, the two are totally different things, and that’s what we’re going to break down in this post.

What Is Nespresso And What Coffee Drinks Can It Make?

Nespresso is one of the leaders, if not the first brand to offer coffee in a capsule. Initially, it started as a brewer that makes espresso and espresso based drinks, now, it has expanded its functions with machine that can also create larger coffees and using new technology that is patented to them (Vertuo).

This is Essenza Plus, one of Nespresso’s best sellers for an OriginalLine machine (that makes espresso/lungo). OriginalLine machines are compatible with Nespresso’s capsules, as well as 3rd party capsules. So if you mostly drink Espresso or Espresso based drinks like cappuccino or lattes, this is the machine for you (you’ll want to bundle it with a milk frother), especially if you don’t want to commit to buying capsules from Nespresso only.

Nespresso Vertuo, on the other hand, has new and redesigned coffee capsules in several sizes. It can make espresso as well as coffee up to 14 oz in size. Each coffee size has its own capsule with a special barcode on the rim that allows the machine to automatically recognize it and adjust accordingly. Vertuo is patented to Nespresso, so there are no 3rd party capsules for them.

OriginalLine vs Vertuo – The Differences

CapsulesNespresso + 3rd party + Refillable PodsExclusive to Nespresso
Serving SizesEspresso + Lungo Espresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Coffee, Tall Coffee


Whether you like your coffee black or with milk, you can make various of coffee drinks using both type of Nespresso machines.

  • You’ll want to make sure of the serving sizes you’ll drink the most. If you mostly make lattes, an OriginalLine will be just enough for you. If you want to also make larger coffee drinks, the Vertuo will be a better choice.
  • Buying a Vertuo Machine will mean you’re committing to Nespresso capsules. Make sure you’ll be able to purchase the capsules, either from a local Nespresso boutique if you have one in your city, or from their online store.

What Is Nescafe and What Coffee Drinks Can It Make?

Nescafe can mean two things:

There’s Nescafe’s capsule coffee brewer, similar to Nespresso, which goes by the name Dolce Gusto. And then there’s Nescafe, the instant coffee. For now, we’ll talk about the capsule coffee maker and compare it to Nespresso.

Nescafe’s Dolce Gusto is a single-serve coffee maker that also uses pods to create variety of coffee drinks. However, it operates quite differently from Nespresso.

Using Dolce Gusto, you can make espresso, coffee, cappuccino, latte, hot chocolate. The pods, which are entirely different from Nespresso’s too, are available from Nescafe, Starbucks, and several 3rd party brands.

Here’s how Dolce Gusto works differently:

Let’s assume you want to make a Cappuccino using Dolce Gusto. Cappuccino pods will consist of two pods for each serving: one coffee pod and another for the milk (so, you wont’ need to froth any milk). This also means, a package of 16 capsules actually means 8 Cappuccinos per package.

Pros of Dolce Gusto:

If you’re someone who likes variety of milk based drinks, or like your coffee on the sweeter side, you’ll find Dolce Gusto’s drinks to be quite a treat. The pods are also more accessible and easily available in Supermarkets as well as online stores.

Cons of Dolce Gusto:

If you’re conscious about the amount of sugar you consume, you’ll want to pay attention to the ingredients in the flavored coffee. The powdered milk capsules usually includes artificial flavorings and sugar content.

Which Is Better, Nespresso or Dolce Gusto?

It all comes down to what you want out of your coffee brewer. Each type of machine has its dedicated fans that will tell you it is better than the other.

Personally, I find Nespresso’s coffee and machines to be higher in quality. And I like to build my coffee drinks from scratch so I can control the ingredients myself. I’m not a fan of Dolce Gusto’s powdered milk pods, as I prefer to use freshly frothed milk.

But if you don’t mind it, and enjoy coffee drinks with flavors, or without, since Dolce still has many black coffee capsules. You’ll like the variety Dolce offers.

Is Nespresso or Dolce Gusto Instant Coffee?

None of Nespresso capsules are Instant coffee. They are pure ground coffee.

Dolce Gusto’s majority of pods contain pure ground coffee, too. Except for some of their iced coffee pods. You’ll want to make sure the ingredients are free of ‘Soluble coffee’ if you don’t want any instant coffee in your pod.

About the Author


Enjoying coffee, one pod at a time. Bringing all my coffee expertise to this blog.

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