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Nespresso vs Tassimo: Which pod coffee system is better?

Both Nespresso and Tassimo offer quality machines that will fill a niche in your kitchen – but which one is right for you?

Coffee pod machines have come a long way in recent years, with the best models bringing some serious advantages in terms of customisability and convenience, and even rivalling manual espresso machines in terms of flavour. However, with more options than ever, it’s become that much harder to figure out which machine will suit your needs best. To that end, we’ll be comparing two of the biggest names in the game, Nespresso and Tassimo, to help make choosing your new capsule machine a little easier.

While we’ll speak generally about what the advantages and disadvantages of each range are, based on the models we’ve reviewed, our comparison will focus on a selection of the brand’s most popular models: the Creatista Uno and Vertuo Next from Nespresso, and the Vivy 2 and My Way 2 from Tassimo.

For our full thoughts on coffee pod machines, you can check out our best Nespresso machine and best Tassimo machine roundups, as well as our best coffee pod machine list, which features offerings from Nespresso, Tassimo, Lavazza, Dolce Gusto and more.

Check Tassimo Vivy 2 prices Check Nespresso Vertuo Next prices

Nespresso vs Tassimo: Design and features

To kick things off, we’ll be taking a look under the proverbial hood, seeing exactly what each range has to offer in terms of build quality, design and functionality.

Stylishly designed, sturdily built and simple to use, the Nespresso Vertuo Next is a handy entry-point into the pod coffee world. Its core feature is its ability to make coffees in a range of sizes besides espresso, with options including double espresso, lungo, mug and carafe – all of which can be produced at the touch of a button. The Vertuo Next also comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, which allow you to check the status of the machine via the companion app.The Creatista Uno takes us into more luxury territory, building plenty of features and clever quirks into its compact design. Among them are its three-second heat-up time, adjustable cup platform and sizable 1.5L tank, which can also be filled up mid-brew due to its removable lid. Its standout feature, however, is its automatic frothing wand, which delivers perfectly frothed milk without the hassle or trial and error. The machine has three drink sizes – espresso, ristretto and lungo – as well as a button to change the coffee temperature and frothiness of the milk.

In the Tassimo corner, the Vivy 2 boasts a colourful, glossy exterior and a compact worktop footprint, as well as a variable height platform and removable drip tray, which make it suitable for use with mugs of all sizes. Incredibly simple to use, the Vivy 2 produces a wide range of hot drinks with a single press of a button. The machine’s T-discs, which we’ll cover in more detail below, also allow you to stray outside coffee in terms of available drinks, as well as create sweetened frothed milk with ease.The My Way 2 operates largely similarly to the Vivy 2, with a few notable differences. It’s physically larger, for starters, and has an extra height level on its cup platform. While still simple to use, its controls allow for more fine-tuning, with customisable settings that can be saved. The biggest differentiating feature, however, is the built-in Brita filter in the My Way’s tank, which is designed to reduce chlorine content and limescale, improving the flavour of the water going into your coffee, as well as helping to keep the machine running smoothly.

READ NEXT: The best milk frothers for delicious foamy milk at home

While the My Way 2 is as far as Tassimo goes in terms of luxuries, Nespresso has quite a high ceiling to its range, with models such as the Lattisima One adding premium features such as fully automatic milk frothing, and the top-end Creatista Pro throwing in a stainless steel body, extra presets and a colour touchscreen.

Winner: Nespresso 

While Tassimo produces solidly put together machines with some unique abilities, Nespresso simply offers more in terms of style, build quality and functionality, with its wide range of options allowing you to hone in on specific premium features.

Check Tassimo My Way 2 prices Check Nespresso Creatista Uno prices

Nespresso vs Tassimo: Price and value for money

While the quality and range of features of a given machine is important, not every option will be suitable for every budget. Price and value for money should also be considered.Our two featured Tassimo machines were both reviewed at around £100, with the My Way 2’s solid range of features justifying its place at the top end of Tassimo’s range. The Vivy 2, being more stripped back, doesn’t quite offer enough to satisfy at its three-figure full price. However, it’s worth noting that it rarely retails for its full RRP and can almost always be picked up for around £30 to £40.The Vertuo Next is one of the cheapest Nespresso machines you can buy but will still set you back £149 at full price. It does what you would expect for this price: it has a great design, functions smoothly and produces a range of tasty coffees, although the lack of any milk frothing features is a shame. First reviewed at £329, we found the Creatista Uno to largely justify its price, with its range of features taking care of everything you could want for a perfect cup of coffee. However, this price does put it in competition with some solid manual espresso machines, meaning this model is best suited to someone fully committed to the capsule coffee way of life.

READ NEXT: The best energy drinks available

Outside of our featured machines, Nespresso has few true budget options, with even its cheapest models coming in around or above the £100 mark. That said, sales periods often see these models take on significant discounts, making them very attractive options for the budget conscious.

Tassimo, on the other hand, generally aims for more budget-friendly price points, with plenty of choice on offer for those looking to find something in the sub-£50 range. Two of our favourite cheaper Tassimo machines are the Suny (£35) and Happy (£45).

To keep abreast of the best offers available, be sure to check out our regularly updated best coffee machine deals roundup.

Winner: Tassimo

Discounts and sales periods notwithstanding, the significantly lower price floor to Tassimo’s range makes it hard to beat in this particular category. While aiming to compete with more expensive manual espresso and bean-to-cup machines has led Nespresso to create some high-quality models that are well priced for their range of abilities, most people plumping for a pod coffee machine will be looking for something that comes in a bit cheaper. However, if you can find a Nespresso machine at a discounted price, ignore the above and grab it while you can.

Check Tassimo Vivy 2 prices Check Nespresso Vertuo Next prices

Nespresso vs Tassimo: Cleaning and maintenance

Here, the machines all bear a lot of similarity to each other: each has a cleaning cycle that is recommended to be run around once a month, removable parts that will need washing with hot, soapy water, as well as a descaling process that is necessary to keep the machine running smoothly.

While the Vivy 2 neither stands out for better or worse, the Way 2’s built-in Brita filter should allow you to go longer without having to descale it.

The Vertuo Next’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities allow you to pair the device with your phone via the companion app, after which you can check the water status and update the system’s software remotely, while the Creatista Uno has handy LED indicators to let you know when your machine needs descaling and when the steam wand needs to be cleaned.

Winner: Nespresso

Both ranges, as you might expect, are pretty similar and mostly straightforward in terms of cleaning and maintenance. While neither will give you much trouble, we’re giving the edge to Nespresso here due to its slightly higher-tech approach.

Check Tassimo My Way 2 prices Check Nespresso Creatista Uno prices

Nespresso vs Tassimo: Pod selection and compatibility

What is a pod coffee machine without its pods? Before you settle on a machine or setup you like, you may want to have a look at the range and quality of the pods compatible with it, to be sure they’re to your taste.

Being one of the biggest names in the game, it’s no real surprise that Nespresso knows what it’s doing here, offering a wide selection of pod options that have won over plenty of naysayers with their flavour and quality. Nespresso offers nearly 30 different varieties of its in-house pods, which are grouped into different lines focusing on bean origin, added flavours and roasting techniques.While the pods themselves are all the same size physically, each has a recommended serving size attached, of either espresso, ristretto or lungo. Nespresso Vertuo machines, it should be noted, are limited to using Vertuo style pods, which contain more coffee and cannot be used in classic machines.

If you want to stray outside the brand’s own classic range, there’s also a healthy selection of third-party options available from well-known brands such as Dualit and Lavazza, as well as smaller independent roasters. Once again, if you’re plumping for anything in the Vertuo range, you should note that there aren’t many third-party Vertuo options currently available.

To get a fuller sense of what’s on offer, you can check out our roundups of the best own-brand Nespresso pods and capsules, the best Nespresso-compatible pods or, for more eco-friendly options, the best reusable and compostable Nespresso pods.

Tassimo, on the other hand, relies on its own T-disc pod system. You can find T-discs from brands such as Costa, Kenco, L’Or and more, in sizes and styles ranging from espresso, americano and lungo, to milky options such as cappuccino, latte and mocha. These latter options circumvent the need for frothers and fresh milk by delivering it straight from the pod itself, making them perfect for the truly fuss-avese.While less expansive than Nespresso’s range in terms of available brands and coffee options, Tassimo has carved a niche for itself by offering a wider range of hot drinks, with discs for tea, chai latte and hot chocolate available. One downside to T-discs is that they’re hard to dispose of in an eco-friendly manner, either needing to be thrown away in refuse or recycled via the Podback system.

Winner: Draw

This one, we’re happy to declare a draw, if only just. While both sides have their strengths, picking a clear winner is more a matter of personal preference. Nespresso offers more in terms of breadth of selection and quality of coffee, with a dizzying range of blends, sizes and flavoured options available, as well as an infinitely explorable set of third-party options. However, for those of you without your own milk frothers or households containing non-coffee drinkers and children, Tassimo’s fun selection of tea, hot chocolate and milk coffee discs is a tempting way to keep everyone happy and save time and money.

Browse Tassimo’s pod range Browse Nespresso’s pod range

Nespresso vs Tassimo: Verdict

After having put these machines through their paces, round after round, we’ve tallied the scores on the doors and picked ourselves a winner. Nespresso takes the cake this time, simply muscling Tassimo out of contention with its fully kitted-out, stylish machines and wide selection of tasty capsules.

While Nespresso is our overall winner, the two ranges have enough differentiating qualities that there are bound to be plenty of people out there who will be more drawn in by Tassimo’s value for money and varied hot drinks range. So really, the true winner is you, the prospective pod coffee enthusiast with a great range of machines to choose from. Just kidding, the real winner is still Nespresso, but you get the idea.

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Check Nespresso Vertuo Next prices

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