Waking up with a nice cup of coffee in the morning or winding down with a great cocktail in the evening — Which drink is best? Can you say for certain? This question is at the heart of the debate between Nespresso vs Bartesian.
One is a machine that uses coffee pods to make perfect cups of espresso. The other is a machine that uses drink pods in combination with your preferred alcohol of choice to make bartender-quality cocktails at home. Which pod machine does the job better, though? Let’s take a look at the most important factors and come up with an answer.
Nespresso vs Bartesian: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Country of Origin||Switzerland||United States|
|Parent Company||The Nestlé Group||Hamilton Beach|
|Price Per Machine||$125 to $850||$250 to $450|
|Price Per Pod||$0.60 to $1.50||$2.25 to $2.50|
|Brands Offered||Nespresso, Starbucks, Peet’s, Lavazza, Illy, and more||None; Exclusive to Bartesian|
|Brew Type(s)||Espresso, coffee||Cocktails|
|Annual Revenue||$95.7 billion (Nestlé, 2021)||$100 million (2021)|
Nespresso vs Bartesian: What’s the Difference?
Now that we’ve outlined these basic specs about each company, let’s take a look at the actual products themselves. What are the real differences between the Nespresso vs Bartesian? How do the two pod machines compare in function, price, and quality?
Let’s go over all these key differences below, paying close attention to the biggest distinctions between the two. In the end, we’ll have a much better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Firstly, the Nespresso and Bartesian machines offer different functions. As we know, Nespresso exists to make shots of espresso via aluminum pods with coffee grounds inside.
- Single-serve coffee or espresso at the touch of a button
- Brew 4 different cup sizes at the touch of a button (5oz and 8oz coffee, single and double espresso)
- Each machine includes a complimentary starter set of Nespresso capsules (capsule assortment may vary from picture)
Some models — such as the Vertuo line — can also make cups of coffee, but even this option more closely resembles an americano (hot water and a shot of espresso) than a true drip brew coffee.
The Bartesian, by comparison, makes cocktails using plastic pods filled with mixers. Users must add their own alcohol, meaning that the Bartesian simply provides the flavor mix-ins.
Secondly, there are the parent companies for Nespresso vs Bartesian. This might not seem like a hugely important thing — after all, we’re talking about these two companies, not the ones that own them — but it actually makes all the difference in the success of each brand.
Nespresso is still owned by Nestlé nearly 50 years after it was patented by them. Bartesian, on the other hand, has an exclusive deal with Hamilton Beach. They aren’t exactly owners of the machine, but they function similarly to one. This means both brands have great resources at their disposal, which helps bolster their success.
Another key consideration is the actual price of the machines. Because both the Nespresso and the Bartesian are advertised as ways for people to save money (compared to getting drinks out at a coffee shop or a bar), it matters how much a person actually has to pay to own these products.
The Nespresso ranges anywhere from $125 for the most affordable model all the way up to $850 for the fanciest one. The Bartesian, on the other hand, has three different machines that range from $250 to $450.
Closely linked to this previous point is the price per pod for the Nespresso vs Bartesian. The cost of the machine is one thing, but the cost per pod is something else entirely. You only pay for the machine once, but the pod price is something you have to pay again and again for the life of the machine.
Nespresso pods range anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per pod. This price will vary depending on whether you’re buying on- or off-brand. Bartesian pods, comparatively, range from $2.25 to $2.50. There are no off-brand Bartesian pods, which means these are your only choice.
This consideration leads us to our next point, which is the number of special brands available for each machine. Though neither can touch the availability and range of Keurig’s K-Cups, Nespresso does offer some special pods from top coffee brands, such as Starbucks, Peet’s, Lavazza, Illy, and more.
Bartesian pods are exclusive to Bartesian and Bartesian alone. Whether it be their desire for exclusivity or the simple fact that they haven’t been around long enough to branch out, they do not offer specially branded drink pods at this point in time.
Quality of Drink
Lastly — but undoubtedly remaining one of the most vital points — is the quality of the drinks made by the Nespresso and Bartesian machines. How do they taste on their own? Especially when compared to something professionally made in a coffee shop or bar?
Nespresso pods are well-liked and very closely resemble an espresso shot from a shop. Bartesian pods are also well-liked, with many going as far as to call them bar-quality. Coffee from a pod sounds a lot more appealing than a cocktail from a pod but, in the end, neither one is particularly low-quality.
5 Must-Know Facts About Nespresso
- Nestlé helps popularize its Nespresso system by selling machines at major retailers the world over. In addition to this, they also sell the Nespresso, its pods, and all its accessories at over 800 Nespresso boutiques across the planet. This is something neither Bartesian nor Keurig can say for themselves.
- One major complaint about pod machines such as the Nespresso, the Bartesian, or the Keurig is the sheer amount of plastic waste created by the products. Because the pods often contain organic materials, such as coffee grounds, recycling is made more difficult. Despite Nespresso’s reliance on aluminum for its pods, they’re no more recyclable than a K-Cup or a Bartesian pod.
- Another problem Nespresso has faced over the years is the issue of ethically sourced coffee beans. From child labor to modern-day slavery, the coffee industry at large has long been plagued by this ethical sourcing problem. Today, Nespresso claims that more than 93% of its coffee beans are ethically sourced. Most would agree that it’s not good enough until that number hits 100%.
- Like chips and other products sealed for freshness, Nespresso pods are injected with nitrogen before being sealed to prevent any air from spoiling the grounds inside. This helps keep the coffee as fresh as possible before being placed into the machine.
- The Nespresso works by forcefully pressing hot water and pressurized air through the coffee pod. The machine sends 15 pulses of pressurized water and air through the pod over the course of the 30-second cycle. The Nespresso Vertuo adds an additional step to the Nespresso system process, spinning the pod after the brew is complete to ensure no espresso gets left behind.
The History of Nespresso
While many credit Keurig with popularizing the idea of a coffee pod machine, the truth is that the idea for the Nespresso predates this rival machine by decades. Eric Favre, an employee at Nestlé in the mid-1970s, first conceptualized the Nespresso system by observing a popular coffee spot by the office.
The lines were always out the door and significantly longer than the lines at rival shops. Upon investigating, Favre found out this particular shop made its espresso differently than the competition: they pumped far more pressurized air and water into the machine.
Favre realized this additional step helped the shop create a better-tasting shot of espresso with a good amount of crema — i.e. foam — on top. He wondered if Nestlé might be interested in developing a way to recreate this process in a coffee machine for home use.
He developed the prototype — soon to be dubbed the Nespresso system — in 1976. Nestlé soon patented Favre’s design, and the company spent the next ten years perfecting it. By 1986, the Nespresso system was capable of creating a tasty shot of espresso that was heavy on the crema and light on the acidity.
The first generation of Nespresso machines hit Switzerland, Italy, France, and Japan in 1986. Over the course of the next decade, Nestlé would continue to improve the system to bring it up to date with the machine we know and love today.
This constant innovation, combined with the fact that they could now sell the machine on the internet, saw the Nespresso soar to all-new heights as the 1990s gave way to the 2000s. With its elevated appearance, classy design, fancy aluminum pods, and high price point, Nespresso continues to distinguish itself from the competition — the popular Keurig included.
How Bartesian Compares
While it might not be able to make you a cup of coffee in the morning, the Bartesian nevertheless makes a mean espresso martini. Getting its start thanks to a 2014 Kickstarter campaign that went viral, the Bartesian is a one-of-a-kind pod machine that makes cocktails like the Nespresso makes espresso.
Based in Chicago, Illinois, and founded by Ryan Close and Bryan Fedorak, the Bartesian uses plastic pods filled with flavor mix-ins that users then combine with their alcohol of choice. The machine also gives users the choice between three different drink strengths, depending on their particular preference.
The 2014 Kickstarter campaign brought in more than $100,000 for Close and Fedorak’s Bartesian machine. With these funds, the men were able to perfect their product and bring it up to snuff. It took a few years, but by 2017, the first generation of Bartesian machines was ready to be shipped out to their valued Kickstarter backers.
Two years later, in 2019, the Bartesian was finally ready to be made available to the public. With such a specific use (not to mention a high price point), the Bartesian would need lots of good press in order to sell well. Thankfully, they got all that and more.
Bartesian was showered with awards and accolades from the moment it became available to the public. From Oprah to CES to Good Housekeeping to The Knot, the Bartesian was given best-of award after best-of award.
All this high praise helped the company lock down an additional $20 million in investments, as well as an exclusive marketing, manufacturing, and distribution deal with Hamilton Beach. It might not be as internationally renowned as the Nespresso system just yet, but the Bartesian has everything it needs to grow into a household name.
Nespresso vs Bartesian: Pros and Cons
|Pros of Nespresso||Cons of Nespresso|
|Great-tasting cup of espresso with minimal effort||Machines can be as expensive as $850|
|Each shot of espresso comes with crema on top||Pods cost more than a bag of coffee grounds|
|Stylish and sleek design for your countertop||Not easy to recycle the pods|
|Costs less per drink than it would at a coffee shop||Nespresso continues to face issues with ethical sourcing|
|Pros of Bartesian||Cons of Bartesian|
|Bar-quality cocktails made with ease||You have to add your own spirits|
|Pods are cheaper than a cocktail at the bar||Only makes cocktails, no beer or wine|
|Three different drink strengths to choose from||The machine can cost as much as $450|
|Bartesian puts out new flavors monthly||Only Bartesian-branded pods, no others|
Nespresso vs Bartesian: Which One Is Better?
So, would you rather start your day off with a great shot of espresso, or end your day with an exquisite-tasting cocktail? It’s a tough question to answer, especially for those who are fans of both. With the Nespresso vs Bartesian, the question only gets harder.
All in all, which machine does its job the best? From its lower base price, its cheaper pods, and its much longer history, Nespresso must be named the winner of this debate. The Bartesian is very cool and super functional, but it still has a ways to go before it can be on the same level as the Nespresso.