Is Nespresso Cheaper than Starbucks? A Price Comparison

is Nespresso cheaper than Starbucks

Two of the most popular companies in the coffee space right now are Starbucks and Nespresso. Sowhat if we put the two head to head to see which is a better value? A better “bang for your buck.” That’s what we’ll do today. We'll compare how making single-serve coffee at home with a Nespresso vs making the trip to your local Starbs affects your wallet. Then you can decide whether you’ll get your daily caffeine from one, the other, or both. 

Here's our quick answer for Is Nespresso cheaper than Starbucks?

Coffee by Nespresso is significantly cheaper than Starbucks, even when you factor in the initial machine cost and additional costs like maintenance, accessories, milk, etc. A black coffee a day with the purchase of a brand new Nespresso machine is $571 over the course of a year. A grande black coffee a day from Starbucks will be around $1500 a year.


Nespresso Cost Breakdown

Starting Capital
Ongoing Expenses Per Capsule
Additional Expenditures

Starbucks Cost Breakdown

Beverage Price
Frequency of Visits

Is Nespresso Cheaper than Starbucks?

Nespresso Cost Breakdown

1. Initial investment: Nespresso machine 
When considering the cost of Nespresso, it’s essential to factor in the initial investment of purchasing the actual machine. Most Nespresso models will run you between $100-$300. The popular Vertuo Pop Plus comes in at $129.00. Nespresso’s most expensive model, the Vertuo Creatista Pro, will run you $849.00.

Whatever model you buy, remember that this machine should last you 5-10 years. So the one-time investment in a nicer model could be worth it if you’re going to use it every day. 

The initial investment of a machine is an important factor when considering  Nespresso vs Starbucks because there is no large initial purchase on the front end if you get your coffee from Starbucks every day.

2. Recurring cost per capsule
Every time you want to make coffee or espresso with your Nespresso machine, you’ll need to use a prefilled single-serve capsule. These capsules aren’t necessarily cheap.

On Amazon, Nespresso Capsules can be bought in packs of 30-50 for $30-$40. This means a per capsule cost of $0.80 for the majority of capsules to $1.25 per capsule for the more expensive ones. 

Some of these Nespresso capsule Amazon packs are all the same type of capsule while others are a variety.

3. Additional costs: accessories, milk frother, maintenance (descale, broken part)
Additional costs to consider when owning a Nespresso machine include accessories like a capsule holder/dispenser ($30) travel mugs ($25), milk, syrups, and other flavorings. If you like lattes, cappuccinos or other milk-based drinks then you’ll need to purchase a milk frother ($100-$170)

milk frother amazon

Buy a Milk Frother on Amazon

Additionally, regular maintenance, such as descaling or replacing broken parts, should be considered. 

While most of these accessory costs may not be significant, some of them are recurring and they all will contribute to the overall cost of regularly using a Nespresso.

Starbucks Cost Breakdown

1. Pricing of Starbucks beverages
Of course the main thing to consider when looking at the cost breakdown of getting your coffee from Starbucks is the cost of the drinks themselves. 

A 16oz (Grande) medium roast (Pike Place) black coffee at my local Starbucks will run you: $4.08 including tax. 

A Grande Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew will run you: $5.53 with tax.

And a Grande Caramel Frappuccino will cost you $6.09 with tax.

2. Frequency of visits
The amount of money you need to allocate to your Starbucks budget not only depends on the type of drink you order but also on how often you order it. 

If you only drink coffee a few times a week, sourcing it from Starbucks will cost $600-$900.

If you drink coffee once a day and always get it from Starbucks, that’ll run you $1500-$2000 a year.

If you like a morning and afternoon coffee every day, that budget doubles to $3000-$4000 a year.

The more expensive the drink you buy and the more often you buy it, the more buying coffee at Starbucks is gonna cost you.

3. Food
Lastly I have to mention that if you’re getting coffee from Starbucks every day, even if you don’t plan on buying any snacks or pastries, I’m confident that at least a few days a month you’re going to come in hungry and those cake pops are gonna look real nice. 

So lets add another few hundred bucks per year of miscellaneous food purchases.

So Which is Cheaper?

4 one hundred dollar bills and 2 50 dollar bills

Now we're gonna compare the total monthly cost of Nespresso vs Starbucks drinks

Let’s first attack this question from the perspective of someone who drinks one cup of coffee per day.

If that person buys a Nespresso Vertuo + ($129.00) and uses one capsule per day ($0.80) their yearly coffee budget will be $421. Add in $150 for milk, flavorings, and maintenance for a total yearly expenditure of $571. If they drink 2 coffees a day that number bumps up to $863.

And! Now that their Nespresso machine has been paid for, their coffee budget for the following years will be $442 at one cup a day, and $734 for two cups.

Now let's look at the Starbucks drinker. Someone who buys a Grande Pike Place medium Roast every day for a year will spend $1489.20 per year on coffee. If they drink 2 coffees a day, that’s doubled to about $3000 a year.

The Winner and Potential Savings Over a Year 

If you’re only comparing Nespresso and Starbucks in the area of cost, the winner is without a doubt Nespresso. As we see in the math above, the yearly cost of making Nespresso coffee is ⅓ of buying coffee at Starbucks. 

Although this article was focused on comparing costs, when deciding between different methods of coffee consumption there are many other factors to consider. Below we’ll discuss a few.

Other Factors to Consider When Deciding Nespresso or Starbucks

starbucks shop outside

Quality and Taste Comparison
Other than the cost, taste/flavor are the most important component of your everyday coffee experience. It’s impossible to say whether Nespresso or Starbucks has better-tasting coffee, because that will come down to personal preference. Both have their own variety of beans and flavor profiles to choose from, so I recommend try out both if you can before making a decision.

Convenience and Time-Saving Aspects
The Nespresso wins on convenience since you can get your coffee without ever leaving your house and within a few minutes of starting the machine. Time-savings can be important on those hectic, busy mornings.

Experience and Social Aspects of Visiting Starbucks
What buying coffee at Starbucks does have that Nespreso doesn’t is a social environment. A coffee shop is a place to meet friends or work. For some, the social aspect and sense of community associated with Starbucks may be an important factor to consider.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability/
Environmental impact is probably a tie between the two as in recent years, sustainability has become a crucial consideration for many consumers. They’ve made efforts to promote the recycling of their aluminum capsules, providing collection points and recycling programs. However, the process can be more involved compared to simply throwing away a paper cup at Starbucks. Additionally, Starbucks has made commitments to sustainability, such as offering more plant-based milk options and reducing plastic waste.

In the debate between Nespresso and Starbucks, the cost analysis is just one piece of the puzzle. By considering factors like quality, convenience, experience, and sustainability, you can make a more well-rounded decision that aligns with your personal preferences and priorities.

Nespresso offers cost savings in the long run, especially for individuals who consume coffee regularly and appreciate the convenience of brewing at home. On the other hand, Starbucks provides a coffee experience, a variety of options, and the opportunity socializing or work with others.

Ultimately, the choice between Nespresso and Starbucks depends on your individual circumstances. Some may find value in having both options available, allowing for a mix of cost-effective home brewing and occasional indulgence in the Starbucks experience. 

My favorite Nespresso Pods on Amazon Here.

Stay Caffeinated,




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