Keurig Rivo vs Nespresso: What’s The Difference?

Keurig Rivo vs Nespresso: What's the difference?

Looking for a new single serve espresso machine?

You’ve come to the right place.

Keurig and Nespresso are the two biggest names in the single serve industry, and they market their products to slightly different audiences:

  • Keurig targets coffee drinkers and pitches a quick, convenient cup
  • Nespresso targets espresso drinkers and pitches a higher-quality, more refined product

But while it’s true Keurig sticks to the coffee, they did venture into the capsule-based espresso and specialty beverage arena at one point.

Their attempt?

The Keurig Rivo.

What is the Keurig Rivo?

Released in December 2012, the Rivo expanded upon Keurig’s initial models, which limited users to single cup coffees up to 12 oz.

With the Rivo, Keurig gave consumers a few different options:

  • Brews 1.4 oz espresso and 2.8 oz lungo beverages
  • Uses special Rivo pods
  • Does not brew regular coffee
  • Comes with an integrated frother for specialty beverages

Keurig’s plan with the Rivo was to siphon off some of America’s single serve espresso market, which Nespresso begun to invade.

Keurig did not succeed.

Four years later, in December 2016, Keurig pulled the plug on the Rivo and abandoned the specialty beverage market.

Instead, they put all of their effort into building out the Keurig 2.0 line, which features expanded pod-based coffee brewing options:

  • Brews up to 30 oz carafes
  • Large, color touch LCD display on advanced models
  • More programmable settings on advanced models

Check out two of Keurig’s best 2.0 models by reading our Keurig K475 vs K575 comparison.

So, What’s Nespresso All About?

A single serve monolith with a stranglehold on Europe, Nespresso is still pretty small in the United States.

Just take a look at this chart, which shows market share in the United States from 2011-2016.

Source: Euromonitor.com

Look, I’m from the United States and I think our coffee consumers need to wake the hell up!

In my opinion, Nespresso makes more reliable machines which brew better coffee. They have two lines of machines, OriginalLine and VertuoLine, which are similar to Keurig’s 1.0 and 2.0 products.

  • OriginalLine: No pod-scanning system and brews up to 3.70 oz lungo
  • VertuoLine: Pod-scanning system and brews up to 17 oz long coffees

There are more differences than just those. You can read our full Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine Comparison for the complete breakdown.

Nespresso offers over 20 different models, each of which have slight differences:

  • OriginalLine or VertuoLine
  • Available brew sizes
  • Water reservoir size
  • External material
  • Size and weight
  • Wireless connectivity with the Nespresso app
  • Integrated frother

Keurig Rivo vs Nespresso: Which Should You Choose?

Everyone’s situation is different, but this one is a no-brainer for me:

Go with a Nespresso machine.

Even if you think Keurig is the better company with the superior product, there’s one indisputable fact here:

Keurig doesn’t make or support the Rivo line anymore!

Rivo users complain that the pods are too hard to find and Keurig customer support isn’t very helpful with a discontinued machine and product line.

Maybe if this was 2013 and there was buzz around the Rivo — then I could see someone wanting to buy into the machine.

But we’re well beyond 2013.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t advocate you pass on the Rivo because the Rivo itself has been discontinued. Nespresso has discontinued many models that I still recommend, such as the Nespresso Pixie. The problem is Keurig has discontinued its entire espresso and specialty beverage product line.

At least with the Nespresso Pixie you can still use the same capsules as other OriginalLine machines. Nespresso still makes those. Keurig doesn’t make Rivo-line stuff anymore!

If that has you convinced to check out a Nespresso machine, I can’t recommend our complete comparison guide enough.

But if you want some recommendations, I have those too!

Recommended Nespresso Machines

There are 20+ different Nespresso machines between the two product lines (OriginalLine and VertuoLine). Here are our favorites in different scenarios.

Scenario 1: You want the smallest, most inexpensive model

Go with the Essenza Mini.

Scenario 2: You want an integrated frother for one-touch specialty beverages

Go with the Lattissima Pro.

Scenario 3: You want to brew long coffees up to 17 oz, not just Americanos

Go with the Evoluo.

Scenario 4: You want the best Nespresso model available

Go with the Creatista Plus. (It’s one of Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2017!)

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About The Coffee Maven
bryan de luca
Bryan De Luca

I'm Bryan but most people know me as The Coffee Maven. I grew up outside Boston, Massachusetts and received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Providence College. My first introduction to coffee was during my college days, when I used it as a source of caffeine to fuel late-night study sessions, but soon I became obsessed with the chemistry of coffee. How did changes to water temperature or contact time affect its taste? Why do beans from Africa taste fruity while beans from Indonesia taste spicy? I launched The Coffee Maven in February 2017 to explore these questions and help others brew their perfect cup. Welcome to my site, and thanks for reading!