There’s no doubt about it: we live in a world filled with noise. In fact, these days, it’s hard to find any peace and quiet just about anywhere you might find yourself. But perhaps one of the noisiest places that many of us encounter on a semi-regular basis is a coffee shop.
Sure, when we think of quaint little independent coffee shops, we tend to imagine smooth jazz playing in the background, only interspersed by the light clinking of spoons as they stir foamy coffee in ceramic bistro mugs.
But who are we kidding? This is not a place that actually exists!
In reality, coffee shops are boisterous affairs, with people gabbing away loudly over each other, baristas calling out names for order pickups, a baby or two yawling their heads off. And the milk frothers…oh, the milk frothers!
The sound is like a cross between a Piccolo Pete on the Fourth of July and the blood-curdling screech of a demon banshee. And that’s to say nothing of banging and clanging of espresso machine portafilters against knock-boxes and the low rumble of the machine extracting the coffee.
Ok, you get the picture: coffee shops—and coffee-making equipment, more generally—are rather noisy things. In fact, the cacophony of coffee shops might even be enough to entice you to buy your very own espresso machine alternative for you to brew a delicious shot of espresso in the quiet of your own home. But, of course, this will do you little good if the Nespresso machine you buy is just as loud as your local café.
Indeed, Nespresso machines, despite their generally diminutive sizes, can actually be rather loud themselves.
That’s why, in this guide, we’re on a mission to find the quietest Nespresso machine you can buy. No bells. Certainly no whistles. Just a quiet, functional Nespresso machine that can produce a quality shot of espresso coffee in the morning without all the racket!
Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get on with it and tell you upfront: while there are no truly quiet Nespresso machines, some are certainly quieter than others. And we’ve found that the quietest Nespresso machine currently on the market is the Nespresso Essenza Mini.
But before we get to our discussion of the Essenza Mini, let’s consider what makes Nespresso machines so loud in the first place, some of the factors that might lead to a louder or quieter machine, and also the Nespresso machines you absolutely must avoid if you are really set on a quiet machine.
What Makes Nespresso Machines So Loud, Anyway?
There are several factors that can lead to a Nespresso machine’s audible volume when in operation, including its size, additional functions like milk frothing, and especially the process the machines use to extract the coffee. Let’s look at each one to get a better idea of what’s causing all the ruckus!
Does the Size of the Machine Affect How Loud It Is?
This almost goes without saying, but yes, the size of the Nespresso machine is a major factor in how loud it will be when in operation. As you’d expect, larger machines tend to be a bit louder than smaller machine. But there are far more significant factors that influence the sound of your machine. Let’s look next at one of the biggest culprits: milk frothers.
If It’s Quiet You Want, Avoid Nespresso Machines with Milk Frothers!
Of course, not all Nespresso machines come with milk frothers; though, most models do have the option. The unfortunate reality, though, is that milk frothers are almost unbearably noisy, no matter how quiet the machine is during coffee extraction. It’s simply the nature of milk frothing tools that they always exude that tell-tale screech. But, if you really can’t stand the sound, yet you’re unwilling to give up your latte, you can always buy a manual milk frother. These gadgets are usually quite cheap. And even though it takes a long time to froth milk by hand, at least you can use that time to find some serenity without that ungodly squeal of steam-powered ones!
It’s Really a Matter of the Extraction Process
And yet, if you’re reading this, it’s unlikely because you’re concerned about the loudness of Nespresso machine milk frothers. No, you’re probably researching this topic because you’ve heard that Nespresso machines, big and small, have a tendency to be quite loud when they are extracting your espresso.
And this concern is by no means unfounded. No matter what you may here from the most die-hard Nespresso advocate, there are no Nespresso machines that operate completely silently. Even the Essenza Mini, our pick for the quietest Nespresso machine, is going to make some noise.
The reason for this is largely due to the way Nespresso machines extract the brew from the capsules. Just like a traditional espresso maker, a Nespresso machine uses a considerable amount of force to press the hot water through the coffee grounds in the capsule. And when you have any machine that requires the level of energy to produce that pressure, as well as heat, it’s going to make some noise.
That said, the Essenza Mini is still our selection as the quietest Nespresso machine. It’s certainly louder than a whisper, but it’s a far cry from the rumbling, sputtering sounds of many other Nespresso machines. Let’s finally take a look at this little guy and see what it has to offer.
The Quietest Nespresso Machine: The Essenza Mini
The Essenza Mini checks the two main boxes when it comes to looking for a quiet Nespresso machine:
The Essenza Mini doesn’t get its name for its large stature. In fact, it is the smallest Nespresso machine on the market, at just over a foot in height and a bit more than 3 inches wide. This little fella couldn’t be all that loud even if it wanted to!
Well, there just aren’t any to be found. The Essenza Mini is one of the most bare-bones Nespresso machines you can buy—and for many, that’s a huge plus. There are no extra features to learn how to use, and certainly no noisy milk frother!
And the best part is that you don’t have to worry about performance or quality. Indeed, a little bit of research will reveal that literally all Nespresso OriginalLine machines produce exactly the same high-quality espresso shots. Brand doesn’t matter. Model doesn’t matter. They all make precisely the same espresso beverages of essentially identical quality.
Wait! Did I say that was the best part? I spoke to soon! In fact, the truly fantastic thing about this tiny, quiet, unassuming Nespresso machine is that it is one of the cheapest Nespresso models on the market! That is, you can have your favorite Nespresso brew in the relative peace and quiet of your own home, and it’ll only set you back a little over 100 bucks and the cost of capsules. That, my friends, is what we call a “win-win.”
And yet, maybe you already have a Nespresso machine, but you’ve noticed that it’s been getting louder than it once was. Before we close out this guide, let’s investigate what could cause your machine to suddenly find its voice.
My Nespresso Machine Has Been Getting Louder—What Gives!?
While there could be any number of things that could make your trusty old Nespresso machine get louder over time, a bit of research and personal experience has uncovered the most likely culprit: scale.
Yep, that’s right: failure to descale your Nespresso machine adequately and frequently enough can lead to many problems with your brewer. Among them is a much louder sound when it’s in operation. We can’t go into the details here about why this is the case. But, suffice it to say, when scale builds up in your brewer, the machine simply has to work harder to achieve the same results. And as we’ve already discussed, when more energy exertion is required of the machine, the louder it’s going to be.
So, before you simply throw out your suddenly noisy Nespresso, take the time to perform a thorough descaling treatment. Most of the time, that’s all these machines need to start purring like new again.