Nespresso D290C, My Newest Money Leak

A few weeks ago, my wife and I visited my sister and she made us a few cups of espresso, cappuccino, and cafe latte with her new Nespresso D290C Concept Automatic Espresso Machine. I must admit the coffee was great. My wife loved the machine and decided that we should have one also. I was hesitant about buying it, since I saw it as ongoing money leak. Unlike normal coffee, Nespresso uses coffee capsule that can only be used once — and they cost 52 cents each!

We started to look around and a brand new Nespresso D290C Concept retail for $499 — definitely, too expensive for a coffee machine. So my wife shopped around on eBay and Craigslist for a while (watch out for scammers on Craigslist!). Finally, we found a local seller who was willing to part with his relatively new D290 for $180, so that he could upgrade to the latest and greatest, Nespresso Lattissima ($799, yikes). He even threw in 40 capsules to start us off (that’s over $20 value). As a result, we now own a relatively new Nespresso machine. I think we got a good deal too.

Although the coffee is great, these capsules go very fast. I am used to drinking cheap Costco coffee where I can brew a whole pot at a time, so it’s a big change to drink only one small cup. Ironically, the one small cup probably costs more than a whole pot of traditional coffee. Anyway, it happened this past weekend. We went out to a Nespresso store and came home with 200 capsules — yes, that’s over $100 worth of coffee! Hopefully, these will last us a few months.

Anyway, I am going to try to be an optimist here and tell myself that my wife will be drinking about a dollar worth of Nespresso coffee instead of spending $4 on a Starbuck Caramel Macchiato.

About the Author

By , on Aug 12, 2008
Pinyo
Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance. He is a licensed Realtor specializing in residential homes in the Northern Virginia area. Over the past 20 years, Pinyo has enjoyed a diverse career as an investor, entrepreneur, business executive, educator, and financial literacy author.

Leave Your Comment (18 Comments)

  1. Cece says:

    Here is a video of one kind refill nespresso cups. It can work….Re-use
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....e=youtu.be

  2. Lucky says:

    Re-use the pod!
    These pods are made of aluminum and it is not exactly green to just throw them out. However, because they are made of aluminum they are easy to reuse and work very well at least a second time around. If you are a real recycle freak you might even try a third trial. Here is what you do:
    1. Once you have stack several used capsules get a container to empty the coffee into. (If you like you can use this for compost)
    2. There will be a series of holes that are made at the top of the capsule also there will be three very small created at the bottom. This is part of the process of running it through the machine.
    3. Poke a hole through the top using a small infant’s spoon or a small spatula and scrape out the coffee and remove the thin aluminum foil that surrounds the top to the edge till all you have is a small capsule cup.
    4. Place all your capsules in a container of soapy water then clean them out and rinse thoroughly and let dry out.
    5. These can all be conveniently stacked till you are ready to use them.
    6. To use them again you will need to cut a small piece of aluminum foil, just enough to wrap around the top edge.
    7. Pack the capsule tight with the espresso (finely ground), tea or whatever with a small infant’s spoon or spatula then place the aluminum foil across the top and fold it over the edges so it stays on the capsule.
    8. Just drop it in the machine like you normally would and the reusing will create the same exact pattern on top as the other capsules you normally use plus another three new tiny holes at the bottom.
    This works perfectly and you can use whatever coffee or tea you like.

  3. jur9en says:

    Check out Nextpod, plastic single use capsules you can fill yourself.
    Not a bad idea! The Nespresso coffee is good, but a bit expensive.

  4. Clint says:

    I have a Nespresso Essenza in my office that I call the “Paperwork Buster”. There really is no better machine on the market for the workplace. ZERO waste. Keep the pods in your desk, fill up the water tank in the breakroom. If you don’t like straight espresso, add a little caramel or vanilla to it. The machine makes so much crema that after a little syrup it’s like a super powerful, mini latte. You won’t even miss the milk.

    Highly recommend one for this particular usage to anyone…

  5. Pinyo says:

    @Zeke — If you are willing to deal with the set up time and the mess, I think that’s the best option. I still cringe every time I see all the capsule being thrown out since I am seeing $5 and $10 — not capsule. But the convenience is really great.

  6. Zeke says:

    I am no longer buying lattes, just “Americano” now; but those still cost $2.00. Perhaps it’s time to get out the old stove-top espresso maker from the 1970s.

  7. Pinyo says:

    @David — I’ll definitely check it out. Every time I throw out the trash and see 10-20 of these, I am seeing $5 and $10 being tossed out. Quite painful.

    @LC — I get what you’re saying and a manual machine would definitely be cheaper in the long run assuming my wife uses it. These Nespresso machines aren’t cheap. The one I have sell for $599 and the higher end models are approaching $1,000.

  8. LC says:

    I think a good quality espresso machine is a great investment for someone who is burning $4 each morning on a latte. However, the machine you’re describing sounds like a loss-leader to me… just like ultra-cheap printers that require exorbitantly priced ink.

    I would be more inclined to buy a good ~$200 pump-driven machine that accepts ground coffee that you purchase from any coffee shop.

  9. David says:

    Pinyo – they make refillable pods for those machines, might be worth looking into!

  10. Pinyo says:

    @Shadox — Thank you for the firm assurance that I just bought myself a money pit. 🙂

  11. Shadox says:

    I used to work for a consulting company, and one of our customers – who shall remain nameless – was a coffee company which used to offer the espresso machines for free to organizations, because they would quickly make a huge profit on the capsules… this purchase is a money pit for sure…

  12. pam munro says:

    I had an expresso machine for a while – but got similar results with frother & old-fashioned It. expresso pot – now the caffeine is too much for me, anyway!

  13. Pinyo says:

    @FruGal – I think that’s a better route to go — money wise.

    @The Frugal Momma — I have seen the Senseo offer as well. I am sure a lot of people took advantage of that offer but never buy more coffee from them. They must be losing a good chunk of money.

    I don’t think there’s a reusable capsule for Nespresso yet, but there are funny videos on YouTube of people reusing them.

    @Steward — I miss those free coffee machines.

    @Jay — Thanks for the link.

    @Sam — That’s exactly what the free coffee machines are for — keep you working. 🙂

  14. Sam says:

    In the office, the company provided this kind of machine for I.T people like me to stay motivated (e.g it actually means stay longer in the office). I reckon I would never buy one unless I start full time-blogging*laughs*. I wonder how many years it will last?

  15. Jay says:

    https://www.bettercoffee.com/miva/merchant.mvc has good prices and QUALITY coffee pods (for the Senseo); an initial search didn’t yield results for your capsules, but you might email them and ask.
    When you have a favorite “vice” just work the system for the best deal/quality 😉

  16. Steward says:

    My office has a machine like this that I use because it is free. We used to get 10 tokens a week (which made 10 cups of coffee) but that proved to be too much of a hassle so now we get to drink as much coffee as we want. It makes decent stuff.

    What I find really interesting about these is that many people have their own tips and tricks that make the coffee “taste better.” The taste they are trying to emulate? Starbucks.

  17. I picked up a senseo when the company offered them for $15, it came with a ton of free pods, they lasted 2 weeks! It’s nice to have just in case, I keep a bag of decaf on hand for guests, but we switched back to our brewed just as soon as the pods ran out. I did see Amazon had a gadget that was a “reusable” pod. It didn’t have great reviews & I drink at least half a pot a day LOL, so that’s a lot of messing around. Maybe they have something for the Nespresso? I do miss a good espresso.

  18. FruGal says:

    I visited my friend who had one of these, and was impressed with the coffee, but annoyed by the idea that you have to keep buying the capsules made by that brand. We went with a traditional espresso machine when we got one, so can use any type of coffee we want.

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