Milk Frothers – Keurig Rivo Cappuccino & Latte System vs Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker

The Keurig Rivo Cappuccino & Latte System and the Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother are both popular milk frothers. Find out now which is best for you.

First off, lets have the Features and Specifications:

Note: Sadly, both these products have now been discontinued. You may still be able to purchase either of them, though probably only as second user, which is why this review has been left in place.

Keurig Rivo Cappuccino & Latte System

milk frothers
Keurig Rivo Cappuccino & Latte System - Click image for more details
  • Consistently froths any type of fresh milk to make
    hot or cold espresso based beverages
  • Brews authentic espresso in under a minute using
    freshly sealed packs
  • At the touch of a button simplicity
  • Three frothing modes: Cappuccino, Latte, and Cold Froth
  • Two Espresso sizes – short (1.4oz.) or lungo (2.8oz.)
  • Dishwasher safe parts for easy cleanup
  • UL Listed: Household use only
  • Power: 1,000 Watts
  • Dimensions: 11 3/8"H x 10 3/4"W x 11 3/8"D
  • Voltage: 120VAC / 60Hz
  • Weight: 17 lbs.
  • Shipping Weight: 22 pounds
  • Single Cup Brewer Model Series: Rivo™
Table of Contents
Real Milk FrothMulti-Frothing Modes
Ensuring It's Hot EnoughFreedom of Choice
Pros and Cons of eachConsumer Ratings
Summary

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Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother

milk frothers
Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker - Click image for more details
  • Easy insertion and ejection of capsules
  • Holds 10 used capsules
  • Removable 34-ounce water tank
  • For use with Nespresso coffee capsules only
  • Integrated aeroccino milk frother
  • Rapid one touch preparation of hot or cold milk froth for Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato and Iced Cappuccino
  • Compact brewing unit technology
  • Fast preheating time: 25 seconds
  • 19 Bar high pressure pump
  • Automatic power off after 9 minutes of inactivity
  • Automatic and programmable coffee volume quantity (Espresso and Lungo)
  • Pivoting cup tray accommodates tall recipe glasses
  • Dimensions: 14.6 x 9.3 x 10.9 inches
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 14 pounds

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Both the Keurig Rivo Cappuccino & Latte System and the Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother are in the mid to high price bracket for milk frothers; (the Keurig is currently discounted on Amazon to less than $125) and both products promise a wide choice of great tasting brews, and ease of use and cleaning, among other things.

Both manufacturers are well placed to bring their specialist expertise to bear on high quality coffee - Nespresso is well known for its own coffee products and Keurig for its partnership with Lavazza coffee, which is highly regarded among coffee connoisseurs.

So if these coffee makers are in your price range, which would be the best choice?

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Milk Frothers Make Real Milk Froth

There are cheaper coffee makers than these that can produce delicious coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and even iced coffee in many cases, but when you pay more, as with these two products, then the world of real frothed milk, free from the constraints of K-Cups, opens up before you. This is where you can produce brews that are as good as, or even better than, your local coffee shop.

Both of these machines excel at producing great tasting brews embellished with milk froths that can be easily varied according to your own taste. They take any kind of fresh milk, including soy and almond, and can produce either hot or cold beverages in as little as one minute.

Multi-Frothing Modes

The Keurig Rivo (Italian for 'revolutionary') offers three frothing modes - Cappuccino and Latte (as you'd expect from the name) and cold froth, while the Nespresso also gives us Macchiato (which you can actually get with the Keurig as well). So there's plenty of choice with both models.

Most users of the Keurig agree that their milk frothers are superb, but there is sometimes difficulty in getting the amount of froth right. You have to experiment with different levels and remember that if you want more froth then you have to allow more space for it in the cup.

What about the temperature of the milk? This has been a point of contention with some users of both milk frothers. The Nespresso delivers the milk at a temperature of 150 degrees, which many users like as it's "immediately drinkable". Others, though, think it ought to be hotter and that it makes for a cooling effect on the brew itself.

Ensuring Your Coffee is Hot Enough

The trouble is that if the milk is heated up too much there is a risk of it becoming scalded and that would spoil the taste of your brew.

Of course, you can heat your coffee in the microwave for a few seconds as soon as it's been poured out, but this risks overheating the milk - something your coffee maker has avoided. Heating your cup before it's filled with your brew is probably better. Just put some water in it, put it in the microwave for 20 or 30 seconds, and empty the water before replacing it in your coffee machine. After all, coffee houses make sure their cups are warm before the coffee is poured in. Why expect comparable results from cold cups?

Do these two coffee makers measure up to the likes of Mr Coffee and Starbucks in terms of taste? If you're a seasoned coffee taster then you may be able to tell the difference, but to most of us, it would be extremely difficult. And the good thing about these machines is that they are both very consistent in producing great coffee.

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Milk Frothers Freedom of Choice - Or Nearly

If you are going to want to change your supplier of coffee pods from time to time then neither of these coffee makers will suit you. But then is it such a disadvantage to be restricted to one supplier?

Well, many of us would be wary about being forced to pay higher than market prices for our coffee capsules from a supplier with a monopoly on our machine, and this issue has been raised in the reviews of both milk frothers.

The Keurig Rivo only accepts pods from Lavazza and the Nespresso, as you'd expect, only takes its own make. But neither company seems to be extortionate. If you're planning to buy the Keurig, then you'll be getting a "starter pack" of 12 pods in four varieties, so you can decide which you prefer before buying whole packets.

Also, make sure you join their club so you can purchase your pods at very favorable prices online, and watch out for promotions when you can bag yourself a bargain. Order well in advance, though, as shipping is slow.

With the Nespresso D121, at around 60 cents a capsule it will be more expensive than using your own grinds but cheaper than Starbucks. And you'll still have a wide choice. There are sixteen varieties in a range of strengths and flavors, including three decafs. You can purchase on Nespresso's web site, which is much cheaper than at the drugstore, or shop for refillable pods (that don't melt in the machine) on eBay.

And it's worth remembering that, though tied to a single supplier of pods, you'll be drinking coffee that is of a consistently good taste.

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Keurig Rivo Milk Frother Pros and Cons

Pros: 3 frothing modes and 2 espresso sizes; simple to use; great tasting brews and milk froths.

Cons: For hotter brews you may need to heat your mug first.

Nespresso D-121 Milk Frother Pros and Cons

Pros: Huge 34-ounce water reservoir; holds 10 used capsules; fast; programmable; auto power off; great tasting brews and milk froths.

Cons: Milk frother doesn't heat milk enough for some. As with the Keurig, you may need to heat your mugs first.

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Customer Ratings

Keurig Rivo Cappuccino & Latte System

This product scores an average of a little less than 4 stars from over 850 reviewers on Amazon at the time of writing, and over 55 per cent of them give a full 5 stars.

What people love most about the Keurig Rivo is how it produces great froths very quickly without making any mess to speak of. It's easy to use and easy to clean. You just rinse the milk pitcher and frothing stem under hot running water.

There have been a few concerns about the plastic frothing cup showing stress cracks or clouding up. If this were to happen to you then check the warranty as you may need to replace it. If it is made in China then you may want to use a US or European made cup instead, which will have been subject to stricter quality control.

Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother

On Amazon at the time of writing, the Nespresso scores well over 4 stars from over 330 reviews, well over two-thirds of them being of 5 stars. So the two milk frothers do have some disparity in terms of ratings.

The sheer good taste of all the various types of coffee it produces is the Nespresso's strong point in the reviews on Amazon. One or two users have mentioned the noise when frothing, but this appears to be a minor issue.

And, like the Keurig Rivo, some say the milk frother doesn't heat the milk sufficiently and that makes the brew tepid. Again, it's a good idea to use warm cups rather than cold.

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Summary

The Keurig Rivo Cappuccino & Latte System, at under $125, has been heavily discounted from its original price level of around $415.00, and the Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker is priced from below $250 to over $400, depending on which supplier you purchase from.

So, apart from the price discrepancy, it probably all boils down to whether you prefer the taste of Lavazza coffee or Nespresso. It may be worth checking them out before you buy. Both coffee makers, in their separate ways, produce fabulous coffee with great variety, quickly and with the minimum of mess. And as milk frothers, they produce great milk froth. You can't go far wrong with either.

'Coffee Lover'

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Author: Coffee Lover

Philip Gegan is a retired UK attorney who loves coffee and everything to do with it. He aims in chooseacoffeemaker.com to review all leading makes and models of coffee maker available in the United States that have a decent number of reviews and a high average score from reviewers on Amazon.com and other leading retail sites.