Comparison Review: Nespresso D121 and C121

Nespresso is a well known brand of Nestle, a coffee maker based in Switzerland. Launched in 1990, Nespresso machines are well reknown for making excellent espresso coffee - from capsules that are sold exclusively by Nestle and can be found easily in stores. 

The following Nespresso’s machines -- the C121 and D121 -- are two very popular machines in the Nespresso range which come a with a milk frother. Operating them is very easy; by simply i) insterting an espresso capsule and ii) switching on the machine. Within just a minute you will have hot espresso in your cup. There is no need to deal with ground coffee or clean up after using the machine each time.

It is here though where we will conduct a comparison review: C121 Vs D121 -- highlighting their subtle differences and similarities, so you can decide which is the best model for you.

Nespresso D121 Luxury Espresso Maker

Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother, Black
Amazon Price: $299.00 $224.25 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 25, 2016)

Similarities Between the C121 and D121

Size (Dimensions)

Both machines have the same shape and have identical dimensions at 14.6 x 9.3 x 10.9 inches. Weighing 10 pounds they are small and compact enough to be placed anywhere on your counter top without taking up too much space. The machines have a prominent spout in front and a perforated tray to place your glass. A milk frother is placed next to the machine and has a light indicator facing the front. Overall both machines are quite impressive to look at. 

Nespresso C121 Luxury Espresso Maker

Water Tank

The C121 and D121 have a large 34-ounce water tank which can be easily removed and reinstalled. The tank is placed behind the machine so that it remains out of view at all times. 

Pivoting Cup Tray

The pivoting cup tray feature enables you to keep a larger travel mug for your espresso. This is useful if you are going out for a long drive and you won’t miss your espresso.

Easy Use of Capsules

Both machines have a lid on top which has to be lifted in order to put in the Nespresso capsule. For easy insertion the hole has been made in the shape of the capsule so that you don’t go wrong while inserting it. 

Compact Brewing Technology

Nespresso uses its state-of-the-art compact brewing technology in the C121 and D121 and takes a mere 25 seconds for preheating before brewing espresso. 

19-Bar High Pressure Pump

The machines have a 19-bar high pressure pump which extracts the flavor and aroma of the coffee perfectly from the capsules. This is the main reason behind the excellent espresso that the machines make. 

Auto Shut Off & Programming

If you would like to save on electricity you will be pleased to know that both machines will shut off after 9 minutes if you don’t use them. The volume is programmable by pressing the brew switch the first time, until you get the quantity of espresso that you want. This setting is then saved for future use so that you don’t have to set it up again. 


Both machines come with a milk frother and you can prepare cappuccino, latte or macchiato easily. Frothing the milk is a simple, single-touch operation. 

The Differences Between the C121 and D121

Features of the C121

The C121 is an espresso machine with an integrated milk frother which makes espresso from capsules. The volume control is automatic and can be programmed. Cleaning up is also easy since the capsules drop off into a tray which can be taken out for disposing off the capsules.  Cleaning up is easy since the tray holds 10-12 used capsules and you only have to empty it out once it is full. 

Improvements in the D121

The improvements in the D121 pertain to the design and all the useful features in the C121 are retained in the D121 as well.  The D121 has a narrow spout instead of the flat and wide spout in the C121.It has slotted grids across the drip tray while the tray of the C121 has a dotted grid. The buttons in the C121 are placed farther behind than the D121. Lastly, the horizontal notch on the C121 is missing in the D121.

How To Brew with a Nespresso C121 and D121

Brewing espresso with these machines is very convenient since both use Nespresso capsules. Preheat the machine and run water in the first use. Then take your favorite capsule and pop into the brewing chamber before pressing the brew button. Within a minute coffee will pour out of the spout. If you would like milk along with your coffee, you can pour milk into the frother and press the button in front. 

Conclusion: Which Model is Best - Should I Buy a C121 or D121?

Both the C121 and the D121 are excellent at making high quality espresso. The difference is only cosmetic since both have the same great features. If you have to choose between the two you can choose the one that you like in terms of aesthetics. In any case at the great prices at which both are available you will not go wrong with either. 

Have You Also Considered the Excellent DeLonghi Lattissima Plus

DeLonghi Silver Lattissima Plus Nespresso Capsule System
Amazon Price: $549.99 $298.96 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 25, 2016)

Moreover, if you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding either the comparison review of the D121 Vs C121 or about either Espresso maker specifically then please do not hestiate to make them in the comments section (which you will find just below the fold) and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

See Our Favorite Nespresso Espresso Machine

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, Electric Titan
Amazon Price: $229.00 $140.50 Buy Now
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