Embracing the Single Serve Coffee Lifestyle
Nespresso makes single serve coffee makers that aren't so much coffee pots as works of art that happen to dispense cups of espresso one at a time. But the appeal of a Nespresso machine is not just the looks - the espresso made by these machines is excellent and most models have outstanding user reviews.
Nespresso machines are beautiful. There is a number of different models, all of which would look right at home on the kitchen counter of the most awesome European kitchen imaginable. The aesthetics are definitely part of the appeal of these machines, and so is the fact that the coffee is totally consistent: a cup of Arpeggio tomorrow will taste exactly like the cup of Arpeggio today.
The main product lines are (in alphabetical order): CitiZ, Concept, Essenza, Lattissima, Le Cube, and Romeo. Let's have a look at them one by one before we talk about the pros and cons of the Nespresso system.
The CitiZ model is available in Fire Engine Red, Limousine Black, 60's White and Steel Gray. It is an espresso maker with a 19-bar pressure pump and a one liter removable water tank. It has espresso and lungo buttons. The used capsule container means you don't have to dump out the old capsule each time you make a new cup. You can wait until the used capsule container fills up. It does not have a built in milk frother, but it often comes bundled together with Aeroccino that makes frothing milk really easy.
Concept is a line that is modern and practical, with a high-pressure pump (19 bars) that ensures great aroma and the development of a lovely smooth crema just like other Nespresso machines. It perforates the capsule and soaks the coffee for optimal filtration, and automatically ejects used capsules. It has a 34 oz. removable water container and a tray for used capsules. The most popular model in the Concept line is the Nespresso D290. Again, since there is no milk frother, so you will need to get Aeroccino if you are after lattes and cappuccinos.
The Essenza line is considerably cheaper than the other lines mentioned so far. There are several models in this line with the Nespresso Essenza C100 being the most popular. This sleek Nespresso machine resembles a clothing iron set on its end. It has a capsule collection container and a 41 oz. water tank. It is available in Black, Titanium or Twilight Blue and, as usual, it often comes as a bundle together with Aeroccino for those who love milk based drinks.
DeLonghi Lattissima is a high-end Nespresso machine that comes with a detachable milk frother for making cappuccino, latte, or macchiato. This Lattissima's milk steamer is great since it makes making milk based drinks really easy and you can adjust the ratios of steam or frothed milk and coffee. You can also remove the whole container with milk for refrigeration.
However, this steamer seems to also be Lattissima's weakest point since many users complain that the steamed milk is not hot enough. Some owners also found that the frother sometimes stops working (to solution to this seems to be to push the spout in very firmly). Nespresso Lattissima comes in Red, Metal, or Black.
Nespresso Le Cube
As the name suggests, the Nespresso Le Cube is a cube-shaped espresso maker. This is an entry-level Nespresso machine (along with the Essenza). Like the others mentioned so far, Le Cube has a 19-bar maximum power pump and dispenses one-at-a-time espressos or lungos. It is available in Piano Black, Titan Gray, Aluminum, Arctic White and Red. If you like milk based drinks, you'll need to get Aeroccino or find a different way to steam milk.
The Romeo line is the most expensive. It has electronic temperature regulation, a thermoblock heating system and 19-bar maximum pressure pump. It has a steam nozzle for making cappuccino and a cup-warming plate. Is it worth the money? Well, the looks are certainly great and most owners are happy with their machines. However, there are a number of complaints about problems with the electronics going wrong which make this model somewhat less desirable.
What do users think about their Nespresso machines?
When it comes to likes and dislikes, reviewers usually have many more likes than dislikes and most of the models have outstanding user reviews. Among the likes are:
- outstanding espresso or lungo
- consistent coffee every time
- good variety of flavored coffees to choose from
- easy to use
- attractive designs
The dislikes? There was really only one, and that was being wedded to the Nespresso capsules that are made for the machines. This brings three main issues: the need to order capsules directly from Nespresso (you cannot buy Nespresso capsules anywhere else), limited choice of flavors, and cost.
Having said that, most owners are happy with the variety of coffee available. Some of the choices are Cosi (brown), Volluto (bronze), Capriccio (green), Livanto (brass), Roma (steel) and Arpeggio (purple), and coffee geeks insist that they all are very different. The company also brings out batches of specialty flavors periodically. The capsules are obviously steeper in price than ground coffee, but at approximately $0.60 per cup it still beats boutique coffee shop coffee by a mile.
Further ReadingBest Espresso Machine
Single Serve Coffee Makers