When it comes to coffee appliances for home use, there seems to be an ever-updating list of possibilities.
Coffee equipment manufacturers try their hardest to provide a variety that appeals to people who prefer their plain Jane cups of joe and to those who are particular and like to change it up a bit every so often.
What if I told you, that you can have both simplicity and flexibility?
Nespresso has an arsenal of single-serve coffee machines that range from simple espresso to cafe style beverages!
Let me show you the two extremes on Nespresso’s spectrum.
Though these two machines belong to the same family, the Nespresso Pixie and the Nespresso Touch couldn’t be more different.
The Pixie is small and straightforward, whereas the Touch has numerous options and takes up more counter space with it’s sleek style.
To be perfectly honest, there are no cons here. So we’ll just discuss the differences of these two models. (And hopefully, you’ll meet your match.)
The Nespresso Pixie is the small but powerful.
Do you guys remember the cartoon Mighty Mouse?
He was always underestimated by his foes because of his stature– no matter how many times they faced off.
Don’t make this mistake with the Pixie! Its simplicity is not at all indicative of its abilities.
Don’t let its size fool you! This machine packs a punch. Weighing in under 7 lbs and standing under 10 inches tall, the Pixie doesn’t skimp on quality.
Nespresso held to they’re high standards when they designed the Pixie.
Across the board, Nespresso’s machines pack a powerful 19 bars of pressure!
Related – Make sure to see my full comparison of the best Nespresso machines sold today.
What is a bar of pressure?
Bar, the Greek word for weight, is the is the unit used to measure how much air pressure your motor is pressing through your coffee pod.
Across the board, industry standards state that your machine must have 9 bars of pressure to make true espresso.
So don’t confuse the Nespresso with other single serve coffee machines. This bad boy packs in all of the pressure that the larger more conventional machines provide– all with that one-touch convenience.
But if you’re more of a “good ole cup of joe” type, check out our rundown of Keurigs! They’re equally simple and may suit your needs better.
What are the marks of “true espresso?”
Since espressos are the commonality in all Nespresso machines, it’s important to be able to troubleshoot, should something go awry.
There are 3 parts to any beautiful shot of espresso.
#1 The crema which brings that yummy buttery texture that ties all of the flavor notes together.
#2 The mid which brings in that carmel-y taste to every pull.
#3 The heart which holds all the complex bitters that allude to the country of origin.
Other than the classic espresso, you have another shot option: the lungo!
Click here to have an incredibly informative article about the different types of espresso shots.
But basically what you need to know is that, contrary to popular belief, lungos are not double shots! A lungo is actually a shot of espresso that is brewed for a longer amount of time– resulting in a more caffeinated and bitter beverage.
Having the Pixie at home, provides you the perfect set up to have professionally brewed espresso beverages–without the line.
The Pixie is speedy as it is petite.
Depending on your sense of urgency, you can have a shot of espresso in just about a minute!
Brewing with the Pixie is incredibly simple.
The first step is to fill the 23.7 oz water tank. And turn the rig on.
The water will come to a piping hot boil in 25 seconds.
As that’s warming, you can take your second step and choose what kind of coffee you want from their array of pods available to you (and your favorite coffee cup.)
The Pixie has a dual drip tray. So you can set a demitasse on the shelf or fold it up for larger coffee mugs.
Though they look a lot like k-cups, these bad boys are made with aluminum which is far less breathable than the plastic casings of a k-cup. Plus– they are more eco-friendly because they are recyclable.
There are 23 varieties available to you- ranging from single origin to blends. They are color coded according to the types of shots they pull: decaf, regular, espresso or lungo.
The third step is to open the brewing chamber by lifting the lipped lid.
Place your pod into the capsule shaped hole and close the lid again. (You should hear an audible snap as the machine punctures the pod.)
The fourth step is to press the espresso or lungo button according to the capsule you’ve chose.
Arguably the coolest thing about Nespresso’s machines is that they’ve made the buttons programmable!
Simple press and hold, and the machine will continue to brew water through the capsule. When you let go, the machine saves that setting for next time. (So, if you’re making a cuppa for a friend, don’t forget to reprogram to their liking.)
The average pour time is just 30 seconds!
Your final step is clean up. Remember to open the brewing unit again.
This drops the pod from the chamber into the spent-capsule container. This container must be emptied after 10 brews.
It’s just that easy to make cafe quality cups of coffee with the Nespresso Pixie!
Now that we’ve see the simpler side: let’s look at coffee machine has a few more tricks up it’s sleeve.
The Expert is one of the newest Nespresso machines and filled to the brim with updates. Let’s take a look.
The Expert is part of Nespresso’s physical redesign.
Unlike the previous models, the Expert has flat sides that can sit flush against the wall. On top of that they’ve carved out a little cord storage space beneath the machine, so that you don’t have extra length preventing that sleek design.
It weighs about 10 pounds, stands at about 11.5 inches tall and takes up 15 inches of counter space.
The water reservoir holds 1.2 L.
The grounds container is a little smaller but it is now magnetized. No more messy grounds to clean if the container topples over.
The drip tray is detachable and comes with a removable stand for the smaller espresso mugs. So there’s no fuss over the foldable trays knocking over lighter cups.
All of the practicality and functionality has a new style to it.
In place of the classic lipped lid, you simply slide the metal plate on top of the machine to reveal the pod shaped brewing unit.
Once that plate is closed back over the hole, you can pick your drink!
Instead of buttons, you now have a dial!
Its icons that light up as you choose from from your beverage options.
You have 5 drinks at your fingertips with the Nespresso Expert.
The first is the timeless espresso.
The second is the lungo aka “long shot.”
The third is the shortest and sweetest of espresso shots: the ristretto.
The fourth is a new addition to the Nespresso beverage line: the Americano.
Americanos made their debut on the coffee scene in WWII. When American troops were abroad, when they ordered a coffee in Europe they were presented with an espresso. They, of course, found this foreign coffee to be too strong and bitter. So the locals started adding hot water to the shots to make it more palatable for the soldiers, calling the new beverage, “Americanos” as a joke.
The fifth option is hot water– which we have seen on other models before, like the Lattissima Pro.
However people have left constructive criticisms saying that their water is not as hot as they would like.
So the folks at Nespresso have addressed those concerns by adding a brand new feature: a temperature gauge.
Just turn the dial left of the beverage knob to choose warm, hot or extra hot.
It’s important to note that Nespresso did not indicate exact temperatures for each setting. So if you opt for extra hot, be sure to have a mug with a handle.
In addition to the physical changes, the Nespresso Expert has brand new technological updates.
Among the “smart tech,” you have alarms which notify you when to descale, when the water tanks is empty and when the capsule container is full.
You also have automatic shut off that is adjustable.
To do that, you press the temperature gauge, then the brew button on top of the machine to enter “settings mode.”
Then you turn the dial to the 3 available options.
Warm is the pre-programmed shut off, which is 9 minutes.
Hot is 30 minutes.
Extra hot is 2 hours.
You may be thinking, “this couldn’t possibly get any better,” but let me assure you it does. You can now control all of your personal preferences from your smart phone!
That’s right, the Nespresso Expert is now equipped with bluetooth!
Say goodbye to the days of pressing and holding the brewing buttons to reprogram your shots to your liking.
With the Nespresso App and you can specify the volume and temperature of each shot and save those recipes for yourself and your friends and family.
You can set a brew time, so you can wake up to a fresh cup of coffee every morning.
And you can schedule orders to keep your capsules stocked up so the well never runs dry.
Though the redesign brings a more pleasing aesthetic and more sophisticated technology to the table, Nespresso has stayed true to standard of quality.
The Expert still pushes out 19 bars of pressure, yielding amazing espresso marked with that iconic crema.
And its strength is still matched with that 25 second warm up and 30 second pour speed.
As an added bonus, Nespreso has an option for latte lovers everywhere! You can purchase either machine with a milk frother companion: the aeroccino.
The aeroccino is stylish and intuitive.
It’s got a chrome interior and a non-stick exterior. It comes in a black matte or silver shiny finish.
It’s one touch operation controls hot or cold frothing so you can have your caffeine fix any time of the year!
The older models came with two wands that snap into the middle: one for froth and one for foam.
But the update that comes with the Expert+Milk only has one wand, but it has a removable cappuccino coil–so you still get the dual capability.
As you can see, Nespresso can do no wrong.
If you want something simple and straightforward, the Pixie would be perfect for you. If you want versatility and control, the Expert would more than satisfy!
So why wait? If you’re ready to invest in an incredible coffee experience every morning for years to come, click on either of the product photos to make your purchase today.