In the world of capsule coffee machines, there’s a constant pursuit of getting as close as possible to ‘authentic’ espresso. This time, I had the chance to look at one of the aspirants, the Nespresso Pixie.
Having purchased the Nespresso Pixie more than a year ago, I recently found myself with the perfect opportunity to thoroughly test and review this compact coffee powerhouse. I have to say, I was quite impressed. But is it worth the money? Let’s find out!
- OriginalLine Nespresso coffee maker with 19 bar pressure pump for authentic espresso
- Two brew buttons: Espresso and lungo, customizable to your preferred shot size
- Compact design that fits into any kitchen decor
- Self-cleaning and descaling system to keep the machine in the best condition
- Compact and sleek design
- User-friendly two-button interface
- Removable water reservoir
- Produces delicious, rich shots with Nespresso’s signature crema
- Automatic shut down feature for energy efficiency
- Requires separate milk steamer for milk-based beverages
- Limited brew sizes compared to other models
- Spent capsule capacity is relatively low
- Pricier than comparable models from other brands
Things to Consider Before Buying the Pixie
When it comes to drink sizes, the Nespresso Pixie offers two main options: espresso and lungo. The Pixie’s default settings brew 1.35-ounce espresso shots and 3.7-ounce lungo shots, providing versatility for different preferences. These sizes are ideal if you enjoy concentrated shots of espresso or a slightly larger cup of coffee.
The buttons can be easily programmed to your preferred water volume. This flexibility enables you to customize your coffee to suit your taste perfectly. Additionally, the Pixie allows you to top off your cup or pause the brew early by simply pushing the button again, granting you full control over your coffee extraction.
When it comes to the most crucial aspect of any espresso machine, I must say that the Nespresso Pixie shines brightly. Both the espresso and the lungo consistently produced delicious, rich shots with plenty of Nespresso’s signature crema, no matter what capsule I tried it with.
The Pixie utilizes Nespresso’s Original capsules, ensuring a wide range of coffee flavors to choose from. Whether you prefer a bold and robust espresso or a smooth and aromatic lungo, the Pixie delivers on all fronts.
it’s important to note that the Pixie doesn’t come with milk accessories. This means that if you enjoy milk-based beverages like lattes or cappuccinos, you will need a separate milk steamer. While this might be a downside for some, it also allows the Pixie to maintain its compact size and simplicity, catering primarily to espresso lovers seeking a straightforward brewing experience.
Weighing just 6.2 pounds and measuring 4.4″W x 9.3″D x 12.8″H, the Pixie is one of the more compact single-serve coffee machines. It boasts a sleek and modern design that effortlessly blends into any kitchen decor. While the removable 23.8 ounces-water reservoir is not huge, it will get you through a busy, coffee-fueled day.
One design feature that immediately caught my eye was the lever located on the machine, which serves to open and close the capsule container. While I found it unconventional at first, it’s actually quite practical. To insert a capsule, simply lift the lever, and to secure it, push it down to lock it in place.
In terms of construction, approximately 70% of the Nespresso Pixie is made from ABS plastic. While this may not give it a high-end feeling comparable to machines with more metal components, it certainly doesn’t feel cheap. The Pixie maintains a sturdy build and offers durability, ensuring that it can withstand daily use without any issues. I found that the combination of plastic and other materials strikes a perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics.
Ease of Use
One of the standout features of the Pixie is its user-friendly nature. Right out of the box, I found it incredibly easy to set up and use. The two-button interface eliminates any confusion or complexity, making it suitable for any coffee drinker.
All you have to do is:
- Fill the water reservoir
- Turn on the machine by pressing any of the two buttons. It takes the Pixie around 25 seconds to heat up.
- Insert the coffee capsule by lifting the lever. Close the lever to lock the capsule container in place
- Place your mug on the drip tray
- Select the desired cup size and press the appropriate button
- Let the Pixie brew your coffee and enjoy
Cleaning and Maintenance
Self-Cleaning and Descaling System
Remember to regularly clean the Nespresso Pixie to keep it in the best shape and enjoy top-notch coffee. Luckily, the Pixie comes equipped with a self-cleaning and descaling system, making maintenance a breeze. When it’s time for descaling, the machine will blink a red indicator light, prompting you to take action.
Simply purchase a descaling solution from Nespresso’s website, fill it into the water tank, and initiate the cleaning cycle. The entire process typically takes around 15 minutes, effectively removing any mineral deposits and ensuring the longevity of your machine.
Apart from the self-cleaning feature, there are certain components that may require individual attention to maintain their cleanliness and functionality. Make sure to frequently clean the capsule container, which holds the used coffee capsules. Additionally, cleaning the coffee outlet ensures that your brewed coffee consistently flows smoothly. A quick rinse of the drip tray helps to keep it free from any residue, ensuring a clean and hygienic brewing environment.
In my opinion, the Pixie is worth its price tag. Its compact size, ease of use, and the great quality of the espresso make it an excellent choice for many coffee drinkers. The Pixie’s reliable performance, coupled with its durable construction, ensures that it will provide years of satisfying coffee experiences.
While the Nespresso Pixie may be slightly more expensive than other compact machines from different brands, the overall Nespresso experience justifies the higher price. If you prioritize quality and a trusted brand, the Pixie offers excellent value for money.
While the Nespresso Pixie has proven to be a solid machine, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Here are a few alternatives worth considering:
Nespresso Essenza Mini: If compactness is a priority, the Nespresso Essenza Mini is an excellent choice. This ultra-compact machine is perfect for small spaces and travel. Despite its small size, it doesn’t compromise performance. It also delivers solid espressos with a 19-bar pressure pump, and it is compatible with Nespresso’s OriginalLine capsules.
Nespresso VertuoPlus: If you want versatility in drink sizes, the Nespresso VertuoPlus is worth considering. Unlike the Pixie, the VertuoPlus belongs to Nespresso’s VertuoLine machines, which offer a wider range of beverage options. With this machine, you can brew almost anything including espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, mug, and alto. The VertuoPlus utilizes barcode technology to automatically adjust brewing parameters, ensuring optimal extraction for each specific capsule.
Nespresso Lattissima Pro: If you’re a fan of milk-based beverages and desire a more integrated experience, the Nespresso Lattissima Pro is an excellent choice. This machine combines espresso brewing with an automatic milk frother, allowing you to create lattes, cappuccinos, and more with ease. It offers a wide selection of drink options, adjustable milk froth density, and a programmable touch interface.
The Nespresso Pixie has proven to be a Nespresso machine that delivers on its promise of brewing very decent cups of coffee. It consistently produced Nespresso’s signature crema, and trust me, I went through quite a few capsules. With its sleek design, user-friendly interface, and consistently delicious espresso shots, it’s definitely one of my favorite Nespresso machines.
While the lack of milk accessories may disappoint some milk-based beverage enthusiasts, the Pixie’s primary focus on espresso ensures optimal performance and simplicity.
Can I brew a regular cup of coffee with the Nespresso Pixie?
The Nespresso Pixie is primarily designed for brewing espresso shots. However, you can adjust the water volume to make a lungo, which is a slightly larger cup of coffee. If you prefer a traditional full-sized cup of coffee, you may want to consider Nespresso’s VertuoLine machines, which offer a wider range of cup sizes.
How quiet is the Nespresso Pixie during operation?
The Nespresso Pixie is known for its quiet operation. While it does produce some noise during the brewing process, it is generally considered to be much quieter than other espresso machines or coffee makers.
What other features does the Nespresso Pixie offer?
In addition to its compact size and simple two-button interface, the Nespresso Pixie comes with a removable water reservoir for easy refilling and cleaning. It features red lights that indicate when the water tank is running low. The Pixie also includes an auto-off feature that automatically shuts down the machine after nine minutes of inactivity, ensuring energy efficiency.
Why should I choose the Nespresso Pixie over other espresso machines?
The Nespresso Pixie offers a combination of compactness, ease of use, and great espresso quality. Its sleek design and high-quality components make it a durable and stylish addition to any kitchen. The Pixie’s compatibility with Nespresso’s Original capsules ensures a wide variety of coffee flavors to choose from.
Can you make a latte with the Nespresso Pixie?
While the Nespresso Pixie does not come with a built-in milk frother, you can still make a latte by using a separate milk frothing device or steamer. Simply brew an espresso shot with the Pixie and then combine it with frothed milk to create a delicious latte. This allows you to customize your coffee experience based on your milk preferences while enjoying the Pixie’s exceptional espresso quality.