Gone are the days when finding a good espresso meant traveling to Europe- now, you don’t need to visit a big city, or even go to a decent coffee shop, and can pull your own shots right at home. We’ve tried out other espresso solutions before- from a couple of nifty portable and handheld devices to a home machine that used regular grounds. The Nespresso line is different, using cute and colorful pods in a variety of flavors and types- convenient, if somewhat limiting.
The Nespresso CitiZ is the best home pod espresso maker in it’s class- a sleek, thin and uniquely-styled machine that makes an excellent cup. It heats up fairly quickly, is quiet, takes up little space on a counter- and can beat almost any java joint in crema and consistency, not to mention price. If you’re a caffeine junkie, it’s easy to spend $1000 or more a year at Starbucks and their ilk- a few bucks a day adds up fast. Even buying one for your space in the office makes sense, and you’ll have saved up enough to cover the machine within a short period- probably less than you think once you convince some co-workers to compensate you for your one-person espresso cubicle. All you need to do is hide the evidence (and the machine helpfully does this for you, storing eleven used capsules at a time).
Earlier this year, we tried another machine in their line, the LeCube. Each offers advantages, but the choice comes down primarily to looks and counter space- we didn’t notice a significant difference between the output quality or feature set. Both offer 19 bars of pressure, and neither offers a milk frother, the only significant downside to either. One note: you can purchase the CitiZ with the Aeroccino, the small milk frother that we reviewed quite a while ago. Though it works pretty well, it isn’t quite the same as having a good frother ready to go.
We liked the price on this model- it’s available for under $300 widely online- but felt that it could have been just a bit lower considering the LeCube (which appears to be no longer available) was the same price and felt a bit sturdier. As with all Nespresso machines, you’ll need to find a supply of the pods, and they are not widely available here in the United States. This usually means ordering directly from Nespresso, and choosing from their 16 flavors- three decaffeinated, three single origins, seven espressos, and three lungos (more intense, and meant for larger shots, these were our favorites as before). We never really tired of the varieties, especially since it’s easy to make cappuccino and other espresso drinks- a great alternative to the boring pots of coffee. And if that weren’t enough, there is always the Club option, which opens up occasional new types (not to mention other benefits).
The CitiZ couldn’t be easier to use, and couldn’t be prettier to look out. And consistently great espresso should make anyone happy. Now, if only they could figure out a way to add a good milk frother, we’d be thrilled. Available in several colors- black, red, white- and is warmed and dispensing in about thirty seconds.