For many coffee aficionados, the Nespresso brand is the way to go for a quick shot of good tasting coffee with minimal hassle. So much so that for the first time ever the world coffee consumption was lower than the previous year. All thanks to coffee pods wasting less coffee, even if we see new coffee shop pop everywhere all the time.
There are many Nespresso machines of all kinds, and even some that are quite compact like the Citiz. However, sometimes you don’t have the space for a small machine like the Citiz, well, Nespresso came out with a brand new machine that is even smaller! It basically takes about half the space of a toaster.
The Essenza Mini comes in two shapes, the smallest of which I got to test for a few weeks. The other one is kind of a cone shape and requires a bit more real estate on your kitchen counter.
Taking cues from the very successful Citiz, the machine hides the water reservoir in the back. You can’t swivel it to the side like the Nespresso U though. The drip tray and capsule container are in the front as usual; you basically just pull the whole black plastic part to take it out.
The lever mechanism is front centre on the top and allows you for a quick open and close gesture. There are no milk foaming machine, this machine is the simplest Nespresso expression. In terms of sound, the extraction mechanism has to reach a pressure of 19 bars before releasing the water into the pod, therefore you can expect a fair amount of noise. However, it’s not as noisy as a coffee grinder and if you ever used one of the earlier Nespresso machines, this one does a lot less noise than these machines.
- 19 bar pressure
- Compatible with classic cups (NOT VertuoLine)
- 2 cup sizes (espresso, lungo)
- Customizable cup sizes
- Eco mode of 9 min or 30 min
- Dome machine: available in red, white or lime
- Rectangular machine: available in black, pure white or intense gray
The setup is as simple as it ever was with a Nespresso machine. Clean the water reservoir and make a few lungos to clean up the inside of the machine. Refill the water reservoir and off you go!
The mechanism is working exactly like the other machines I got to test over the years. Namely, the Nespresso Pixie, the Nespresso Citiz and the Nespresso U (articles in French). What really changes from these machines is the design and how much space it really needs on your counter.
Espresso and lungo are as always, tasty and evenly pulled. This is one of the strong suit of the Nespresso line of machines, they are consistent like an atomic clock, extracting an espresso shot the exact same way as each and every time. I do not know of a faster way to get a great double espresso in the morning that is as tasteful, make zero mess and now with more power efficient machines, an eco-mode that turns off the water heater after 9 minutes.
Compared to other cup systems, like the Keurig machines, I greatly prefer Nespresso over Keurig as the K-Cups are always very bland in taste and when they taste stronger, they have a huge plastic taste that is simply awful. I’ve tried many machines, even a Bosch one, a company that I highly respect for their engineering. This simply tells me that the system is made to taste like this, sadly.
In terms of capacity, you can use 5 or 6 cups before the cup tray gets full and the reservoir is good for about 4 lungo coffees. After that, it needs to be refilled.
The Nespressp Essenza Mini is the smallest, yet it retains all of the great features of bigger Nespresso machines and, most important of all, the taste! I love how the machine fits nicely right next to my Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder and chef’s knife block. All that fits on a counter of exactly 14”!
The Nespresso Essenza Mini is only 149$ (179 $CA) and available now on the Nespresso website as well as Amazon. You have two designs and six colours to choose from to match the machine with your other kitchen appliances. I strongly recommend any Nespresso machine, but this one being so small and so modern has taken the number one spot in my list of best Nespresso machines! Of course, if you’re planning to do latte art, this is not the machine to get. Take a look at Breville’s Creatista machines, they are compact too but include a steam wand to let you foam your milk yourself and do those great cappuccinos!
- Small, compact design
- Great design (even won awards)
- Six colours available, two designs
- Still noisy, but less than earlier Nespresso machines
- Capacity goes with the size
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