Nespresso Pixie Review: Can This Machine Make Great Espresso?
If you want a good espresso but aren’t quite ready for an espresso machine, this compact and efficient single-serve coffee maker might be the answer to your prayers. Read our Nespresso Pixie review to find out why so many espresso enthusiasts are going crazy over this model and see if this small coffee machine lives up to its reputation.
SUMMARY: The Nespresso Pixie
- 19 bar pump for best pressurised extraction
- Quick and easy to use
- Compact and portable coffee machine: it won’t take up too much space on your countertop
The Nespresso Pixie machine review
Espresso quality – 4/5
You certainly won’t be disappointed with the creamy shot of espresso that you’ll get with this Nespresso Pixie machine, which is included in our list of the best single serve coffee makers and best pod coffee maker list. It's also one of the best Nespresso machines we've tried. Also known as Electric Titan, this Nespresso machine operates with a high-pressure 19 bar pump, that meets (and exceeds!) the pressure standards required for espresso brewing (1).
The Nespresso capsules have been designed to allow for even extraction of the grounds, while the temperature and flow time ensure the best aroma.
These two factors combined result in maximum extraction: the final product is a strong shot of coffee topped with a delicate layer of crema, whose flavour is second only to the best espresso machines that use fresh grounds rather than capsules. Considering that it’s priced below 500 dollars, this machine makes good enough espresso.
Custom Brewing Features – 4/5
Considering that it’s only built to give you espresso (unlike other coffee machines whose capsules can make drip coffee and different hot drinks), the Nespresso Pixie Electric Titan offers very satisfying customization options. First of all, the simple interface allows you to choose between an espresso (40 ml) or a lungo, which is basically a double shot (110 ml).
Even though you can’t tweak the temperature and pressure (which are pre-programmed to ensure the best results), you can regulate the amount of water used per shot, affecting the strength and size of your coffee (2).
A really short shot is going to give you a lot of body and intensity. However, with more water you’ll tend to get more clarity of flavour.
As for coffee capsules, although Nespresso advises against using any other brands, you can actually find quite a few that fit this Pixie espresso machine, so you definitely won’t get bored when it comes to flavours and blends.
You can also opt for reusable coffee capsules: not only you’ll get more choice of coffee and enhanced flavours by using fresh grounds, but you also won’t have to worry about the pollution problems of single-use capsules. Even though they’re recyclable (unlike most K-Cups), they can’t be recycled through conventional methods and the company won’t disclose how many Nespresso capsules are actually given a second chance at life (3). Reusable is always a better option!
‘Make Your Life Easier’ features – 5/5
Like the popular Essenza Mini, the Nespresso Pixie espresso maker is handy and extremely easy to use, thanks to its intuitive design and a few practical features.
Thanks to the efficient thermoblock technology, it only requires 25 seconds to brew an espresso.
The handle on top makes it very easy to operate and, after you’ve used the coffee capsule, it will be dropped and stored in a tray that can contain up to 10 before needing to empty it.
You can also use cups and mugs of different sizes thanks to the drip tray which can be either folded or removed. This, combined with the removable water tank and used-capsule storage, makes the cleaning process incredibly easy.
Water reservoir – 5/5
We can’t fault the water tank. While 0.7 litres might seem small compared to other single-serve coffee makers, you must remember that espressos only need 40 ml. Technically, you could enjoy 17 before having to refill it! However, we do recommend that you use fresh water instead to ensure the best flavour, and also run regular water-only cycles to prevent coffee grounds from being stuck in the extraction system.
Other things that we like about this removable water tank? Once you turn on the machine, it will heat up within 25-30 seconds. Oh, and a handy backlight will light up when it’s time to refill it. Easy peasy!
Do NOT buy if
You want large coffees and different types of hot drinks. – Just like K-Cup is sometimes used as a synonym of coffee capsule, Nespresso machines are often confused with Keurig models, but the two single serve coffee makers are very different: Keurig doesn’t brew espresso, whereas most Nespresso machines… well, they only do that. (Read: Nespresso vs Keurig). If you are actually after large mugs of drip coffee and cappuccino or latte K-Cups, then we recommend that you look at the Keurig K-Classic instead.
You want to be more involved with the process. – We think that the Nespresso Pixie is the best single serve coffee maker for espresso. However, fresh grounds will always give you the best of the best, as well as allowing you to be more involved with the process. If, like us, you’re excited to learn to dial the perfect espresso shot, tweak the temperature and experiment with different grind sizes and coffee-to-water ratios, then we recommend that you look at espresso machines.
You want something you can take to your travels. – If you're the type who travels or goes camping a lot, the Aeropress coffee maker may be a better option for you. It's light and handy and it can make espresso. You can learn more about this portable coffee maker here. The Oomph coffeemaker is also a great choice. Just put your coffee grounds in it, fill it with water, press, and drink. It also doubles as a travel coffee mug so you can drink your coffee while you're on-the-go. You can learn more about the Oomph coffee maker in this post.
As you probably guessed after reading our Nespresso Pixie review, we think that it is an excellent single serve coffee maker when it comes to espresso. If one of the reasons why you’re after espresso is because you want to use it as a base to create other milky drinks, then you’ll be happy to know that you can buy this Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine with an Aeroccino milk frother too.
From the high-pressure bar pump to the compact, sleek design (no wonder it won the Red Dot Design Award!), you can tell that Nespresso has put a lot of thought and care into this machine. Rigorously manufactured in Switzerland, it’s definitely built to last! We think this is the perfect choice for you if you’re an espresso aficionado who is not quite ready to invest in an espresso machine but does not want to compromise on quality (why should you?).
The compatible capsules with the Nespresso Pixie are the Nespresso Original Line. However, different brands are often compatible with this coffee maker.
No, you can’t put Nespresso pods in the recycling bin. In order to recycle them, you must take them to one of their collection points (they have more than 100,000 around the world) or use their courier and postal services.
Yes, the Nespresso Pixie comes with a 2-year warranty.
To descale a Nespresso Pixie, you must first ensure that there are no coffee capsules inside it and place a large container onto the drip tray (or you can remove it, if you need more room). Add 500 ml of water and Nespresso’s descaling solution to the reservoir, press both buttons (espresso and lungo) for 3 seconds and then press the lungo button to start the cycle. Once the flow has finished, refill the reservoir with the used solution and repeat the cycle. Empty and rinse the water tank, fill it with fresh water and run another cycle. At the end, don’t forget to press the two buttons at the same time to stop the descaling mode.
Yes, the Nespresso Inissia is discontinued. While it’s no longer available to buy through Nespresso, it can still be bought through other sellers.
- Kilbride, D. (2017, June 8). How Does Pressure Affect Espresso Quality? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/06/how-does-pressure-affect-espresso-quality/
- Christie, D. (2015, February 12). Brew Ratios in Espresso. Retrieved from https://fivesenses.com.au/blogs/news/brew-ratios-in-espresso/
- Gunther, M. (2015, May 27). The good, the bad and the ugly: sustainability at Nespresso. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/may/27/nespresso-sustainability-transparency-recycling-coffee-pods-values-aluminum