on December 5, 2009
With all the new style espresso machines on the market (Tassimo, Keurig, Flavia, etc.) I was convinced that Nespresso was more of the same: a set of stylish gimmicks designed to convince you that this "espresso" (though not real at all) was "the real thing." It never is.
Which is why the Nespresso is so great. It IS the REAL THING. The capsules contain nothing more than espresso coffee grounds. The machine is simply an automated and miniaturized "real" espresso rig. And the results speak for themselves:
-- full bodied crema like you get from the best barista
-- speedy and HOT cups of espresso
-- the espresso produced is crisp and clear, full bodied, and smooth
-- my Sicilian wife and all her relatives (numerous, and mostly named "Maria" "Antonina" and "Dominic") all fully approve of the espresso that comes out. Comparing is to "Nonna's" would be sacrilege, but although those words have not been spoken yet, I am conviced the thought has crossed a couple minds. :-)
-- all this in under 30 seconds and within a square foot of counter space.
The frothing unit that comes with the machine is nothing short of black magic. I have NO IDEA what it does or how it does it, but the results will amaze you. And the best part is it's easy to clean: no sticky milk mess left behind to make you wonder who's gonna get sick first.
Coffee for this machine is 55 cents per cup, and Nespresso delivers online orders with astonishing speed (which is good, because you can't get the coffee from anyone else!). A bit pricey, but in this case you DO get what you pay for... and then some.
on December 27, 2009
I purchased the Nespresso Citiz several months ago and saved it for Christmas. It was a gift for both my husband and myself. Our morning routine has been to brew a pot of coffee, heat milk in the microwave, and froth by hand in a stainless steel frother. Needless to say, there are lots of steps and lots of items for the dishwasher, but we love our morning coffee. The Nespresso was a hit right out of the box. It is so simple to use, the milk froths better than anything we've ever done by hand, the expresso is divine. My husband said it best, "It is so good that it makes you think about what you are drinking and appreciate the experience of really good coffee." Like someone wrote in a previous review, "we're not going to Starbucks anymore." Yes it is expensive, but over time can actually save money. Yes, you have to order the pods from Nespresso, but this is high quality expresso and delivery is fast. I purchased the sample box to give us an opportunity to try everything. This is an exceptional product.
UPDATE: 3/11/10 The frother on our unit has quit working on two occasions . . .the first quit working after a month, the second after six weeks. While there was no problem getting replacement units, I am concerned that after the unit is out of warranty we will have a Citiz unit with a broken frother. I see someone else has had the same problem in these reviews. It is important not to leave the frother on the connector after use, and let it cool completely between uses. ( Even following these instructions, ours still malfunctioned.) The Citiz is wonderful. We love the coffee, getting pods is a breeze. Customer service is wonderful, but I am seriously considering taking our unit back to the store where we bought it and getting a separate unit and frother.
UPDATE: 5/2/10. The frothier quit again. We use it several times a day....4 to 5 times...it quit yesterday and we are frustrated. We treat it with kid gloves since we've been through four frothers since Christmas. Nespresso service has been great but we are going to return the unit to the store and exchange for the unit without the frothier and buy a separate frothier. Upside..we can take it with us. I would be interested in knowing if others have had similar problems.
Before buying the combined unit consider your usage. It may be fine if you only use it once a day. However, if you will be making multiple cups of latte each day, you may wish to consider buying separately.
UPDATE 11/9/2010 We did return the original unit in September and picked up a separate frother and the Citiz without the frother. We've been very happy since. In fact we took in on vacation with us. Stayed in several different hotels and it didn't bother us to haul it around as we really love the Nespresso coffee.
UPDATE 5/5/2013. Still use the Citiz all the time and are VERY happy with it. In fact, we have a Pixie to take with us when we travel. We now have a Breville frother which is the best we've found. Had a dinner party last week and my guests raved about the espresso after dinner.
on August 1, 2010
This machine is brilliant. The best espresso or cappuccino I've ever tasted, and all in less than 2 minutes, start to finish. The milk frother is a miracle--quick, perfect, instant cleanup. My wife and I have been wired out of our heads since it arrived. We can't stop drinking the stuff. We're giving Stieg Larsson's characters a run for their caffeinated money! The reason is that all the usual inhibitors are gone: the coffee's gone cold and acrid in the pot, can't face the 20-minute production and cleanup for a cup of espresso, etc. It's like the world's smartest drug dealers got together and designed this thing. Got the slightest urge? Satisfy it! Why not? Just hit the button and it's there. Wait a minute, my wife's calling me. What's that? We're out? Excuse me, I have to go knock over a 7/11 so I can order another box of capsules.
on December 25, 2009
I bought the Citiz + Milk from the manufacturer. What I wish I'd known is that they make the milk frother as a separate component. The Citiz + Milk has a larger footprint because it includes a platform that powers the espresso maker and frother. But it's also possible to get a stand-alone Citiz and buy a ($50 more expensive) frother that you can use and store independently of the machine. That may be better for people with small spaces.
Now, on to the machine itself. It is well-designed, easy to use and easy to understand. It makes a FANTASTIC cup of espresso, and for milk coffee drink lovers, it makes FANTASTIC cappucinos, etc. The very first drink I put together using the machine was hands-down, no question, superior to the [ubiquitous coffee chain] that I buy two of every day at work. So for me this Citiz machine gets the full 5 stars.
It's just plain fun to use. Nespresso goes all out with the packaging to a hilarious degree, even sending a binder full of information. It makes you feel like you just bought a really, really special device. The thing is, overblown packaging aside, you DID just buy an espresso machine worth every dang penny.
I have to say the milk frother deserves praise on its own. It makes froth so thick and firm you can almost stand up a spoon in it. It has the consistency of meringue.
I'm very happy with my Citiz + Milk.
UPDATE 12/27/2010: I've had mine for a year now, still operating flawlessly, and I wanted to pass along some user notes. I don't keep the frother on the Citiz charger/base when not in use. I read that it's possible for electric current to continue to be passed to the frother, even when the unit is off. This 'may' be what is causing other people's frothers to stop working. I don't have any scientific proof/disproof, but I haven't had any problems with mine.
Nespresso identifies some capsules as espressos and other as lungos (American-style coffee). I have found that all of the espressos work as "lungos," since making one just means using twice as much water. In other words, I have discarded all the prescribed do's and don'ts, and have just played with the machine and capsules to figure out combinations I like. Same with the milk quantities. Also, some milks froth better than others. The fat content in the milk seems to make a difference. My advice would be to just play around with it, and not get too hung up on Nespresso's "rules."
on July 28, 2010
I give the Citiz itself 5-stars. I love this machine. It produces great espresso, at a low cost compared to a cafe or Fivebucks. I tried a traditional pump espresso maker and it is just too much hassle for my needs. I love espresso but I am no barista, nor do I care to be, and I don't want to spend a half an hour making it and cleaning up in the mornings. Nor do I want to spend a thousand bucks on a decent machine and more importantly, grinder. The Nespresso coffee is outstanding, with a dozen different flavors, and the sheer ease and speed at which I can produce them is insane. Unbelievably convenient with no mess.
My only issues with this particular unit is the footprint. The Citiz was designed with the urban consumer in mind, limited counter space while still embracing functionality and style. When you purchase the Citiz with Milk, the espresso machine is attached to that base unit along with the Aerochino. And while the machine is still great, it's space conserving design is rendered completely useless. Furthermore, where my Espresso machine lives, the frother is more convenient on the left side of the machine, which isn't an option with this combo. So I returned this unit to Amazon, who is always a pleasure shopping with and handling returns from my experience. I then opted for the Citiz stand alone unit, and separate Aerochino. I found a bundle at W&S that Amazon didn't seem to offer. Also, if you go the separate Citiz and frother route, the stand alone frother seems a little bigger and better. It also has a handle, and you can store it wherever you want.
on February 10, 2011
Works fine for making espresso. But if you like lattes, this machine is a poor choice. The frother does a poor job - mine still operates in a half-hearted fashion, but the milk is neither hot nor frothy. Tepid and flat is more the result. More than half the time the frother stops part way through its cycle with a blinking red light. Other reviewers have noted similar issues, not only with the CitZ frother but also other aeroccino models. I also own the stand-alone aeroccino model, and it does a much better job (though scorched milk and overflows are common occurrences).
on May 10, 2012
I have only owned my CitiZ w/Milk Frother (D120) for 36 hours, but I am already in love with it. I am an Amazon Prime member and purchased mine through Amazon from Focus Camera. I confirmed my order late Monday and received the CitiZ on Wednesday - free shipping and extremely well packaged.
Within fifteen minutes after unpacking, I was enjoying my first latte and it was delicious! Included in the package, besides the espresso maker and milk frother, are one capsule of each of the 16 Grand Cru capsules, and owner's manual and a expanding binder from Nespresso Club. The Club binder includes descriptive information about each of the Grand Cru capsules and information on how to order more. There are also hints about "this is just the start, expect to receive more information" (can't wait!)
I made my first latte with Indriya and skim milk. The milk frother is AMAZING! Indriya was good, but not as good as Decaf Lungo that I made this morning. I like strong coffee so did not expect to like any of the Lungo's, so was quite surprised. (Everybody's taste are different.) This afternoon, I made a cappuccino using Dulsao with cinnamon sprinkles (again, the milk frother is phenomenal), and the coffee strength/flavor was ok. Even though you may see my ratings on the three capsules I have tried as mediocre, I want to assure you that they were equal or better than anything in my local coffee shops (family owned or franchises). I am fairly particular on what coffee I like, so I cannot wait to get through all the Crus to find my favorites.
Here is some information about dealing with Nespresso Customer Service -- they are EXCELLENT! I have had to call three times: once because I had problems registering on the website, once to ask a question before ordering my CitiZ, and today wondering why I did not receive the mug/glass in package. All three times, I was talking to a live person within 30 seconds of my call and issues and answers were received or resolved within minutes.
At 2 PM yesterday, I decided to order the New Members Welcome Assortment (new members are only offered this once). I chose two-day $6.95 delivery and the package arrived at my house TODAY at 2 PM. The New Member package includes at least one sleeve (10 capsules) of all of the 16 Grand Crus and duplicate sleeves of the most popular. A very classy presentation box is also included and is an ideal way to allow guest to select their choice for brewing.
I research thoroughly before any large $$$ purchase so read both positive and negative reviews. Here is my advice to those interested:
1. This product is NOT a coffee maker. Do not expect it to brew typical large American quantities of coffee that can fill your to-go cup for the road. Stick with a good drip coffee maker for that.
2. Even if you have evolved past drip coffee, do not expect to get "grande" or "venti" size drinks from this unit. The Nepresso units only came to the U.S. after complete success in Europe. In Europe, cappuccino cups are half the size of our huge U.S. mugs and espresso cups are tiny. I would not have appreciated my CitiZ had I not traveled extensively in Europe and South America.
3. Enjoying good coffee is not about the volume in the cup, but more about the taste and experience.
I will update this post as I discover more.
Thanks for reading!
on September 26, 2011
I bought my Nespresso machine after visiting Europe this summer and staying with a friend who had one and also in a hotel where they had one in the room. It really does make pretty good coffee and if you like good coffee this is a good, easy to use machine with a good range of coffees. The frother works really well - or rather it did for a month and then gave up the ghost. Will not switch on - so now I guess it will be a struggle to get it replaced - not what one expects with a high priced item after only a month of light use - and I was away from home for one weeek.
Would give it a much higer rating but reliability is obviously an issue. Now we will see what customer service is like - hopefully better than the product!
Update - revised rating based on customer service which is outstanding. Called and they shipped replacement there and then which arrived 2 days later (and is working fine) - fingers crossed but cudos for customer service.
Update - the frother failed agian - the frother really seems to be a problem - loved it while it worked - never had a problem and foam was great but 2 frothers in a year at this price level - not acceptable.
on March 27, 2010
I am sure you noticed almost all these reviews are 5 Star wonders! There is a reason for that...this machine is wonderful. It is so good that I am going to write my first review ever on Amazon for a product that has almost nothing but 5 Star reviews. I am an Italian-American who was raised by Italian parents and grandparents in Paterson, NJ. I have been to Italy a number of times and have been drinking GREAT Espresso and Cappuccino all my life. This machine makes THE BEST COFFEE I have ever had and it is SO EASY it is truly unbelievable. For years I have been making my own espresso and cappuccino. Also I have been drinking great Italian coffee when it was prepared by Italian men and women who LOVE and MAKE great coffee. I have never had better coffee then this machine makes. Nor have I ever seen a machine that is so easy to use. The coffee flavors are all you could ever want (but who wants anything but espresso). The machine makes the froth so thick and just the right temperature with the TOUCH of a button. I find it hard to believe. I have to lock myself in the basement to stop myself from drinking all the Nespresso coffee I have in the house in ONE SITTING. If you love GREAT ITALIAN COFFEE...this is what you are looking for. Save your time and money. It is not over priced for what it gives you. GREAT, GREAT Italian coffee every time with the simple push of a button. I want to kiss it! Ciao Ciao Enjoy
For 5 years I have owned Italian coffee equipment: espresso maker and grinder, grinding fresh locally roasted beans and making our family's lattes every morning. I love it, we get excellent coffee drinks (much better than the well known chain!) in the comfort of our own home and we save an estimated $3000 per year vs going out to get them. It is also loud, messy, and time consuming!
We recently stayed with family in Europe and they had the Nespresso Citiz and Aerochino combo. My first thought was "how good an espresso drink can this little job make?", my first sip was "Wow this is pretty good", and the first set of drinks I made with it was "Wait, I am done and cleaned up and drinking my latte in less time than it took me to steam the milk at home!"
The footprint on the kitchen counter is something my wife really appreciates. The Citiz is about the size of my current grinder. Another big plus is the quiet operation. Since I value my hearing I use earplugs when making espresso with my current rig, and if everyone is asleep I still run out to get my coffee since I would wake everyone up. Not with the Citiz....
I also like the variety of coffee offered, and the long-lasting packages will allow me to offer my guests decaf - something I never do now because we don't use it ourselves and I could not keep the beans fresh enough. I can also make the robust drink I like and choose a less "aggressive" roast for my wife if she wants it.
The only downside is the need to purchase the coffee directly from Nespresso. I really hope someday I will be able to get the coffee via Amazon Subscription....
Being the sort to not to needlessly waste, I have not dumped my Italian espresso maker quite yet - it still works - but I know what I am getting when it gives up, and the lure of the convenience may induce me to sell it in favor of the Citiz.
PS - When I got home these were still not available in the US, so I decided to try using espresso pods in my maker as a shortcut. Their brand pods in their brand adapter, factory sealed fresh. YECHHH!!! It was not acceptable quality at all. Nespresso wins this one hands down.