Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine Review + CONTEST GIVEAWAY!

It seems like the latest craze is the proliferation of ‘one cup’ coffee makers such as offerings from Keurig and Tassimo – we’ve seen them everywhere! One competitor that concentrates on espresso, is Nestle’s line up of Nespresso machines. We were sent a demo unit of the Nestle Nespresso Pixie in Electric Steelblue for review. Let’s see what this gorgeous-looking unit is all about…

What makes Nespresso unique is how it is solely an espresso machine that produces instant single, double, or customized shots in under 1 minute. Let’s take a look at some specifications of the Pixie:

  • Programmable buttons for Espresso and Lungo shots
  • Removable, folding drip tray
  • Storage bin for spent capsules (can store up to 10 capsules)
  • 30 second start up time; auto power-off
  • Backlight indicators for buttons, water level detection, power cord storage
  • 700ml water storage container
  • 19 bar high pressure pump
  • Made in Switzerland

Upon taking the Nespresso Pixie out of the box, we were blown away at how compact the design was. Made out of brushed aluminum and solid plastic, the machine was very solid and stable on our kitchen counter. You can tell the quality of the craftsmanship of this Nespresso unit made right in Switzerland.

The machine is very sleek yet simplistic in its design and function. The front drip tray folds up to accommodate larger cups and mugs. It is removable and pulling it out will reveal the storage container for spent capsules and a reservoir for the drip tray. Two back-lit buttons along the top of the machine are for espresso and lungo shots, indicated by the small and large cup icons. The ‘on’ button for the machine is hidden into the upper rear, out of sight. The water container has a lid flap and sits sturdily at the rear of the unit.

There are 16 different espresso capsules that exhibit unique flavours, aromas, and intensities. Beans are from around the world and even decaf is available. Different kinds of espresso are differentiated by capsule colours. These tiny aluminum capsules are coated with a food-grade shellac, and are hermetically sealed for freshness. The aluminum capsules are recyclable since they are all aluminum.

Making an espresso with the Nespresso is probably one of the fastest processes in the world. The machine takes a mere 25-30 seconds to be fully ‘ready’ from time you turn the unit it on. We were pretty impressed. Automatic perforation of the capsule occurs after you drop one down into the machine and pull down the handle. Press the espresso or lungo button, and 30 seconds later you will have your shot ready. There is no clean up or turning off the machine involved. Just raise the handle and gravity drops the spent capsule into the storage container, and empty it when you’re about 9-10 shots in. That was easy.

The espresso made was very good, but of course it won’t rival an industrial machine at Starbucks. Aromatic and flavourful, the crema was absolutely fantastic, as the 19 bar high pressure pump extracts all the aromas out of the coffee. The single shot (1.35 oz/40 ml) is enough for a quick slam of espresso, while the lungo (3.72 oz/110 ml) brew can be customized. Just hold down the lungo button, let go to stop the brew, and next time the machine will remember the length.

We were provided with three flavours to taste and test:

  • Ristretto: powerful and contrasting, intensity 10
  • Vivalto Lungo: complex and balanced, intensity 4
  • Indriya (single origin, from India): powerful and spicy, intensity 10

These capsules can only be purchased from Nespresso online, or at boutique stores, such as Nespresso Boutique Bar located inside The Bay in downtown Vancouver. Purchasing there will save you on shipping, plus allow you to sample new flavours before buying. This can be seen as a downside, but it’s clear the Nespresso is a high-end product. The consistency of the espresso produced along with the excellent build quality of the unit is something worth paying for. The cost works out to $0.50-0.75 per capsule. Is it worth it for the convenience? Definitely.

Will the Nespresso rival an industrial-grade machine? No. This isn’t what the Nespresso is about. It’s the perfect and ideal solution for one-cup espresso lovers to get their fix quickly, with no fuss or clean up. For people with zero time in the morning, a Nespresso is a gift from the heavens. You’ll get your caffeine jolt in less than one minute. Having one of these machines at the office will make you a very popular person. Just make sure you lock that puppy down or else it might ‘disappear’.

Check out the following video we created, demonstrating how the Nespresso works:

The Nespresso Pixie is currently available from Amazon for $269.00, but there’s currently a $75 rebate, that lasts until January 22, 2012.


Contest: Win a Nespresso Pixie from Eating in Vancouver!

Nespresso has kindly donated a brand new Nespresso Pixie unit (MSRP $269.00) for us to give away to our readers. Yes, that’s right. Win one here in time for Christmas–you don’t want to miss this!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Follow @eatinginvan and ‘like’ our Facebook page.

2. Send out the following tweet on twitter:

I just entered to win a @Nespresso Pixie from @EatinginVan! Follow & RT to enter! 

3. Confirm your actions in the comments below.

Good luck!

Contest ends December 24th, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST. Winner must be able to pick up prize in Vancouver.
Nespresso Boutique Bar on Urbanspoon

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About Taya & Gary

This husband and wife team search for the best dining experiences - including restaurant launches, new menu tastings and culinary events. Learn more about the couple here and connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.

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