Today we picked up a piano black Nespresso Citiz espresso machine from Williams Sonoma. The unit (which this particular bundle is unique to Williams Sonoma) cost $349.99. That includes the Citiz, Aeroccino milk frother and a variety pack of the Nespresso pods. First, this machine is extremely elegant in its design. It’s really simple to use and is built quite well. Actually, the unit is built in Switzerland (not China for once) and the quality is evident. It has a really small footprint which will sit nicely on a kitchen counter top or even an office desk. We picked up an $80 table from Bed Bath & Beyond and it fits it perfectly (I’ll link to the table at the end of the article).
The great thing about the Nespresso brand is a) the variety of flavors available b) the inherent freshness by utilizing the sealed pods and c) ordering the pods is easy and a lot cheaper than a Starbucks addiction. We’ve tried 3 different flavors so far and the ranges have been quite dramatic. They base the pods on a strength meter of 1-10. They also have recommendations for what type of drink you want, whether it’s a basic espresso, latte, cappuccino, etc. I prefer the stronger flavors which are in the 8-10 range and to me, make excellent lattes. The Nespresso has a water reservoir in the back and I highly recommend using bottled water or at the minimum, filtered as the water quality will make a difference.
Making a drink is easy, you place a pod into the unit and hit one of two buttons. The button on the left side is for making a single shot and the right button is for a double shot. Regardless of which you choose, it only uses one pod. Another nice feature of the Nespresso is that you can define the amount of water you want in your shot and it will “remember” the amount if you choose. You can train both buttons to suit your liking.
The Aeroccino frother is also really easy to use. It has a base that plugs in and a jug that sits on the base. The base unit is what drives the frother inside the jug. It’s pretty ingenious because it uses magnets to spin the frother which keeps the jug completely sealed from leaking. It comes with two attachments, one for lattes (less foam) and one for cappuccinos (more foam). It will heat the milk up or you can simply froth it cold. If you prefer heated milk, it takes about a minute or so to get to maximum temperature. It does a wonderful job and looks just like what you’d see in a coffee shop. There are two marks inside the jug and believe me, they’re there or a reason. If you fill it beyond each mark it will overflow because it really adds volume when you froth the milk.
The first drink we made with the machine was a latte. Considering how small and easy it is to use, it tasted remarkably similar to what you’d get from Starbucks. I don’t see us going to Starbucks much, if ever, now. The pods cost approximately $.54 a piece so that’s considerably less than a venti latte from Starbucks. You join the Nespresso Club when you purchase your machine and that gives you a code to register your account. This allows you to order pods or accessories for the unit. Nespressos customer service is top notch and if you order your pods on Wednesday, you’ll have them by Friday.
I jokingly told my wife that she could open up a small coffee shop at work with this machine. It’s fast and the smell it produces is FANTASTIC. If you’re a big espresso, latte or cappuccino drinker, I can’t recommend this machine enough. Get one, you won’t be disappointed.
Below are some useful links for the Nespresso: