Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker Review – How to Overcome that New Mom Zombie Feeling!
You don’t quite believe it until it happens. I’ve always been a lover of sleep, I’m an 8 hours a night kinda girl, and have always claimed that my hangovers are only at their worst when I don’t get my 8 hours. My biggest fear of having a newborn was the knowledge that those 8 hour sessions would become a thing of the past. If you don’t already drink coffee, you might want to start. If you do already drink coffee, here’s my Nespresso Pixie espresso maker review, to give you something to consider – you will be able to drink café quality coffee, in your own home, and for a fraction of the price. It just might be the gadget you come to love the most!
- Large range of coffee flavours and strengths
- Easy to use
- Only takes 25-30 seconds per coffee
- User programmable with 2 coffee settings
- Water and empty capsule capacity are sizeable
- Recyclable capsules
- Stylish and compact unit
- More expensive than instant or ground coffee beans
- Limited stockists of capsules
- No milk frother
- Part of the Nestlé group
I’m a fond fan of proper coffee. My Caffè Nero and Starbucks loyalty cards are well worn, and finding those one-off, independent café that makes great coffee is even better. The price tag, however, makes me feel sick, with the knowledge that the mark-up is huge. In the UK, it’s more than £2 for an espresso or americano, and nearer to £3 for any coffee made with milk. Making your own coffee at home is a much cheaper alternative, but you can’t usually find anything that’s near the quality of a coffee shop taste.
I’m pleased to say that if you’re a fan of strong coffee, you won’t be disappointed by the Nespresso range. If you like you coffee weak/sweet/milky, there’s also a coffee that’s suitable for you. The range is tremendous. There’s currently 24 different flavours, and there’s always limited edition offerings too. Some are more suitable for espressos, some for lungos, some for cappucinos etc, but I’ve never considered myself to be enough of a connoisseur to notice the difference when I use an espresso recommended coffee to make myself a latte. If you’re breastfeeding and limiting your caffeine intake, you’ll be pleased to hear that 4 of the 24 most popular flavours are available in decaffeinated form, so there’s still some choice involved.
When you purchase the Nepresso Pixie coffee machine, you will receive 16 of these flavours (the “Grand Cru” range) so that you can help to narrow down your favourite selections. Nespresso sells the capsules in single flavour packets of 10 , so it’s not too many in a packet to stop you from buying a few different flavours to try out and have in your kitchen stock. In fact, there are a number of capsule holders for sale which hold 40 capsules, which I recommend is a great amount of choice to have on hand once you know your favourites.
Ease of use
The Pixie coffee machine is super easy to use. My little boy has enjoyed being a Nespresso barista since the age of around 12 months old, and I’m being serious!
Basic operation is: make sure you have water in the tank; turn on machine; insert capsule and close lid; place cup under spout; press button; wait 25-30 seconds; drink coffee. So that’s your lovely cup of coffee ready in just 25-30 seconds.
Once you finish your coffee, you can turn off the machine and leave the empty capsule inside. If you forget to turn off the machine, then 9 minutes later it will switch off automatically, so you’re not going to waste a lot of electricity if you forget to turn it off.
The Nespresso Pixie coffee maker is also really easy to empty when it’s full of used capsules. You simply pull out the drawer on the front of the machine, remove the capsules and pop the drawer back in. Each time you empty the capsules, I recommend you also empty the drip tray and perform a quick wash of the drip tray and used capsule holder, again another simple task to do and will ensure your drip tray doesn’t overflow and doesn’t start to smell.
Programmable coffee sizes
The coffee maker comes with 2 pre-programmed coffees sizes, being an espresso and a lungo. However, if you are not a fan of the amount of water dispersed in each setting, you can change it, and it’s really easy to do so. You simply hold down the button for the amount of water that you want, and then for all future uses, that programmed amount will be dispersed. This can be used to change both of the preset buttons, so you have a choice of 2 sizes.
In our household, although we both like longer coffees, we’ve never really felt the need to change the settings. As I said before, my little boy is our chief barista, and he loves to pop the capsules in, close the lid and press the button. With the pre-programmed settings, we find that one big and one small coffee is the perfect amount, and then our boy gets to press the buttons twice for each coffee (hence why he’s such an expert!).
The water tank of the machine is 0.7 litres. This amount of water can last you between 3 and 10 cups of coffee, depending on the amount of water you choose to add to your coffee, for example whether you choose an espresso or lungo size. Both myself and my husband like our coffee long, so it usually only lasts 3-4 uses between filling the water tank. The good thing about this coffee machine is that the water tank is hidden away at the back, and there is a red indicator light on the front hub of the machine for when the water is low, so there’s no guess work involved.
The used capsule container holds 9-11 capsules. It’s convenient as you don’t have to empty it constantly, and as I said before, it’s best to give the drip tray and container a quick wash each time you empty it so it’s nice to know that it’s required every time!
The machine does need a new capsule inputting every time, it doesn’t store them internally. However, this is standard on capsule coffee machines and I wouldn’t class that a negative feature since all machines are the same in this respect.
Since the capsules are made of aluminium, it’s of significant importance to me that they can be recycled. Luckily, Nespresso shops all house a recycling drop-off station in each of their stores, and also when you order online you can request a recycling pick up at the same time.
Nobody can deny that the unit will look funky on your kitchen
worktop. It’s got a modern, industrial feel to it, but also wouldn’t look out of place in a vintage styled kitchen. There are a range of colours to choose from, and you will probably find that certain colours are cheaper than others when you come to compare the prices above. If a particular colour is more appealing to you but is more expensive than other colours, it’s worth keeping an eye on the price for a week or so to see if it drops.
The unit is compact, it’s only 11cm wide, so will fit easily into even the smallest of kitchens, or you could use it as your bedside coffee maker to use before you get out of bed in the morning.
Cost of capsules
I said earlier that having a coffee machine which makes café quality coffee at home can be significantly cheaper than going to Starbucks every day. In fact you can drink 5-6 Nespresso coffees at home for the same cost of 1 café cup of coffee, and that adds up over the weeks.
On the other hand, you have to consider that the Nespresso capsules are also much most costly than drinking either instant coffee or cafetière ground coffee at home. Let’s see how they all compare:
Instant coffee: 3p – 5p (approx $0.04 – $0.07)
Ground coffee eg filter or cafetière: 4p – 6p (approx $0.05 – $0.08)
Nespresso capsule: 29p – 39p (approx $0.40 – $0.50)
Starbucks tall americano: £2.49 (approx $3.30)
*all prices are estimates and based on 1 serving of black coffee
Availability of capsules
Nespresso have tried long and hard to make their brand of home coffee machine seem exclusive. There were famous lawsuits regarding the patenting of the capsules and the warranty of the machine being void if you used anything other than Nespresso capsules. However, these days, you are able to use any Nespresso compatible capsules without voiding your warrantly if you are within the EU. I’ve tried some of the slightly cheaper Nespresso compatible capsules though, and they are just not worth the 5p – 10p saving per capsule in my opinion. The coffee itself is inferior quality, and the machine doesn’t perform as well with the non-Nespresso capsules.
So where can you buy official Nespresso capsules?
You really are limited on this front. Nespresso will only allow sale of the capsules in their own boutique stores (of which there are 11 around the UK), or online from their Nespresso Club website. Luckily we live close to one of the boutique stores, and to be honest, we usually buy online anyway, but I can see this being a downside for some consumers who want to be able to pick up a box of capsules in their supermarket. You will find the aforementioned compatible pods on supermarket shelves though if you are desperate.
No milk frother
As a lover of milky coffee drinks, in particular lattés and macchiatos, it is a bit of an annoyance for me that the Nespresso Pixie coffee maker doesn’t come with any milk frothing features included. Instead, I’ve taken to microwaving a third of a cup of milk for 45 seconds, and using an Aerolatté to make my own hot, frothed milk to add to my Nespresso coffee. It doesn’t take long, but it’s just an added step, and means I then have to immediately wash my Aerolatté to avoid having the hot milk drying onto it before I clean it.
If this sounds like too much of an incovenience for you, I would recommend you take a look at the De’Longhi Nespresso Lattissma Touch Automatic Coffee Machine instead. Friends of mine have this machine, and it really is as simple as making sure that it contains milk as well as water. A cheaper option is the Magimix Nespresso Inissia Coffee Machine with Aeroccino, however I can’t comment on this machine as I’ve never used one.
One further annoyance for some users of the Pixie is that it is actually quite noisy to use. You have to remember that this is a high pressure coffee maker, which is why it makes such great tasting coffee, but all that pressure results in a bit of a rumbling noise. To be honest, the only time it’s caused me a problem is for trying to make a coffee whilst carrying a sleeping baby, too afraid to lie the little boy down in case he awoke. You can probably guess how the rest of this story goes… the noise would sometimes wake him up and cue crying newborn. At least I had my coffee to get me through it though.
I very nearly didn’t write this review. I’m not a fan of the Nestlé Group, of which Nestlé Nespresso is an operating unit, and as such I wasn’t sure how I felt about promoting one of their products.
I won’t go into the reasons behind this, but let’s just say that I don’t view them as one of the most ethical brands in the world, especially with the scandal surrounding their promotion of formula feeding and discouragement of breastfeeding in the not so distant past.
However, I would feel like a total hypocrite by not writing a review, when I actually own the product anyway. If I felt that strongly about it, I wouldn’t have the Pixie in my kitchen would I?
Value for money: 4/5
Price: RRP £139.99
Buy from: Amazon.com (currently £64.99 at time of writing)
You can often find the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker for much less than the RRP, and if you’re a fan of quality coffee, it’s definitely value for money as you will get plenty of use from it. It’s a great gadget which won’t look out of place in any kitchen.
If you have any questions or thoughts on this item, please comment below. If you like the article please share with your friends and come back soon for more!