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Never heard of this “Nespresso” company before I went into a high-end kitchenware store the day I came home with the thing. They had several models of espresso machines, in varying levels of cost and complexity, set up to brew samples.
The Nespresso CitiZ automatic espresso maker uses those little capsule things that a lot of the one-cup coffee makers use, and I’ve never been too impressed with them. So when I tried the shot from the Nespresso, I was thinking, “Right. Espresso from a capsule. Whatever.” I tasted it.
Astute readers will note where I said that I bought one.
Why? Here’s some reasons why I bought the Nespresso CitiZ espresso machine:
Aside from its unusual spelling, the Nespresso CitiZ espresso maker is a stylish unit with a small footprint. This was a big factor for me, as I don’t have a lot of counter top space. Even with the Aeroccino attachment, I still have enough room for my blender, toaster and rice cooker. They figured out a way to include in this little bit of real estate a drip tray and a little container for the spent capsules. Filling the removable water tank is easy as well, since I can just pop it out and fill it from the tap. Very efficient use of space.
Now, about that Aeroccino device: the Nespresso CitiZ’s ergonomic design makes it easy to use a wide variety of cup and glass sizes under the coffee spout, as the support that holds the cups is adjustable. My routine usually goes like this: I whip up some hot foamy milk in a cup, then put that under the spout and bam! Good bye to the place with the green aprons. It’s also very easy to clean the Aeroccino, with no sticky, slimy milk residue left over.
For a lot of people (including myself), the whole pod/capsule thing can be a turn-off at first. How easy is it to get the capsules? How much do they cost? Well, here’s the deal: I order replacement capsules directly from the Nesspresso.com website. Ridiculously fast turnaround. What’s more, it turned out to be less expensive than I thought – making a cup with the Nespresso CitiZ automatic espresso maker works out to around 55 cents per cup.
The capsules are made out of aluminum, which is recyclable. If you sign up for the Nespresso club, you should really participate in the recycling program. There. Now, to get off the soapbox and get back to the Nespresso CitiZ.
So, it’s small. Check. Easy to clean. Check. Uses recyclable capsules. Check. Froths up milk nice and pretty. Check. What does the coffee taste like? Well, the 19 bar pump produces excellent crema on each shot: rich, bittersweet, smooth. Shots come out clean and bright. There are a variety of capsules you can get from Nespresso.com, so I spent some time experimenting to find a flavor that I really liked.
So far, it’s a toss-up between the Cosi, with its crisp lemony notes, and the Arpeggio’s cocoa and wood flavors. Each time I make a shot with my Nespresso CitiZ, I get a concentrated ounce or two of the most aromatic espresso I could ask for. I find myself having to stop myself from drinking too much of it, but it’s such a soothing sensation. A moment to pause and reflect, then I’m off again. I know I’ll be back.