Review: Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker
Finding the right espresso maker for first-time owners can be tricky. Looking for an espresso machine can be overwhelming with all the different features, options, and designs that are out there. You want a machine that’s simple to use and relatively affordable but still can make a delicious, rich cup of espresso.
In our review of Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, we will break down all the important features, so you can make an informed decision and be brewing your own cup of espresso in no time. (You’ll even learn what the 19 bar high-pressure pump does!)
The Pixie works on-par with professional-grade machines.
The price matches other similar models for its brand and quality.
Our rating, based on our sound and impartial assessment.
So how does the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker perform and does it live up to its reputation? Here is our opinion of this popular product.
In this section, we are going to break down the Nespresso Pixie feature by feature. This part of the review will help give you a detailed understanding of what sets the Pixie apart from similar models.
Bars of Pressure
Cafe espresso literally means “pressed-out coffee.” Espresso is made through pressurizing hot water through finely ground coffee. This pressurizing process differentiates espresso from coffee and gives it its signature smooth, rich taste.
The Nespresso Pixie exerts 19 bars of pressure, which is more pressure than many expensive, barista-quality espresso machines have. As per the Italian Espresso National Institute, espresso must be made with at least 8-10 bars of pressure. Simply speaking, the more pressure, the smoother and richer your cup of espresso will be.
Another benefit of the high-pressure system is the dense crema that will form at the top of each cup of espresso. Crema is the light brown, flavorful froth that forms on the top of an espresso. Crema gives espresso its signature look and rich taste.
Design and Features
The Nespresso Pixie is stunning for its sleek and elegant design. The Pixie is only 11cm wide and weighs in at 6.6 pounds, making it perfect for smaller kitchen countertops and desks. The Pixie comes in two finishes - aluminum and titan. Its hidden pod dispenser tray can hold up to 10 used capsules. The folding drip tray accommodates many different sizes of coffee mugs and thermoses. The removable water tank can hold 0.7L of water and does not feature a filter. Compared to other espresso machines, the Pixie is relatively quiet.
The Pixie features two one-touch, backlit buttons, Espresso and Lungo, for size variety. Red back lights on the Pixie flash when it is running low on water. The machine also automatically shuts off after 9 minutes of inactivity, saving energy. Not only is it sleek and modern, but the Pixie was also designed with convenience and quality in mind.
The Nespresso Pixie only takes 25 seconds to heat up, making it very competitive with other countertop espresso models. During busy mornings, you wouldn’t have to wait long for your espresso with the Pixie.
You can only use Nespresso pods with this machine, which limits what types of coffee you could use with the machine. However, there are many benefits to the Nespresso capsule system. First, you do not have to deal with any mess from grinds. There are about 30 different capsules to choose from, and the machine comes with a variety of 16.
Nespresso is also committed to environmental sustainability. The pods are made out of recyclable aluminum. After using the pods, you can send them back to Nespresso using one of Nespresso’s recycling bags or drop them off at a drop-off location, and the company will recycle them for you. Not only will your coffee taste good, but it will also be good for the planet.
The Nespresso Pixie is ergonomically designed and can fit virtually anywhere. The aluminum and titan finishes give it a futuristic and sleek look. Even though it is small, every feature was thoughtfully designed, from the hidden pod disposal to the removable water tank. While many espresso machines are clunky, outdated, and take up a lot of space on your counter, the Pixie stands out as modern and beautiful.
Ease of Use
Just put in a capsule and press a button and you’ll have a freshly brewed cup of espresso. Can’t get much simpler than that! Heating up in only 25 seconds, the Nespresso Pixie is perfect for busy mornings when you don’t have time to grind your beans or make a coffee from scratch. Clean up is also relatively simple. Once the pod dispenser tray is full, simply remove it and dispose of the empty pods in one of Nespresso’s recycling bags.
Like most espresso machines, the Pixie has to be descaled from time to time. If you are new to espresso machines, descaling is the process of cleaning your espresso machine. Here is a video explaining how to descale your Pixie.
Quality, Performance and Value
With its 19 bars of pressure, the Pixie delivers professional grade espresso every time. Your espresso will have a dense crema on the top and taste as if it were straight from an Italian cafe. The Nespresso Pixie itself is designed with quality parts manufactured in Switzerland, which will ensure that your machine will be around for years to come.
An espresso machine can be a hefty investment. Most quality machines can cost upwards of $500. While the Pixie may be more expensive than your average coffee machine, as far as quality espresso machines go, it is quite affordable.
The pods cost about 70 cents a pod or less depending on the flavor and quantity purchased. Some may see this as worth it for the pods’ ease of use, variety, quality taste, and environmental friendliness.
How Does It Compare?
If you’re not completely sold on the Pixie yet, here are some similar machines for comparison.
Like the Pixie, the Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine also has a sleek, ergonomic design. While the Pixie has more of a modern design, the Delonghi has more of a classic espresso machine look and comes in three different colors (black, silver and red) with a handle for putting in coffee grounds.
Like the Pixie, the Delonghi has two size options, one and two shots. The Delonghi also has a frother attached to it so you could easily brew a cappuccino. It also has 15 bars of pressure, which is impressive but slightly less than the Pixie. One noticeable difference between the Delonghi and the Pixie is that you can use your own coffee grounds or pods in the Delonghi, whereas the Pixie requires Nespresso pods.
Espresso purists who prefer to use their own coffee grounds instead of pods may prefer the Delonghi over the Pixie. Even if you are new to espresso, this machine is still relatively easy to use, although perhaps, it is not as intuitive as the Pixie.
The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is around the same price range as the Pixie. It has a less attractive, bulkier exterior, but is a three-in-one espresso, cappuccino, and latte maker, with an attached milk automatic frother.
The Mr. Coffee can make a cafe-grade cappuccino in under a minute. The Pixie does not have an attached frother in order to keep its compact design, but Nespresso does have a separate milk frother for purchase. Like the Delonghi, the Mr. Coffee uses ground espresso beans over pods and has 15 bars of pressure - slightly less than the Pixie.
For people who want an all-in-one experience and prefer a variety of coffee drinks, you may want to consider the Mr. Coffee.
The Nespresso Pixie is great for espresso connoisseurs and beginners alike. Experts will like the quality espresso and variety of flavors. Beginners will like its ease of use and sleek, compact design. Hopefully, this has made your decision a little easier. Good luck and happy brewing!