It’s nice and simple to use – fill the tank, turn it on, lift the lever, drop in a capsule, drop the lever and wait for it to warm up. Then put your cup under the spout and press the button and your espresso is delivered in seconds. Come to think of it, you don’t actually have to wait for it to warm up – press the button as soon as you turn it on and it will produce coffee as soon as it gets the water hot enough. For added convenience, it drops the capsule into an internal bin when you lift the lever to insert the next one. The bin is attached to the drip tray, so there’s just one thing to pull out and clean. Neat.
More importantly, it produces something approaching real espresso – you get a proper crema every time. I’ve tried a good selection of the available blends, and found that they’re all at the very least acceptable, and at best pretty good. Not quite as good as I get using Illy dark roast in my Gaggia at home, but quite acceptably good.
It does work out more expensive per cup than the Dolce Gusto, but the coffee is better, and there’s a wider choice of espresso blends, which is a Good Thing.
Unlike the Dolce Gusto, this is purely a coffee machine, and more precisely, purely an espresso machine. And it pretty much conforms to the general principle that single-function devices designed to do one thing well are generally better than multi-function devices that do several things poorly.
The one potential drawback is that unless you live near one of the very few Nespresso Boutiques in London, Manchester and Birmingham, you can only get supplies by ordering from the Nespresso Club online or by phone. So far, I’ve found the service to be quick and problem-free, so this hasn’t been a problem for me – and I always got my Dolce Gusto supplies online anyway.
So, overall, I’m happy with my new machine. If you want a mess-free way of having a reasonable facsimile of espresso in your home or office, Nespresso is a system you should consider.