I’ve spent the last six weeks reviewing various Nespresso machines. If you’re looking for a solid espresso without the hassle, I’d recommend the Nespresso Citiz. It was the most attractive machine we tested. The Citiz also had the largest water reservoir and empty pod bin. If counter space is an issue, you might be interested in our Essenza Mini review.
Why trust me?
I’ve been trying to consolidate space on my kitchen counter. As a result rid of my OXO coffee grinder and maker in favor of a Nespresso Machine. I thought this would be an ideal time to publish a series of Nespresso reviews.
You’re probably wondering why a coffee snob like myself would consider replacing my coffee maker with a Nespresso machine? Well, my desire for more space has trumped my need for coffee. Plus, have a Moka Pot and Chemex for the weekends.
I spent two weeks absorbing every Nespresso review I could find—YouTube, reddit, Nespresso forums. I asked for input from other Product Dork members. Then I went out and purchased what I thought were the four best nespresso machines on the market: the Essenza Mini, Citiz, Evoluo and Verturo Plus Deluxe. I tested those four machines for six weeks.
Also know that these reviews are not paid or sponsored. Product Dork makes money when you make a purchase through links on this site. I spent about $600 of my own money on these machines and coffee. When the tests were complete, I sold the machines on eBay—well, all but the Evoluo, which I decided to keep.
Testing and Analysis
The Vertuo espresso shots (left) have more foam than the original Nespresso shots (right). Neither produce a true crema.
When testing the Citiz, the two main things I measured were temperature and speed. I will note that the results are similar to the Essenza Mini. I believe the heating and brewing mechanisms are likely the same. However, there are some differences in reservoir and pod bin capacity.
After every espresso I brewed I used a Javlin thermometer to measure the temperature of the coffee. The temperature range was consistent and remained within a 5F range. I an a little surprised as Consumer Reports rated the Citiz temperature consistency only as Good (lower than Very Good and Excellent).
- Lowest Recorded Temperature: 157.8F
- Highest Recorded Temperature: 163.5F
There appeared to be no notable drop-off in temperature when immediately brewing a second cup of espresso.
Part of the reason you’re considering a Nespresso machine is speed—and they are fast. I measured from the time the brew button was hit to the time the machine stopped dripping enough to remove the cup.
- Fastest Recorded Time (water pre-heated): 29s
- Slowest Recorded Time (required heating): 1m 15s
Speed was very consistent across all my tests. My guess is the machine is on some sort of timer and the variability comes from how long the excess coffee drips. The only difference is if the machine has pre-heated the water. It takes about 30 seconds to heat the water and another 40 to brew.
The Citiz has a reasonable capacity with a 33oz tank and a 10 capsule bin. That is comparable to the Essenza Plus, but slightly smaller than the Lattissima and Creatista models.
Water tank: 33oz
Capsule bin: 10 capsules
It does seem like a slightly larger bin would be possible. I wonder if the bin is artificially limited in size so it needs to be cleaned more often? The Original Line espresso machines have a drip tray for their pod bins—more thoughts on that below.
What I like about the Nespresso Citiz
Looking at the pictures online, I had no idea how attractive this machine would be. The Citiz is a stunning appliance. I think it the combination of the materials—reflective chrome, glossy metal and the matte hard plastic pieces. It was the most attractive Nespresso machine that we reviewed.
As far as materials—the shell of the machine is metal with a few chrome accents for the lever, drip trays and around the spout. The spout is a glossy hard plastic and the base is matte. Overall the machine feels incredibly solid. I have no concerns about build quality.
The Citiz we reviewed was in white. I’d definitely recommend that color.
Speed and ease of use
To make an espresso all you have to do is drop a pod in, pull the lever and press a button. Wait 60 seconds and you have your espresso! That is as simple as it gets.
You cannot insert the pod in the wrong direction. If you’re looking to get your mom or dad a gift, I think that’s a selling point. People that don’t understand new gadgets are going to get this machine.
Empty pod bin
I’m a big fan of the Citiz’s empty pod bin. It contains room for about 10 pods and is tucked away under the spout so that the empty cartridges are ejected when the lever is lifted to add a new pod.
The smaller original pods contain a little water when they are ejected. That’s why all these machines contain drip trays under the pod bins. It is something else to think about, but the tray is easy to clean.
Perhaps my favorite design feature of the Citiz is the horizontal bar pattern that faces the user. It contains contains little tilted slits—kind of like blinds. From a distance it just looks like black bars, but when you get close to the machine the slits let you see how full the bin is. The whole thing is very clever.
Accommodates various cup sizes
The espresso tray connects to the empty pod bin. It can flip up to allow larger cups to fit under the spout. A 12oz coffee mug easily fits under spout. However, my 20oz Yeti Tumbler only fit when I completely removed the drip tray.
A giant tumbler may not be a realistic case though though. It’s going to take a lot of lungo shots to fill that cup up.
The 33oz water tank is large and easy to detach.
When removing a partially filled water tank I occasionally got a drop or two of water, but the mechanism works well enough. I had no problems removing an empty tank.
The Citiz is pretty easy to refill if the tank is in a spot that is difficult to reach. Unlike the Essenza Mini, you don’t have to remove the tank to refill it. The top easily comes off.
The last thing I would caution are the chrome accents of the machine. They do pick up fingerprints incredibly easy—especially the lever. It’s not a huge deal and they wipe off easily. It’s just something I thought was worth mentioning.
Difficult to move
In an ideal world you won’t have to move your coffee maker around too much. That’s not always the case though. Maybe you have limited outlets and outlets will have to move your Nespresso machine to make coffee.
If that’s the case there’s a combination of things that make the Citiz difficult to move. It weighs about 9 pounds. It has rubber feet, which means you can’t slide it across your counter. I think the thing that makes it most difficult is the rounded top—it’s difficult to get a grip with one hand.
Wish the pod bin was larger
It seems like there would certainly be room for a slightly larger empty pod bin. It holds only a capsule or two more than the much smaller Essenza Mini.
I am curious if the bin is kept at an artificially small size for some other reason? One theory I have is that since the pods retain water and requires its own drip tray, the small bin incentivizes people to empty and clean the drip tray more often. While reviewing the Citiz, I found that there was a decent amount of water in the drip tray every time I’d empty the bin.
Nespresso Citiz comparisons
If you’re sold on a Nespresso machine, but are still trying to decide which machine to purchase, I’d recommend checking out our guide to the Best Nespresso Machine, which highlights all of our research.
If you’re leaning towards the Citiz, but want to know how it compares to the Pixie or Essenza Mini, take a look at how they match up below.
Nespresso Citiz vs Pixie
How does the Nespresso Pixie compare to the Citiz? The Pixie is slightly smaller, but has a build quality similar to the Citiz. You can expect a slightly smaller 24oz water tank and about the same empty pod capacity. As far as brew times and coffee variety—it’s going to be similar to the other Original Line machines like the Citiz and Essenza Mini.
When planning what Nespresso machines to review, the Pixie was a contender. At a previous company we had a Pixie in the office. That was my first experience with Nespresso. It’s a decent machine.
There are a few small things that irk me a bit about the Pixie though. The empty pod bin is made of a clear plastic, so you see the empties. This was probably done because there’s a light that appears in the empty pod bin. It becomes red if the water tank is empty and white if it’s full. The light just ends up illuminating all the empty pods. It seems like an odd decision. The indicator should have been placed on the top of the machine.
Looking around on the Nespresso reddit I did find a few comments saying that the Pixie was significantly louder than the Citiz.
Nespresso Citiz vs Essenza Mini
As part of this series to find the best Nespresso machine we did review the Essenza Mini. The Essenza Mini is the most compact and space-efficient Nespresso machine. It is lighter and easy to move around with one hand. The coffee variety and brew times are similar. However, you get a smaller 20oz water tank and a pod bin that holds 6-7 pods.
Unlike the Citiz, the Essenza Mini is small and easy to move. If we were going to keep our drip coffee maker, this would probably be the machine we’d get. It’s only 3.3 inches wide and can be sloted into small spaces when not in use. The Mini is smaller and lighter. That makes it easy to pick up and move around with one hand.
If you’re curious about the machine, I would encourage you to read our Essenza Mini review. I would probably look at white or another color. Piano Black captured a ton of finger prints as you can see in the picture above.
Who should buy the Nespresso Citiz?
Even though I ended up keeping the Euoluo, the Citiz was my favorite machine. I just needed something a little more versatile. With that said, who would I recommend buy a Citiz?
You’re only interested in quick, easy espresso. Perhaps you already have a drip coffee maker or only drink espresso. If you need something that is an all-in-one, consider the Vertuo line machines. Specifically, I’d recommend looking at our Evoluo review, which I think is the best of all the Vertuo models.
You care about how your appliances look on your counter. The Citiz was easily the most attractive machine we tested. It feels distinguished with its metal outer body and chrome accents. I particularly like the Citiz in white. Based on how the chrome parts faired, I’d expect the all-chrome model to collect a ton of fingerprints though.
You’ve got plenty of counter space and won’t need to move it around. The Citiz is fairly heavy and the rounded shape makes it awkward to pick up. It is probably not an ideal choice, if you need to move it every time you want to make your espresso. I tend to have to move things around because of limited counter space and outlets and would much prefer the Essenza Mini, which I can pick up and move with one hand.
You’re trying to cut down on Starbucks purchases. I have a Starbucks across the street from me. It was a regular habit to run down and grab an Espresso con Panna in the morning. Since buying a Nespresso machine I rarely go. It has probably cut my coffee spending in half.
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