Nespresso has been making espresso easily and simply for more than 15 years with their signature aluminum capsules that feature a wide variety of blends for espresso and larger espresso’s called lungo.
Ease of Use/Performance: 4/5
How much I enjoy 5/5
Nespresso is a brand of Nestle that manufactures both the Nespresso machines and the line of capsules for those machines with three specific types and limited editions. Nespresso machines are single serve espresso machine that uses a drop in aluminum capsule that is filled with a specific amount of ground espresso coffee for quick and easy use.
The Nespresso U is a fully automatic machine that has an automated system internally that moves the capsule into place and then after the shot is pulled it dispenses the capsule into a holding tray for later disposal. The Nespresso U comes with a small footprint and a unique tank design that swivels to the right, left or rear of the machine to make it adjustable for a variety of spaces.
The Nespresso U has a quick heating thermoblock element for preheating and uses 19 bars of pressure for perfect espresso every time. The Nespresso U comes as a set with the Aerocinno+ frother or with the machine alone for about $172 for the machine and $250 for the set with the frother.
The Nespresso U takes less than minute to warm up and from cold to hot fresh espresso ready to enjoy less than two minutes for a small, medium or long shot. The Nespresso U makes a small shot at about .85 ounces or a medium shot at about 1.35 ounces and a long shot or Lungo at about 3.72 ounces.
The capsules come in three main categories with a smaller Pure Origin line, their main espresso range and a Lungo range with a limited edition introduced twice a year. The espresso range of capsules has from mild to strong intensity with a few decaf offerings but the main espresso capsules are a great variety.
The Nespresso U has the best variety of coffees available currently and does make an excellent cup of espresso whether you like a bold intense shot or mild and flavorful. The Nespresso U works simply by dropping the capsule in the top slot and closing the slider door, you can set the cup size using the top buttons.
The three top buttons are soft touch and indicators to show which one the machine is set to and can be pressed at any time during the preheating or first part of dispensing to change the cup size. The three sizes make a good range for small or ristretto, a normal espresso shot and a long shot or Lungo which is a current favorite of mine.
The sizes make the best variety for shots and espresso based drinks for use with a frothed or steamed milk while the Lungo or long shot makes a great coffee. The longer shot for Lungo adds a variety and taste that is unique and a welcome change to straight espresso shots and one I was unaware of until reviewing the Nespresso U.
Nespresso has a great variety of espresso in their capsule system but you do have to buy capsules from Nespresso directly or from their stores with a few exceptions. Nespresso capsules cost about 74 cents per capsule when ordered directly through the Nespresso Club while Amazon and other stores are a bit more expensive.
I did find a few brands of capsules from other companies, usually from Italy, that are even more expensive but I did not try any of them because of the cost. The Nespresso Club does have a minimum order of fifty capsules which I did order from and it cost $37 to ship to my house in Minnesota that arrived in two days.
Nespresso ships quickly using their distribution centers across North America so even not having capsules available in local stores except for select ones in certain states you still can get your espresso capsules quickly. Espresso from the Nespresso U is fantastic and a really easy way to get a great cup of espresso whether you like the bold intense of a dark roast or the mild flavors others offer.
The Nespresso U is now my favorite machine and a fantastic way to get espresso for my daily coffee fix that I have been enjoying a lot. The Nespresso U is automatic with just having to drop the capsules in the machine and close the door while the machine does all the work internally to pull your shot and drop the capsule into the tray.
The tray holds about twelve capsules and does have a three part system that has the lower drip tray, the used capsule holder and the external rounded drip tray. The machine does drip internally so they did need an internal drip tray for the water that does leak out around the capsule during or after the shot is extracted.
This has been the only downside I could find to the machine and using it but even then I have not been disappointed with it in the least. If you are unsure of which capsule flavors you enjoy the most you can buy the Welcome sampler pack from Nespresso which comes with 200 capsules and costs about $123.
Using the sample pack that came with the machine you can start to figure out which is a favorite but you can also buy a Discovery box with a variety in a nice wooden box. The Nespresso Club is the most efficient and inexpensive way to buy capsules and one that I will be using for my purchases.
The Nespresso U makes a fantastic cup of espresso with great crema and a robust flavorful cup with the great variety of capsules. I have really enjoyed Lungo espresso recently with the flavor of espresso but more of a coffee experience for something that has been new to me.
The Nespresso U really is a great machine and well worth purchasing for an easy way to make espresso without having to know anything about espresso other than how to enjoy it. As an example of the Nespresso system and ease of use many Michelin star restaurants are now using them to serve great espresso to guests without having to pay a barista.
I highly recommend the Nespresso U for an easy way to brew espresso at home or the office without the fuss and mess of a conventional espresso machine.