With Nestle’s experience in the coffee industry, their encapsulation of the essence of a single espresso cup is best represented by one machine in the Nespresso line: the Nespresso Essenza. This Nespresso Essenza review will test if the essence is indeed preserved in an electronic appliance.
While the Essenza is no longer available in the official Nespresso website due to its age, the discounted price of a brand-new Essenza unit is $105, according to July 2014 prices at Amazon. The normal MSRP of the unit is $149.99. Prices for used units, meanwhile, can range from $65 to $70. In this review, the price point is perfect for those who want to start out on a Nespresso unit without paying too much for the machine alone. This way, users can splurge on the capsules or pods, which will be discussed below.
Cost of Refilling Pods
The Nespresso system uses uniform proprietary capsules or pods that are made of aluminum. As a result, those pods are compatible with all Nespresso models, including the Essenza. Each pod or capsule costs 65 to 70 cents, which is luxurious enough, but are well worth their cost. Just as in the case of original inks for inkjet printers, Nespresso encourages its users to utilize only original Nespresso capsules or pods with their machines. Actual lawsuits have been filed against companies that are manufacturing and selling clone capsules and pods that can also be used for Nespresso’s machines.
Nespresso banks both its machines and its capsules or pods on quality and speed expected from Nestle, and it shows. The taste is pure and is of consistent quality in every cup. The consistent and pure taste is only applicable if the user has perfect timing. Because the Essenza is a manual espresso brewer, even with the employing of a pushbutton operation, the user must train not to spill the cup or have the espresso come out tasting bland. For those who do not want guessing games, they can look to newer Nespresso models instead.
There are some other drawbacks to the resultant cups. Some complain that the espresso can come out cold. The only viable solution to this quirk is to preheat the cup with hot water, which will add an extra step to an already simple process of espresso making.
In the maintenance aspect of this review, the machine has a notable basic advantage. The advantage that this machine has is that cleaning is very easy. There are only three parts to deal with, and they all can be easily washed in less than five to ten minutes.
However, due to the manual brewing nature of the Essenza, de-scaling it is quite a pain in the rear.
The sounds the Essenza can make can be quite loud, but not to annoying levels. This can be forgiven, as the machine was first released in 2006 and thus predates the Citiz and the Pixie, which are also Nespresso models. They are no cause for maintenance concerns.
The overall design, which resembles the main building of a Renaissance-era church, is pleasing to look at year after year. The buttons are situated at the front face of the Essenza, but they are positioned close to the spout. One must therefore be careful not to accidentally have the skin scalded during the brewing process. Like newer Nespresso models, the unit’s portability is a boon to frequent travelers.
Our review of the Nespresso Essenza identified one glaring flaw in the design. The Essenza is lacking when it comes to pouring the espresso into a tall glass. Unlike newer Nespresso models, the Essenza does not have an adjustable flip-up tray to accommodate taller glasses. Removing the drip tray does not help, either. In fact, the maximum allowable height limit for a glass or cup to fit in the Essenza is 3.25 inches. Therefore, anyone who plans to make special cappuccino drinks will have to make do with multiple shot glasses and then pouring each of their contents into a tall glass. This translates into more glasses to wash and more precious good shot glasses wasted, since there will always be traces of the espresso lingering in the cup even after pouring.