Is this the best pod coffee machine ever? Nespresso Citiz review

Tired of the morning time investment involved with brewing quality espresso? The Nespresso Citiz offers users a pod system similar to Keurig brewers – but for espresso!

While the novelty of this machine is obvious right away, there’s more to espresso than just a quick drink. Coffee lovers also want a quality beverage that will get their day started off right. How does the Nespresso Citiz hold up to our in-depth review? Let’s take a look at the facts.

The Nespresso Citiz is perfect for anyone who wants a fast, convenient cup of espresso with a small counter footprint

Master Reviewer

The Good

  • Convenient metal pod system eliminates any guesswork with measuring and tamping
  • Large water reservoir means less filling and more brewing
  • 30-second warm-up time and fast brew time – under two minutes for an espresso or lungo
  • Automatic shut-off after five minutes of inactivity
  • One of the smallest and quietest machines of its kind
  • Easy to clean – full clean-up takes less than five minutes
  • Free pod recycling program to minimize waste

The Bad

  • The drip tray is shallow, so you might spill if you let it fill all the way. We recommend emptying it after every drink
  • The proprietary pods are expensive and only come in about 15 varieties. We expect this to improve over time, as third-party cups become available

In-Depth Nespresso Citiz Coffee Machine Review

For those who love the taste of espresso but don’t want to deal with the hassle of measuring and tamping, Nespresso is the leader. There are some who argue that the work involved with pulling a perfect shot is what makes fine espresso, but we disagree. The Nespresso Citiz takes convenient coffee pods, similar to those used by Keurig. If you want a convenient way to get your morning espresso fix, and don’t want to splurge for a super-automatic espresso machine, this espresso maker is right up your alley.

We’ve touched on the similarities to a Keurig, but truly, there is much more weight in the differences. Whereas Keurig brewers use plastic for their pods, Nespresso uses thin metal. This helps keep the cups from bursting when the pressure is applied. The Citiz gives a full 19 bars of pressure – 4 bars more than most home espresso makers. This means that you’re actually getting a fine shot of espresso, and not simply a strong coffee, as Keurigs and other similar machines might offer.

Setting up your machine in the morning couldn’t be easier: Simply turn the unit on, wait about 30 seconds for the water to heat up, and pop in a pod. Nespresso offers two different types of pods: Espresso pods and Lungo pods. (Lungo refers to a “stretched” cup; that is, an espresso drink with more water added.) The water reservoir is quite large, so you’ll be able to pull shot after shot without having to stop and refill.

Nespresso Citiz Coffee Machine Review Continued

The total brew time is quite fast, which is one of the perks of espresso. Your first cup will be ready in about two minutes from the time you power the machine on (slightly longer if you’ll be making a lungo). Subsequent cups will be even quicker, once the machine is warmed up. Once the machine has sat idle for about 5 minutes, it will shut itself down to conserve energy. We think this is a great feature, since it heats up so quickly it’s really not necessary for the water to stay hot.

In addition to the speed, we were impressed by the noise level of this particular machine – or, rather, the lack of noise. Of course, all espresso machines are going to be a bit noisy, but among the coffee makers we’ve tried, the Nespresso Citiz is one of the quietest. There is no milk frother included on this unit, which isn’t necessarily a downside – for those who like a nice black cup of espresso, that’s just one less part to maintain. Those who prefer milk in their drinks will need to purchase a separate frother.

Clean-up is a snap with the Citiz, too. There’s even a pod collection bin that’s said to hold up to ten empty cups. (We found the effective capacity to be between 6 and 7 pods – surely they counted neatly stacked pods to get the product specifications.) Once the bin is full, you simply empty it and give it a quick rinse. Because of the pod design, there is very little to clean on the machine itself, particularly if you’re using distilled water – simply empty the water reservoir if it will be sitting for longer than a day or two, and use a descaler when needed.

Key Facts

  • Pod Espresso Machine
  • $$ ($ = cheap, $$$$$ = expensive)
  • Single Serving
  • Pod Coffee Machine

One thing we particularly liked about Nespresso is that they offer free pod recycling. Your pods will come with a prepaid envelope – simply place your used cups inside this envelope and drop it at the post office. This helps to eliminate the moral dilemmas of using a pod system, as the company has already taken measures to offset the waste produced. Keurig has yet to implement this service – we’re waiting!

We wish the drip tray were a bit deeper, as it will fill quickly and may spill while you’re carrying it to the sink. We found that keeping our machine near the sink and emptying it more frequently fixed this problem for us, but those who cannot keep their unit near a sink may be disappointed. For the price, we couldn’t bring ourselves to complain about this too much.

When it comes to your coffees, what matters most is the taste of the resulting beverage – and for a machine built on convenience, the Citiz did a pretty good job. It’s not the best espresso we’ve ever had, and currently there are only a few different varieties of pods available. You will receive a sample of pods with your machine, but replacement pods will be a bit pricy – more so than Keurig pods. You will need to use Nespresso pods, as the machine doesn’t have as much third-party support yet. Not all stores will carry these pods, but you can purchase through the company website. This is currently the least expensive way to order your replacement pods, and shipping takes only a couple days in most cases.

Nespresso Citiz Coffee Machine Overall

Once you weigh the price and convenience against the inconvenience of purchasing the pods, it’s overall a great single-serve machine that’s definitely built for beginners. We recommend buying pods in bulk to avoid running out, and to possibly get a discount. If convenience and speed is your primary consideration, you can’t go wrong with the Nespresso Citiz. If you care more about variety and customization, there are better machines out there, but they will cost a great deal more.