Compact and lightweight
Easy to use
Small container for used capsules
Espresso lacks complex flavors
We purchased the Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
An afternoon espresso is sometimes necessary to carry on through the workday, but going out to a coffee shop isn’t always cost-effective, which is why having an espresso machine at home can come in handy. One brand that's well-known for providing coffee shop quality espresso at home is Nespresso. The Essenza Mini Espresso Machine is one of its smallest devices, and I was able to test it out to evaluate its design, setup, ease of use, and espresso. Keep reading to see what I found.
Design: Minimalist design, ideal for small spaces
The Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine offers a no-frills design that's entirely one solid color. I have the piano black version, but it's available in several other colors to fit one’s space. The removable water tank is located at the back of the machine, and the front houses the drip tray. The front is also where the coffee is dispensed. There's a lever on the top of the machine that opens and shuts for placing the Nespresso capsules inside. There are two buttons behind the lever, which turn the machine on and allow the user to choose their cup size. I rather liked the overall simplistic design and found that it fit in well with my minimalist home vibe.
Besides winning in aesthetics, this espresso machine is Nespresso’s most compact machine to date, measuring only 4.3 x 8 x 12.8 inches, which is incredibly small for an espresso machine. That said, it can fit in the smallest of spaces due to its modest width. I found that this was one of its best features, as most espresso machines I’ve used in the past are quite bulky.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine is also very lightweight at just 5 pounds. It’s incredibly easy to move throughout the kitchen or around the house if you need to transfer it to a home office.
Setup Process: Super quick and easy
The setup process for the Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine was painless compared to most other espresso machines I’ve tested. To properly set it up for first-time use, I cleaned all of the removable parts with warm, soapy water. Next, I filled the removable water tank to the maximum capacity of 20.3 ounces and reattached it to the machine. I plugged the machine in and turned it on to allow it to heat up. The buttons on top will transition from flashing to stable when it’s ready to be used.
Next, I pressed the button with the larger cup symbol and let the machine run with only water. I repeated this two more times to clean out the machine's inner components. After this process, it was ready to be used as normal. The entire process took about 10 minutes.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine is a small, but powerful espresso machine.
To use this machine, it’s just as easy as the setup. Lift the top lever, insert the Nespresso capsule, and select the appropriate cup size. Immediately, the coffee will dispense into the cup, which should already be sitting on the drip tray. The machine will transition to low energy consumption after three minutes and automatically shut off after nine minutes if you forget to power down.
When the lever on top is lifted for the next use, the used Nespresso capsule will be dumped into the used capsule container located inside of the machine. The container can hold up to five used capsules before needing to be removed and recycled.
Performance: Heats up fast and makes strong, full-flavored espresso
One of the things I loved most about the Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine was how quick it heated up when I turned it on to make an espresso. In a matter of just 25 seconds, this machine was ready to go. This is incredibly quick compared to the average espresso machine, which takes about five minutes or longer to heat up before it’s ready to go.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine makes full-flavored espresso and provides a beautiful crema on top of each cup every time. In terms of customization, this espresso machine is limited because it's such a basic machine. There are two cup size options to choose from: espresso and lungo. The espresso coincides with the small cup button, which provides 1.35 ounces. The lungo coincides with the larger cup button, which offers a cup of 5 ounces.
Considering its compact size, ease of use, and consistent performance, the Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine is very affordable.
I tried a number of espressos and lungos in order to understand the full range of this machine’s capabilities. What I will say about this espresso machine is that it's consistent, which is a wonderful quality in an espresso machine. However, as someone who manually makes espresso at home almost every day, I can’t say it’s comparable to that. The Nespresso capsules don’t offer the complex flavors one would get when making espresso with freshly roasted beans. Even in trying a variety of capsules, I found that they all tasted very similar—strong and dark.
Ease of Cleaning: Quick and easy
This espresso machine requires minimal cleanup. After every few uses, wash the removable parts with hot water and a mild detergent. Dry them with a clean towel and place them back into the machine. To remove the used capsules from the capsule container, pull it out from the front of the machine and dump them into a separate container for recycling. After longer-term use, a descale will be required. The user manual details the descaling process.
Considering its compact size, ease of use, and consistent performance, the Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine is very affordable. Retailing for around $149, this espresso machine is uncommon in offering quality espresso at such a low price. This machine also comes with a one-year limited warranty, which only adds to its value.
Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine vs. Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker
The Inissia Espresso Maker (view at Amazon) is another small espresso machine from Nespresso. It differs slightly, however, in that it's designed for portability. While the Essenza is easy enough to carry around due to its small size, the Inissia actually has a fold-down handle that makes it even easier to move from place to place. Another difference between the two machines is that the Inissia can hold up to 11 used capsules, whereas the Essenza can only hold up to five.
Ultimately, it comes down to what you’re looking for in an espresso machine. If you need something more portable, the Inissia may be the way to go.
The Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine is a small, but powerful espresso machine. While it's certainly not top of the line, it stands out as an excellent option for anyone who desires good espresso at home with limited space.
- Product Name Essenza Mini Espresso Machine Review
- Product Brand Nespresso
- Weight 5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 4.3 x 12.8 x 8 in.
- Color Intense Grey, Piano Black, White C30, and Metal
- Water Tank Capacity 20.3 ounces
- Power (Watts) 1,255
- Voltage 110V
- Warranty 1 year, limited
- What's Included Drip tray, drip grid, used capsule container, removable water tank, water tank lid, and starter set of Nespresso capsules