Buying Guides

Nespresso Pixie vs. Essenza Mini: Which One Is Better?


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Are you looking for a single-serve espresso machine that perfectly fits your lifestyle? The Nespresso Pixie and the Essenza Mini are two great choices, but which one is right for you? Read on to find out more about the differences between these two Nespresso machines so you can make the right choice for yourself!

Nespresso Pixie vs. Essenza Mini

Nespresso: A Brief History

For decades, Nespresso has been a giant in the coffee world, but it started from relatively humble origins. When Eric Favre took a trip to Rome in 1976, he was inspired by a popular coffee shop to create an accessible espresso machine that anyone could operate and enjoy delicious espresso drinks quickly and easily at home. 

Nestle filed the first patent for a Nespresso Machine in 1976, and they launched the first single-serve espresso makers ten years later in Italy, Switzerland, and Japan. Today, they have an extensive line of espresso and coffee machines with a huge variety of features and single-serve coffee capsules.  

Why is Nespresso a Good Choice?

Nespresso machines stand out from the crowd because of their quick and convenient single-serve capsule system. They’re not the only brand that makes capsule machines (think Keurig), but they’re different because some of their machines can brew authentic espresso using real bars of pressure, not just drip brewing.

 Nespresso machines are also almost completely automated, with only a couple of buttons and minimal settings. They’re not ideal for those who want total control over the brewing process. If you’re the type of person who wants to simply hit a button and have a cup of coffee minutes later, you’ll love Nespresso machines. But if you prefer a more manual approach, you may want to pass. 

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What to Consider When Purchasing a Nespresso Machine

There are many reasons to love Nespresso machines, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Nespresso machines are nearly fully automated, with only a few buttons and minimal settings. 

You should also consider the difference between Nespresso’s Original Line machines and the VertuoLine. VertuoLine machines use centrifugal force to create an “espresso-like” delicious coffee with a thick coffee foam similar to crema on top. The Original Line machines use traditional bars of pressure, like a regular espresso machine. 

Who Should Consider Getting a Nespresso Machine?

There are a few reasons you may prefer a Nespresso machine over a traditional espresso machine, including: 

  • You don’t want to take the time to learn how to work an espresso machine. There’s a learning curve that comes with standard espresso machines, and fully automatic espresso machines can be costly. Nespresso machines are an affordable alternative and feature a simple and intuitive brewing process. 
  • You want a fast and easy way to brew coffee in the morning. It can be a hassle to set up and brew a full cup of coffee in the morning, especially if you’re planning on pulling a shot of espresso. Nespresso machines can create a delicious shot of espresso or a full cup of coffee in minutes, all from the touch of a button. 
  • You want a cheaper alternative to a traditional espresso machine. Nespresso offers machines at various price points, but they make several models that are much more affordable than espresso machines with similar features. While you will have to consider additional costs like continually buying coffee capsules, the up-front investment is generally much lower. 

Nespresso Pixie vs Essenza Mini: A Side-By-Side Comparison

Nespresso Pixie

The Nespresso Pixie is the perfect beginner-friendly coffee machine if you’re looking for a small and compact espresso maker that does one thing and does it well. While it’s not overflowing with fancy features, the Pixie can create delicious espresso beverages and rich crema using 19 bars of pressure.

It’s a fantastic option for those who want an excellent cup of espresso every day without the hassle of learning to use a traditional machine. 

Things We Like:

  • Espresso lovers will enjoy the 19 bars of pressure that create a beautifully extracted espresso with a rich crema.
  • The Nespresso Pixie is compatible with third-party coffee capsules and reusable capsules with coffee beans of your choice, so you can save money or brew the coffee you want. 
  • People with small kitchens will enjoy how lightweight and compact this machine is. It’s easy to move around and perfect for offices and small kitchens with limited countertop space. 
  • The elegant design is beautiful and unique, which is great for those who want an aesthetically pleasing coffee maker on their kitchen counter. 
  • The Nespresso pixie has a 1-year warranty, so you know the machine is meant to last. 

Things We Don’t Like:

  • The Pixie has a plastic exterior, which doesn’t necessarily feel premium or sturdy. For the price point, it’s a little bit of a letdown that there are no metal sections on the exterior. 
  • This machine doesn’t come with accessories like steam wands or milk frothers
  • The Pixie cannot brew full-sized cups of coffee, and it’s only meant for espresso and lungo pours.
  • This machine has a 24-ounce water reservoir, which is fine if you’re only serving yourself or one other person, but it’s likely too small if you plan to entertain or keep this machine in an office. 

The Bottom Line

The Pixie is fabulous in many ways: it’s compact, it’s got a fun, unique design, and it can create a great cup of espresso with the touch of a button. It’s low maintenance, self-cleaning, and relatively inexpensive compared to more traditional espresso machines.

But those who want more control over their cup and more features may want to give this machine a pass. It’s also not the best option for those who plan on regularly entertaining and serving multiple people.  

Nespresso Essenza Mini

On Sale

This Nespresso machine is the very definition of “small but mighty.” It’s tiny, with a slick, retro design, but it’s also a reliable and super intuitive way to create delicious espresso in a matter of minutes.

It’s also important to keep in mind that there are two different versions of the Essenza Mini: one is manufactured by DeLonghi and one by Breville. While they’re nearly identical, there are a few differences in size and cosmetic design. 

Things We Like:

  • The Essenza Mini is versatile, and it can double as a hot water heater if you’d prefer to brew some tea or want to make an Americano. 
  • The unique and colorful design feels like a fun statement piece on your countertop. 
  • The water heats up in less than a minute for a quick brew. 
  • The timeless design is well-built and durable, which is a plus considering the price point. 
  • The Essenza Mini is versatile and can brew either espresso or lungo. 

Things We Don’t Like:

  • The Essenza Mini is a little pricey, especially considering its lack of features and compact size. 
  • The water capacity is limiting, especially if you plan on brewing more than one or two cups a day. 
  • Since it’s such a small machine, the used capsule container needs to be emptied frequently. 
  • There’s no auto shutoff feature, which may be a concern if you’re worried about your power bills or the environment.  
  • It’s not compatible with third-party coffee capsules, so you’re limited to Nespresso’s proprietary pods, which can become expensive over time. 

The Bottom Line

The Essenza Mini is designed to be incredibly simple and fast to use, but that also means that there’s a notable lack of features and control over your brewing process. If you want a few more options, you may want to find a machine that features additional espresso sizes or temperature settings. That said, this machine is very versatile for what it is, and it’s a great option if speed and simplicity are your main priorities.

Final Thoughts

If you’re comparing the Nespresso Pixie and the Nespresso Essenza Mini, you’re likely looking for a small and compact machine that’s simple and easy to use. While both of these machines have their advantages, which one is right for you? 

If you want to create the best high-quality espresso beverages you can, as fast as you can, then you may prefer the Nespresso Essenza Mini since it has almost no additional features that could slow down the brewing process. It also has the advantage of doubling as a water heater.

However, if you want to choose your coffee drink, you may want to go with the Nespresso Pixie since it’s compatible with third-party capsules. You can also brew with reusable capsules, which allow you to grind your own coffee fresh. It’s a lot cheaper than visiting your local coffee house every day.

While it’s certainly not a top priority, you might also want to consider the appearance of the machines. The Nespresso Pixie single-serve coffee machine is unique, with many fun color options, while the Essenza Mini will blend into any kitchen design. 

Finally, both of these machines are tiny and really only work well for coffee drinkers making coffee for themselves. If you’re planning to entertain or looking for the perfect office coffee machine, then you may want to consider other options, like Nespresso’s Vertuo or VertuoPlus.

Happy Caffeinating!

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