Today, your phone can do almost anything. Smartphones make life easier, but don’t you wish your phone could make you a cup of coffee? Now you can with the Nespresso Prodigio.
The Prodigio comes equipped with smartphone connectivity so you can start brewing your coffee before you get out of bed or schedule a brew for the next morning.
Things to consider before buying a Nespresso Prodigio
The Nespresso Prodigio is a single-serve coffee maker. Still, if you’re like me and worry about waste, you’ll feel better about the fact that the Prodigio uses recyclable pods instead of ones that go straight to the garbage.
This espresso maker comes with Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to choose from three different sizes of espresso: ristretto, espresso, and lungo. If you’re new to drinking espresso, these three sizes refer to how concentrated your shot of espresso will be.
A ristretto is the most concentrated and uses the least water. The espresso size is the middle ground and is what you usually get if you order an espresso at a coffee shop. The lungo uses more water than the espresso, making it the least concentrated and the most bitter.
You can play around with your settings to figure out which size you like the best, but if you decide to go with this model, you won’t be getting a full 8-ounce cup of coffee. After all, the Nespresso Prodigio is an espresso machine, not a traditional coffee maker.
Espresso machines use a lot more pressure to brew coffee than drip coffee makers do. They also are a lot faster than drip coffee makers; you can brew a shot of espresso in about 30 seconds, so you won’t have to wait around for it to brew, but the Bluetooth option is still lovely.
Nespresso markets the Prodigio is the brand’s first machine with smartphone connectivity, which is designed to make coffee-making easier and more intelligent.
Since Nespresso dropped the Prodigio, there have been many more companies that have released machines that pair with your smartphone as well, much work with Alexa and Google devices.
While the Nespresso Prodigio doesn’t rank in most of the top “smart” coffee maker lists, it still makes a perfect espresso shot for a pod-based system. But you can expect this when you purchase any Nespresso machine.
Things We Like:
- The three different size options
- Smartphone connectivity
- The descaling alert on the app is a nice touch
- Cleaning the machine is very easy
- The pod system makes measuring coffee much easier
Room for Improvement:
- Single-serve machines that use pods instead of freshly ground beans are never quite as good
- The app only works if you’re in range for Bluetooth so you can’t make coffee if you’re not close to the machine
- The app is not as user-friendly and useful as it could be
- The original Prodigio doesn’t come with a milk frother
Features & Benefits
Pod Based System
The Nespresso Prodigio is a single-serve espresso maker and comes with 16 pods when you purchase the machine. The pods are recyclable, so they’re a little better for the environment, but it’s still more waste than if you were to grind your own beans.
However, if you do want to recycle the pods you use, you can add a recycling bag to your coffee order, and you can drop off your used pods at a recycling center near you. You can find this information on Nespresso’s website.
You can also drop off your used pods at a UPS location, and Nespresso will recycle them. This should make you feel a little better about purchasing a pod-based system. Most of the reservations from buyers stem from the waste they create, but Nespresso has attempted to work out a solution to this.
Some argue that the single-serve pods don’t taste as good as grinding fresh beans, which may be true if you’re a coffee enthusiast. The primary benefit of the single-serve system is that you don’t have to go through the process of grinding and measuring out the beans while still getting a great espresso shot.
If you’re looking for something super easy to use, the Nespresso Prodigio is probably a good choice for you. You can just pop in a pod, put your cup on the tray, and make your coffee from your phone the next morning.
Once you create an account, you can also order pods directly from the app, which is another nice feature. It also notifies you when your pod supply is running low so you can order more before you run out.
Another nice feature that Nespresso offers for pod-based machines is the ability to create an automatic order of coffee or pods, so you don’t have to place a new order every time you notice that you’re running low.
An app that makes your coffee for you can be intriguing, but today I think it’s important to keep in mind that technology doesn’t always make everything easier. We talked about this in the previous section, but the app for this machine isn’t perfect.
The app connects to the Prodigio via Bluetooth, meaning you have to be in the range of the machine to get it to work, or it won’t pair. If your bedroom is right next to the kitchen, this might not be a problem, but if you’re living in a bigger house, it’s definitely something to consider.
However, there are some cool features on the app, including the descaling alert. You’ll also get a low water alert, which isn’t really necessary because the tank is see-through, but can still be helpful if you’re not paying attention.
It’s also helpful that you can choose the size of your espresso shot on your phone. The app asks you to select from ristretto, espresso, or lungo, all of which can be made from the same pods that you load into the machine.
However, because espresso doesn’t take nearly as long to brew as regular coffee does, the app doesn’t really save you that much time. In total, after you add the pod, your espresso will probably take around 30 seconds to brew.
I can see where this smartphone pairing feature might be beneficial if you’re making an entire pot of coffee, but here, it’s not necessary. It’s just something nice to have if you don’t feel like doing it yourself and want to feel like you’re living in the future.
If you’re not particularly technologically savvy, the idea of struggling to pair your coffee maker with your phone might not appeal to you. But if you’re all about the technology, the possibility of making your coffee with your phone can be exciting.
If you do need help, Nespresso shows you how to pair your Prodigio with your phone in this video.
The Nespresso Prodigio has a very sleek, minimalist design. The water tank is tucked behind the machine, which makes the machine itself even smaller, which allows you to tuck it away on the kitchen counter if you’re not a fan of clutter.
On top of the machine, you’ll only find three buttons, one for each of the espresso sizes. I think this adds to the minimalist look and makes it even easier to operate. Nothing’s more intimidating than an espresso machine with ten buttons.
Here, you’ll just find a switch to put the pod in and the buttons to choose a size (ristretto, espresso, or lungo). This way, if you decide not to use the app to brew your coffee, the machine itself is still super easy to operate.
One drawback to the design of the Nespresso Prodigio is that the design can feel a little bit cheap, even though the durability of the machine doesn’t indicate that.
Don’t get me wrong, Nespresso makes very durable machines, so you’re unlikely to have any problems, but the front of the machine is entirely plastic, and not as sleek as it would be if the face were metal.
Another environmentally friendly feature of the Nespresso Prodigio is the energy-saving mode. After nine minutes of the machine not being in use, it will enter an energy-saving mode, just in case you forget to turn it off.
The water tank on the Prodigio can also swivel from back to side, depending on how much room you have on your counter. Personally, I like everything to be tucked away and to have a little on my counters as possible, but having the tank on the side is helpful if you want to keep an eye on how much water you have left.
On the whole, the Nespresso Prodigio has some really nice features, and it does succeed in its job, which is to make coffee. Nespresso is a well-known and reputable brand, so if you decide to go with the Prodigio, you’re not going to be disappointed.
However, the original Nespresso Prodigio doesn’t come with the ability to steam milk, so if that’s a feature that you want in your coffee-making experience, this machine may not be the right choice for you.
Nespresso does make a Prodigio&milk model, which is very similar to the Prodigio, just with the added milk frother. With this model, you can still make espresso, but it also gives you the added option of making a cappuccino or macchiato as well.
Alternatives & Conclusion
Overall, Nespresso Prodigio is a really nice product. It makes a great shot of espresso, which is, of course, what you want your coffee machine to do. It’s not perfect, but if you’re willing to play around with it, you won’t be disappointed in the end result.
For exclusive espresso drinkers, this machine is a great choice. One drawback for those looking for more versatility is that the Prodigio only makes espresso and not regular coffee as well. Not necessarily a negative, just something to keep in mind when you’re shopping around.
If you want a machine that can do both the Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee Machine may be a good choice. But you can compare Nespresso and Illy here if you’d like.
If you do want to stick with Nespresso, but the Prodigio doesn’t do it for you, Nespresso also makes a variety of different coffee machines that might work better for you, both smart and manual.
Although the smartphone pairing seems like a cool feature at face value, it doesn’t really add much to the machine itself. Like I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t really save you that much time in the long run, and it’s not as user friendly as it could be.
If you already have an Alexa device in your house, you might find that it’s in your best interest to get a machine that pairs with Alexa instead of having to pair the machine separately to your phone. Of course, there are also options for Google if you’re a Google household.
Since the Prodigio was released, there have been a lot more coffee machines and espresso makers that are even more technologically savvy than the Nespresso Prodigio. If you want your coffee machine to be “smart,” there are a ton of options these days.
Whether you decide to go with the Nespresso Prodigio or not, you’ll definitely be able to find the right choice from either this review or other reviews that we’ve done.
The Bottom Line
Prodigio isn’t going to be perfect for everyone. Still, there’s something to be said for name recognition, so if you do decide to purchase a Nespresso Prodigio, you can at least be confident because you know you’re going to get a machine that makes a great coffee no matter how you do it.
If you want to live in the future and save yourself a little bit of time in the morning, the Nespresso Prodigio is an excellent option for fast brewing that’s guaranteed to come out the way you want it to.