It seems like yesterday that I got the okay to purchase an espresso machine for our small school coffee shop. Shortly after making the purchase, I started working with a roaster for our beans, who asked me what brand espresso machine I bought. I happily replied, “a Nuova Simonelli Musica.” His response, “That’s awesome. You did your research!” Read on this complete Nuova Simonelli Musica Espresso Machine review to find out what to look out for before buying!
Things to Consider before Buying a Nuova Simonelli Musica
For me, a big reason for buying the Nuova Simonelli Musica was the fact that it can be used for commercial purposes without going overboard. It can easily produce about sixty shots of quality coffee per day, which works well when we take it to the concession stand on a cold day.
Yes, that’s right, we lug that machine from our school cafe to the concession stand. While it weighs forty-five pounds and is a bit hefty, it is not hard to take from one location to the next.
Obviously, we chose to buy the one with the water tank in the rear of the machine. You can also purchase one that filters water through a line in your kitchen or coffee area. I love that this company gives the buyer options!
One concern I noted with the machine that might affect a person’s decision to purchase was that the hot water outlet is a bit odd. It spits out water, spraying everywhere, instead of producing a steady stream. This is important for cleaning equipment or making other hot beverages, such as hot chocolate.
Having owned the machine for about three years now, we don’t have too many other issues, but others have found that they have issues with a lack of crema and not hot enough water, among other things. For a full review of problems and possible solutions, check out this more in-depth article.
Nuova Simonelli Musica Espresso Machine Review
You can buy the stainless steel machine with black lining or a backlight option for a few hundred dollars more. Loving the color pop, my students chose this option. The five different displays on the machine also are backlit and can be adjusted.
A pre-infusion option on the machine is a super nice feature. In addition, the steam wand is considered one of the best in the industry. It took me about a month and a half to get my milk quality good enough to produce latte art. Given my lack of experience, I was impressed by this.
Our machine came with a single and double portafilter, a no-hole basket for cleaning the machine, the drip tray, and a tamper. For a few extra dollars, you can also receive a pod attachment.
Features and Benefits
Fast Warm-Up Time
I am the morning crew – the first to get there. I clock in and turn the machine on. Within about fifteen minutes, the machine is ready to go. By espresso machine standards, this is one of the faster startup times. Naturally, everyone is grateful for it.
Programmable Volumetric Single and Double Shot
Recently we did a deep clean of our machine and started having to use the single shot button to make a double shot. Realizing how frustrating this is for anyone who didn’t know, I was able to reprogram the machine quickly.
Do a long hold of the center button until the lights blink. Then push the single or double shot programmable button and let it run the cycle for as long as you need it to. Push the button again, then the middle button and the machine is programmed for future use.
The volumetric dosing capabilities of this machine can then brew the perfect espresso every time.
While I did purchase a new tamper later, the standard-sized portafilter basket has a great feel. I like my kitchen items to have some weight without feeling overly bulky, and Nuova Simonelli did not let us down here.
In addition, it has a grip area closer to the basket. This is helpful on days where you need that extra stability because you are moving a mile a minute.
This is beneficial because it keeps the coffee cup warm when you pour your delicious espresso shot, keeping that beautiful crema longer.
I recently learned that you should keep your cups right side up when placing them on the top of the machine. The bottom of the cup needs the heat to keep the crema nice, and you or your customer might burn their mouth if the lip is heated.
The Smaller Machine Size
As I have already stated, this makes transporting much easier. It also helps with limited space if you have a smaller operation or want this for your home. The machine’s dimensions are 12.75 inches wide, 16 inches deep, and 16.75 inches high.
This machine will fit under one set of cabinets at my house, but not another.
Ability to be Transported, if Desired
I have repeated this one enough that you understand it can be toted from time to time. It’s the reason that I purchased this machine.
Amazing Heat Exchange
Another main reason I chose this machine is that I can brew a shot of espresso and steam my milk simultaneously because of the machine’s double boiler.
The benefit of this is that the flavor doesn’t get lost because of the espresso cooling down or the milk having to sit and lose that great mouth feel. The whole cup comes out perfectly, thanks to perfect timing.
Insulated Two Liter Copper Heat Exchange
The 2-liter copper heat exchange boiler is the reason you can steam and pour a quality espresso shot at the same time. The copper heating element increases the machine’s energy efficiency while doubling as an antimicrobial. The added insulation as well as the large boiler size help the machine run smoothly as well.
Steam Wand Perfection
I purge the steam wand, grab the rubber handle, and move it up and to the right. You might like it to the left. Either way, this wand’s ease of movement is a convenient feature.
In addition, the steam wand’s four holes make steaming easier. In the years of owning this machine, a simple wipe after every clean, and we’ve never had a hole clogged.
Push Pull Steam Leveler
The push-pull design freaks my kids out more than anything else on the machine. Going “full bore” on it takes some time. Once you get the hang of it, though, pushing it all the way up and sliding it back down is no big deal.
The machine gives you a beautiful thumb area to lift the lever up that feels smooth. Likewise, taking your finger and pulling it down makes it so you never question if you have closed the steam off like I would imagine the turn dial ones do.
Great Communication from the Machine
There are two lights on the front of this high-end machine. The one to your left looks like the boilers inside the machine and, when lit, tells you the machine is warming up. This is helpful when first turning it on and in between shots.
The second light is the water light. For pour-over machines, this will let us know we need to add water before we can do anything, from steaming to brewing.
The Pre-Infusion System
This is one of my favorite features I never knew I needed. We actually went a year before we started using it.
The low-pressure pre-infusion stage helps settle the coffee grounds before extraction and prevents channeling of the full force water that will soon hit the grounds.
To set the pre-infusion, you will hold the middle button until it blinks, push the button again while also pushing the double shot button down, then push the water spray button all the way on your left. Once it lights up, you can push the power button and you are good to go.
This machine has done my program well, producing consistent quality brews. From four cups a day to twenty cups in a few hours, I never question if the Nuova Simonelli espresso machine will do its job.
Naturally, portability is the main feature of our program. The other feature that sets this machine apart for us is the pre-programmed functions. For an inexperienced 15-year-old beginner barista, this makes the machine easier to deal with.
I understand that this machine is not for everyone. If you are only serving one or two people per day with this costly machine, you might do better to look at the much more affordable Breville Barista Express.
It also has the double boiler feature and an attached burr grinder. This is the machine I plan to purchase for my home use within the next six months.
Nuova Simonelli Musica Espresso Machine Review: Top Benefits
Check out our complete Nuova Simonelli Musica espresso machine review to find out its features and benefits, and see if it’s worth buying!
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