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I’ve spent the last couple of weeks testing the new Nespresso CitiZ single serve espresso machine and Aeroccino Plus milk frother. With respect to physical dimensions, the CitiZ manages to occupy only 5 inches of horizontal space on your kitchen counter. Although, it is worth noting that the machine is around 14 inches deep – you may need to store it at an angle to prevent it from jutting out into your workspace. At nearly 11 inches tall, it easily fits underneath my kitchen cabinets.The Nespresso CitiZ and Aeroccino were easy to use; I was making lattes and cappuccinos for my friends in no time.
High quality espresso, one that is flavorful and has a thick layer of crema requires the proper amount of pressure during the brewing process. The CitiZ has a pump capable of producing 19 bars of pressure. The results speak for themselves, every shot of espresso I made had a layer of golden crema; and the flavor profiles are spot-on. Honestly, I never expected a single serve espresso machine to deliver results that rivals cafe quality beverages. The Nespresso CitiZ uses capsules to produce perfect espresso; I found the beverages to be a bold with no bitter aftertaste. The lighter capsules are designed to give you a drip coffee experience and the darker capsules are well suited for lattes and cappuccinos.
From a design perspective, the CitiZ offers an extremely easy user experience, with virtually no learning curve. The one quart water reservoir detaches easily from the back of the machine, giving you access for refilling and maintenance. Once you’ve got the water reservoir filled, hit the power switch; the two brew buttons on the top of the machine (1.5 oz and 3.0 oz shots) will start to blink. Once they remain steadily lit, the machine is ready to use. Just lift the lever, drop an espresso capsule into the machine, close the lever, and push a brew button. After the machine is finished extracting the espresso lift of the level and it will eject the spent capsule into a holding area.
The Nespresso CitiZ comes with the Aeroccino Plus milk frother and I had a good experience with using it. I filled the Aeroccino cup with cold milk, to the max line, and set it on the base. One push of a button and the milk began to swirl around and heat up.
After about three minutes, the Aeroccino shuts off. If you’re looking for your milk to be really hot you might have to run the Aeroccino twice. I found that one Aeroccino cycle does not froth the milk hot enough for my liking yet after running it again, I was still pleasantly surprised with the consistency of the froth. It was smooth and creamy with just the right amount of foam.
I’m an espresso snob and have always used machines that allow me to measure, tamp, and pull my own shots. After all, I was a barista and coffee shop owner for quite a few years, and a part of me considered using capsule-based espresso systems to be cheating. The Nespresso CitiZ has changed my mind. You can tell that a lot of research went into creating a machine that’s calibrated to deliver the perfect shot, time and time again.
There will always be purists, like me who insist on sourcing their own beans as well as, grinding, measuring, and tamping each shot, but when you’re pressed for time, or find yourself making many shots of espresso for a crowd, you’ll be grateful for the simple push-button functionalities of this machine.
If you're interested in purchasing the Single Serve Nespresso CitiZ with Aeroccino Plus machine, you’ll need to purchase the capsules from Nespresso directly. But Nespresso has a large variety of capsules to choose from which will allow accommodate different tastes and preferences.