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Nespresso Essenza Mini Review: Small and powerful

It’s an exciting day at our coffee HQ today, as we get the opportunity to test and review the Nespresso mini essenza. Being one of the most compact Nespresso machines on the market today, we cannot wait to see what this Nespresso Essenza Mini review will bring!

Breville-Nespresso USA BEC220WHT1AUC1 Essenza Mini Espresso Machine, 12.9 x 3.3 x 8 inches, Pure White

Nespresso Essenza Mini Review

Whenever we see the word “mini”, we always get a little sceptical. After all, you cannot compact all that coffee-making technology into a small package can you? Well, it looks like we might be wrong with the Nespresso Essenza Mini.

Overall Performance

Despite the compact size of the Nespresso Essenza mini, it delivers some excellent single serve coffee. With a fast brewing time of maximum 30 seconds, a durable construction, and a starter kit of Nespresso capsules that comes with this Nespresso machine, and you have a good all-round option for your home or the office.

One of the interesting features of the Nespresso essenza mini is that you can choose an espresso or lungo. With the lungo button or setting, you can brew of 5 oz shot. So the choice between espresso or lungo is a shot difference between 1.35 oz and 5 oz.

Some of the larger drinks usually require a bigger shot, and this is exactly what the Lungo button is designed for. So, if you prefer iced coffee, the the Lungo setting will make things a whole lot easier for you.

Of course, as a consumer, you do not have to stick to the settings that come with the Nespresso Essenza mini. In fact, the essenza mini gives you the opportunity to adjust volume settings, which opens a whole work in terms of brewing and the performance of the coffee maker overall.

To adjust the volume to your desired amount, simply keep either the espresso or the lungo button pushed in until you have the amount you want. The creators of the essenza mini could not have made it any simpler than that.

And to make the success song even sweeter, the Essenza mini also comes with an auto shut-off function. Of course, this function is becoming a standard for every espresso machine released in recent memory. Still, since the Essenza mini is a smaller version of the average espresso machine, we are quite happy to see it included.

Brewing Quality

When it comes to Nespresso machines, one of the first things we look at is its ability to make a decent espresso. We had high expectations for the mini Nespresso, and fortunately it did not disappoint.

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A good quality cup of espresso needs at least 9 bars of pressure during the brewing process. With the Nespresso essenza mini, you get overboard quality with 19 bars of pressure. The result is a really good coffee extraction.

And since the Nespresso capsules are known to be some of the best pod coffee options out there, you will find that the Nespresso essenza mini delivers everything it promises when it comes down to brewing quality.

Design

Design can be a bit of a problem for the average compact espresso machine, especially pod coffee options. Fortunately, this single serve espresso machine does not disappoint either where design is concerned.

One of the main things we notice with the average small espresso machine is a cheap design. Less attention is paid to the mini versions by most manufacturers, since they are usually at the lower end of the price spectrum.

The Nespresso Essenza mini decided to raise the bar with the design of their coffee maker, making it modern, streamlined and perfectly suitable for a variety of kitchen and office interiors.

Durability

Given the small size of the espresso machine, durability was one of our main concerns when we started to review the Essenza mini.

We have to admit that it is not the most durable construction, because there is still a substantial amount of plastic in the design. On the other hand, the manufacturers did use some stainless steel in the Essenza mini design, which still adds to the durability of the compact espresso machine.

Maintenance

Much like every coffee machine, the Essenza mini does require some maintenance. That being said, manufacturers attempt to automate this process as much as possible these days. Nevertheless, some effort is involved to clean the Essenza mini, but not more or less than any other espresso machine out there.

One of the main things to do is descale the espresso machine on a regular basis. to descale the Essenza mini, you could use the descaling kit available from Nespresso. It is quite affordable and you could easily purchase it along with your coffee capsules.

Descaling the machine takes little time. Some of the older modules took quite a while to complete the descaling process, but this mini espresso maker only takes fifteen minutes total.

You are not obligated to obtain the descaling kit from Nespresso, even though it is the recommended option by the manufacturer. A gentle liquid descaler and some water in the water tank will do the job just fine. Just do not forget to add a container underneath the nozzle to catch the water as it comes out. Once the descaling mixture is ready, simply push the serving button for five seconds. Keep doing this until the water runs clear.

Once the water runs clear from the descaling process, you will have to rinse the machine with some clean water as well. When you brew your coffee, the last thing you want is remnant of the descaling solution. You want to run at least one round of clean water from the water tank. Twice is even better, as a small amount of descaling solution can remain.

The amount of times you need to descale your machine does depend on the area you live in. Certain area do have hard water and can therefore be quite harsh on the machine in question. If you live in a hard water area, be sure to clean the machine more regularly to avoid problems down the line.

Finally, it is also recommended to wipe off the exterior of your machine after every descaling. For this, you can use a simple damp cloth. For any stains on the machine that seem difficult to remove, you can use a gentle detergent. Please do not use harsh detergents as this could damage the material of the machine or cause discoloration.

Points for improvement

We must admit that we found it hard to find points of improvement for this coffee maker, because it delivered what it promised and then some. Of course, once we tuned down our excitement and started looking at things a bit more critically, we did find a few minor things this mini coffee maker could improve upon.

Drip tray must be removed for Lungo

While the compact design of this coffee appliance is great, it does become a little annoying when you have to remove the drip tray every time you want to make a lungo for an iced coffee. Since the taller mug does not fit, the drip tray has to be removed. And if you are having mainly iced coffee, that can get a little annoying.

Tank cannot be moved

An increasingly large number of manufacturers are making their coffee appliances with a moveable water tank these days. This is quite a convenient function, especially for consumers with little space in their kitchen. If you have a moveable water tank, it means you have more options to adjust how the coffee appliance takes up space on your counter. Now, those who are buying and espresso mini are certainly searching for space, so this would have been a welcome addition.

Only makes espresso

Unlike some of the other espresso appliances out there, this option only makes espresso. How great would it have been if this option could manage other warm beverages too. Nevertheless, it makes such a good cup of espresso, we are not too upset about the lack of versatility.

Could use a bigger capsule container

While we do feel bad about picking on the capsule container of a smaller espresso machine, it is still worth mentioning. Overall, this machine can only take up to six capsules. For heavy coffee drinkers, this translates into regularly emptying the capsule container.

The overall design of the espresso machine is compact enough, but it could have catered to just a little bit more capsule room. Even if it only went up to eight, it could rival some of the more elaborate machines in the Nespresso collection. Of course, we are really picking at details at this point.

Verdict: should you buy a Nespresso Essenza mini?

If you love your espresso and if space is at a premium in your kitchen or your office, then this espresso is certainly for you. It has an attractive price, comes with enough performance to provide quality espresso and it does not take up a lot of space.

Of course, there are also some consumers where the Nespresso essenza mini will not be enough. Consumers that may find the Nespresso Essenza Mini lacking are those who like other beverages such as latte or cappuccino.

Since this espresso machine does not come with a milk frother or other versatile features that cater to other beverages, this espresso machine only provides limited benefit for these consumers.

Please note that the mini is made by DeLonghi and the other by Breville. As the design can vary, you may want to check out two options if you are considering purchasing this espresso appliance.

Last update on 2020-09-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

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