Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee Machine Review for 2021

By: | Updated: May 14, 2021

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Nespresso has always been innovative to meet various customer needs, and Essenza Mini is its solution for coffee lovers with limited kitchen space. This brewer is the smallest single-serve machine by Nespresso so far.

De’Longhi and Breville both present this coffee maker with the same functions but different appearances to fully satisfy your taste.

Its compact design, simple function, and coffee quality are the most significant features that amaze most users. 

Whether you purchase the machine alone or with the milk frother, you’ll receive a gift set including Nespresso capsules with different flavors to try.

This review considers the benefits and drawbacks of Essenza Mini, so you’ll know if it’s the right choice for you.

Pros

  • Compact design.
  • Easy to use.
  • High-pressure pump.
  • Energy-saving mode.
  • Affordable.
  • Fast heat-up.
  • Rich flavor.

Cons

  • Five-inch cup clearance.
  • Not very versatile.
  • Small water tank.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Coffee Maker 

Preparing a perfect cup of coffee with expensive and complicated machines might be a bit challenging. You won’t have this problem with the Essenza Mini. The device gives you the best espresso along with the most straightforward function.

But consider your goals before buying a brewer. Do you need a simple machine with simple functionality or a smart one with many options? 

If you’re not very skilled in making coffee, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of Essenza Mini.  However, if you like more control over your coffee temperature, volume, or texture, Nespresso Creatista Plus is a great choice, though more expensive. 

Although the Essenza Mini produces excellent coffee, it has only two cup sizes. If you’re looking for more coffee options, the Gran Lattissima offers nine beverage selections: ristretto, espresso, and lungo, plus hot milk and hot foam. Its milk-based recipes include latte macchiato, cafe latte, cappuccino, and flat white.

When buying a coffee machine, answer a few questions to make a better decision: 

  • Do you prefer espresso machines over coffee pots?
  • Do you mind having a small water tank? 
  • Does the machine’s size matter to you?
  • Is affordability a priority for you?
  • Do you mind spending on coffee pods?
  • Are you an expert at making coffee?
  • Do you prefer simple functions over complicated ones?
  • Are milk-based coffees your often choice?
  • Do you need complete control over your coffee? 

Why You Should Consider Nespresso Essenza Mini

Design

With its compact design 3.3-inch width and 8.03-inch height Essenza Mini is one of the most miniature single-serve espresso machines on the market. It’s suitable for small kitchens and fits every countertop, so don’t worry if you have limited space. 

The depth is about 12 inches, including the removable water tank at the back of the machine. 

It comes in two distinctive designs and various colors, including piano black, intense grey, pure white, lime green, and ruby red.

The curvy shape and rounded edges give Essenza Mini a sleek design. The material used in this machine is plastic.

The machine weighs only five pounds, which makes it effortlessly portable. 

Cup Sizes

The Essenza Mini offers only two cup sizes: one for espresso and another for lungo. It’s enough for espresso lovers, although it seems limiting at first.

Besides, you can customize your coffee volume based on your taste. Just press and hold the button and release it when you have enough.

Despite its small dimensions, the machine lets you use both small and giant mugs. When you use a small cup, you can put it on the drip tray, and if you need a more oversized mug, you can place it directly on the counter and remove the drip tray. However, when you do that, the coffee may splash around. 

The five-inch coffee clearance under the coffee outlet is a bit tight for taller glasses. But again, this isn’t a big issue if you really need a compact machine.

Water Reservoir

The Essenza Mini comes with a 20-oz removable reservoir, which means you need to refill it more often.

A larger water tank will bring more convenience, but the Essenza Mini tries to save your valuable countertop space, which is worth it. Plus, if you don’t drink coffee very often or don’t want to serve many guests, this capacity will suffice. 

The cylinder-shaped water tank has a transparent body that indicates how much water is inside and when it needs a refill. It also has a line that shows the max level you can fill with water. 

Taste

Thanks to the Nespresso brewing system, you’ll have a barista-style espresso with crema. The 19 bar pressure pump punctures the capsule, and water flows through coffee evenly to produce the best in-cup results. 

Don’t judge the device by its small size because it’s as powerful as other Nespresso machines and gives you the same rich, flavorful espresso.

Ease of Use

With a super simple function, the Essenza Mini is ideal for first-time espresso machine owners. 

It brews with capsules, making it more manageable and less messy than using coffee grinds. Plus, its automatic preparation guarantees you always receive the same in-cup result. 

There are only two buttons, espresso, and lungo. So, you just need to insert the capsule, push the button, and enjoy your coffee. 

The recipes are pre-programmed. So, you don’t have to deal with complicated settings or be a professional barista to know the right amount of coffee.

This simplicity benefits most users; however, some might call it a drawback because the Essenza Mini isn’t very versatile, and you can’t set the coffee parameters to your liking. 

Using the Aeroccino

If you’re a fan of milk-based recipes, you can get the Essenza Mini with Aeroccino to widen your drink choices. The Aeroccino 3 creates a perfect hot or cold milk froth for your cappuccino, latte, and other drinks.

Working with the frother is pretty simple: just fill it with milk up to its max level line and press the button to have your hot milk froth in an instant.

To get cold foam, hold the button for two seconds. It’ll turn blue, meaning the heating component isn’t active, and it gives you some cold froth milk for iced coffee. 

The Aeroccino is virtually silent when it froths up your milk. You can see the milk steaming, but there’s almost nothing to hear. It’s much easier than using a milk jug and a hot steam wand, plus you don’t burn yourself.  

Ease of Cleaning

You can’t place the device in the dishwasher, but the two-step cleaning process is relatively easy due to the removable parts.

Remove and empty the drip tray, drip base, capsule container, and water tank every day. Clean them all with a mild detergent and rinse with warm or hot water.

Dry the parts with a clean towel and reassemble them. Like all brewers, clean the coffee outlet and inside the machine with a damp cloth regularly. 

Descaling Process

You need to descale your machine at least once a year for good maintenance and the best coffee quality. The recommended time would be every three months or every 300 used capsules.

The whole procedure is pretty straightforward and takes about 15 minutes to complete. You can use a Nespresso Descaling Solution, which is compatible with all Nespresso machines. Here’s a tutorial video on the descaling process:

The Essenza Mini doesn’t feature a descaling alarm to indicate the exact time you need to run the process. It doesn’t examine your water hardness or use frequency either. Lacking the alarm might be a drawback for this model. 

Energy Saving Mode

The Essenza Mini features an energy-saving mode, which means it automatically turns off after nine minutes of not being active. If you forget to turn it off, you don’t waste energy or cause danger.

Here’s how you can customize this feature:

  • When the machine is off, press and hold the espresso button for five seconds to change this setting, then the espresso button starts blinking.
  • Press the espresso button once for auto-off mode after 30 minutes and twice for nine minutes.
  • Press the lungo button for five seconds to exit the energy-saving mode. 

Price  

Compared to other single-serve espresso machines, Essenza Mini is one of the most affordable ones on the market. 

With its high coffee quality, it’s the best machine you can get for about 150 dollars. Even if you buy an Aeroccino3 along with your device, it’ll cost you less than 200 dollars in total. 

Other Features

Used Capsule Container

The Essenza Mini features a small capsule container, which is fair enough given its compact design. You need to empty it frequently, but it holds up to six capsules, so you don’t have to remove each one after use. 

Heat Up

The fast heat-up time will prepare your coffee without a long wait, a great feature when you’re in a rush for work. Essenza Mini takes about 30 seconds to heat up before getting ready for brewing, so you’ll have your espresso in less than a minute.

Durability  

The machine is made of plastic, which is less durable than other materials like aluminum or steel bodies. But it’s much lighter, which makes the device more portable.

Plus, Nespresso offers a two-year warranty to support you after purchase. During this period, they’ll repair or replace the defective product for free.

Environment Friendliness

Nespresso has a recycling program for its capsules, so you don’t have to throw your coffee pods away. You can enjoy your coffee and feel good about yourself because you’re not polluting the environment.  

Alternatives

Nespresso VertuoPlus

Nespresso VertuoPlus gives you a broader range of coffee sizes, including 5 oz, 8oz, 14 oz, and espressos single and double. Compared to Essenza Mini, your options are more. You can have various drinks, from dark and intense to mild and smooth.

VertuoPlus makes rich, high-quality coffee with a creamy texture, and if you’re a fan of milk-based drinks, you can use an Aeroccino with your brewer. The water tank comes in two sizes, standard 40 oz and Deluxe 60 oz, which is an excellent choice if you’re looking for more capacity.

Nespresso Pixie 

The Pixie is pretty much similar to Essenza Mini, with slight differences in size and capacity. It features the 19-bar pressure pump and supports two cup sizes: espresso and lungo. The compact design is suitable for small kitchens, but it’s a bit larger than Essenza Mini. 

The 24-oz water reservoir has more capacity, so you can make more cups with one refill. If you need a machine with similar features as Essenza Mini but a larger water tank, you can take a look at Pixie.

It also comes with a larger used capsule container which holds up to 11 capsules.

Things to Know About Essenza Mini

What’s the Difference Between Essenza Mini and Essenza Plus?

Essenza Plus features two more cup sizes, Americano and Americano XL, plus a hot water button for your tea. It’s more intelligent because of Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity and includes a one-touch ordering system. The descaling alarm will notify you when you need to run the process based on the water hardness and frequency of use.

What’s the Difference Between Breville and De’Longhi?

There’s no difference between Breville and De’Longhi when it comes to functions. The two machines are the same inside. And both of them are licensing technology from Nespresso, which means they produce the same in-cup result. 

However, you’ll see minor differences in color and shape, which may matter to you. Decide based on your kitchen decoration and your taste. Plus, the Essenza Mini designed by De’Longhi is an inch wider because of its shape.  

What Pods Are Compatible With Essenza Mini?

The Essenza Mini is compatible with Nespresso pods only. You might be able to use some Nespresso-shaped/sized capsules as well, but you probably won’t get the same in-cup results. 

Can I Reuse Nespresso Pods?

Nespresso recommends not reusing the pods, but some coffee lovers use the pod twice to save money. The second cup won’t be as strong or rich in taste as the first one, but if you wish to reuse your pod, put it back into the machine and have it make you another cup.

Final Words on the Essenza Mini Review

If this is your first experience with an espresso machine, the Essenza Mini is an ideal starter. It has neither a complicated setting nor a time-taking process.

Two cup sizes are available, espresso and lungo, with outstanding quality, rich flavor, and a pleasant aroma. You can also purchase an Aeroccino along with your Essenza Mini to enjoy milk-based coffees such as cappuccino and latte with foamy milk froth.

The machine has one of the most compact designs for those with limited countertop space. It comes in two designs and a variety of colors to compliment your kitchen decoration.

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