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Nespresso Evoluo Review

Price:   $200 List | $154.49 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to use, quick and convenient, good espresso, makes coffee as well
Cons:  Uses expensive capsules, only a limited number of espresso flavors available
Bottom line:  Great if you don’t mind paying for convenience and want the ability to make coffee too
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Nespresso

Our Verdict

The Nespresso Evoluo can make both espresso and coffee using Nespresso's capsules. Switching between the two is seamless as the Evoluo reads a barcode on each capsule and automatically changes its setting based on what is being brewed. This makes brewing coffee and espresso incredibly easy and hassle free, though making lattes and cappuccinos requires buying a separate milk frother. This is a great machine for those that normally drink coffee but want to add some espresso into the mix. If you like the convenience of a capsule system and espresso is your preferred caffeine indulgence you may want to consider the Nespresso Inissia, which specializes in espresso. Currently Nespresso offers dozens of different flavors of espresso capsules for the Inissia, but only four that are compatible with the Evoluo.


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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

Last Updated:
Thursday
January 19, 2017

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Performance Comparison



Taste




We found that nespresso capsules produced very consistent tasting espresso, regardless of the machine they were brewed with. The Evoluo shared the score of 6 out of 10 in our tastes testing with the other two models we tested that use Nespresso pods. This score can be translated as good but not great. Our testers felt that shots pulled from the Evoluo had a nice, smooth taste. However, they also found that opting for a super automatic machine that uses fresh coffee beans, like the Gaggia Brera or Anima Prestige, brings a bit more boldness to the espresso. To get anything better tasting you'll have to abandon the convenience of super automatic machines.



Ease of Use


The Evoluo shared the top score of 9 out of 10 in our ease of use testing, putting it far above the low score of 4.

Fastest Setup


The Evoluo is practically ready to go out of the box. We had it pulling shots within minutes of cutting the packing tape.

Foolproof Interface


Sine the barcode reader within the Evoluo does all the thinking for you, it can get away with an incredibly simple, one button interface. Just press that button to start the 15 second preheating process, insert, turn the lever to lock it in place, and press the button again. The barcode scanner determines what kind of coffee or espresso you're making and adjusts all of the settings accordingly. The interface really could not be simpler or easier to use.

The Evoluo features single button functionality.
The Evoluo features single button functionality.

Quick Coffee and Expeditious Espresso


The Evoluo Can serve up a cup of coffee or espresso in under a minute and a half. If you want to make a cappuccino with a separate milk frother it takes just under three minutes, mostly due to the time required to clean the milk frother. This was one of the fastest times in our cappuccino time trials.

The Evoluos capsules have a barcode that the machine reads and then adjust settings accordingly.
The Evoluos capsules have a barcode that the machine reads and then adjust settings accordingly.

Ease of Cleaning


The Evoluo scored a 7 out of 10 in our ease of cleaning testing, putting it towards the top of a metric that saw scores ranging from 5 to 8.

Short Term Cleaning


As it uses Nespresso capsules the Evoluo has virtually no short term cleaning requirements. Just periodically empty the bin where the spent capsules collect and recycle them. If you use a seperate milk frother to make cappuccinos and lattes you'll have to clean those after each use. In our testing this took about a minute of rinsing and scrubbing.

Its easy to dispose of the Evoluos spent capsules  but you might get a few cosmic brownie points if you take the extra effort to recycle them.
Its easy to dispose of the Evoluos spent capsules, but you might get a few cosmic brownie points if you take the extra effort to recycle them.

Descaling


The Evoluo lost some points in this metric due to its descaling process. The instructions from completing this process are very clear and the process itself is simple. However, it took us a full 30 minutes and required our full attention for the majority of that duration.

Milk Steaming/Frothing


The Evoluo scored a 1 out of 10 in our milk steaming and frothing testing because the machine itself does not have the ability to froth milk. If you want to make some cappuccinos with this machine we would suggest the Epica Automatic Electric Milk Frother or the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother.

It requires buying a milk frother to make cappuccinos with the Evoluo.
It requires buying a milk frother to make cappuccinos with the Evoluo.

Value


At a $200 list price the Evoluo is one of the more inexpensive models we tested, though the expensive Nespresso pods it requires makes it one of the most costly machines we tested in the long run. Additionally, if you don't care about coffee making abilities the Nespresso Inissia is $50 cheaper and can make many more flavors of espresso.


Conclusion


The Nespresso Evoluo can make both coffee and espresso with the ease and lack of cleanup of a capsule machine. However, this convenience comes at a price: the expensive capsules push the Evoluo's lifetime cost towards the top of the charts.
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

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