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Nespresso Inissia Review

Top Pick Award
Price:   $150 List | $112.14 at Amazon
Pros:  Convenient, easy to use, good espresso, low upfront cost
Cons:  Uses expensive capsules, does not include milk frother
Bottom line:  The easiest way to pull espresso shots at home
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Nespresso

Our Verdict

You'd be hard pressed to find a simpler espresso machine than the Nespresso Inissia. With only two buttons, one for a normal shot and one for a long shot, anybody can pull a nice shot of espresso on the first go with this capsule based machine. This simplicity earned the Inissia out Top Pick for Espresso Shot Convenience Award. If your morning would be improved by a quick and easy straight espresso shot, look no further. The Inissia beat out its main competitor, the Nespresso Evoluo, for this award because the Evoluo is more geared towards coffee and thus has fewer flavors of compatible espresso capsules available. You can make milk espresso drinks with this machine, but you'll have to buy a separate milk frother.

Fan of Industrial Chic?
The Nespresso Pixie is very similar to the Inissia, but has a metal body that would probably blend in a bit better in many modern kitchens.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Espresso Machines of 2017


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




The Inissia picked up a score of 6 out of 10 in our taste testing. This put it about average as scores in this metric ranged from 3 to 9. Shots pulled from this machine generally pleased our testers. However, they were noticeably less bold than shots pulled from the super automatic machines that used beans instead of capsules, and were much less rich than the shots pulled from the top scoring Breville. When we combined the Inissia's shots with milk frothed in a separate milk frother we ended up with some nice cappuccinos, but again they tasted a bit weaker than cappuccinos made with other machines.



Ease of Use


We found the Nespresso Inissia incredibly easy to use. It earned an 8 out of 10 in this metric, which had score ranging from 4 to 9.

Quick Setup


The Inissia's initial setup was quick and simple. We had it up and pulling shots within 15 minutes. The included instructions weren't the greatest, just a bunch of pictures and no words, somewhat reminiscent of a lego instruction booklet. However, the Inissia is so straightforward that this didn't matter.

Simple Interface


The Inissia's interface really couldn't get any simpler or easier to use. Just one port to put the espresso capsules in, one button to pull a normal shot, and one other button to pull a long shot. We're pretty sure you could easily train a monkey make espresso with the inissia. The only downside of this simple interface is that it is very limiting if you want to change any advanced settings. For example, if you don't like the long shot setting and want to make it a little longer it involves sitting down with the manual while you type out cryptic codes on the two buttons. This is what kept the inissia from earning the top score in the ease of use metric.

The Inissia's interface couldn't be simpler.
The Inissia's interface couldn't be simpler.

Fast Espresso and Quick Cappuccino


The Inissia can warm up and pull a shot in just about two minutes, and requires no effort apart from turning it on, inserting a capsule and pressing a button. Making a cappuccino in our timed cappuccino test took a little over three minutes, mostly because we had to use a separate milk frother that required some cleanup. The water tank is fairly small at 24oz, so it does require refilling more than other machines. However, like everything else with the Inissia, this is a quick and easy task.

The Inissia pulls a very fast shot  but making a cappuccino requires a separate milk frother.
The Inissia pulls a very fast shot, but making a cappuccino requires a separate milk frother.

Ease of Cleaning


The Inissia scored 8 out of 10 in our ease of cleaning testing, putting it towards the top of a metric that saw scores from 5 to 9.

Short Term Cleaning


If you're just making espresso the Inissia requires next to no daily cleaning. Spent capsule are deposited in a bin to be recycled and you'll have to wash whatever glass you drink your shots from, but thats it. If you add frothed milk into the mix you'll have to clean the milk frother. Most electric milk frothers have a similar design and can be a bit of a hassle to clean, but generally take no more than a minute of scrubbing and rinsing.

The Inissia'a pods almost eliminate short term cleanup.
The Inissia'a pods almost eliminate short term cleanup.


Descaling


The Inissia's descaling process is fairly easy and only took us 15 minutes. The only slightly annoying thing is that the Inissia is somewhat short, so we had difficulty finding a large container that would fit underneath the spout to catch all the spent descaling solution. This left us using a small cup and constantly checking in to make sure it didn't overflow.

Milk Steaming/Frothing


The Inissia earned a measly score of 1 out of 10 in our milk steaming and frothing testing. This is because the machine itself does not have and device for frothing milk. You can get a separate milk frother, like the Epica Automatic Electric Milk Frother or the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus Milk Frother to get you closer to cappuccino nirvana. We used both of these frothers extensively and found that they can make great, high quality microfoam to top a latte off with, but can't quite get the creamy and slightly sweet steamed milk you'd get in a cafe.

We got decent resulting combining the Inissia's espresso with milk from a milk frother.
We got decent resulting combining the Inissia's espresso with milk from a milk frother.

Value


With a list price of just $150 the Inissia is the most inexpensive model we tested. However, since it uses relatively expensive Nespresso capsules it ends up in the middle of the pack in terms of lifetime cost. If you're looking for the most convenient shot, this is a good value. However, you could save some money in the long run with a non-capsule super automatic machine like the Gaggia Brera. Additionally, if you want to make milk espresso drinks you'll have to factor in another $40-$70 for a milk frother.


Conclusion


The Inissia pulls the most convenient shot of all the machines we tested and requires virtually no cleanup. It is also one of the least expensive home espresso machines available, though it does require using relatively expensive Nespesso capsules.


Other Versions


Nespresso Pixie
  • Cost: $230
  • Very similar machine
  • Sports a nicer metal body
  • Adds a low water level indicator
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

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