Nespresso Evoluo Review
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|Pros||Easy to use, quick and convenient, decent frothed milk||Great espresso, impressive milk steaming performance, compact design||Good espresso and milk steaming, quite inexpensive||Inexpensive, good milk-heating element, easy to operate||Highly customizable, renders great shots, compact|
|Cons||Uses expensive capsules, limited flavors available||No built-in grinder||Doesn't quite achieve cafe quality results, somewhat slow, no built-in grinder||Poor microfoam, slow to heat up, limited to 14 grams dose||Lots of components, lots of cleaning, requires separate kettle and milk frother|
|Bottom Line||This easy-to-use espresso machine and milk frother package is a great choice if you don't mind paying a little extra in the long run for convenience and so-so espresso||One of the smallest machines we've found that can achieve cafe-quality results||Offers good taste and overall quality at a far below average price||This basic machine may be appealing due to its low cost, but there are better options for producing good espresso if you're looking to save money||This manual machine is for espresso lovers that like to dial in every aspect of their espresso, but it requires additional purchases to make a cappuccino|
|Rating Categories||Nespresso Evoluo||Breville Bambino||Gevi||De'Longhi Stilosa||Flair Classic|
|Espresso Quality (40%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (15%)|
|Milk Quality (15%)|
|Specs||Nespresso Evoluo||Breville Bambino||Gevi||De'Longhi Stilosa||Flair Classic|
|Dimensions||9" x 12.2" x 12.3"||7.7" x 12.6" x 12.2"||13" x 10" x 16"||8.1" x 13.5" x 11.2"||14" x 10" x 4"|
|Milk Frother||Electric Stand Alone||Steam Wand||Steam Wand||Steam Wand||None|
|Measured Water Tank Capacity||54 oz||47 oz||42 oz||34 oz||2 oz|
|Cost per Shot||$0.85||$0.45||$0.45||$0.37||$0.42|
|Lifetime Cost per Shot||$0.93||$0.58||$0.50||$0.42||$0.49|
|Number of Cafe Replacement Shots to Make Up List Price||93||118||51||46||64|
|Number of Cafe Replacement Lattes to Make Up List Price||52||70||30||28||N/A|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Nespresso Evoluo + Aeroccino3 stands apart from the class on account of its expeditious coffee making. Whether you want an espresso, cappuccino, or just a drip brew, this machine will produce consistent, decent-quality coffee without a fuss.
The espresso quality metric looks at two aspects of the shots pulled from the machine. These include the quality of the shot and the customization of the coffee-making process. Specifically, we ask our tasters to evaluate the shot for its flavor balance, the strength of the brew, and the nuance of the flavor profile. As for customization, we want to know if the machine can pull a double shot. Is the pressure adjusted? Does the machine have coffee puck preinfusion? And, can the ratio of coffee to espresso be altered? Unfortunately, the Nespresso Evoluo + Aeroccino3 has none of these adjustments, and the flavor and texture are slightly below average for the class.
We have tested many Nespresso brews over the years of testing coffee products. During that time, we found Nespresso capsules to produce consistent-tasting espresso, and the Evoluo is no exception. However, the simplicity and consistency of the shots pulled by this machine come at the cost of customization. Accordingly, the Evoluo scores well below average in this assessment.
As a whole, testers felt that shots pulled from Evoluo had a smooth taste — though the results are best described as good, not great. By comparison, an espresso machine that uses fresh coffee beans, and has adjustability in the shot-pulling procedure, brings out a good deal more boldness and pleasing mouthfeel in the espresso produced. That said, it is hard to imagine a machine that will produce better results than the Evoluo with such ease. Anything better tasting will require the abandonment of an automated machine.
Ease of Use
The ease of use evaluation looks at the time it takes to set up and operate the espresso machine. Ease of use is important because, after the quality of the shot itself, the difficulty (or ease) of using the machine is the biggest factor contributing to consumer satisfaction. These machines are a bit complicated, and they have a lot of parts. So, we are looking for the easiest machine to operate while still producing a café-quality shot. Due to its preloaded coffee capsules and automated brewing, the Evoluo is an incredibly easy system to use and, thus, great for anyone with little-to-no espresso-making experience.
The Evoluo is pretty much ready to go right out of the box — we had it pulling shots within minutes of cutting the packing tape. Since the onboard barcode reader does all the thinking for you, this machine has a simple, one-button interface. All the user has to do is press the button, and the 15-second preheating process begins. Next, insert your pod, turn the lever to lock it in place, and press the button again. The machine determines what kind of coffee will be made by the capsule's identifying barcode and adjusts accordingly. That's it!
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 the Aeroccino3 milk frother, that will take a few minutes longer. Despite this added step, the Evoluo + Aeroccino3 is one of the fastest cappuccino makers in the class.
Ease of Cleaning
Like the ease of use metric, ease of cleaning is an important evaluation because no one likes to clean a bunch of espresso maker components after they enjoy a nice cappuccino. As such, an easy-to-clean machine will contribute significantly to the enjoyable use of the product. The simplicity of the Evoluo + Aeroccino3 resulted in a high score in this metric. Because the machine uses capsules, it has virtually no daily cleaning requirements. One must periodically empty the bin where the spent capsules collect and recycle them. But that's all that is required.
The ease of cleaning metric looks at daily and weekly cleaning requirements as well as descaling. As mentioned, the daily and weekly requirements are minimal to nonexistent. However, the Aeroccino3 milk frother requires a bit more upkeep. The good news is that, despite having several parts that require disassembly, they are easy to remove and put back in place. Finally, there is the descaling or removal of the mineral buildup in the espresso maker. The Evoluo lost some points here due to the lengthy descaling procedure. Per the instructions, descaling takes 30 minutes and requires your full attention throughout the process. As a reference, other models in the class can accomplish this task in as little as 10 minutes.
The Evoluo can be purchased alone or in a bundle with the Aeroccino3 milk frother. We tested the package. The milk produced by the Aeroccino3 was about average for the class. Our evaluation looks at two aspects of milk frothing to make our assessment: Microfoam production and steam wand consistency. The prior is an assessment of the texture of the milk produced by the frother. The latter looks at the technical aspects of frothed milk production.
Our main gripe with the Aeroccino3 is that the milk it produces is a bit too stiff. However, the texture it produced was consistent. These results are the product of uniform heat and pressure within the unit. However, we did dock some points because the heating element is on the bottom of the milk reservoir, which requires more time to heat the liquid.
Should You Buy the Nespresso Evoluo + Aeroccino3?
The Nespresso Evoluo + Aeroccino3 isn't inexpensive, but it is certainly one of the more affordable models in the line-up. It is simple to operate and renders consistent results. While some may turn their nose up at the pre-packaged capsules, it's hard to argue with the convenience. If you are the kind of person that will sacrifice a bit of taste and texture for ease and convenience, then we highly recommend it.
What Other Espresso Machines Should You Consider?
The Nespresso Evoluo is a very convenient machine, but you pay for that convenience in espresso quality. So, if you want to dig deep into the nuanced world of espresso flavor profiles and textures, then have a look at the Calphalon Temp IQ. This machine makes exceptional, café-quality espresso and heavenly microfoam. If you want a machine that is a little more compact but still puts out professional shots and foam, check out the Breville Bambino. This espresso machine packs an awful lot of quality into a small package.
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