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Nespresso Evoluo Review

Great if you don't mind paying for convenience and want the ability to make coffee too
Nespresso Evoluo
Credit: Nespresso
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $200 List | $200 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to use, quick and convenient, good taste, makes coffee as well
Cons:  Uses expensive capsules, only a limited number of espresso flavors available
Manufacturer:   Nespresso
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Mar 19, 2018
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 16
  • Taste - 40% 6
  • Ease of Use - 30% 9
  • Ease of Cleaning - 15% 7
  • Milk Steaming - 15% 1

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. Unfortunately, it does not include any sort of milk steaming device, so you'll have to get a standalone milk frother if you want to make cappuccinos at home. Also unfortunately, we've found that most standalone milk frothers can barely approximate a cafe cappuccino, so we would recommend this machine more to those that like to drink straight espresso, or even espresso with a bit of unsteamed milk.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Nespresso Evoluo
This Product
Nespresso Evoluo
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $200 List
$199.99 at Amazon
$600 List
$599.99 at Amazon
$700 List
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$500 List
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$450 List
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Pros Easy to use, quick and convenient, good taste, makes coffee as wellExcellent espresso, achieves near-perfect microfoam in its steamed milk, relatively easy to use for a semi-automatic machineGreat taste, cafe quality lattes and cappuccinosGreat taste, exceptional lattes and cappuccinos, mostly automated milk steamingGreat taste, great milk steaming
Cons Uses expensive capsules, only a limited number of espresso flavors availableExpensive, requires more effort/practice than fully-automatic machinesExpensive, requires some effort and a learning curveExpensive, no built-in grinderHas a learning curve, no pressure gauge to help beginners, no grinder
Bottom Line Good for those that will pay a bit extra for convenience and would like to be able to make coffee as wellA cafe-quality machine that manages to still be friendly towards beginner baristasIf you don't mind a little learning curve and elbow grease, this is the best espresso you can make at homeAn excellent choice for those trying to recreate cafe drinks at home, especially if you already have an espresso-quality grinderAn excellent machine if your familiar with the process of manual brewing, and already have a high-quality grinder
Rating Categories Nespresso Evoluo Calphalon Temp IQ Breville Barista... Breville Bambino... Breville Duo Temp...
Taste (40%)
6
9
9
9
9
Ease Of Use (30%)
9
7
7
7
6
Ease Of Cleaning (15%)
7
7
6
6
6
Milk Steaming (15%)
1
9
9
8
9
Specs Nespresso Evoluo Calphalon Temp IQ Breville Barista... Breville Bambino... Breville Duo Temp...
Dimensions 9" x 12.2" x 12.3" 5.6" x 14.5" x 17.3" 13.2" x 12.5" x 16" 7.7" x 12.6" x 12.2" 15.5" x 13.3" x 17.6"
Warranty 1 Year Limited 3 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited 1 Year Limited
Milk Frother None Steam Wand Steam Wand Automatic Steam Wand Steam Wand
Water Tank Capacity 54 oz 94 oz 67 oz 65 oz 61 oz
Cost per Shot $0.85 $0.45 $0.47 $0.47 $0.47
Lifetime Cost per Shot $0.93 $0.70 $0.72 $0.72 $0.64
Cost per Latte $1.13 $0.73 $0.75 $0.75 $0.75
Straight Shot - Percentage cost vs. Cafe 28% 15% 16% 16% 16%
Latte - Percentage Cost vs. Cafe 23% 15% 15% 15% 15%
Number of Cafe Replacement Shots to Make p list price 93 235 237 237 158
Number of Cafe replacement lattes to make up list price 52 141 141 141 94

Our Analysis and Test Results

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.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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

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...
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.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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 a 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.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


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. Over time you certainly end up paying extra for convenience, but if you're willing to do that we think this machine still represents a good value.


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