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Nespresso Evoluo Review

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
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Nespresso Evoluo Review (The Evoluo produces consistent espresso in short order, but the expediency comes at the cost of top quality.)
The Evoluo produces consistent espresso in short order, but the expediency comes at the cost of top quality.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
Price:  $269 List
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Manufacturer:   Nespresso
By Steven Tata and Nick Miley  ⋅  Nov 8, 2022
  • Espresso Quality - 40% 5.4
  • Ease of Use - 30% 8.6
  • Ease of Cleaning - 15% 8.4
  • Milk Quality - 15% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Nespresso Evoluo + Aeroccino3 is a well-rounded package. The Nespresso Evoluo makes espresso and drip coffee using proprietary capsules, while the Aeroccino3 is a standalone unit that produces frothed milk. Switching between espresso and drip brew on the Evoluo is seamless as the machine reads a barcode on each capsule, automatically changing the settings based on the user's selection. This smart technology makes brewing coffee and espresso quick, easy, and hassle-free. Additionally, the standalone Aeroccino3 makes decent quality frothed milk with good consistency though it struggles to produce true microfoam. To view how these units compare to others in our test suite, check out our complete review of the best espresso machines. Check out how it compares to the competition in our article on the best espresso machines.
Easy to use
Quick and convenient
Decent frothed milk
Uses expensive capsules
Limited flavors available

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.

Performance Comparison

nespresso evoluo - if you want steamed milk with this machine, you'll have to use the...
If you want steamed milk with this machine, you'll have to use the standalone Aeroccino3, the accompanying automatic milk frother.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Espresso Quality

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.

nespresso evoluo - placing the espresso capsule in the machine and closing the top is...
Placing the espresso capsule in the machine and closing the top is as involved as the user gets with the Evoluo. The drinks are easy but the espresso quality suffers as a result.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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!

nespresso evoluo - the evoluo features single-button functionality.
The Evoluo features single-button functionality.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

nespresso evoluo - the capsules have a barcode that the machine reads and then adjusts...
The capsules have a barcode that the machine reads and then adjusts its settings accordingly.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

nespresso evoluo - 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

Milk Quality

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.

nespresso evoluo - the aeroccino3 makes consistent frothed milk, but the quality leaves...
The Aeroccino3 makes consistent frothed milk, but the quality leaves much to be desired.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Steven Tata and Nick Miley