Nespresso’s limited edition CitiZ Dragon coffee machine reviewed

We review Nespresso’s special edition ‘Year of the Dragon’ CitiZ coffee machine, prior to its release for the 2012 Chinese New Year.


Available for one month from 1 January, the CitiZ Dragon Coffee Machine is a collaboration between capsule-style coffee maker, Nespresso and boutique design house Shanghai Tang. Combining what is essentially the conventional CitiZ model with a vivid red paint job and embossed dragon emblem, it is the first limited edition coffee machine from the Nespresso, with only 3000 machines to be marketed worldwide.

With its removable one litre water reservoir, plastic capsule container capable of holding roughly 10 spent Nespresso pods, and a 19 bar pressure pump, the Dragon is specified as per the classic CitiZ.


With notions of art so subjective, the Year of the Dragon design won’t be every one’s cup of tea (or Joe), but to our eye, it looked just the business.

Outside of the Shanghai Tang artwork on the side, little about the Dragon is different to the original CitiZ, released around a year ago. Changes include a redesigned chrome head, and the two operation buttons for short and long espressos have been moved closer to the top of the unit, making them easier to see.

Like the last CitiZ, the machine is still easy to use. Simply lift up the lever protecting the capsule tank, drop in a Nespresso pod, close it the lever, then select the appropriate button for a short or long pour of coffee.

Last year's Nespresso CitiZ on the left, with the newer Dragon edition in the middle, and the Nespresso Aeroccino on the right.

It really is a doddle to use, and the results are consistently good, with our coffees demonstrating a lovely caramel-coloured crema. The machine takes advantage of a 19-bar pressure pump, which is enough to provide what’s considered optimal pressure for the water to be used in espresso.

The CitiZ does not integrate a steamer, so Nespresso sent us its excellent Aeroccino millk frother to cater for cappuccino, latte and flat while drinkers. Plugged into AC power (and finished in the same red as the Dragon CitiZ), the Aeroccino heats 200ml milk using induction technology in less than a minute. While this is an excellent accessory, it isn’t part of the package and does cost an extra $179.

The new Chinese New Year Dragon edition of the Nespresso CitiZ in front, with last year's CitiZ behind it.


The Dragon brings some colourful pizzazz to the well-executed and appealingly designed original Nespresso CitiZ capsule coffee maker, but its $200 premium buys no additional functionality.

So beauty costs, and in the Nespresso Dragon you find something that lasts much longer than a spray tan.


Value for money
Reader Rating0 Votes
Collector’s edition design; Quick, easy, perfect coffee every time;
No extra functionality for the money;