Price (RRP): $399
Want a coffee fix without a whole lot of fuss? DeLonghi’s Nespresso Citiz machine delivers the steamy affair you’re looking for, minus the hassle.
The Citiz is one of Nespresso’s growing stable of capsule-based coffee systems, machines that use a pre-ground measure of coffee sealed within a foil-topped plastic pod to make a cup a coffee. With no beans, grounds or tamping necessary, it’s a simple, quick and fairly mess-free way to get café-style coffee in an instant.
The Citiz design seems art deco-inspired, and with a narrow footprint, the unit has loads of benchtop appeal. The machine itself comprises a one litre water tank at the rear, plus a container for storing used coffee capsules. Hinged to the container is a drip tray for a small coffee cup – the kind used for a macchiato. This can be folded up against the machine if you’re making a larger cup of coffee. The machine comes in a few different colours and is made of plastic, with components such as the drip tray and pod cover in metal. It’s all very simple and we like it that way.
Only Nespresso coffee pods can be used, and there is a wide range of flavours to choose from, including decaffeinated varieties.
Using the DeLonghi Nespresso CitiZ couldn’t be easier. There’s a power switch and two buttons: one for making a small cup of coffee, and the other for a large cup. There are no other controls for water strength or temperature, just the two buttons for the size of your cup.
Before you make your coffee, you will need to load up a coffee pod by opening the capsule entry system on the top, dropping it in and then closing the lid. From here, you press one of the buttons and the coffee machine springs to life, piercing the foil top of the pod and mixing the grounds with heated water to create your perfect cup. Once the coffee has poured, you need only open the top of the machine to release the used capsule into the collection container.
All of this takes roughly a minute to two minutes, and while there’s no specific noise to let you know that your coffee has been made (like a ding!), the machine turning itself back to standby was enough of a hint we needed.
It’s all easy, and there’s none of the benchtop mess associated with conventional manual coffee makers. There is no attachment for warming or frothing milk, however, meaning the Citiz is not an all-in-one solution for latte and cappuccino drinkers. Microwave ovens are common in most kitchens and office spaces, though, and cup frothers are readily affordable, so it’s probably not the inconvenience it sounds.
Apart from the temperature of the coffee, which we’d like it to be hotter (but this is subjective, of course), our only real criticism of the Citiz system is the capsules. These are available only select retailers, not in the supermarket where most of us find it easiest to purchase our coffee. You can order online directly from Nespresso, and these means planning your order outside of the weekly shop. Plus, you must purchase in increments of fifty, meaning there’s a minimum $34 spend, plus delivery. With each box of 50 capsules costing $34, this works out at roughly 68 cents per cup of coffee. Premium variations cost a little more, with prices starting from 73 cents per cup.
The Citiz delivers a tastier alternative to instant coffee, and a more compact and tidy way of producing café-style coffee than conventional manual coffee makers. Similar capsule machines are available for cheaper, but they don’t have the style of $399 Citiz, nor the variety of coffee flavours offered by Nespresso – you just need to be organised to ensure a ready supply is always on hand.