The entry point for Nespresso’s coffee system has been lowered, but just what does $249 buy?
The latest machine in the Nespresso range, the Inissia is the company’s new compact model, borrowing cues from both the Nespresso Pixie and to some degree the flagship Maestria models.
Built in plastic, the Inissia takes advantage of the same 19 bar pump Nespresso normally uses in its machines, pairing it with a 0.7 litre water tank.
Two buttons are provided for two different lengths of coffee — espresso and lungo — though both can be programmed depending on what the owner wants.
The Aeroccino 3 milk frothed is also provided in the box, making it possible to get milk-based espresso drinks made easily.
In Australia, the Nespresso Inissia is produced by Breville and DeLonghi, though our review model was one from Breville.
Nespresso’s encapsulated coffee system is one of the more popular easy coffee systems in the world, but a higher entry price can seem like a bit of a blockade for some customers.
Fortunately, the company has a new budget model, the Inissia, which brings the two most common lengths of espresso to kitchens that either don’t want to spend a lot of money, don’t have a lot of room, or possibly both.
To use it, simply plug in the machine, and then remove the water tank and fill it with water, connecting it back up easily.
Insert the pod in the opened cavity, close the system using the plastic handle-like lever, pulling in the spout and pressing the pod inside the unit. Then press either the “espresso” or “lungo” button to get either a short or a long coffee, respectively.
From there, the machine will warm up, and then whir into action, taking in water, warming it up, pushing it through the pod of refined coffee grains, and providing a cup quickly and easily.
As per other machines, there’s a distinctive and fairly loud hum for the ten or twenty seconds the machine is making the beverage, and then it stops, dripping the last few drops as the machine comes to a stop.
Just as we’ve seen with all other Nespresso units thus far, the quality of beverage on offer is pretty much on par with all the other machines. The drinks have a good crema to them, and all in all, it looks like you’re getting the same espresso we’ve seen on prior Nespresso models thus far.
When it’s finished making the coffee, you can pull the lever up, which will push the spout out and drop the pod into its spent pod box, which can hold around five to ten capsules, depending on how they fall.
We’re quite pleased to see the plastic base holding the cup can be folded up if you’re putting in a bigger cup, and even has a circular cutaway to accommodate mugs, which is something Lavazza’s Simpla had problems with.
It won’t fold up and stay in position, that said, as the hinge doesn’t appear to be all that strong, but if your mug is large enough — and most seem to be — it will simply rest against the fold up base and hold it in place.
Also of note is the container which is connected to the base and comes out of the machine easily.
It’s a design that is very reminiscent of Nespresso’s Maestria machines, though with much less of a premium feel and a reliance on plastics.
And for the most part, the design of the Inissia is a success, providing easy coffee without any really obvious problems.
We say “obvious” because the one that might be slightly problematic seems to come from usability, and with no real power switch, we found the buttons can take a second or two before they really start to respond to your press.
It’s not a huge issue, but anyone who can be a touch impatient will want to give the machine a couple of seconds to bring itself back from standby.
Unfortunately, hitting a button is the only way to revive the Inissia, and unlike the U and UMilk which will both return to life when the pod bay door (sorry, capsule compartment, but we couldn’t resist the “2001” reference) is flicked open.
The Inissia has to have its buttons physically pushed for this to happen, and from here, you wait a couple of seconds for the buttons to spring to life with a green light, as the machine begins to warm up.
There’s a new entry point for Nespresso, and it seems the Inissia fills that point, providing both a more than capable easy espresso maker — what some are calling “inspresso” — as well as a milk frother for $249.
We still prefer the U and UMilk machines, and for $50 more, these seem to make more sense, especially since they feature three cup lengths — ristretto, espresso, lungo — over the Inissia’s simple two (only espresso and lungo for this one).
That said, if you’re happy to save the $50 from the UMilk, the Inissia is a great way to get started with Nespresso’s coffee pod system.