Reviews // coffee

Nespresso Essenza Mini C30 Review: Striving for minimalism

Nespresso Essenza Mini is positioned by the manufacturer as “the most compact Nespresso coffee machine”, distinguished, moreover, with an elegant design: “has been awarded several international design awards,” according to the official website. Let’s take a look at our machine and find out what it is capable of.

The coffee machine is packed in a cardboard box (“box” with handles) with rounded corners. The box is designed using full-color printing and contains a fairly large amount of information about the device. After examining the box, you can familiarize yourself with the appearance of the device, as well as obtain information about its key features. The presented information, in our opinion, turned out to be very informative. Especially for those who come across such a coffee machine for the first time.

The packaging looks very stylish, which is not surprising: in order for the user to willingly spend money on capsules, everything that relates directly to the coffee maker must be made and look, if not perfect, then close to ideal.

The box opens in a typical Nespresso way: not only does the top cover of the box opens, but also the front wall opens almost completely, giving access to the contents.

The device itself was protected from impacts by means of foam inserts, and for ease of transportation, the box has a plastic handle.

Together with the coffee machine, we got a set of fourteen different capsules and an offer to take part in the promotion (bonus capsules on the first order).

The capsules were packed in a cardboard box that most resembles a box of chocolates.

So, opening the box with the coffee machine, we found inside:

  • the coffee machine itself with an installed water tank;
  • stand for cups;
  • a set of capsules;
  • instructions;
  • warranty card and promotional materials.

Apparently, we cannot need any additional accessories, so right after unpacking we proceeded to study the device.

At first sight

Visually, the coffee machine gives the impression of a well-thought-out and well-made device from the “above average” price category. However, this is not surprising: given the retail prices for capsules, it is clear that this solution is not for those who want to save money. And therefore – and the device should look accordingly.

The design of the device is modern: such a coffee maker will look appropriate both in the kitchen and in the office or meeting room.

All color schemes are available on the Nespresso website. We also got a model made in a white case with black plastic elements.

Visual inspection of the coffee machine did not take too long. At the bottom, we found rubber feet that prevent the device from sliding on the table surface, and a sticker with technical information. There is no storage space for the already not too long (75 cm) cable at the machine.

The container itself is made of transparent plastic. The water supply valve can be seen at the bottom center of the tank. A hinged plastic lid is located on top, which also serves as a fastening of the reservoir to the body of the coffee maker (latches). Its volume is 0.6 liters.

In front, we see a miniature removable container for used capsules (according to the instructions, it fits 5-6 pieces). The container is made of black plastic and consists of two parts: a drip tray and a capsule compartment.

A plastic support for cups (it is also a drip tray) is “fastened” to the container in front.

Above the stand is the beverage outlet.

The maximum permissible cup height for our coffee machine is 9 cm. However, you can always “unfasten” the cup support, thereby increasing the available height.

At the top of the coffee machine there is a single control – two mechanical buttons with a schematic representation of a small and a large cup, which corresponds to the preparation of espresso (40 ml) and lungo (110 ml). The icons on the buttons are also LED indicators, thanks to which you can understand what the car is doing at the moment.

Next to the buttons is a hinged lever that opens and closes the capsule container. When closing, it “pushes” the capsule.

The size of the machine can be compared to a weighty book. At the same time, the designers went for an obvious trick: the drip tray and water container are, as it were, taken out of the device body, due to which the device looks even more compact.

The coffee maker works with Nespresso Original capsules, which are well known to all lovers of capsule coffee.

Instructions

The instruction for the coffee machine is a rather weighty black and white brochure with a color cover. The paper of the brochure is matte, pleasant to the touch, and the print quality is good.

The instructions seemed to us detailed, understandable and more than user-friendly. All actions are accompanied by clear illustrations and / or pictograms.

We strongly recommend that you read the instructions at least once. Especially for those who have not previously encountered similar coffee machines. The brochure contains a lot of useful information on both daily use and maintenance.

Control

The device is controlled by two buttons with LED backlight.

In normal mode, all the user needs to know is that if the indicator blinks, then the coffee machine is heating up. When lit, the machine is ready for operation.

By default, the buttons correspond to the preparation of espresso (40 ml) and lungo (110 ml), but the coffee machine allows you to reprogram the volume of water and assign different values ​​to the buttons.

The power saving mode automatically turns on after 9 minutes, but if desired, it can be increased to 30 minutes.

Finally, another “hidden” option is emptying the machine (draining the liquid).

It is clear that in daily use, the user will only use two buttons.

Before the first use (as well as after a long period of inactivity), the developer recommends rinsing the coffee machine by running lungo preparation three times without a capsule. This should be enough to flush the inside of the appliance.

At the end of this process, you can go directly to coffee preparation. To do this, fill the tank with clean drinking water, turn on the coffee machine, wait about 30 seconds until it warms up, then open the capsule compartment (lift the lever up), insert the capsule, close the machine (lower the lever) and finally press one of the buttons to start the preparation process. The capsule is dropped into the container automatically when the lever of the coffee machine is opened.

The machine enters energy saving mode automatically after nine minutes.

Let’s say a few words about our impressions of using the device.

First, about the only inconvenience that we noticed almost immediately: the water tank is automatically disconnected from the coffee machine when the lid is fully opened. In practice, this means that it is quite possible to add water without disconnecting the tank, but not ideally convenient (the lid can be raised 75-80, but not 90 degrees). And you will have to add water quite often: the tank capacity is small (only 0.6 liters).

The lever that opens the capsule compartment in our coffee machine is spring-loaded and leans back with some effort (recall that the capsule is squeezed manually). The design of the coffee maker is such that the user is prohibited from touching the lever (opening the compartment with the capsule) until the end of the preparation process.

In the daily operation mode, all that is required from the user is to monitor the water level, as well as empty the drip tray and container with used capsules in time (there are 5-6 of them). The surest signal about an overflow of the container for used capsules is the unwillingness of the next capsule to fall into the container after opening the lever.

The cooking process is accompanied by a sound of medium volume, which, in our opinion, if it exceeds the level of standard kitchen noises, it is not too strong. However, by looking at user reviews, we found that many people complain about too much noise. Why does this happen? These users may not have many appliances in their kitchens, and the coffee machine actually turned out to be the loudest of them all. We also admit that it is not meeting expectations. Given the compact size of the device, we simply do not expect such a baby to make any noticeable noise. Therefore, we pay special attention to this.

In general, our impressions of operation were extremely positive. Almost immediately after getting to know the coffee machine and making the first cup of coffee, the user gets the impression that he has been familiar with this device for a long time. This is a sign of a well thought out user interface and design in general.

Care

Caring for the device involves performing a few simple steps. The body of the device should be cleaned from time to time with a damp cloth (napkin). The water tank may be washed with a mild detergent.

The inside of the coffee machine is rinsed using a special cleaning mode. To clean the system from scale, it is allowed to use a special agent (it must be added to the water before starting the cleaning mode).

Before placing the coffee machine for long-term storage, drain all the water from the appliance using the appropriate function.

Our measurements

Since nothing at all depends on the user during the preparation of drinks, there were not so many parameters available for measurements: we measured the real volume of the drink that is obtained in various modes, the time of its preparation, and also the temperature.

As for the power consumption, it turned out to be low: 1 W in standby mode and 1200 W maximum (in warm-up mode). A prepared (warmed-up) coffee maker spends less than 0.01 kWh to prepare one portion of coffee, which should be considered insignificant (if we recall the not the lowest price of the capsule).

The coffee machine takes about 30 seconds to preheat (from the switched off state). Espresso (40 ml) takes about 18 seconds, lungo (110 ml) takes about 26 seconds. In practice, this means that you can get your cup of coffee within a minute after turning on the coffee machine.

As for the temperature of the drink poured into a slightly warmed cup, for espresso it was 64 ° C, for lungo – 71 ° C. We draw the obvious conclusion: it is highly desirable to warm up the cup. Especially when it comes to making espresso, which starts to cool down almost immediately.

Testing

The “testing” section, as in the case of other capsule coffee makers, in this case may contain only subjective assessments of the quality of the finished drink. Which, in turn, mainly depend on the type of capsules used, and not at all on the technical characteristics of the device.

Nespresso Essenza Mini C30 works with Nespresso capsules, and therefore – you will not have problems with the choice of both “branded” and “alternative” capsules and tastes.

Conclusion

The Nespresso Essenza Mini C30 is a reimagining of the popular De’Longhi Nespresso EN85 Essenza Mini, which has been slightly redesigned and released in a different case under its own Nespresso brand. It won’t be a big mistake to say that this is the same model, released in different form factors.

At the same time, the C30 turned out to be even more compact (at least already) than the De’Longhi model, so it is she who has the right to claim the title of the most compact Nespresso capsule coffee maker. In both cases, for quite reasonable money, we get an extremely compact machine equipped with a pump that develops a pressure of 19 bar at the outlet, a flow-through thermoblock, a heating device in 30 seconds, as well as identical cooking blocks (capsule clamps), the same capsule ejection system, the same water tanks and the same controls.

The main limitation of this machine is the small water tank. 600 ml is just a little! Thus, we can say that our coffee maker is a device for one, maximum two people. The machine fits perfectly into a room where you have to save work space: such a device is more likely to be found in a studio apartment than in a large kitchen.

Traditionally, we recall that it makes sense to consider all capsule coffee makers, without exception, for purchase only in case of rare, irregular coffee consumption (or in a situation when you are absolutely not ready to service a coffee machine or any other device for making coffee). Roughly speaking, the more often you use the coffee machine, the more expensive the extra charge for capsules will cost you and the more sense it makes to ditch the capsules in favor of another device. In the case of capsules, the consumer pays for consistent beverage quality and ease of use.