I love to start the day with a double espresso. Then there’s often another one mid-morning or a decaf espresso late in the day with a light snack. I’ve recently been experimenting with Nespresso pods and started with a new machine: the DeLonghi Nespresso Essenza Mini. While that’s a great, compact machine, I’ve recently been looking around to see what else is out there. I found the Breville Nespresso Pixie.
I’ll tell you about my experience with it, what it can do, how it works and the pros and cons after having it in my home for a week.
Breville Nespresso Pixie review
Now why get a Nespresso machine? Initially I was not into Nespresso, but a couple things changed my mind: after staying with friends that both have Nespresso machines I found out I like the coffee and it’s a very quick and easy way to get espresso. Then I got to review a manual espresso pump for travel and camping. Nespresso pods are actually great for travel because there’s no grinding, and no mess. Sold on those aspects, I decided to get a Nespresso machine to see if it would fit into my daily coffee routine.
I chose the Breville Nespresso Pixie because it’s small and unobtrusive measuring just 4.5 inches wide by about 12 inches long, and because it offers two sizes of coffee. I don’t add milk to my coffee so all I wanted was something for straight up espressos.
Set up: Breville Nespresso Pixie
The set up of this machine is virtually non-existent; plug it in and power on. It’s ready to go immediately. The kit I bought also included a sample pack of Nespresso capsules, which was a nice way to try some different coffees.
When it comes to the specs, this machine gives you 19 bars of pressure from its high pressure pump and has a 24 ounce water tank. It’s super small and weighs almost nothing (about 5 pounds).
Breville Nespresso Pixie: How to adjust drink sizes
Though I didn’t realize it at the time, and the instructions don’t say so, you can actually program the exact size of drinks you want your Breville Nespresso Pixie to make, for both the small size and the large.
It comes out of the box programmed for a single shot from the small button, and what seems like a small double for the large.
By pushing and holding the button while it;’s making an espresso, then letting go when you’ve got your desired amount, you are creating a new saved setting. Next time you just touch the button your custom drink volume has been saved. I set mine so that the small button pours a single and the large an oversized double.
Nespresso coffee & pods
We could get into a whole thing here about the environmental impact of pods. For the most part neither aluminum Nespresso pods, nor plastic Keurig K-cups are recyclable in a lot of city’s recycling programs; they’re just too small. But I will say this about Nespresso; they encourage you to recycle the aluminium pods by including a pre-paid return bag with your order.
When it comes to the coffees and their taste, there’s lots to enjoy. I find the coffees, packaged in their little cups to be fresh, and with the stunning number of different roasts, tastes, flavours and options, you’re bound to find some you like. I have a list of a few favourites already. Bottom line here, the coffee is good.
Nespresso pod cost
Let’s talk about what it costs to brew your morning espresso. Nespresso pods can be had on the Nespresso website for about 70 cents to a dollar per pod. Compared to the cost of a coffee shop espresso, that’s a bargain. Depending on what kind of espresso beans you might be buying now that may or may not be cost effective. I have also, by the way seen reusable Nespresso capsules so you can use your own coffee too. Either way, I’m perfectly happy paying about a buck for my morning espresso.
Coffee brew quality: Breville Nespresso Pixie is FAST
Brewing a coffee is as simple as turning it on and waiting for it to heat up, which takes less than 25 seconds- about 5 seconds faster than my Delonghi. I’m impressed with how fast this is. Then you pop in a capsule, close the lid and choosing your size. My single shot brews in an astonishing 9 seconds while the double takes about 20 seconds.
One of the things I like about the Pixie is that the espresso comes out nice and thick, it’s not watery. It ends up with a nice crema on top, and it’s actually really hot, definitely hot enough for me.
Adjustable water temperature?
From what I can tell about this machine and other Nespresso machines, you can;t adjust the brew temperature (it comes from the factory set to about 83-86 degrees, says Nespresso). Nespresso says it’s supposed to be at a hot but drinkable temperature so you can have the espresso right away, and recommends if it’s not hot enough, to pre-heat your cup.
Some folks might not appreciate that you can’t adjust the water temperature, but I was definitely okay with the factory setting.
The Breville Nespresso Pixie has some handy features; the energy saver feature shuts it off in a few minutes if it’s not used again, the water tank holds more than enough water for 12 doubles before it needs to be refilled (24 oz), you can use the cup riser or remove it to brew a bigger cup, and there’s a small pod bin that holds about a dozen discarded pods (way more than my Essenza mini!). All the pieces are washable.
Breville Nespresso Pixie; not as quiet as other machines
The Delonghi Nespresso machine I currently have is a pretty quiet brewer, but this Breville Nespresso Pixie does make a buzzing noise. It’s not as loud as some other Nespresso brewers I’ve tried but it is noticeable.
Overall review Breville Nespresso Pixie
Overall I’ve been really wowed by how much I love this machine. It’s small but it isn’t the smallest espresso brewer Nespresso makes. Here the bigger footprint allows for additional pods in the disposal bin and a bit more water in the tank.
This model has an industrial chic look that gives it a little more style than some other Nespresso machines. The coffee it makes is delicious, hot, thick and with a beautiful crema, and I love that I can customize the sizes so it’s perfect for me. The water tank is plenty big enough so that I don’t feel like I’m refilling it constantly. For those who want a bigger water tank, there are larger machines out there with more features.
If there are any downsizes to this machine, for some it might be that you can’t adjust the water temperature, but for me this was not an issue. Others may point to the environmental impact of aluminum pods. I do think this machine is also a bit louder than other Nespressos, my Delonghi Essenza Mini being one of the quieter options.
Overall, I really like this machine. It’s been an awesome addition to my coffee routine and I can definitely recommend it for you. The Breville Nespresso Pixie sells for about $199 CAD though I have seen it on Amazon for about $149 CAD, or about $139USD.