Nespresso Essenza Mini Review: Why the Reviews call this the Budget Choice

Nespresso Essenza Mini Review

Nespresso is known for a simple, one-touch solution for a perfect cup of espresso. Perhaps you’re finally ready to get yourself one, but which will it be? Our Nespresso Essenza Mini review will tell you whether or not this is the one you should be bringing home. According to our Nespresso machine reviews guide, the Essenza Mini was ranked third as the best budget choice.

For certain lifestyles and home set-ups, the Nespresso Essenza Mini is going to be high on the list of espresso machines that you should p[robably be looking at. Small and lightweight, you’re probably considering this appliance if you have limited counter space, a budget, and big taste requirements. So, let's get to our review!

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The Nespresso Brand

Nespresso and their shiny little capsules have seemingly taken over the world. Even if you don’t own one yet, you’ve probably at least seen one in the wild at your office, hotel room, or friend’s homes.

Nespresso came into existence over 30 years ago to bring coffee-shop quality espresso into the personal home. Built on a portioned coffee system (pods) that takes the guesswork out of serving the perfect espresso shot, they are well-known worldwide for the ease of use of their machines and great home espresso. 

Now, Nespresso has over 15 different coffee and espresso machines offering a variety of accessories and capabilities. Picking the right one for your own home may require some research. 

That’s where Black Ink Coffee comes in. We’ve put together a review of the Nespresso Essenza Mini that leaves nothing out. 

Essenza Mini Overview

Nespresso Essenza Mini

✅ The Essenza Mini is the lightest and smallest espresso machine around. The single-serving machine also has one of the fastest brewing times out there; your cup can be hot and ready in roughly 25 seconds.

✅ Since you’ve visited our site we know you’re pretty serious about your espresso machine choice. You deserve to be thoroughly briefed before purchasing new kitchen appliances, so read on for the full breakdown of this slim machine.  

✅ If this already sounds like what you’re looking for then here’s the TLDR of the full Nespresso Essenza Mini review: If you’re looking for a budget espresso maker that won’t take up too much of your precious countertop space, this is a 100% great buy. 

Machine Specs

  • Nespresso’s 19-bar high-pressure brewing
  • 8" x 3 1/2" x 13" high.
  • 20.3-fl.-oz. Cap. Removable water tank for easy refilling and cleaning.
  • 5.1 lb.
  • 1450W.
  • Eco mode for low energy consumption after 3 minutes.
  • The energy-saving function lets the machine automatically shut off after 9 minutes of inactivity.
  • The used capsules container is automatically ejected and collected in a built-in container (holds 5–6 used capsules).
  • Included Components: User Manual, Welcome Folder, Nespresso Capsules, Espresso Maker, Capsule Container, Drip Grid, Drip Tray, Drip Base, Coffee Outlet, Water Tank & Lid
  • Durable ABS plastic housing.

Nespresso Essenza Mini Review

nespresso essenza mini reviews

Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of this kitchen appliance. We’ve provided a comprehensive breakdown of the Essenza Mini’s features, value, and performance to help you make the most informed decision possible.

Features 4/5 ⭐

As their most compact espresso machine, Nespresso has managed to pack a lot in there. If you want a steaming cup of espresso, you will get that. It lost a star because it’s lacking some of the features of their other machines. The price and size make up for this.

  • Brew either espresso (1.35oz. shot) or lungo (5.0oz.) cup. Or, you can program your own desired brew sizes.
  • Thanks to the ultralight and compact size of this machine, it is easy to move around the kitchen. You could even take it on the road with you if you must have your preferred coffee for a weekend.
  • Nespresso’s 19-bar pressure pump ensures optimal extraction of rich flavor and aroma.
  • The ultrafast heating system achieves the ideal brewing temperature in less than 30 seconds.
  • Compatible with Nespresso brand and other premium single-serve coffee capsules.
  • The purchase includes a sampler assortment of capsules.
  • Nespresso is now partnering with DeLonghi, Breville, and KitchenAid to distribute Nespresso's premium coffee and espresso machines.

Ease of Use 5/5  ⭐

There is nothing easier than pushing a button and having your favorite espresso pod hot and ready in less than 30 seconds. 

Actually, it’s one of two brew buttons. These keep the operation of the Essenza Mini extremely easy so that you can have your preferred cup quickly. The two drink sizes are Espresso (a 1.35oz shot) and Lungo (5.0ozs), which is a perfect size for a busy morning or preparing larger drink options, like iced coffee. 

The cleaning process is equally simple and doesn’t need to be repeated after each use. You press one of the buttons with a full water tank and no capsule inserted. 

As for capsule removal, they automatically eject into a trash bin (with a capsule capacity of 6) when you lift the lever. Just remember to empty it from time to time.  

Design 4.5/5 ⭐

The small footprint of this compact machine is a big selling point. The Essenza Mini also comes in two sleek and minimalist shape options. We think both are beautiful and each shape comes in three colors. 

It is made out of durable ABS plastic materials, with a striking finish that will add a vital design element to your kitchen. We also think that the low energy consumption mode after 3 minutes is a nice touch. It is good for both your energy bill and the environment. 

There is also an energy-saving function that automatically shuts the Essenza Mini off after nine minutes of disuse. You’ll never have to worry about whether you’ve left your hot machine on when you leave the house.

That half-point was removed for those that crave more control over their kitchen aesthetic. The minimalist look isn’t for everyone. Or perhaps you want a small machine with a big personality. 

Value for the Money 5/5 ⭐

The Nespresso Essenza Mini is the best when it comes to value for performance. This espresso machine will do exactly what you need it to do and at a lower price point than many other espresso makers. 

Each Essenza Mini also includes a complimentary welcome set of 16 Nespresso machine pods with various flavors and unique aroma profiles. With this starting pack, you can get acquainted with your favorite flavors before deciding which to order more of. 

With the bundle deals available if you decide you would like the Aeroccino milk frother, we think this is a great buy.  

Performance 4.5/5 ⭐

The Essenza Mini makes a great cup of coffee or espresso and tucks away neatly anywhere in your kitchen. This is an espresso maker that will get the job done. 

While most machines will deliver your espresso in under a minute, the Essenza Mini yields a steaming cup in under 30 seconds. It also provides rich extraction thanks to Nespresso’s 19 bars of pressure.

It lost half a point from us due to noise. Like any pod-based espresso machine, it’s louder than your average coffee maker. Otherwise, we couldn’t find anything wrong with the Essenza Mini’s function.  

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Do Not Buy A Nespresso Essenza Mini If

nespresso capsules

🚫 You like to switch between the American coffee and espresso experience. You may save on space, but if you’re still going to drink your regular coffee, some of that space will go to the coffee maker you’ll need to have. Some Nespresso pod machines make coffee and espresso drinks, but the Essenza Mini is not one of them. 

🚫 You still want to use your favorite pre-ground coffee. Nespresso machines can only use their brand of capsules and some other reusable capsules filled with coffee grounds. You won’t be crushing your own espresso beans either. 

🚫 The other downside is that those capsules add up expense-wise. So while the Mini is one of the cheaper espresso machines on the market, you may want to consider the cost of capsules over time versus bulk bags of ground coffee or other pod brands.

🚫 You were hoping for more of the home barista experience. Yes, you will get the same coffee quality as your local coffee shop, but your options are somewhat limited. It lacks built-in grinders and separate coffee trays of other devices.  

🚫 The Essenza Mini lacks a built-in milk frother. You won’t be brewing lattes, cappuccinos, or other coffee drinks. You can purchase Nespresso’s Aeroccino milk frother, which is sold separately from this model. Some sites also offer a bundle deal. 

How to Use

nespresso shots

If you’ve never used one of these before, there can be a slight learning curve if you want to customize your settings. Otherwise, on this model, you press one of two buttons and get going. 

How to use the Programmable Settings: from Nespresso’s Website

The two cup-size buttons on this espresso maker can easily be programmed to your preferred settings, so you don’t necessarily need to use espresso cups. 

  • Fill your water tank.
  • Make sure your machine is switched on and warmed up, with no capsule in the chamber.
  • Place your preferred cup under the coffee outlet, press and hold the cup button you would like to program. Water will begin to flow.
  • Release the cup button when the cup has filled to your desired level. The LED will blink fast three times to confirm the new setting.

The button that you held down will now be set to your preferred cup volume.

The Taste Factor

nespresso shot taste

Nespresso reviews are consistently high; they're known for some great-tasting coffee. Nespresso coffee is owned and operated by Nestle. They produce their coffee pods, unlike the other famous pod brand, Keurig. We know coffee quality is vital to you, and Nespresso coffee does not disappoint.

Nespresso’s 19-bar high-pressure brewing pump allows each capsule to be punctured completely, unleashing the aromas and layered flavors. The shape of each Nespresso capsule is designed to guarantee that the pressurized water flows evenly throughout the ground coffee during extraction.

The hermetically sealed design of Nespresso pods coupled with the engineering behind their machines makes for the delicious, cafe-quality espresso shot Nespresso has become known for. 

Troubleshooting

From Nespresso’s website:

If there is no coffee flow, check:

  • the mains supply cord isn’t trapped between the water tank and the machine
  • the water tank is sufficiently filled and correctly positioned
  • your machine is switched on (lights ON)

If there is low coffee flow:

  •  it means you need to descale your machine

Other Models of Nespresso

nespresso capsules colored

If you aren’t convinced that the Nespresso Essenza Mini is your ideal machine, then you can view our top picks of the Nespresso Line to decide if one of their other models is right for you. 

Nespresso VertuoPlus

If the lack of coffee maker ability or separate frother were your main turn-offs, consider our top pick Nespresso coffee machine: the Nespresso VertuoPlus. 

It offers four more cup sizes than the Essenza Mini, comes with the Aeroccino Frother, and 100 VertuoLine pods upon purchase. So if you find yourself wanting a cup of Americano as well as the perfect espresso drink, this machine might be more to your liking. 

However, due to its larger brew size, it offers a slightly slower brew time. And, with more brewing options, it is more expensive than the Mini though still budget-friendly.  

Nespresso Vertuo Next

Our number two pick is coming in just ahead of the Essenza Mini and is the Nespresso Vertuo Next. This model also includes the Aeroccino Frother in your purchase price, so that you can enjoy lattes and cappuccinos along with your espresso. It also has the bonus of being made of 54% recycled materials. 

It’s a bit larger than the Nespresso Essenza Mini. If kitchen space is a big factor then this model may not work for you. However, at only 5.5 inches wide, it may be worth checking out. 

Non-Nespresso Espresso: Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker

Not sure about this model of Nespresso or simply curious about your other options? You can see our detailed list breaking down our top espresso machine picks (that aren’t Nespresso). These larger machines have features that you won’t find in the Nespresso Essenza Mini. 

If you’ve decided you want all the bells and whistles, and have both the budget and the room for it, then you may want to check out the Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker. We think it makes a very good espresso. This machine features a built-in grinder, auto steam wand, and automated temperature control. You can also take over manual control by adjusting minor settings on the LCD screen. 

Frequently Asked Questions

holding nespresso pods

Is the Nespresso Essenza Mini Dishwasher Safe?

Nope. Don’t put any part of this machine in the dishwasher. Still, though, the clean-up is effortless. 

How Do You Clean This Machine?

Pod machines are great in that they offer little to no clean-up after each use or require frequent descaling (Nespresso recommends descaling after three months). That said, you will need to maintain your Nespresso Essenza Mini over time:

  • Eject your coffee capsules after each use
  • Change the water tank regularly, and refill with fresh drinking water
  • Empty and clean the used capsule container and drip tray regularly
  • For integrated milk devices, activate the cleaning procedure after each use
  • Before your first coffee, brew water without a capsule by pressing any coffee button.

For information on cleaning other accessories that you may end up buying with this device, visit the official Nespresso website

How Do I Restore my Nespresso Essenza Mini to Factory Settings?

You can restore both buttons to factory settings by following these easy steps:

  • Make sure your Nespresso Essenza Mini is turned off and plugged in
  • Turn the machine on while pressing and holding the Lungo button.
  • Release the Lungo button after 5 seconds.
  • The LEDs will blink fast three times to confirm the machine is now reset to factory settings.
  • Your machine is now set to approximately 40 ml for the Espresso cup and 110ml for the Lungo cup size.

Conclusion

essenza mini pods

The Nespresso Essenza Mini espresso machine is a highly capable and compact choice that would be a delight to have in your kitchen. 

Busy coffee addicts will never have to rush out the door without espresso, thanks to the Essenza Mini’s high-speed performance. And you’ll get the same delicious cup every time you use it. Nespresso’s variety of quality coffee flavors will keep you looking forward to your morning cup for a long time. 

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