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If you are an espresso enthusiast, you know how truly special this popular Italian hot drink can be. You also know espresso machines can be complicated to the point where you feel you need to work a stint in Starbucks to learn how to use them.
The Nespresso Company has changed this.
With their Inissia, Pixie, and CitiZ versions, Nespresso has launched entry-level espresso machines that require no barista skills to make them work. These are simple 2 button machines that make you restaurant quality espressos at just the fraction of cost.
You may have come across these machines while shopping around. If you have, you may really be scratching your head as to what the heck makes these machines differ from one another.
I am here to tell you, there are differences, some of which will steer you in one direction over another.
So let’s dive in!
Nespresso Inissia Vs Pixie Vs CitiZ - The Final Comparison
12.6 x 4.7 x 9 inches
4.4 x 12.8 x 9.3 inches
14.6 x 5.1 x 10.9 inches
Energy Saving Mode
9 to 30 mins
Water Tank Capacity
Used Capsule Storage Capacity
Light weighted machine with an array of fashionable colors
Compact machine with aluminum siding
Modern Design and Milk Frother
The Aesthetics – All Good Looking Machines
First off, if you love good looking kitchen appliances, all three of these machines will fit the bill. They are each sharp, techy looking, and all come in compact designs. Nespresso has done well in creating aesthetically pleasing, urban-friendly espresso machines.
Size and weight-wise, the Inissia and Pixie are similar. The Inissia measures 12.6 x 4.7 x 9 in. and weighs 5.29 lbs, while the Pixie measures 4.4 x 12.8 x 9.3 in and weighs 6.60 lbs. The CitiZ is the biggest of the machines measuring 14.6 x 5.10 x 10.90 and weighing 7.50 lbs, but even with the added size, the CitiZ is still considered a compact machine and will easily fit on your countertop.
As far as outside components go, all of these machines have some plastic parts. The Inissia and the CitiZ also come with stainless steel which gives them an edge on durability.
That being said, the plastic casing of the Inissia allows for it to be offered in many…many different color options, some of which are ruby red and fuchsia velvet.
If you are someone who loves the pop of a well-colored kitchen appliance, you will be a fan of the Inissia. It is also the smallest machine, so if size matters to you, this will likely be your first pick.
However, if you don’t care so much about size and weight, and do care more about durability and high-quality stainless steel appliances, you will likely lean towards either the Pixie or CitiZ. It is totally dependent on taste when it comes to the overall look of these babies.
Whichever machine you choose, aesthetic wise, they are all good looking machines that are considered compact and have been well designed.
Brew Settings – It’s a Tie!
There are two brew settings offered on each of these machines – espresso and lungo. Both of these settings are chosen by pressing a one-touch custom size selector. It just can’t get much easier than that.
There is no need to fiddle with times, amounts, temperatures, or anything else. You simply touch a button and walk away while your espresso or lungo brews. How cool is that?!
The only real difference between the espresso and lungo settings is the Pixie makes a larger pre-set espresso at 2.7 oz than the Inissia and CitiZ do at 1.35 oz.
Other than that, all three of these machines do have removable drip trays which means you can make larger, single-sized cups of coffee. You can even use a typical sized travel mug to take on the go with you.
If you really need the double espresso size of the Pixie, then that would be your choice here. Just remember, you can press the button two times on the Inissia or CitiZ, so maybe size isn’t so much of a factor here.
They all make espressos and lungos, so it’s basically a tie when it comes to which machine does it best.
Speed + Energy Saving Modes – CitiZ Wins for Its Extended Shut Off Feature
All three machines heat up and start making your drink of choice within 25-30 seconds. That’s pretty incredible, especially if you have ever had experience with the high-end espresso machines that can take much…much longer.
Outside of speed, one of the biggest draws to these machines is they are all energy efficient. The Inissia has a smart energy-saving more that kicks in and turns off your machine after 9 minutes. The Pixie’s auto-off feature does the same at the 9-minute mark.
The main difference here is the CitiZ automatic energy-saving feature can be extended from 9 to 30 minutes, so, if you want the convenience of extending the shut-off time, then the Nespresso CitiZ would be the winner here.
Water tank Storage – Tie Between the Pixie and the CitiZ
Both the Inissia and Pixie have a 24 oz water tank that is capable of making 9, single-serve cups of coffee. The CitiZ dominates this category as far as storage goes, as its water tank has a 34 oz capacity.
If you are all about not having to fill your water tank frequently, the CitiZ will be the way to go for you.
But before you make your choice, the Pixie has a pretty neat feature. It is equipped with red lights that light up to let you know when its tank needs to be refilled. It is the only one of the three machines that have this nicely added feature. It also makes it a bit techier if you ask me. That alone is a plus for all of you out there who love fancy gadgets that light up.
It is a definite tie here between a larger tank and flashing lights.
Pumps – It’s a Tie!
All three machines can boast about their pro-level, 19 bar pump pressure. Having pumps at this level means they brew better espresso than less powerful machines.
While the industry standard for espresso machines is 9 bar, all three of these machines blow that number out of the water.
As far as pumps go, it’s a tie!
Capsules + Empties Storage – It’s Another Tie!
One of the useful features of these machines is their ability to collect used pods. The Inissia can store up to 10 pods, while the Pixie and CitiZ can store up to 11. This means less time to the garbage to throw away your used pods.
But what can be said about the capsules before they have been emptied? All three machines use the same Nepresso capsule system. This also means that all their espressos and lungos will have the same taste.
So…taste wise and storage wise, these machines are a tie.
Additional Features – CitiZ Wins With Its Milk Frother Version
One major difference between the Inissia, the Pixie, and the CitiZ is that the Inissia and the Pixie don’t come with Aeroccino milk frothers. You would have to purchase something like the Milk Frother as a side accessory if you wanted to make marvelous lattes or cappuccinos with your machine.
But, the CitiZ bypasses the need to purchase a separate milk frother by offering a version with an attached milk frother.
As far as additional features go, having an attached milk frother is pretty darn convenient. Although it does raise the price, sometimes paying a bit more for convenience is worth it. Then again, it depends.
Price – Inissia is Most Budget-Friendly
The Inissia is by far the most affordable. This is due to its use of plastic over stainless steel. The more plastic a machine can be made from, the cheaper the price point will be.
The Pixie is made from higher-quality materials. It combines plastic with stainless steel which also gives it a sleek outer shell.
The combination of plastic and stainless steel is the same for the CitiZ, although it isn’t as cost-effective as the Inissia and the Pixie are. If you want the version that has the built-in milk frother, you will also be looking at a higher price tag.
So, as far as the price goes, the winner is Inissia. It is the most budget-friendly version that makes just as good of quality drinks as either of the other two machines. While it may not be as durable, its plastic shell does give you those extra color options.
Final Verdict - Which One Should You Buy?
When it comes to the best entry-level espresso making machines, the Inissia, the Pixie, and the CitiZ are all winners.
They all look cool, they all produce the same level of caffeinated espresso delights, and they all use the same bar pump pressure which is absolutely essential for quality espressos.
But…if you had to choose, I would say:
Pick Inissia: If you love colors and cost-effective pricing, Inissia will be the machine for you. That being said, if your pick is the Inissia, you may want to snatch one up quickly. The line has been discontinued.
Pick Pixie: If you love the look of stainless steel, as well as a machine that flashes at you to let you know when it needs to be refilled, the Pixie is a great option.
Pick CitiZ: If you love the idea of having a larger water tank (no often refilling), and you also really like the idea of buying the version with a built-in milk frother, then it’s a no brainer. The Citiz will be your Nespresso machine of choice.
Whichever machine you decide to stick on your counter, you will be purchasing a high-quality device that is capable of making you fast and delicious espresso drinks. And the best part, you don’t need your own any barista skills to get the job done!
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