If you’re looking to dip a toe into the Nespresso pod coffee system, there may be no better machine than the Inissia. It’s incredibly compact and light at just 2.4kg, and has plenty of functionality for an entry-level model.
Upgrading to the Inissia’s bundle pack (£129.99) means it comes with the standalone Aeroccino3 milk frother. The Aeroccino3 expands the Inissia's limited repertoire – espresso or lungo – to include milky drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes.
The Nespresso range of 22 Grand Crus, plus limited editions and compatible pods from third-party companies, gives a wide choice of coffee – and to get you started, the Inissia comes with a variety pack of 16 capsules.
The Magimix-made Inissia that we tested is available in Summer Sun orange, grey, black or cream, although Krups also makes the Inissia, with different colour options.
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While the shape of the Inissia isn’t the most exciting, one aspect that can’t be faulted is its worktop footprint. It’s tiny when compared to similarly priced machines and at just 12cm wide, there’s no kitchen that would be too small for it to squeeze into.
Surprisingly, the teensy dimensions haven’t impacted greatly on the size of its water tank. It’s not the most capacious at 700ml, but considering the dimensions of the machine, it fits more in than you might expect. The tank has a lid, which is a thoughtful touch to prevent spillages between tap and machine, and also means that it can exploit the full height at the back of the Inissia, rather than fitting in and under.
As well as a perforated removable drip tray, there’s an internal bin for used pods, so several drinks can be made before it needs emptying. The cable length is average at 33cm but gives a little flexibility as to where it’s positioned.
Learning to use the Inissia is hampered by the instruction booklet – instead of text directions, everything from making coffee to descaling is displayed as diagrams and symbols with a key. The downside of this is that it makes the machine look harder to use than it actually is, but once you’re up to speed with the basics, brewing drinks is straightforward. There are only two buttons to contend with – espresso and lungo, which also serve as on and off – and it’s ready to make coffee in 25 seconds from switching it on.
Inserting a capsule involves rotating the front bar backwards, which opens up a slot for it to drop into. Getting this into the slot involves a little bit of practice, as a few times it wasn’t in the right position and the bar wouldn’t close fully. Once the bar's been returned to the front, it’s a case of choosing a long or short coffee – the quantity of water can be altered – and the Inissia will stop by itself when it’s finished. Rotating the bar to the back again releases the used capsule.
The drip tray is hinged, so it can be flipped up to make room for large cups. This hinge is worth remembering – a few times during testing, liquid from the drip tray was spilled as it was emptied. The Inissia’s handy energy-saving mode will switch itself off if you forget.
The optional Aeroccino3 milk frother is just as easy to use and faster to heat than comparable models – about 60 seconds. Internal markings indicate the fill levels for making hold and cold frothed milk, and it’s operated via a sole button on the front. While the body of the machine can’t be immersed in water for cleaning, the lid and whisk both detach to be rinsed. After cleaning, the whisk magnetically clicks back into place.
The Inissia might have a limited drinks menu, but the coffee it produces is just as good as from other Nespresso machines. It boasts the same maximum 19-bar pressure for its crema, and combined with warm frothy milk from the Aeroccino3, drinks can be tailored to suit.
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As first pod coffee machines go, the Inissia is a smart choice. It’s reasonably priced for the features, takes up barely any room, and if you splash out the extra £40 for the bundle pack it provides everything you might reasonably need to indulge an everyday coffee habit. A generous three-year guarantee is longer than most, but be sure that you actually like the coffee from the Nespresso pod system before investing.
The Inissia might not make a definitive design statement, but if compact, portable and easy to use are high on your list of priorities, it’s a winner.
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