Small in footprint but tall in stature, the stylish Nespresso CitiZ has a large water tank but doesn’t take up much counter space, giving you the best of both worlds. Spot-on temperature and volume control help you achieve consistent results shot after shot. If you want a no-frills but quality pod machine, this is currently the best you can get.
- Good size
- Excellent temperature and flow control
- No descale warning light
- TypeThis is a pod machine that takes original Nespresso capsules. It can do espresso and lungo shots (the most common), but doesn’t have a control for ristretto (a short amount of coffee that’s less than an espresso).
Not all of us need the fanciest coffee machine, and if you just want something good-looking and easy to use that reliably dispenses espresso, the Nespresso CitiZ could well be for you. With its decent water capacity and clever design, including a fold-down cup stand, this is currently the best low-cost Nespresso machine available.
Design and features
- Smart-looking and available in a range of colours
- Exceptionally easy to use
- Clever drip tray and mug holder design
Although the Nespresso Pixie is the smallest machine in Nespresso’s original lineup, the CitiZ isn’t much bigger at 372 x 130 x 278mm. In particular, the footprint of the CitiZ is very similar to that of the Pixie, but the CitiZ is considerably taller.
There are advantages to that design, including a larger 1-litre water tank (the Pixie has a 0.7-litre tank) that slots in at the back, so you can make more coffees before you have to refill it.
You also get a slightly larger used capsule container, which holds 11 capsules to the 10 on the Pixie. This container pulls out of the front of the machine, so you can empty the capsules into a Nespresso recycling bag. Every capsule that goes back to Nespresso is fully recycled, so you should use the free recycling service.
The regular CitiZ is available in black, grey, red and white. I have the black model on review, and it looks great: the sleek rounded body and shiny finish make it look like a premium product. If you want a step up, then you can spend £20 more on the Chrome version.
My model doesn’t have milk frothing, but you can add an Aeroccino at any point, or spend a bit more on the CitiZ&Milk, which has an Aeroccino built-in – although it does mean the overall footprint of the coffee machine is bigger and hence it will take up a bit more space.
Brewing coffee couldn’t be easier. Just lift up the metal handle at the front, drop your chosen capsule into place and shut the lid. There are two brew buttons: one for espresso (40ml) and the other for a lungo (110ml). Capsules are available for both sizes.
You can also override the default setting by holding down the button you want and releasing it when you get your desired volume. There’s a factory reset if you don’t like your new settings – check the manual for details.
The main cup stand will take a mug of coffee, but there’s also a fold-down stand that’s designed for espresso cups, positioning the spout closer to your mug. It’s a neat design that can take quite tall mugs for lattes, too.
The Pixie is only able to take a larger mug by flipping up the hinged drip tray. Despite the tray being hinged for this purpose, any drips on the outside of the cup will end up on your kitchen surface; with the CitiZ, the drip tray is always available.
- Exceptional range of coffees
- Spot-on temperatures
- Excellent flow control
Heating up in just 25 seconds, the Nespresso CitiZ is ready for action quickly, so you can go from nothing to a shot of espresso in less than a minute.
The very first shot of espresso to come out of the CitiZ was slightly under the 40ml default. I’m assuming this is because the pump has to be primed first with water. After that, shot-after-shot came out at exactly the same level, regardless of the capsule I used.
It was the same for the lungo, too, with the 110ml being delivered consistently regardless of the capsule used.
I should mention the breadth of Nespresso capsules available, which take in pretty much every taste (including decaffeinated) and even special, flavoured capsules. To my mind, Nespresso has the best range of capsules for any pod coffee machine.
Measuring my shot of espresso, it was delivered at 60.1ºC, which is just about right: sufficiently hot, but cool enough to drink straight away. Some people complain about Nespresso machines not being hot enough – but this one, for certain, works at exactly the right temperature. With higher volumes of coffee, such as a lungo, the final temperature was a bit hotter at 73ºC – again, this is just about spot on.
Coffee quality is excellent, too. Of all the pod machines available, Nespresso is the one that delivers the true espresso experience; a rich, reddish-brown crema, and a smooth hit of coffee. Really, the Nespresso system is impressive and the best way to get espresso quickly.
- Drips a little so requires regular cleaning
- Simple descaling when required
As a pod machine, maintenance is at a minimum. Aside from emptying the capsules when the container is full, you’ll need to regularly wash out the drip dray. Regular Nespresso machines such as this one tend to drip quite a bit, so the tray can become quite dirty. The larger Nespresso Vertuo Next uses different pods that are spun at the end to prevent dripping. Vertuo is a different experience, built around larger mug-fulls of coffee, so may not suit your needs.
You’ll also need to descale the machine from time-to-time. Descaling a Nespresso machine is easy enough, but you need to keep track of when to do it manually. According to the manual, if you live in a hard water area then you’ll need to descale every 300 cups. Those in soft water areas can wait for 1200 cups.
This machine has no light to indicate when it’s time to descale, so you’ll either have to plan it in with a diary reminder or wait until you see coffee pouring slowly.
You might like…
Should you buy it?
If you just want espresso or lungo coffee and aren’t so bothered about adding hot milk, this Nespresso machine gets the coffee basics exactly right.
This is a more basic Nespresso machine, so look elsewhere if you either drink mugs of coffee or you want to experiment with milk.
There are more fully featured Nespresso machines available, such as the Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno, which comes with milk frothing. However, not everyone needs the expense or range of features. If you want a simple and relatively small machine, then the Nespresso CitiZ is the best choice. If you’re after something different, then check out my guides to the best coffee machines and the best Nespresso machine.
The CitiZ is a little bit bigger than the Pixie. It doesn’t take up much more counter space, but the CitiZ is taller than its little brother. With the bigger machine you get a larger water container and the used capsule container can take an extra pod.
This machine uses the original Nespresso capsules; not the larger, newer Vertuo pods.
You can dispense espresso (40ml) and lungo (110ml) of coffee from this machine. If you want more volume you can add hot water before you brew (Americano) or after (long black).