When the Nespresso Inissia went on sale recently, I knew I had to give it a try. As much as I love filter coffee, I don’t always feel like making it. Sometimes it nice to have an espresso machine that brews automatically, and I knew the Inissia would be perfect for guests. Here’s my review after a month of use.
Nespresso Inissia Features
The Inissia is an entry-level espresso maker in the Nespresso family. It brews espresso exclusively via proprietary Nespresso capsules, which you can buy through Nespresso, on Amazon, or in local stores. The machine also comes with a sample pack of 16 capsules.
I was initially drawn to the Inissia because of its small size and compact profile. The machine is about the size of an encyclopedia book. It’s perfect for small kitchens, and can also easily be fit inside a cupboard when not in use.
Here are some more features:
- Brews both espresso and lungo coffees with the touch of a button
- Heats up and brews in approximately 30 seconds
- Removable water reservoir holds 0.7L (9 cups of coffee)
- Capable of 19-bars of pressure
- Drip tray and automatic capsule disposal
- Voltage: Rated for 120V (it will not work on 220V outlets in Europe)
- Price: Approximately $100 USD
Many espresso machines in this price range do not actually deliver sufficient pressure at the proper temperature to make true espresso. This machine does.
Another draw to the Inissia (and Nespresso in general) is the ease of use. Just turn the machine on, insert a capsule, press a button, and you’re done. There are no messy grounds to throw away or coffee pots to clean. This is perfect for mornings when you just don’t feel like grinding beans.
The Inissia is made of plastic but does not feel cheap. All the parts, including the plastic water reservior, are not easily breakble. The handle on the machine is metal, which I thought was a nice touch. Overall the machine feels very solid and sturdy on my counter. It looks like it will last a long time.
Note that the Inissia is an espresso machine. You can make a standard 1.35-oz espresso or a larger 3.7-oz lungo with this machine. You can also add water to an espresso to make an Americano. It does not make traditional drip coffee. The left-most button on the machine makes espresso. The right button brews lungos. Beyond this there are no other customization options.
Setting Up the Inissia Espresso Maker & Brewing
It look only a few seconds to remove the Inissia and set it up on my kitchen counter. An instruction manual was included. Naturally, I did not read it.
The Nespresso’s water tank sits securely in the back of machine. You can remove it for filling. I filled it in the sink and turned the machine on. Instead of brewing a capsule right away, I decided to run a few brews without a pod to clean out the inside of the machine. This step probably wasn’t necessary.
Next, I raised the handle on the top of the machine to reveal the capsule holder within. I inserted a green capsule (a Capriccio), pulled the handle down, and pressed the espresso button on the rear left of the machine. I was initially confused because the button flashed and nothing was happening. It turns out the machine was simply heating water. Within 20 seconds a stream of espresso bubbled from the nozzle on the front of the machine into my cup.
I smelled the espresso, savored the aroma, and drank it. I promptly brewed another.
The Inissia brewed espresso consistently and reliably. Unlike previous Keurig machines I have tried, I did not run into issues with wasted capsules or incomplete brews.
The Capriccio I brewed had a good but not overwheling flavor profile. My shots were full of crema and a strong body of flavor, though many did taste slightly burnt. Overall I was satisfied with the ease at which I could make espresso.
In terms of quality, the Nespresso is the best automatic espresso machine I have tried. The shots I made did not come close to the level of a professional barista using a fully manual or semi-automatic machine. Given that this is a $100 espresso machine using pre-ground capsules, I did not have grand expectations when I got started.
After brewing 50 capsules, I have yet to run into any major issues. Sometimes if a capsule is slightly dented, it will not fit into the holder and I will not be able to use it. This is an annoyance but happens rarely.
I ended up being more impressed than I originally expected. The Inissia produces great-tasting espresso. I’m lucky to have it in my kitchen.
Nespresso Inissia Price & Availability
The Nespresso Inissia espresso maker is available online and in retail stores for approximately $100.00. Sometimes the machine goes on sale for less. All machines come with a starter pack of 16 capsules and a one-year warranty. I bought the grey machine and later found out that black and red are also available. I personally would choose the grey or red.
Should I get the Nespresso Inissia Bundle with the Aeroccino?
A special Nespresso Inissia bundle with an Aeroccino milk frother is also available for
around $140. This is a $40- $50 savings off buying the two seperately. I opted to buy only the machine instead of the bundle because I rarely make milk-based drinks.
As we noted in our article about the Aeroccino, this milk frother does a very fine job of frothing regular milk, half-and-half, and almost any milk substitute.
I recommend the bundle if you plan to make lattes, cappuccinos and other milk-based drinks on a regular basis. Note that this deal comes with the older Aeroccino 3 and not the newer Aeroccino 4. This should not make a difference for most users.
The Nespresso Citiz vs Inissia vs Pixie
The Inissia is currently the lowest-priced Nespresso machine. Compared to the Citiz, the Inissia has a smaller water tank (approximately 50% less capacity) and overall smaller size. Both the Citiz and the Pixie are built with potentially more durable metal parts– they will look better in a modern kitchen. The same differences also apply between the Citiz and Pixie.
From my experience, the Inissia is perfect for one person or perhaps two. The larger water tanks of the Pixie and Citiz make them ideal for multiple people, especially offices.
All three machines have a 19-bar pump and all three of them will look great in your kitchen.
Do you have to use Nespresso capsules, or will other capsules like K-cups work?
One of my favorite parts about the Nespresso system is the huge range of capsules available. The beautiful colors of the capsules look great in my kitchen. It’s always fun to try new ones.
That being said, buying a Nespresso machine means investing in the Nespresso system. You cannot use K-cups, Tassimo capsules, or other coffee pods in Nespresso makers. You can find third-party refillable capsules that let you use your own coffee in a Nespresso machine, but we don’t recommend them for the following reasons:
- You’re unlikely to produce the fine espresso grind necessary unless you have a very expensive grinder
- The results will likely be inconsistent
- You won’t enjoy the full benefits of the machine– just buy a manual espresso machine if you want to do it yourself
You also cannot use Nescafe Dolce Gusto or Vertuoline capsules with this machine.
Does the Inissia frothe milk?
The Inissia does not frothe or steam milk. You need to purchase a separate milk frother such as the Aeroccino or use a wand to frothe milk. You also should not place milk or any other liquid other than water inside the machine.
How loud is the Inissia?
The Inissia is audible but not overly loud. Rubber feet on the bottom of the machine help reduce noise. It might wake someone up in the same room but definitely will not wake up someone in another room. It is quieter than Keurig machines I have used.
Final thoughts: Is the Inissia worth buying?
I bought the Nespresso Inissia espresso maker because I was looking for a simple solution for automatically making espresso. I love grinding my own coffee and manually brewing with my pourover most of the time, but there are mornings where I just don’t feel like it. I also host guests from time-to-time, and feel uncomfortable unless they have an easy way to make coffee. This machine is a good solution for most people.
With that in mind you also need to consider the costs of the replacement capsules, which generally cost approximately $0.70 (70 cents) wherever you go. This price is inexpensive compared to buying a shot of espresso at a coffee shop and comparable to other capsule-based machines. If you drink 3-5 cups of coffee a day, however, this cost will add up.
For me it works out perfectly. I hope to keep my Inissia for many years to come.
The Nespresso Inissia may be Nespresso’s entry-level machine, but it’s just as good as any other model. This is the ideal Nespresso maker for one or two people. It’s an exceptional value for the money.