- Easy insertion and ejection of capsules. Compact Brewing Unit Technology
- Thermoblock heating element - Fast preheating time: 30 seconds
- Folding drip tray accommodates tall recipe glasses - Automatic and programmable coffee volume quantity
- Backlit LED water level detection indicators
- Holds 10 used capsules. Removable water tank: 24 oz or 0.7 L, 1 year warranty from date of purchase and registration
The Coffee Maven Conclusion
Compact design, easy to use, durable and brews a great espresso — all for a surprisingly low price. I love this machine and can’t recommend it highly enough.
The biggest complaint might be how noisy it is, but you can probably deal with that given the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker goes from cold start to completed beverage in 60 seconds.
Not an espresso fan? You can make a host of other beverages, such as the coffee-esque Americano, which makes this machine a direct competitor — and the superior product — to Keurig.
The Coffee Maven Rating: 9.2 of 10
- Design & Performance: 9.3
- Appearance: 9.2
- Durability: 9.2
- Quality of Coffee: 9.3
- Ease of Cleaning: 9.1
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker Review: Product Images
- Part of the Nespresso OriginalLine
- Thermoblock heating element with 25 second heating time
- Folding drip tray to accommodate larger glasses
- Backlit LED water level detection indicator
- Removable 24 oz water tank
- Empty water tank detection
- Buttons for espresso & lungo
- Programmable for custom volume
- Auto-off 9 minutes after use
- Used capsule container with 10 capsule capacity
- Power cord storage
- Comes with 16 Nespresso Grand Crus capsules
- 19 bar high-pressure pump
- 2 year limited warranty
Design & Performance
The Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker is a high-performance brewer, especially for its price range. It doesn’t have the fancy user interface of high-end brewers, but it has everything you need and will provide a great user experience.
This unit comes with two default brew sizes:
- Espresso: 1.35 oz
- Lungo: 3.70 oz
Want to change one or both? That’s where the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker has its first cool feature. To program a new size, just do the following:
- Press and hold the brew button
- Keep holding while your beverage is brewing
- Release when you reach the desired size
The Nespresso Pixie will remember that size. Pretty nifty, huh?
Auto shut-off occurs after 9 minutes of inactivity, which makes it one of the greener single serve coffee and espresso machines on the market. Want another brew? Press the power button to turn it back on, and you’re ready to go in just 25-30 seconds.
When you’re done with your brew, just lift and push down on the handle to eject the used capsule into the storage compartment — it fits 10 used capsules.
Premium aluminum siding with an “avant-garde” design according to Nespresso, this is one compact, stylish brewer.
Made in Switzerland (instead of China like Keurig devices and almost all other home brewers) and with a solid metal exterior, the Nespresso Pixie is made to last.
Of note: The Nespresso Pixie is very similar to the Nespresso Inissia, with one of the main differences being the metal construction of the Pixie vs the plastic construction of the Inissia.
See the comparison table below to compare the different Nespresso models.
The Pixie does come with a 2 year warranty, but my supplemental research turned up many satisfied customers who praised the Nespresso Pixie’s performance over time.
Quality of Coffee
The Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker brews a beautiful espresso, complete with a rich crema on top.
With the easily programmable custom size feature, you can brew your espresso to whatever size and concentration you like.
I registered the water temperature at 190ºF, which was right around where I expect it to be.
Ease of Cleaning
Very easy. The used capsule storage tank needs to be emptied and cleaned after every 10 uses, and it just pulls out with the drip tray. It is not dishwasher safe, so wash by hand.
Like all brewing machines, you’ll need to descale it every few months (or less frequently if you’re using filtered water). Nespresso makes a descaling product, but you can use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water and run a full 24 oz tank. Then just rinse with water.
It’s also a good idea to just run a hot water cycle without a capsule every few days. This will help flush out the system and ensure you get a great espresso every time. It will take a few water-only runs to get it to run clear, though.
What’s the difference between the Nespresso OriginalLine and VertuoLine?
Nespresso has two lines of espresso makers, the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine. Here’s the summary of the changes Nespresso made with their VertuoLine models:
- VertuoLine makes both espresso and long coffee; OriginalLine only makes espresso
- VertuoLine incorporates pod scanning technology, similar to Keurig 2.0 machines
- VertuoLine machines do not extract with a pump; instead they rely on rapid pod spinning
- VertuoLine capsules are more expensive and there aren’t any 3rd party alternatives
- VertuoLine machines use lower water temperature
- VertuoLine machines have a more pronounced crema, but it’s not as rich as that from OriginalLine machines
Read our full Nespresso VertuoLine vs OriginalLine comparison to see why I prefer OriginalLine machines like the Nespresso Pixie.
Does the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker make coffee?
Yes and no. You can’t make coffee like you would in a Keurig or single-serve coffee brewer, but you can make an Americano.
What is an Americano?
An Americano is an espresso with hot water added. You can add hot water to the same volume as a cup of coffee, and they have a very similar concentration.
To make an Americano, follow these steps:
- Brew your espresso with an espresso capsule.
- Brew a second time without a capsule, which will add hot water to the espresso
Remember, you can press and hold the brew button to get the volume of water you want.
(The Nespresso VertuoLine models make an Americano as one of their brew functions, which the Pixie and Inissia do not, but is it really that much effort to press and hold a second brew for hot water?)
Incredibly sleek and compact
There are two standout features in my Nespresso Pixie review. The first is the sleek profile of this machine. It’s pretty tiny and very portable. At just over 4″ in width and 7 lbs in weight, you’re not going to find many single-serve brewers that are anywhere near as compact and portable.
At just 40.9″ sq. of counter space used, the Pixie has the smallest footprint of all Nespresso models evaluated in the above table.
Brew any size you want
The second standout feature is the “brew any size you want” functionality described above in the Design & Performance section. While I’m not going to be brewing 20 oz espressos or Americanos (OK, I definitely did) it’s great being able to brew whatever size I want and even better being able to program it for future brews.
Nespresso pulled a Keurig 2.0 and limited the capsules that can be used
Just like Keurig’s 2.0 brewing system, which scans the K-Cup pods to use only officially licensed K-Cups, Nespresso’s newer versions of their brewers have modified injectors that limit you to using only their capsules.
In terms of cost this isn’t the worst thing ever. You’re probably looking at around $0.75 per capsule, which is comparable to Keurig K-Cup pods (if you’re considering both coffee and espresso makers).
It’s pretty noisy
Noise doesn’t bug me too much, but there’s no doubt this little machine makes its presence known. If you’re planning on using it in the office, I hope your co-workers won’t mind. Even if they do it’s less than a minute for total heating and brewing — they can suck it up.
Other notabable shortcomings
- Rear water reservoir