Nespresso has two lines of capsule-based espresso machines:
For our money, OriginalLine units are better than VertuoLine because their pump produces more authentic espresso, the resulting coffee tends to be hotter, and there's no barcode scanning system meaning you can find less-expensive pods from other roasters.
One of Nespresso's best-selling models, the Pixie is a touch more feature-rich than the uber-compact Essenza Mini with a pair of upgrades:
In terms of specs and performance, it's basically identical to the Inissia, except the Pixie has an aluminum exterior versus the Inissia's ABS plastic polymer housing.
Capable of brewing espresso and lungo shots from 1.35 oz to 3.70 oz, the machine has two brew buttons, which you can program easily to customize your shot size.
If you'd like to brew specialty beverages (like cappuccinos and lattes), you could always upgrade to the bundle or purchase the Aeroccino4 milk frother separately for your own home barista setup.
This section of our Nespresso Pixie review dives deep into how the Nespresso Pixie espresso maker works and addresses some of the most common questions users have about this small but powerful espresso machine from one of the most recognizable brand names in the coffee world.
Nespresso owns the proprietary technology behind all of their brewers, but they don't actually manufacture them. Instead, four companies are licensed to make the machine:
Each manufacturer produces an espresso machine that performs exactly the same, though you may notice they look a little different. (Hint: Look at the side panels.)
The Nespresso Pixie is an OriginalLine espresso machine and uses OriginalLine Nespresso capsules. Though Nespresso sells their own branded coffee capsules, you can also find compatible third-party coffee capsules for OriginalLine espresso makers from brands like HiLine Coffee, Gourmesso, and more.
VertuoLine coffee machines, like the Nespresso Vertuo Next and Nespresso Evoluo, use different capsules that have DRM barcode scanning technology. You can't use VertuoLine capsules in the Nespresso Pixie.
Our complete comparison of Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine covers all of the similarities and differences.
Our complete guide on Where To Buy Nespresso Pods will help you score the best deals.
The Nespresso Pixie machine is extremely simple to use with a simple brewing process:
That's it—I told you it was easy to use.
There are two answers to this question:
Let me explain.
The espresso produced by the Nespresso Pixie are rich and evenly extracted with a signature crema. In my opinion, the Pixie makes a better shot of espresso than any of Nespresso's VertuoLine machines, and it's certainly better than the espresso produced by the Keurig K-Cafe or any other pod-based coffee maker.
The Pixie won't deliver the same espresso quality as a high-end coffee shop using freshly ground coffee and a professional machine, but it does better than you'd expect from an affordable espresso maker that emphasizes convenience.
True espresso snobs will tell you that any pod-based espresso maker doesn't make a true shot of espresso, which requires the following three criteria to be met:
Technically, the Nespresso Pixie fails on all of those fronts:
Our full guide—What Is Espresso?—has more information on official espresso terminology and definitions.
Overall, the Nespresso Pixie's shots are a rather impressive example of espresso quality for a pod-based espresso machine. If it's good enough for high-end Italian hotels and restaurants—don't let the snob who wrote that article convince you otherwise—it's good enough for at-home espresso enthusiasts like you.
The machine has two buttons for both espresso and lungo shots using OriginalLine coffee capsules. By default, you can brew two beverages:
It doesn't have an integrated milk frother for cappuccinos, lattes, and other specialty beverages like Nespresso Lattissima and Nespresso Creatista models, but you can purchase an Aeroccino frother separately or look for a Nespresso Pixie bundle, which includes both the espresso machine and milk frother.
If you like to drink the occasional long coffee, you can brew an Americano (espresso plus hot water). The Pixie doesn't come with a default button for Americanos like the Nespresso Essenza Plus does, but you can easily program either (or both) of the two buttons on the machine to set up your own Americano system using your favorite Nespresso capsules or other OriginalLine coffee capsules:
In between pressing both buttons, just eject the capsule so you don't re-run water through the spent coffee grounds. That would result in a more bitter cup of espresso.
If you're making milk-based beverages, Americanos, or other drinks with more volume than a typical shot of espresso, you can remove the drip tray to accommodate taller mugs. When it's time to brew a standard shot again, reinsert the drip try to elevate your cup and prevent splashing.
No, the Nespresso Pixie espresso machine doesn't let you brew a full-sized cup of coffee like Keurig coffee makers. However, you can brew an Americano, which has around 5 oz of volume and is similar to a small cup of coffee.
If you really want the ability to brew both coffee and espresso, check out the Nespresso Vertuo Next or another other Nespresso VertuoLine machine. They're a hybrid Nespresso coffee machine and function as both espresso and coffee makers with the ability to brew both espresso shots and full cups of coffee up to 17 oz.
The Nespresso Pixie is reasonably quiet for a pod coffee maker. It's quieter than a Keurig coffee maker and larger Nespresso espresso makers, but you can still hear its motor running from the other room while it pulls a shot of espresso. If you want the quietest Nespresso machine, check out the Nespresso Essenza Mini.
Good question. There are several other features that every Nespresso Pixie review should mention:
Let's round out our Nespresso Pixie review by asking (and answering) the most important question: Why choose the Nespresso Pixie espresso maker instead of the other 20+ Nespresso machines available?
Check out our Nespresso Machine Comparison to see specs for each capsule-based espresso maker.