The Nespresso Essenza C100
is one of the more modestly priced Nespresso espresso machines retailing at around $229. Like all other Nespresso machines, the Nespresso Essenza C100 makes use of the Nespresso capsule system, which are small capsules filled with coffee for one-time brews -- you simply click a button and discard the used coffee.
What Does it Do
The machine has a 0.9 liter removable water tank which lets you keep enough water to brew espressos all day long. There are two buttons: one for pre-programmed espresso brewing and another for brewing lungos. If you'd like to overwrite a particular brew time, all you need to do is hold down the brew button for as long as you want to brew your particular espresso. The machine is missing a milk frother which is a bit of a let down, specially since even the most budget-friendly espresso machines include this feature.
Brewing with the Nespresso Essenza
Like the more expensive cousin of this machine, the Nespresso Le Cube, to brew a shot of espresso or lungo with your Essenza you lift the lever on top of the machine, place your Nespresso coffee blend capsule into the machine, pull down the lever, and press the brew button. It typically takes an espresso about 7 seconds from the time you press the espresso button till the last drip falls into our cup. The lungo takes roughly 14 seconds to brew. Unlike the Nespresso Le Cube however, the lever system is not as high-end.
Once you are done brewing your espresso, the coffee capsule blend falls into a capsule container that can hold up to 14 used capsules. So, clean up is done once every 14 brews when you remove the basket from the machine, throw the used capsules into a waste basket and wash the capsule container to ensure you keep things clean.
As of this review, Nespresso offers 12 premium coffee blends (9 espresso, 3 lungo), each one with a different taste, aroma, and richness. This means that most tastes will be satisfied. Though the coffee was rich, we found that even the strongest blend, the Ristretto, was not strong enough to satisfy our taste. Strangely enough, the less potent Arpeggio espresso blend was our favorite, perhaps because each sip was bitter-sweet (we detected a hint of cocoa). Maybe we are used to the full flavor of a typical Cuban espresso, but we wished that Nespresso would provide a stronger bodied capsule blend for those of us who like our espresso really strong.
Individuals who prefer the taste of caffe americano enjoyed the Finezzo lungo blend and the lighter espresso blends like the Volluto, but did not like the stronger espresso blends like the Roma.
The Nespresso Essenza lacks a milk frother so it feels a bit incomplete, specially at $229. However, if you are looking for a fast espresso machine, it doesn't get any faster than this. If you are on a budget and love Nespresso coffee, we recommend this machine over the Le Cube. If you have a bit more money to spend, we recommend the Le Cube over the Essenza as it is a more nicely designed machine with better components and a sexier outer body.
- A more affordable Nespresso
- Lighting fast brewing
- Easy clean up
- Great variety of espresso blends are available
- Overall, not the prettiest espresso machine
- Coffee pods are on the pricey side
- The strongest espresso blend isn't strong enough
- Lacks a frother