The Nespresso Citiz by DeLonghi is just plain gorgeous. While not compact, it’s narrow so it doesn’t take up a wide swath of countertop space. As the tank (which easily detaches for filling at the sink) holds enough water for about 17 cups, this brewer is perfect for espresso-loving households that feed their habit throughout the day.
The Citiz uses OriginalLine capsules, which only brew espresso. (If you want an 8 oz. cup of coffee, you'll have to buy a VertuoLine machine.) Each time you pop in a new capsule, the last one is automatically dispensed into an internal chamber which you empty after nine cups. With a lever to lock the capsule in place and just two buttons—one for espresso and one for the larger lungo (Italian for long) it couldn’t be easier to operate. If you want to brew into a tall cup for a double cap or an iced beverage, you flip up the espresso cup holder.
Every cup of espresso brewed in less than 25 seconds, was 2 ounces or less, and was hot enough even if you opt to add a dash of cold milk. If you like your cup shorter (fewer ounces and more intense) or taller (more ounces but less strength) you can set the volume you prefer by holding down the button as it brews and releasing it when your desired amount is dispensed; the Citiz will remember the setting. In cup after cup, Nespresso espressos had the combination of bitter and sweet notes that make espresso so satisfying.
The company offers a large variety of capsules from beans grown all over the world, including special editions and flavored coffees, varying in price from 70 cents to $1.25 per capsule. One objection to Nespresso systems is that the aluminum capsules are discarded after a single use. Nespresso has addressed this by making the capsules recyclable and providing mailers to send them back for processing. You can also buy compatible capsules that are compostable and biodegradable. In our tests, we found that they were less consistent than Nespresso-branded ones at delivering a layer of crema and in taste.
See more of the best single-serve espresso makers we tested and reviewed.