Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville Review
I’ve been a delighted owner of the Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus since May of 2021. Before getting the Creatista, I would often go to coffee shops when I wanted something more indulgent than what I could make at home with the very basic drip coffee maker. Now I can easily make milk-based espresso drinks at home by just pressing a few buttons. Not only is it nice to look at on the kitchen counter, but the Creatista drinks are tasty and it has helped me save both time and money. Keep reading for my full review.
[Note for UK visitors: This review also applies to the Creatista Plus by Sage. The model is designed by Nespresso and made by it’s partners, Breville in the US and Sage in the UK]
Nespresso Creatista Plus Complete Review
Design & Features
The Creatista Plus is definitely one of the most beautiful Nespresso machines. My model is the brushed stainless steel finish. You may be able to find it in other colors at retailers like Williams-Sonoma, including Sea Salt White, Black Truffle, and Damson Blue.
Milk frothing and steaming functionality is built directly into the machine. No separate accessories like the Aeroccino are needed to make milk-based drinks. Just use the stainless steel milk jug that comes in the box to quickly and easily prep the milk.
The water tank is easy to remove, making it easy to refill at your tap or water filter. The used capsule container and drip tray are also removable for easy clean up.
There is also a cup tray that you can push in or out. This is helpful if you are making an espresso shot or cappuccino into a shorter glass as it will raise the glass closer to the coffee outlet. If you are using a larger glass, simply push the tray in and rest the glass on the drip tray.
Coffee Preparation Options
The Creatista is part of Nespresso’s OriginalLine. These espresso machines only brew a highly concentrated shot of coffee that is used in popular drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. You won’t be able to make a regular 8 oz American cup of coffee with the Creatista. To have the option of preparing both espresso and regular coffee, you would have to get a VertuoLine machine.
The range of drinks you can prepare with the Creatista Plus with the push of some buttons is what makes this machine so special. There are 7 drinks to choose from:
To get the best results with the steam wand, you will want to use whole milk. This is true of just about all milk frothers, especially if you want to do latte art. I’m not a big fan of whole milk, so I’ve been using 2% and it works pretty well. I took the default froth level for cappuccinos up a notch and I get a level of froth that I’m happy with. Non-dairy milks generally don’t work as well if you are looking for textured milk froth or quality micro foam. That said, I’ve used soy milk a couple times for guests with allergies.
One slight inconvenience is that all pods are single serve. If I am preparing a drink to take on the road, I like to make it a double. To do this with the Creatista, I first select espresso and brew a single pod into my travel mug. Then I insert a new pod, fill the milk jug to the max line, turn the knob to my desired milk-based drink and then hit select.
Espresso Pod Flavors
If you are new to Nespresso pods, you’ll have plenty to choose from to find your favorites. There is a range of caffeine levels, intensity levels and flavors, like caramel and vanilla. These pods are the ones we use most often. If you like lattes, see my picks for the best Nespresso pods for lattes.
You’ll also be able to find OriginalLine pods from third party brands. The only official Nespresso partner is Starbucks. I’ve used the Starbucks pods and enjoyed them, but they are slightly more expensive than pods from Nespresso. You can also find pods made by Peet’s Coffee, Williams-Sonoma, Cafe Bustelo and more. In some cases these may be less expensive than buying the official Nespresso branded pods.
Price & Value
The Creatista Plus is among the most expensive Nespresso machines on the market. The suggested retail price is around $600. However, you may be able to find it on sale from time to time on Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond and other retailers. While the price tag is high, I believe in the saying “you get what you pay for.” As written above, it has more functionality and beverage options than other models. Plus, I’ve had zero technical issues with the machine so far. It seems very reliable.
While the price tag on the machine may be high, a better way to look at it is the daily cost of using the Creatista to make coffee at home vs. what you are spending at coffee shops today. Assume you will have the machine for two years (the length of the warranty). That puts the total daily cost of making a coffee with the Creatista at $1.84. That is much less than you would pay for a tall latte drink at Starbucks. If you regularly buy fancy coffees, I believe you will save money in the end by buying this machine.
|Machine ($600 / (2 years x 365 days))||$0.82|
|Milk And Other Add-ins||$0.30|
|Total Per Drink||$1.84|
Cleaning & Care
I do three things to take care of my espresso maker every day:
- Empty the used pod immediately after use. This helps prevent coffee grinds build up which can make your next cup of coffee taste bitter or burnt.
- Run a water only espresso or lungo cycle with no pod in the holder. This also helps remove any coffee grind buildup.
- Fill the milk jug with water only between the two lines and run a milk steaming cycle. This removes any residue buildup inside the steam wand.
Beyond the daily cleaning, there are two less frequent cleaning steps you’ll have to do. Around every month, the machine will alert you that is time to clean the steam wand. There is a special tool you can use to do so located under the water tank. It’s a very simple process that takes 5-10 minutes to complete.
Every three months or so, you will need to descale your machine. This cleaning process removes mineral buildup from the water used to brew the espresso. If ignored, these minerals can have a negative impact on the taste and temperature of your coffee.
If you have hard water, meaning it contains more minerals, you should descale more often. The machine includes water testing strips in every box. Follow the steps in the user manual to test your water and set the unit to the correct water hardness level.
- Heat up time: 3 seconds
- Pressure: 19 bar high pressure pump
- Weight: 11.4 lbs
- Dimensions: 15.4″ deep x 12″ tall x 6.7 wide
- Warranty: 2 years
- Cable length: 47 inches
- Used capsule container capacity: 12 pods
- Water tank capacity: 50 fl oz
- Power rating: 1600 watts
Creatista Plus vs Creatista Pro or Uno
The Pro has a color digital touch screen, plus some more functionality and drink options. The Pro’s water tank is about 30% larger and the machine is slightly wider and deeper. See my full review for how the Creatista Pro compares to the Plus.
Breville Creatista vs Delonghi Lattissima Range
Like the Creatista Plus, the Nespresso Gran Lattissima or Lattissima Pro by De’Longhi can make the same seven beverages. I personally chose the Plus over the Lattissima because I liked the stainless steel design. I also liked the option of having more control over the milk frothing using the jug and steam wand vs the Lattissima’s rapid cappuccino milk system. That Lattissima milk system also requires a bit more clean up. You can see my related post for a detailed comparison of the five Lattissima models.
Nespresso Creatista Plus vs Keurig K-Cafe
Maybe you are still on the fence about whether Nespresso machines are worth it and are considering other options like the Keurig K-Cafe coffee machine. If you are looking for a true espresso pod brewer, you’ll want to stay away from Keurig. Even though the K-cafe and the K-Latte tout the ability to make espresso based drinks, the reality is that no Keurig model has enough pressure to extract a true espresso shot. What these machines do is brew a more concentrated coffee than a traditional Keurig machine; but that doesn’t make it espresso. If you want to make a real latte and cappuccino, stick with Nespresso.
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