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The Most Important Differences To Understand Between Nespresso Pixie, Essenza, CitiZ & Inissia

Nespresso Pixie vs CitiZ vs Essenza vs Inissia
Nespresso Pixie, Essenza Mini, CitiZ and Inissia

The Pixie, Essenza Mini, Essenza Plus, CitiZ and Inissia are part of Nespresso’s Original line. Unlike the Vertuoline models, these machines only brew espresso. Espresso is a concentrated shot of coffee, just over an ounce in size. It’s used to make drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. If you are looking for a Nespresso espresso machine at an affordable price, you are probably trying to figure out which is best for you between the Pixie vs Essenza vs CitiZ vs Inissia. I refer to these as the “basic” Original line models because none have built in milk frothing like the premium Lattissima and Creatista models. Keep reading to learn how these basic Nespresso machines compare.

Nespresso Pixie vs CitiZ vs Essenza vs Inissia

I’ll dive into all of the differences in specs for these models below, but the key takeaway is that the CitiZ, Pixie, Inissia and Essenza Mini are very similar machines. All are reliable and make exactly the same high quality espresso despite the difference in price. The big difference is going to be the design and style; this is a highly personal choice and matters more for some people than others. The Essenza Plus has a couple extra bells and whistles that americano drinkers may value.

ModelThis is the best Nespresso machine for…
Essenza Pluspeople looking for an easy way to make an americano or tea in addition to espresso
Essenza Minipeople especially tight on counter space or who want a brewer they can travel with
CitiZmodern design lovers with ample counter space
Pixieretro design enthusiasts
Inissiathose who prefer a sleek, minimalist design

Espresso Selection And Drink Sizes

There is no difference between the Pixie vs Citiz vs Inissia vs Essenza Mini in terms of drink sizes or pod selections. All four machines brew two different pod sizes (1.35 oz espresso and 3.7 oz lungo) using the same exact 19 bar pressure system. That means you’ll get the same, great tasting espresso no matter which one you pick. Official pods are available from Nespresso and Starbucks, but you can also find store brand pods at retailers near you, including Target and Trader Joe’s.

In addition to an espresso and lungo, the Essenza Plus can make an americano with just the push of a button. If you regularly like to drink an americano, you may value this convenience, though I find it pretty easy to make an americano with any Original Nespresso. The Essenza Plus also has a hot water button if you just want to make some tea, but its easy to get hot water from any of these machines.

How To Use Nespresso Essenza Mini
How To Use Nespresso Essenza Mini

All models will allow you to easily program a custom shot size if you want to extract more or less from each pod. I personally don’t recommend this, but if it tastes good to you then great. You can always reset your machine to go back to the default sizes.

Note that you cannot make regular coffee with any of these models. If you want to be able to brew both coffee and espresso, you should buy a Nespresso Vertuo.

Milk Frothing

How To Use Nespresso Aeroccino 3

While you can drink espresso black, most people buying a Nespresso want to be able to make lattes and cappuccinos. To do that, you’ll need an something that can steam and froth milk since the Pixie, CitiZ, Inissia and Essenza models don’t have this capability built in. You can buy the Aeroccino milk frother separately or in a bundle with your brewer. I find the Aeroccino very easy to use and clean.

Power And Speed

There is not much of a difference in the power rating across the CitiZ, Pixie, Inissia and Essenza models. All heat up in about 25 seconds. They will all take about 30 seconds to brew a pod.

CitiZEssenza MiniEssenza PlusInissiaPixie
Heating Power Rating1260 watts1200-1310 watts1260 watts1200 watts1150-1260 watts

Machine Size

After design, size is probably the next biggest difference between the Pixie, CitiZ, Inissia, Essenza Mini and Essenza Plus. The Essenza Mini is the most compact and lightest of these five models. If you are looking for a machine you can travel with, the Essenza Mini a great choice. The CitiZ is the real outlier in the group, with the biggest footprint and the most weight. There is not much of a difference between the Pixie vs Inissia.

CitiZEssenza MiniEssenza PlusInissiaPixie
Dimensions (WxDxH)8.6 x 14.6 x 10.9 in4.3 x 8.0 x 12.8 in 4.6 x 15.7 x 10.1 in 4.6 in x 12.6 in x 9.1 in4.4 x 12.8 x 9.3 in
Weight8.9 lbs5 lbs7.9 lbs5.3 lbs6.6 lbs

Care And Maintenance

The most frequent caring for my Nespresso that I do a few times a week involves cleaning and refilling the water tank and emptying the used capsule container. The bigger the water tank and used capsule container, the less often you will need to attend to them. With the smallest water tank and used pod holder, the Essenza Mini has the clear disadvantage here vs the Pixie, Inissia and CitiZ. The CitiZ and Essenza Plus have a larger water reservoir vs the Inissia and Pixie, but the CitiZ holds fewer used pods. The Pixie has a red light alert that tells you when the water tank is empty.

All five models will require more deep cleaning (called descaling) every 3 months or so. This will remove mineral buildup from water that can impact performance as well as the taste and temperature of your espresso.

CitiZEssenza MiniEssenza PlusInissiaPixie
Water Tank Size33.8 fl oz20.3 fl oz33.8 fl oz23.8 fl oz24 fl oz
Used Capsule Capacity9 pods6 pods11 pods11 pods11 pods

Breville vs De’Longhi Pixie, CitiZ, Essenza and Inissia

As you are browsing stores, you will likely see two of each of the models listed above. One will be made by De’Longhi and the other by Breville. Both are Nespresso manufacturing partners. The differences between De’Longhi and Breville are mostly minor design details. The “guts” inside the units are the same and designed by Nespresso. Unless you have a really strong design preference, I suggest you pick the model you want and then buy whichever one is cheaper.

De'longhi Essenza Mini Nespresso
Essenza Mini De’Longhi
Breville Essenza Mini Nespresso
Essenza Mini Breville
Nespresso essenza plus de'longhi
Essenza Plus De’Longhi
Nespresso essenza plus breville
Essenza Plus Breville
Breville Inissia Nespresso
Inissia by Breville
De'Longhi Inissia Nespresso
Inissia by De’Longhi
Breville Pixie Nespresso
Pixie by Breville
De'Longhi Pixie Nespresso
Pixie by De’Longhi
nespresso citiz delonghi
CitiZ De’Longhi
nespresso citiz breville
CitiZ Breville

Still unsure about Nespresso?

If you are still on the fence about buying one of these machines, you can read more about why I think a Nespresso is worth it or learn more about the other models out there. You can also check out my in depth review of the Essenza Mini.

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