Victoria Spring 2011 – Single Serve espresso from Nespresso Pixie

Brewing single serve Pod quick view Nespresso PixieHad the pleasure of getting a 1 week loan of the Nespresso Pixie from Weber Shandwick of Vancouver – thanks to the lovely Nicole G. for turning me loose on this new coffee maker.

The Nespresso Pixie is a fast heat-up single serve espresso pod brewer. And when I say “Fast Heating” – I am not kidding. I did not measure the time exactly, but after power up, the unit appeared ready to brew in under 2 minutes. Great if you are in a hurry in the morning.

I have done some other reviews of ESE “Easy Service Espresso” – which is different than the pod over here and here

The ESE machines I have used have been awesome – and a tad more eco friendly.
I might as well get this out there right now – The Nespresso system is downright ecologically unfriendly – using plastics and tinfoil in the pod product. Over the life of the unit this would amount to a boat load of waste products. Personally, I cannot support systems like this and would try and steer folks away from POD systems on this basis alone.

If not for that, what of the flavor?

I am not entirely sure how Pods are manufactured or whether or not they are flushed and sealed with nitrogen to keep the coffee even remotely fresh – I suspect not. Pretty sure that ESE’s are, at least, partially staled prior to packing and shipping. POD’s could not possibly be too fresh because the pods would burst open without a method of de-gassing. And the pods do not appear to have 1-way valves.

Flavor – at first spin, the flavor of the pods are not too jarring – depending entirely on “stopping” the shot prior to the full brew cycle. Bottom line here is: the dose of the pod is not nearly high enough for a decent single – that is, a 1+ fluid ounce shot of espresso… it’s close, but it is not quite enough.
As a result, every long pull pod serving is hopelessly over-extracted and watery… and, well… bitter.

Weber Shandwick was kind enough to send me around 10 Pods to sample – some of them were Decaf – which I blended in double shots during my evening photo shoot of the product. Overall impression over the course of brewing the different “espresso flavors” was one of, ahem *Meh. Hate to say that but I have to be cruelly honest about this. Even if the Nespresso system was not a complete Eco pig, it will still come down to trying to get too much flavor from too small a dose of coffee. Fix that and the pod manufacture materials and maybe Nescafe might be on to something.

If you are the kind of person that does not mind playing 50 cents per shot of coffee and are willing to double-pod your morning experience and short pull all your Pods, this might be the baby for you.

For me, not so much. Thumbs down on the Nespresso Pixie Pod system.

Brewing single serve Pod quick view Nespresso Pixie