The Pixie machine is an amazingly versatile coffee machine due to its size and simple but useful features. The lack of a container for milk or a milk frother may put some cappuccino enthusiasts off a little bit, but there is no mistaking that this is great entry level coffee machine for general purpose use.
The Pixie is one of Nespresso’s fastest selling coffee machine ranges. The entire concept of the Pixie range revolves around being extremely handy, fast and tightly packaged. In the more modern era post-2010 where affordable at-home coffee machines became a lot more mainstream, this is designed as a hassle-free, entry level appliance that can be used in places outside of a kitchen as well.
The official Nespresso marketing strategy on the Pixie focuses on five primary selling points: Fast, Intuitive, Cool, Ergonomic and Energy Efficient. These rather conveniently translate (with one exception – read on to find out which) to the main points of note about this machine, so we’ll talk about them in that order.
This is particularly useful if you’re the kind of soul that absolutely minimises time spent between bed and your front door in the morning (think sleeping in as long as possible). Within the entire Nespresso range, the Pixie is by far the quickest, using it’s built-in heater to reach brewing temperature in a mere 25 seconds.
If you are a big fan of spontaneous decisions or needing your coffee in a hurry, this will genuinely make a tangible and welcome difference to your day compared with many other coffee machines (including some of the larger Nespresso ones) that take one or several minutes to get ready to produce your coffee.
However, if you’re happy to relax or tend to anticipate a bit more in advance when you’d like your coffee (I’ll have my afternoon tea at four, thank you very much), then this is unlikely to be the most critical thing to consider – but still rather useful.
We’re admittedly not so certain that ‘intuitive’ is the correct word here, perhaps in favour of ‘intelligent’ – but in marketing-speak this still gets the point across. The Nespresso Pixie has a smart system that tells you when it’s about to run out of water. Using a fibre optic system (which we suspect is another way of saying “is our light going all fuzzy when it shines through the water?”) the machine works out what the water level is and senses exactly where it happens to be.
Two vertical rows of lights either side of where you place your cup on the front of the machine then light up and warn you when the water level needs topping up. The official Nespresso website makes mention of “infra-red lights” but given humans can’t see infra-red light with the naked eye, we’re going to assume it’s just “red”. Either way, it’s a useful feature and the fact that multiple lights are used make it great for people on-the-go / in a rush as it’s easier to spot and deal with quickly.
So, of the descriptors and selling points that Nespresso use, this is arguably the one which makes the least sense. What ‘cool’ is in fact referring to are the colours and finishes that you can buy a Pixie coffee machine in – ideally we would just rename this ‘colours’ but confess it doesn’t quite sound as marketable.
The Pixie machine comes in two finishes: “steel” and “electric”. The steel finish focuses more on the texture of the finish, coming in two variations – lines or dots, which are fairly self explanatory and look quite nice. The “electric” finishes are the standard colour range, which slightly confusingly also include a metal themed “aluminium” colour which is akin to brushed metal kind of look/feel as well as a “titanium” colour which is slightly darker with horizontal lines/grooves on the side of the machine.
The other electric finish colours are brown, carmine red, red (carmine red has a more refined texture with tiny dots in a pattern while the regular red one has horizontal lines/grooves as part of the design) and lime.
A neat additional note on this is that the two newest electric finish colours at the time of writing (carmine red and brown) have their aluminium side panels made almost entirely out of recycled Nespresso capsules – awesome. The material used to make them is designed to be infinitely recyclable without degradation in quality, which makes your purchase just that little bit more eco-friendly.
The Pixie prides itself in being the smallest of all of Nespresso’s coffee machines. Its dimensions are 11.1 x 23.5 x 32.6 cm, which translates as roughly 4.4 x 9.3 x 12.9 inches – basically, rather compact!
The cup holder is adjustable for espresso, lungo (an espresso but typically with 2-3 times the water, effectively a ‘stretched espresso’) or latte macchiato heights which is a useful feature, and the stainless steel handle makes it a breeze to carry.
Because of its size, one thing we noticed about the Nespresso Pixie machine is that it doesn’t really look too out of place in rooms other than the kitchen – it can fit in a tucked away corner or on the side of a table in the living room or even on a patio (although we wouldn’t recommend keeping it somewhere where it can get wet).
Aside from the recycling credentials mentioned previously about the carmine red and brown models using 98% recycled Nespresso coffee capsules, the Pixie machine also has an extremely useful auto-shut feature which turns itself off after 9 minutes of inactivity (No, we don’t know why it isn’t 8 or 10 either – but never mind!).
This is great for two reasons: the first is the obvious about not having to try and remember if you switched the machine off, but the second is great news for people on-the-go who can forget about this entirely, since after the 25-second brew temperature heating time of the water it also shuts itself off if you need to rush out the door.
The Pixie is an amazingly versatile Nespresso coffee machine due to its size and simple but useful features. The visual water level warning is a great touch, and we love that you can bring it around the house to have it fit in wherever it is most useful. The lack of a container for milk or a milk frother may put some cappuccino enthusiasts off a little bit, but there is no mistaking that this is great entry level Nespresso coffee machine for general purpose use.
One potential pitfall to note is that because of its limited size, you will inevitably be emptying the used Nespresso capsule container (listed maximum: 10) and topping up the water supply (listed capacity: 0.7L) a little more often than other machines, but we think this is only a minor / negligible issue given how great its upsides can be if you want it specifically for its portability or placing it outside of the kitchen.
The Nespresso range includes large work-horse coffee machines ideal for the workplace, and others compact and ergonomic ideal for placing outside of the kitchen. Some machines are suited more to those who adore their milk-based coffee, others designed to speedily deliver a delicious espresso or lungo drink.
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