Another day, another coffee machine review. We’ve cycled through a fair few of these here at Lifehacker Australia, but the simple fact is that we love our daily brew and want to help you land on a machine that’ll get you the best possible coffee at home. This time around, we’re looking at the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista machine — a coffee maker designed for lovers of a milky cup of joe.
Here’s a quick look at the experience of using this machine, and what you can expect if you grab one for yourself.
Real Life Reviews: Nespresso Vertuo Creatista
Before we dig into the experience of using the machine, here’s a look at the specs you need to know about.
- Energy Consumption Class: A+
- Power Saving Mode: Auto-off after 2 minutes
- Heat-Up Time: 30 seconds (coffee) and 3 seconds (milk)
- Water Tank Capacity: 2L
- Milk Jug Capacity: Max line – 0.240L / Jug – 0.480L
- Capsule Container Capacity: 10 small capsules / 6 large capsules
- Dimensions (W X D X H): 245 x 417 x 322 mm
- Machine Weight: 7.035 kg
- Bluetooth & Wi-Fi Enabled: for software updates and assistance
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: $1,099
Ahead of trying the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista, I was aware that its sister machine – the Nespresso Creatista Pro – was introduced into the coffee market last year and was met with pretty positive reviews. I figured that this gave the Vertuo model of the Creatista line a fairly good chance of performing well, too.
As is the case with every Nespresso machine, the set-up is rather simple. Once you’ve connected the water tank and removable tray, you’ll simply need to flush water through the machine and clean the frothing wand, and you’ll be ready to go.
If you’ve ever used a Nespresso Vertuo machine before (or any Nespresso machine, really), the function of the Creatista is much the same. The user experience is about as simple as it gets. Choose your capsule, open the machine lever, insert and press to start.
The machine will pour the ideal length of coffee based on the capsule you’ve chosen – which is neat – but you also have the option to turn any capsule into a double shot, a single shot, or a ristretto using something called ‘expert mode’ on the machine with a double tap.
It has also been fitted with a cup tray that can be moved according to the coffee size you’re making. Set it higher up for short brews and set it at the base level for tall pours.
Where the Creatista really offers an elevated experience, though, is in its milk-frothing ability. I’m not a huge lover of the quality of the Aeroccino foam – it’s too bubbly and doesn’t give you that smooth, frothed milk that a barista-made coffee will. The Creatista machine is fitted with an automatic frothing wand that fixes this issue.
If you want some control over the kind of foam your milk gets, but can’t be bothered with manual frothing, you can use controls on the right of the machine to choose the texture and temperature of the milk. You can then fill the milk jug, set it beneath the wand, press the foam button and let it work its magic.
I am sometimes guilty of being lazy with my coffee-making and just pouring cold milk into the cup, and then zapping it in the microwave. This automatic frother is easy enough that I don’t need to do that. You can leave the milk to froth itself and pour it into your brew once it’s done. The quality of the foam is impressive, too.
After the wand finishes frothing and you’ve removed the milk jug, it’ll self-clean with a rinse of hot water – you just need to wipe down the exterior of the wand, and you’re done.
Like many of Nespresso’s other machines, the Vertuo Creatista also connects to the brand’s app through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It’s useful for guides on use and ordering capsules, but not a whole lot more.
What’s not so good?
Compared to something like the Vertuo POP, the Creatista feels a little chunkier. It’s not massive, but the size difference is noticeable. If you’re someone with a smaller kitchen, it’s worth thinking about how much bench space you want to allocate to your coffee machine before you commit.
It’s also quite a price jump when you set it against other models. The Creatista is over $1,000, whereas something like the POP is priced at $229. Yes, the milk frothing ability is impressive, and it is a huge jump from the quality of the Aeroccino, but is it more than $700 better? I suppose that depends on how much you care about the milk in your coffee.
I’d also say that this price point brings the pod machine into the realm of (beyond, even) manual coffee makers, and capsule coffee – while convenient and nice enough – cannot compare in taste there. Manual DeLonghi machines, for example, range from about $600 to $1,500, so there is a question to be asked about what the better investment is. The answer really depends on the kind of coffee experience you’re after.
Nespresso Vertuo Creatista: The verdict
For lovers of a capsule coffee, the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista offers one of the most seamless experiences you’ll find. From the brewing of the coffee to the frothing of the milk, Nespresso has packaged the whole journey to make it as easy as possible. The machine looks slick, it works well, and it makes a nice cup of coffee – in a range of styles. It’s a pretty faultless option for folks who want an easy coffee at home: it’ll just set you back a considerable amount in the process.