Shopping for the perfect espresso machine can be tricky. The first thing you need to know is what makes a great espresso. After studying the technology behind the perfect espresso, it’s easy to see why I chose the Nespresso Citiz D120 as my top automatic espresso maker.
There’s nothing wrong with a regular cup of Joe. That’s how it all began, more or less, and affordable and widely available “fancy” coffee options are a pretty recent development. In fact, the modern espresso machine only came into circulation about 60 years ago.
Even after 60 years, though, making espresso is still an art. All the froth and flavorings in the world can’t change a bad cup of coffee. It takes time and experience to make really great coffee, and that goes for the machine as well as the bean.
Nestle has been in the coffee business for almost 150 years, and that refinement has been captured in the Nespresso Citiz with aeroccino. This espresso maker is specially designed to use unique Nestle premium coffee capsules to make the perfect cup of espresso every time.
And, for the most discriminating of espresso connoisseurs, this machine can deliver a perfect milk froth to create a work of art in a (small) cup.
Has The Nespresso D120 Citiz & Milk Got Everything You Need?
To know how to pick out a good espresso machine, it’s good to know what makes good espresso.
Remember, making great espresso doesn’t require special coffee beans, or a particular blend of beans. There is no such thing as an espresso bean, but that doesn’t mean that “any old bean” will do. It is necessary to use premium coffee when brewing espresso, and Nestle offers a generous selection for the Citiz D120.
So, if it’s not the bean, what is it? Believe it or not, it’s really all about pressure and the grind.
A great cup of espresso depends almost entirely on the machine, and that’s what makes picking a good espresso maker so important. A “real” espresso maker will be able to press water through coffee grounds at a minimum of 135 pounds per square inch (PSI).
This is done using steam, and the amount of pressure an espresso maker can produce is measured in bars, where one bar equals 14.5 PSI. So, you will want to only consider espresso makers that produce a minimum of about 9 bars of pressure.
The Citiz coffee maker produces 19 bars of pressure, which ensures a professional-grade cup of espresso every time.
2. The Grind
When people say this or that is “espresso coffee” they are talking about the grind of the coffee, if they know their espresso. Espresso coffee is much more finely ground than coffee used in drip coffee makers.
The grade of grinding actually controls the amount of time it takes to brew a cup of espresso, which is part of the art and science of making it. A good cup of espresso should take between 25-30 seconds to brew using about 1 tablespoon of coffee. Once finished, it will result in 1 to 2 ounces of coffee with a rich, smooth “crema” – a golden brown layer of cream coveted by espresso aficionados.
And, the Nespresso Citiz delivers an amazing crema.
How Does The Citiz “Automatic” Espresso Maker Work?
A “regular” espresso machine has a coffee ground filter that must be properly filled with coffee grounds and then tamped to achieve the perfect ground density. Once this is done, a switch is flipped that forces water through the grounds at the proper pressure.
An automatic machine like the Citiz espresso maker saves you the time and energy it takes to properly measure and tamp the grounds by using hermetically sealed aluminum capsules filled with the perfect amount of fine-ground coffee.
This espresso machine also comes with other features that make it much easier to use and keep clean, such as a 1-liter removable water tank, a removable drip tray and folding cup support.
The Nespresso Citiz is built with an integrated “Aeroccino” that allows you to make a dizzying array of milk-based drinks, or drinks with milk froth. Just fill the Aeroccino with milk and hit the “start” button to create the froth then insert a capsule to brew the accompanying coffee.
This also allows you to make drinks other than “true” espresso, such as cappuccinos and lattes.
16 Different Capsules (“Grand Crus”)
Nestle has developed 16 different “flavors” for use in the Citiz, and are broken down into four categories:
- “Decaffeinatos” (decaffeinated espressos)
- “Lungos” (“long pull” espresso shots made with twice the water of a regular espresso)
- “Pure Origine” (espressos made of coffee beans from a single, specific location)
Each capsule produces one single serving of espresso and costs about $0.55 a cup, compared to the $1.00 – $2.00 you will likely pay at a coffee shop.
One of the most attractive features of the Citiz and milk Nespresso is its size. As the “Citiz” name implies, it is designed with the urban home in mind, which is often limited in space.
The Citiz coffee maker delivers genuine espresso in a space measuring 11” tall x 15” deep by 9” wide, and delivers it all with an energy saver mode.
Nespresso Citiz Black Technical Detail
- Power output: 1710 watts
- Pump or steam: Pump
- Maximum pump pressure: 19 bars
- Color: Limousine black
- Water tank capacity: 4-2/9 cups
- Manufacturer: Nespresso
- Removable water tank: Yes
- Espresso pod adapter: Yes
- Programmable brew amounts/cup sizes: Yes
- Automatic: Yes
Actually, it also comes in 2 other trendy colors; Fire-Engine Red and White. Beautiful!
What You Should Expect to Pay?
You can find this Citiz Nespresso machine at Amazon.com for around $300. Store retail costs will range in the area of $350, but keep in mind there are a few different models available, and what sets this one apart is the Aeroccino milk frother. Amazon also provides FREE shipping on this one.
Citiz Coffee Machine Warranty Information
The warranty on this machine depends upon the country of purchase:
- Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland: 3 years
- European Union and Russia: 2 years
- All other countries: 1 year
Nespresso (Nestle) will, at its option, repair or replace defective parts at no cost to you. That’s good!
At Amazon, for complete peace of mind, you can also purchase the “SquareTrade Care Plans”, which will protect your purchase for 4 years at a cost of 70% lower on average than traditional warranties. Be sure to check it out while there.
The Nespresso Citiz Reviews Are Fantastic
Review for this product are, almost without exception, very good. It is the opinion of many serious coffee critics that this machine delivers an authentic-tasting cup of espresso at an incredible value. Specific praise includes:
- “Great compact size and design”
- “Easy to clean”
- “Superior-tasting espresso”
- “Awesome froth and crema”
Last count I saw well over 100 five star reviews at Amazon.
Any User Complaints?
The chief complaint – made by a few people – is that the aeroccino froth device would not produce a good froth, or that it broke. The overwhelming majority, though, reported no problems with the aeroccino.
Want More Citiz Nespresso Reviews?
You can find even more reviews here for the Nespresso D120 on Amazon.com. The overall average is an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars – that’s 94%! This one is a winner for sure and a sound investment of your hard earned dollars.