Pixie espresso machine by de’longhi with aeroccino milk frother

Below are the best pixie espresso machine by de'longhi with aeroccino milk frother articles edited and compiled by Family Cuisine

Video Pixie espresso machine by de'longhi with aeroccino milk frother

This section of our Nespresso Pixie review dives deep into how the Nespresso Pixie espresso maker works and addresses some of the most common questions users have about this small but powerful espresso machine from one of the most recognizable brand names in the coffee world.

Who makes the Nespresso Pixie?

Nespresso owns the proprietary technology behind all of their brewers, but they don’t actually manufacture them. Instead, four companies are licensed to make the machine:

  • In the United States and Canada, it’s made by both Breville and DeLonghi.
  • In the United Kingdom, it’s made by both Krups and Magimix.

Each manufacturer produces an espresso machine that performs exactly the same, though you may notice they look a little different. (Hint: Look at the side panels.)

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by Breville
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker by DeLonghi

What pods does the Nespresso Pixie use?

The Nespresso Pixie is an OriginalLine espresso machine and uses OriginalLine Nespresso capsules. Though Nespresso sells their own branded coffee capsules, you can also find compatible third-party coffee capsules for OriginalLine espresso makers from brands like HiLine Coffee, Gourmesso, and more.

VertuoLine coffee machines, like the Nespresso Vertuo Next and Nespresso Evoluo, use different capsules that have DRM barcode scanning technology. You can’t use VertuoLine capsules in the Nespresso Pixie.

Our complete comparison of Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine covers all of the similarities and differences.

Our complete guide on Where To Buy Nespresso Pods will help you score the best deals.

Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine Capsules

How to use the Nespresso Pixie

The Nespresso Pixie machine is extremely simple to use with a simple brewing process:

  1. Fill the machine’s 24 oz water tank with filtered water (the machine doesn’t have a water filter in its water tank).
  2. Press either of the two buttons on top of the machine to heat the water to brewing temp—about 185°F (85°C). The two buttons will blink for about 25 seconds until the water has reached brewing temp, after which they’ll remain on.
  3. Insert your coffee capsule of choice from either Nespresso or a third-party roaster.
  4. Place your demitasse cup or mug under the exit nozzle on top of the drip tray. You can remove the drip tray to accommodate taller mugs.
  5. Choose which size you want—either a 1.35 oz shot of espresso or 3.70 oz lungo shot. The machine also has a simple “custom shot size” feature, which allows you to set the espresso or lungo button to any volume. To customize your shot of espresso, press and hold the button you’d like to program. The 19 bar pressure pump will begin extracting your shot. When you’ve reached your desired volume, release the button. The machine will remember that volume every time you brew using the same button (until you change it again, that is).
  6. The machine doesn’t come with a milk frother, but you can buy a Nespresso Aeroccino frother either separately or as part of a bundle to froth milk for cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos, flat whites, and whatever Nespresso recipe you can concoct.
  7. Enjoy your espresso shot or great espresso-based specialty beverage.
  8. After brewing, the used capsule will remain in the brewing chamber until your next brew. When you open the chamber, the used capsule falls into the spent capsule container, which holds about 10 used capsules on the Pixie.
  9. After every few uses, empty and clean out the drip tray.

That’s it—I told you it was easy to use.

Does the Nespresso Pixie make quality espresso?

There are two answers to this question:

  • Simple answer: Yes, the espresso quality is quite high.
  • Technical answer: Not exactly, because the machine doesn’t make true espresso.

Let me explain.

Simple answer

The espresso produced by the Nespresso Pixie are rich and evenly extracted with a signature crema. In my opinion, the Pixie makes a better shot of espresso than any of Nespresso’s VertuoLine machines, and it’s certainly better than the espresso produced by the Keurig K-Cafe or any other pod-based coffee maker.

The Pixie won’t deliver the same espresso quality as a high-end coffee shop using freshly ground coffee and a professional machine, but it does better than you’d expect from an affordable espresso maker that emphasizes convenience.

Technical answer

True espresso snobs will tell you that any pod-based espresso maker doesn’t make a true shot of espresso, which requires the following three criteria to be met:

  • 200ºF water temperature
  • 9 bars of pressure during extraction
  • 25-30 seconds of extraction time

Technically, the Nespresso Pixie fails on all of those fronts:

  • Water is heated to just 185ºF instead of 200ºF.
  • The Pixie’s 19 bar pressure pump applies pressure inconsistently and doesn’t maintain pressures about 9 bars.
  • Extraction times are less than 25-30 seconds because Nespresso capsules have less ground coffee than a barista would dose into a portafilter.

Our full guide—What Is Espresso?—has more information on official espresso terminology and definitions.

Overall, the Nespresso Pixie’s shots are a rather impressive example of espresso quality for a pod-based espresso machine. If it’s good enough for high-end Italian hotels and restaurants—don’t let the snob who wrote that article convince you otherwise—it’s good enough for at-home espresso enthusiasts like you.

What beverages can I make with the Nespresso Pixie?

The machine has two buttons for both espresso and lungo shots using OriginalLine coffee capsules. By default, you can brew two beverages:

  • 1.35 oz espresso shot
  • 3.70 oz lungo shot

It doesn’t have an integrated milk frother for cappuccinos, lattes, and other specialty beverages like Nespresso Lattissima and Nespresso Creatista models, but you can purchase an Aeroccino frother separately or look for a Nespresso Pixie bundle, which includes both the espresso machine and milk frother.

If you like to drink the occasional long coffee, you can brew an Americano (espresso plus hot water). The Pixie doesn’t come with a default button for Americanos like the Nespresso Essenza Plus does, but you can easily program either (or both) of the two buttons on the machine to set up your own Americano system using your favorite Nespresso capsules or other OriginalLine coffee capsules:

  1. Set one button to be your preferred shot size
  2. Set the other button to be your preferred hot water volume

In between pressing both buttons, just eject the capsule so you don’t re-run water through the spent coffee grounds. That would result in a more bitter cup of espresso.

If you’re making milk-based beverages, Americanos, or other drinks with more volume than a typical shot of espresso, you can remove the drip tray to accommodate taller mugs. When it’s time to brew a standard shot again, reinsert the drip try to elevate your cup and prevent splashing.

Can I brew a regular cup of coffee with the Nespresso Pixie?

No, the Nespresso Pixie espresso machine doesn’t let you brew a full-sized cup of coffee like Keurig coffee makers. However, you can brew an Americano, which has around 5 oz of volume and is similar to a small cup of coffee.

If you really want the ability to brew both coffee and espresso, check out the Nespresso Vertuo Next or another other Nespresso VertuoLine machine. They’re a hybrid Nespresso coffee machine and function as both espresso and coffee makers with the ability to brew both espresso shots and full cups of coffee up to 17 oz.

How quiet is the Nespresso Pixie espresso machine?

The Nespresso Pixie is reasonably quiet for a pod coffee maker. It’s quieter than a Keurig coffee maker and larger Nespresso espresso makers, but you can still hear its motor running from the other room while it pulls a shot of espresso. If you want the quietest Nespresso machine, check out the Nespresso Essenza Mini.

What other features should I know about the Nespresso Pixie?

Good question. There are several other features that every Nespresso Pixie review should mention:

  • Automatic shutoff: Program the machine to power off after 9-30 minutes of inactivity. Out of the box, the unit is set to power off after nine minutes.
  • Removable water tank: The machine’s 24 oz water tank is positioned in the rear and can be removed for easy refilling. Consider where you’ll place the machine and make sure you have enough overhead space to reach behind the unit and remove the water tank.
  • Recyclable pods: Pods sold by Nespresso can be recycled through Nespresso’s recycling program—coffee grounds and all. You may be able to recycle pods from other roasters, but you’ll have to check with each roaster.

Why choose the Nespresso Pixie over other pod espresso machines?

Let’s round out our Nespresso Pixie review by asking (and answering) the most important question: Why choose the Nespresso Pixie espresso maker instead of the other 20+ Nespresso machines available?

  • It a Nespresso OriginalLine unit, which we think is superior to their VertuoLine models. OriginalLine machines use either Nespresso capsules or pods from other roasters, OriginalLine units have a 19 bar pressure pump that achieves better extraction than VertuoLine coffee makers, which don’t have a pump, and OriginalLine machines make a hotter cup of espresso.
  • A small, compact unit with a 24 oz water tank volume.
  • Uses thermoblock technology for rapid heating and is ready to go in under 30 seconds.
  • Easy to use custom volume feature for a dialed-in espresso shot.
  • Aluminum exterior is more stylish and durable than the plastic exteriors on most Nespresso machines.
  • Overall, the machine offers fantastic bang-for-your-buck, which is why the Nespresso Pixie espresso machine has remained an in-production unit many years after it was first released.

Check out our Nespresso Machine Comparison to see specs for each capsule-based espresso maker.

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