For the last few weeks, I’ve been getting to know the Nespresso Creatista Plus. Ever fancied getting a coffee machine that you can make a great quick coffee with AND do the ‘fancy milk froth’ (the proper baristas call it micro-foam) too? Read on…
I finally started my journey to enjoying coffee in Italy a few years ago and since then I’ve been getting a bit braver. Instant coffee doesn’t do it for me at all, so to enjoy coffee at home I’d have to have something a bit fancier. I’ve had my eye on a Nespresso machine for quite a while (I love the convenience of the coffee pods) and I knew I needed one that did the clever frothy milk stuff…not just to make the coffee. I’m not sophisticated enough yet to enjoy espressos, I’m most definitely a cappuccino/flat white gal.
When Nespresso offered to let me have a go at being a barista at home, I jumped at the chance. They kindly sent me a Nespresso Creatista Plus coffee machine and lots of different varieties of coffee pods to have a play with.
Scroll down to see what I thought of both the machine and the coffee pods, my research into caffeine quantities and how I got on creating some Latte Art!
Nespresso Creatista Plus: The Deets
The basic low-down on the new Nespresso Creatista Plus is that for the first time they’ve got that fancy milk micro-steam technology (thanks to partnering with Sage) in the milk wand.
✔️ You get to make whatever type of coffee you like (espresso, lungo, flat white, capuccio, latte…) with the coffee pods, including setting how much coffee volume you want (25 to 150ml).
✔️ Then you can configure the milk steam wand to produce milk at a variety of temperatures (56 to 76°C) and even set the amount of texture/froth (2 to 30mm).
✔️ It heats up really quickly (3 seconds) and I found the menu on the machine really easy to use – even for a coffee beginner like me!
✔️ It’s pretty easy to clean by emptying the drip tray, rinsing the milk jug and following the on-screen prompts for wand cleaning. It also comes with a 480ml stainless steel milk jug, pop out cup support, removable drip grid and removable drip tray.
The Coffee Pods
Nespresso were kind enough to send me a big variety of their selection of coffee pods. This was great because, as a beginner, I didn’t really know what I liked.
Top tip: you can drop by one of the Nespresso stores (there’s a fab one in Victoria Leeds) to tell them what you’re looking for in taste and they will help you try before you buy.
Caffeine v Intensity
I’d always thought that the intensity rating indicated how much caffeine was in them. Not true. It’s literally just the intensity taste. Caffeine is an important consideration for me because I can’t actually handle a lot of it. Having been a tea drinker most of my life, I’m just not used to a lot of caffeine. A lot of the time, I do want a bit of caffeine, I just don’t want loads. One of the baristas at the Creatista Studio told me that actually it’s all about how much water is infused with the coffee. A bit like when you brew a tea with the bag in for a while. More water, more caffeine.
It turns out that if you want some caffeine, but no more than an average cup of tea, then espresso is the one to go for. Totally not what I thought! Espresso is made by forcing a small amount of hot water, or steam, through coffee. Although espresso has more caffeine per volume than regular coffee, it usually contains less per serving, since espresso servings tend to be small. One shot of espresso is generally about 30–50 ml, and contains about 65 mg of caffeine.
When it’s past around 2-3pm, I go for decaffeinated. I liked the fact that Nespresso make a few different varieties of decaffeinated coffee pods.
Favourites So Far
I say “so far” because I’m still trying them all!
I started with the Cosi (intensity 4) which is really easy drinking and lovely. The Limited Edition Selection Vintage 2014 which is intensity 7. My fave decaffeinated coffee pod is the Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato. Next up for me is getting a bit more into the vanilla, caramel and chocolate varieties.
Creating Latte Art
Like I said in my previous post, creating Latte Art is a LOT more difficult that I expected. I’m not a very practical person and am a bit clumsy, so I didn’t expect to be a master straight away…but….sheeeesh, it’s tricky!
I’ve tried to take what I learnt at the Creatista Studio in Leeds and apply it, with…I’ve gotta say…limited success. I don’t feel too bad if I’m honest because the Nespresso baristas did say that it’s taken some of them up to three years to master the art.
I’ve been trying to make a Latte Art Heart. I’m not doing so well at that…
Not so great, huh? I’m going to keep practising.
Here’s an Instagram Story I did – give it a quick play to see the Nespresso Creatista Plus in action. I can make an OK tree sometimes…
I’ve found a YouTube video on How to Make a Latte Art Heart and How to Make Latte Art: The Basics in Slow Motion which I keep watching. I think it’s going to be a combo of getting the volume of milk right vs the amount of foam vs my hand movement. If I can get all three right, I’ll get there.
Check out the Nespresso Creatista Plus for yourself
The Nespresso Creatista Plus is £449, you can find it at all the usual retailers (John Lewis, Amazon etc.)
If you’d like to take a look at them, pop along to your nearest Nespresso store.
To find out more about these coffee machines, check out Nespresso’s website.
* Please note that I received the Nespresso Creatista Plus coffee machine and coffee pods in exchange for an honest review