Cup capacity: Ristretto, espresso, lungo
Size: 15.7 x 18.7 x 8.9 inches
Weight: 11.4 lbs /5.2kg
Pod type: Original Line
Automatic capsule detection: No
Centrifusion brewing: No
Removable water reservoir: Yes
Milk frother: Yes
Strength settings: No
Iced coffee: No
Nespresso is known for providing a convenient, capsule coffee system that delivers coffee with minimal mess and hassle. Despite many Nespresso machines offering limited functionality, the Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus has some useful features — features which make it worthy of being one of the best Nespresso machines.
It’s one of the most expensive Nespresso machines you can buy, but its automatic steam wand and menu of barista style drinks allows you to create your favorite coffee shop brews with ease. It takes the widely available Nespresso Original capsule, and comes with a stainless steel jug for your choice of milk.
We tried this pricey coffee machine to see if it’s worth the investment. Read on for our full Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus review to see how it fared in our tests.
Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus review: Price and availability
The Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus will set you back $649.95 direct from Breville. In the UK it’s known as the Sage Nespresso Creatista plus, and costs £499.95 from Sage. Although this price is eye-wateringly expensive for a Nespresso coffee maker, it’s not the most expensive model from the brand. And if you preferred the all-bells-and-whistles version, you could upgrade to the Creatista Pro for a more advanced design.
The Nespresso Original capsules start at $0.80 for an espresso, or 39p if you’re in the UK. Capsules are readily available online; you can order direct from Nespresso in the UK, and through plenty of additional retailers such as Amazon and Walmart in the US.
Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus review: Design
The Creatista Plus is a pretty swanky machine, and stands head and shoulders above the competition on many levels. I tested the brushed stainless steel model, but it is also available in other colorways. In the US there are four to choose from including black truffle, sea salt, and damson blue. While in the UK there are three finishes; stainless steel, black truffle and smoked hickory. Regardless of which color you choose, all the models have the same shiny stainless steel front that looks very professional.
The design shows great attention to detail. For instance, the sturdy barista style steam wand has a loop on top that makes it easy to tilt forward with one finger. This allows you to position it into the jug, which you simply place on the drip tray. The jug rests on a temperature sensor, allowing the machine to automatically heat and froth the milk to the desired temperature. Overall, it’s very smart and seamless.
The coffee spout is positioned high enough that there’s space for a tall 5 ½ inch/ 14cm cup beneath it. But, to prevent splashes when using smaller espresso cups, there’s a handy pop out cup support higher up. Simply press it to eject it, and then pull it out the rest of the way. Located above this is the used capsule container, which also opens with the same press and pop-out mechanism.
At the back of the coffee maker you’ll find a large 50oz/ 1.5 liter removable, lidded water tank. Similar to the steam wand, it has a simple but effective finger loop so it’s easy to grab. It’s made of transparent plastic, so you can easily check the water level at a glance, and has min and max water level markings. Although these aren’t all that obvious until you get up close.
On the top of the machine, a sturdy lever lifts up for inserting capsules, and next to this is a display screen, button and dial. Using the dial, you can scroll through the brew options, which are ristretto, espresso, lungo, cappuccino, flat white, latte, and macchiato. You can also choose milk steaming only, as well as auto cleaning functions and settings.
The coffee volume can be adjusted as can the milk temperature and amount of foam. These adjustable settings, coupled with the barista style steam wand, mean this is as close as you’ll get to the added control of a manual coffee machine, whilst retaining the convenience and ease of use of a Nespresso machine.
Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus review: Performance
Just five seconds after switching it on, this coffee machine is ready to brew. An espresso needs about 25 seconds to pour, and while the crema is better than I’ve seen from some other Nespresso machines, it’s thinner and weaker than you’ll get from the best espresso machines, which is worth keeping in mind.
The espresso temperature reaches 147°F, which is within the range we’d typically see from a Nespresso machine. In terms of noise, the first part of the brew process is the loudest, hitting 80 decibels on my noise meter for a few seconds, but it quickly drops to a more comfortable level.
Energy use is impressive — pouring an espresso uses 0.005 kWh of electricity on average. This is a similar level to other Nespresso machines, but usually the initial heat up stage increases the energy consumption. The incredibly short five seconds needed to heat up this machine doesn’t add anything to the total electricity used.
With Nespresso machines that take the Original capsules, there’s no double espresso option. You can buy ristretto, espresso or lungo capsules only. Lungo is longer than a double espresso at 1.35oz/ 110ml, but it’s by no means a long coffee with this machine. A lungo pours in 35-40 seconds and comes out slightly hotter than the espresso at around 161°F.
Considering it’s fully automated, the steam wand does a fantastic job of creating barista quality microfoam. The time it takes will depend on the amount of milk you add, but as a guide, it takes around 60 seconds to steam enough milk for one cappuccino, which means the whole drink takes one minute 30 seconds.
Steaming milk starts off loud, hitting 86 decibels on my noise meter, but it’s only loud for a short period. The milk temperature is adjustable and there are 11 possible temperatures to choose from. I left it on the factory settings, steaming to around 170°F. There are also eight texture levels (amount of froth), allowing you plenty of scope to personalize your drink.
Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus review: Ease of use and cleaning
As with all Nespresso machines, the capsule coffee system means coffee dosing is fuss-free. And despite offering a range of beverage options, the automatic steam wand makes it super simple to create your favorite. Just place the jug of milk on the drip tray and let it do all the work — no barista skills needed. What’s more, the display allows for easy and intuitive customization to a degree that you rarely get with a Nespresso machine.
The capsule container has enough space for around 12 used capsules and its position at the front of the machine makes it easily accessible for emptying. Used capsules automatically fall into the container when you open the lever to add a new capsule.
One great feature that I love is the automatic purging of the steam wand. It detects when you’ve removed the jug of hot milk, and automatically dispenses hot water into the drip tray to clean any milk residue that might have collected on the inside of the wand.
You do have to wipe the outside of the steam wand manually though, and the purge means the drip tray fills up quickly and requires regular emptying and rinsing, but it’s pretty straightforward. All the other removable parts can be hand washed.
I noticed the exterior of the machine marks easily with fingerprints and coffee drips so it’ll need regular wiping and buffing to keep it looking pristine. Though it’s worth noting that color options other than stainless steel might require less buffing on the sides.
To descale the coffee machine, simply select the descale option in the menu. Instead of having to grab your manual and follow the instructions, the screen walks you through the process of adding a descaling solution. You’ll need to put a container below the spout before it performs the program, but it really couldn’t be simpler. Plus the machine prompts you when it’s time to descale.
What’s more, it walks you through the process of cleaning the steam wand by dismantling it.
Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus review: Verdict
This is a fantastic coffee machine if you’re looking for a Nespresso machine that can do more than the average model. The easy to use screen and simple customizable settings gives you the option to personalize your drinks. Plus, the barista style steam wand automatically creates perfectly textured milk, and feels more authentic than the standard integrated milk frothers you get with most other Nespresso machines. What’s more, with the jug of perfectly textured hot milk, you can even have a go at latte art if the mood takes you!
Even though it’s sturdy and easy to use, the downside is that it’s very expensive. And the coffee flavor and crema it can produce from Nespresso capsules can’t be compared to the quality you’ll get from an espresso machine using freshly ground coffee. That said, it’s mess-free,hassle-free and you don’t need any barista skills. Put simply, if you’re after a Nespresso machine, this is one of the best you can buy.