I’ll come out and say it – I’ve become somewhat of an anti-coffee capsule advocate in recent times. After finding out about the difficulty involved in recycling the capsules after use, and realising that many of the capsule imitators’ ground coffee was stale and borderline tasteless inside the capsules upon using them, it became tricky to justify purchasing the convenient capsule options.
However, I can admit that I’ve been swayed back to the other side, and it’s largely due to the Nespresso Creatista Plus. Full disclosure: this is not an ad or paid endorsement of the product; to be honest, when we were given the opportunity to review it, I thought ‘here’s another over-priced capsule machine’. Boy, was I wrong.
So what it makes the Nespresso Creatista Plus so different? Well, let me start surface level. From a design perspective, it’s easily the sexiest (yes, I called a coffee machine “sexy”) machine I’ve seen. The light and rather compact body is encased in stainless steel, with some well-finished plastic accents which blend well with the metallic look. This is something that will catch the eye when sitting on your kitchen counter.
A problem many cheaper capsule machines have is that, while they’re simply-designed, they’re not that simple to operate, Yes, you pop the capsule in, hit ‘go’, and that’s it; but you never know how big of a cup you’re making, how hot the water is, and what’s going on inside the machine. With the Creatista Plus, there’s a decent-sized LCD screen on the top, along with a turn-knob to navigate, giving you a breakdown of what the machine is doing, allowing you to choose what coffee you’d like to make, instructions on when and how to clean, and even recipes for the drinks it’s making. It’s a small touch that may seem unnecessary, but having the option to change on-the-fly and know when it’s time to clean your machine is a huge benefit.
As for the operation of the machine itself, it doesn’t fail to impress. Other coffee machines flash, beep, and grumble when heating up; the Creatista Plus heats up in 3 seconds, allowing you to make a coffee quickly so you don’t have to stand around the kitchen twiddling your thumbs.
The real star of the show, though, is the milk frothing wand, which has 8 texture levels and 11 temperature settings for frothing your milk. It really does make the difference, as the secret to a good coffee is bean quality and well-frothed milk, and the Creatista Plus managed to deliver both of those.
Nespresso’s capsules have really upped the ante, and I was pleasantly surprised at the intensity and taste of the latest range, whereas I’ve felt them to be lacking a little in the past. Not only have they played out of their boots with the ground Grand Cru coffee inside, but Nespresso have a new recycling initiative to help with the waste situation.
Together with Oricol, a local environmental services company, Nespresso aim to divert waste from landfills, turning it rather into a resource. Nespresso’s machines come with a recycling bag (but you can also grab them at any Nespresso store), which holds about 100 capsules. After you’ve filled your bag, you can drop it off at any Nespresso boutique or store. The little capsules are then transported from the drop off locations, by road, to Oricol’s Spartan facility in Johannesburg. Nespresso have developed a customised aluminium separation machine which Oricol put to use at the facility in Johannesburg. Here, sorting for separation, storage and recycling can begin.
The Nespresso stores are located in Cape Town (V & A Waterfront, Canal Walk), Johannesburg (Sandton City, Hyde Park), Pretoria (Menlyn Shopping Centre), and Durban (Gateway).
The Nespresso Creatista Plus retails for R7,499 and is a superb option for those looking to upgrade their current capsule machine (or looking for a solid first-time choice) that’ll give you all the bells and whistles to feel like a barista, but without any of the heavy lifting.