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If you’re looking to expand your home barista skills but aren’t quite ready to invest substantial time and money into a full manual espresso setup, consider the Nespresso Creatista Plus, manufactured in North America by trusted kitchen appliance brand Breville.
The Creatista Plus is an automated capsule espresso machine with a dedicated steam wand that allows for extensive customization. You can get creative, but the machine still does most of the leg work for you.
Before you begin
It’s important to understand your coffee-making goals and aspirations before you begin your espresso machine search.
Great for lattes
The Creatista Plus is perfect if you want to start experimenting with constructing your own drinks and playing around with latte art.
Its menu offers cappuccino, ristretto, espresso, lungo, cafe latte, flat white, and latte macchiato, along with plain ol’ hot milk.
If you prefer the machine to do everything for you, you’ll probably be happier with one of Nespresso’s Lattissima line coffee machines, which will completely build your beverage for you. You have fewer options and less control, but if you’re not picky about perfectly textured milk, espresso layering, or latte art, it gets the job done.
The Creatista Plus is still automated, but with a variety of heating and texturing options so you can start to get a feel for creating your own drinks.
A note to coffee connoisseurs
If you’re an espresso aficionado, looking to create next level cafe-style beverages, you’ll need to invest in a high-quality manual espresso machine. That will run you at least a thousand dollars or more to get something that performs well.
Other affordable milk frothing options
If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly you might want to go for the Nespresso Essenza Plus or CitiZ with Aeroccino. The Aeroccino is a handy, standalone milk frother that provides decent foam you can use for any style of beverage, but it doesn’t reach the texture levels and customization offered by the Creatista Plus.
Creatista Plus features
What sets the Breville Nespresso Creatista Plus apart from other automated capsule espresso machines is the steam wand settings. While other steam wands pump out one style of frothed milk that’s either to your liking or not, the Creatista Plus features eight milk texture options and 11 milk temperature settings, all on a handy LCD display screen. This allows you to customize your steamed milk and experiment with drink creations.
The steam wand itself is insulated, so it remains cool to the touch and easy to handle. It automatically purges after each use to keep the interior clean and operating smoothly.
Milk frothing jug
The machine comes with a professional steel milk jug, so you get to add that perfectly steamed milk to your espresso, allowing you to practice your latte art, or simply control the style of your beverage.
Heat-up and shut-off times
The Creatista Plus heats up in an astounding three seconds, and will automatically shut off after nine minutes of inactivity.
Capacity for plenty of drinks
It also features an impressive water tank capacity of 50 ounces, a spent capsule capacity of 10 capsules, an assisted cleaning system, and achieves the 19 bars of brewing pressure that’s typical of Nespresso machines.
Size and design
With so many features and capabilities, I expected the Creatista Plus to be a bit of a beast, but it’s actually quite compact. It weighs just over 11 pounds and can easily fit into any corner of your kitchen. The brushed stainless steel finish makes it an attractive addition to any countertop.
Ease of use
The Creatista Plus strikes a nice balance between automation and user control. The touch screen allows you to choose your beverage type and adjust your milk texture and temperature to suit your particular specifications. You don’t need any previous experience to easily navigate the settings and begin creating delicious beverages. Find the settings you enjoy and stick with those, or you can play around and experiment as much as you like.
You can adjust beverage volume from 0.85 ounces to two ounces for espresso drinks and 2.37 to five ounces for a lungo.
As with all Nespresso machines, you simply insert the coffee capsule, fill the water reservoir, and the rest is as easy as pressing a button. With the Creatista Plus, you’ll have to fill your milk jug and place it under the automatic steam wand, and it might take a few tries to figure out just how much milk to use. You’ll get your process down in no time.
The steam wand automatically self-purges after use, so you’ll want to place the milk pitcher back under it as soon as you’re done building your beverage. This will catch the water that’s released, which will otherwise be gathered by the drip tray. That’s fine, too, but it’s an added step of cleanup for you. It might take a while to get used to this, but it’s so helpful for keeping your steam wand clean and operating smoothly.
The descaling alert (the buttons will flash red instead of green while the machine is heating up) is a great reminder to keep up with regular deep cleaning and descaling of your machine. The machine will continue to operate, but regular descaling ensures you’re getting the best tasting cup of coffee, and will prolong the life of your machine. Check out our article on Cleaning Your Nespresso Machine for a more detailed look at cleaning and maintenance.
The Breville Creatista Plus is Nespresso’s most versatile machine. You can make any style of espresso-based beverage, whether it’s a caffe latte, cappuccino, or espresso. The model comes from Nespresso’s Original line, which means there is a wide variety of both Nespresso and third-party coffee capsule options. It doesn’t brew larger styles of coffee like Nespresso’s Vertuoline does, but you can certainly brew up an americano-style coffee instead.
Quality of flavor
Flavor is where the Creatista Plus has a tendency to falter. Although backed by Nespresso’s typical 19 bars of pressure, many users report an inconsistent and less robust espresso when compared to other Original line machines.
We have also heard concerns about the espresso just not being hot enough. Although you can customize your milk temperature, there is no way to adjust the temperature of the espresso.
As with all Nespresso machines, the Creatista Plus comes with a capsule starter pack so you can try out different flavors. It might take some experimentation to find the blend that’s right for you. You can also try out any number of third-party capsules to expand your options and often save a few bucks in the process.
Waste is the prominent concern with all capsule machines Nespresso recognizes this. They’ve invested in a robust capsule recycling program that is (for the most part) easy to access and simple to use. Some areas still struggle with access and outreach, but check out Nespresso’s website for the specifics in your area.
Overall, I’ve been impressed with Nespresso’s commitment to a sustainable future for the coffee industry. You can check out their progress and future commitments in their Creating Shared Value Report, and we take an objective look at their overall sustainability in an earlier article on Nespresso’s sustainability.
If you’re looking for a fully automatic espresso machine that still allows some customization, it’s hard to find a better deal than the Nespresso Creatista Plus in this moderate price range. It’s worth noting, however, that there have been reports of machine malfunction, leaking from the water reservoir, and some frustration with Nespresso’s customer service in dealing with these and other issues.
Nespresso machines overall seem to deteriorate after a few years of constant use, but the stainless design of the Creatista should give a bit more durability.
Unless you’re willing to invest quite a lot more up front, any coffee machine that’s this easy to use is going to have a limited lifespan. By following our cleaning and maintenance recommendations, you should be able to get the longest possible life out of your machine. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Nespresso machine.
Nespresso Creatista Plus specifications
|Dimensions||6.7" W x 12" H x 15.4" D|
|Warmup time||3 seconds|
|Water tank||50.7 ounces|
|Used capsule capacity||12|
|Cable length||47 inches|
Image at top: © Carrie MacPherson