The Nespresso C120 Espresso Maker

You would have to search far and wide to find a more stylish espresso maker than The Nespresso C120, also known as the Citiz & Milk. You would also have to look around a lot to find one simpler or safer to use. (To find one that equals it, you’d probably have to choose another Nespresso.)

Those aspects are all to the good and there are many Nespresso fans who just love this unit. But others may find it someone too limiting.

On the positive side, the C120 makes a fine cup. The Nespresso coffee buyers search far and wide to find good beans. They grind them just right and package the grounds to the right consistency to provide a stellar key ingredient. However, because the coffee is a key ingredient, some buyers will find that limiting themselves to Nespresso’s choices is just not acceptable.

Nespresso CitiZ C120 Automatic and programmable Espresso and Lungo Machine w/Frother, Black

Like others in its line, The C120 uses the company’s proprietary capsule system. Those are sealed aluminum ‘pods’ that ensure no air contaminates the grounds. They also make for supremely easy clean up and they’re recyclable. But Nespresso only offers a dozen blends, along with a couple of Limited Editions that change from time to time.

As examples, there is the Finezzo, a light bodied blend that uses fine Arabica beans that hail from high in Central America. On the other end of the scale is the Ristretto, a full-bodied blend of Arabicas from Columbia and Brazil, that also includes a dash of East African beans.

But many espresso lovers are endlessly curious. They have their favorites, of course. But they’re also always on a quest to find the next great bean. That search is frustrated at the outset with the C120 because you can only use the capsules you get from Nespresso. There’s no way to put your bean in their pod.

For those willing to accept that limitation, the C120 has a great deal to offer.

Like other models in the Nespresso line, it’s a great looking piece of equipment. This one in particular is a superb design effort. Fire engine red, cylindrical with a sidecar, it’s just a stunning countertop appliance.

It’s also as easy to use as other Nespresso machines, which means it’s virtually foolproof. You pop in the capsule, pour in the water, and press a button. For those who want milk added, that’s no problem here. You pour the amount you want into a special chamber before hitting the button. Simple and completely safe.

Despite that simplicity, you can make a variety of styles. Espresso is straightforward, of course, but so is making a latte or mocha with the the Aeroccino system. And, there’s none of the usual effort involved. No grinding, no tamping, no adjustments needed.

But that convenience is exactly what will take the fun out of it for some espresso lovers. Not only do they love to search for special blends, they love the process of using them. They enjoy grinding and tamping and adjusting. For those home baristas, The Nespresso C120 would probably be a poor choice, except possibly as a second machine.

Nespresso CitiZ C120 Automatic and programmable Espresso and Lungo Machine w/Frother, Black