July 25, 2006

Review: Nespresso Le Cube Espresso & Single Serve Coffee Maker

Nespresso Le Cube C180 - Arctic White - 1-2

We've always been found of gizmos and gadgets that come in cube form, but rarely have we found them in the form of a single serve coffee maker. Most of the time you find a cube in the form of some avant-garde computer like the Apple Power Macintosh Cube, the new Apple Mac mini, or perhaps something from Shuttle PC. We're very pleased to find that Nespresso will be releasing a cube shaped single serve coffee and espresso maker in the form of Le Cube.

Img 2692Love it or hate it - we have to say we love the cube shape. After reviewing both the C90 and Nespresso Romeo (both great designs) we think the Le Cube design is killer. Originally, when creation of the machine began, the Nespresso Le Cube was targeted to become a machine range for people who favored classic machines and design, and wanted the latest technology. A pure and minimalist design with a very strong direction was the basis for what began to take shape in the form of a cube.

The architectural shape was also a result of the decision to place cup-warming plates on each side of the brewing unit, providing an extra feature for people looking for a super hot cup of espresso. The machine we tested didn't come with the cup warmers (there are two models the Arctic white and the Titanium which has the cup warming features), but we did find putting the cups on the side very convenient.

Key Features of the Nespresso Le Cube

  • Front panel of double-injected high-quality plastic (Arctic White) or aluminum (Titanium)
  • High-quality ABS body
  • Compact brewing unit
  • Easy capsule insertion and ejection
  • Programmable extraction for small and long cups with automatic stop
  • Cup-warming side plates (model C185)
  • Vertical positioning of drip grid for latte macchiato preparation
  • Back-light indicates full capsule container
  • Removable 34-ounce water container

Img 2694Img 2695Right away we really liked the back-light inside the capsule container waste bin. It really adds to the overall touches of quality in the design. The water reservoir is very easy to take out and fill, but we wish it had a water filter in it. The entire machine as a larger footprint than other Nepresso machines we've tested but since you can store your cups on the machine, and you can even use one of the sides to store Nespresso Capsules, we think the footprint of the Nespresso Le Cube justifies it's size.

There will be two models at launch:

Model C180 – Arctic White (with a glossy transparent finish) – $299.00
Model C185 – Titanium (in anodized aluminum) – $349.0

We received the Model C180 – Arctic White (with a glossy transparent finish) – $299.00 to review.

Operating the Nespresso Le Cube and Making Espresso & Single Serve Coffee

Img 2696Img 2693The Nespresso Le Cube offers easy operation with one-touch buttons to control the amount of coffee in a cup, from an espresso to a Lungo (a five-ounce cup of coffee), and is suitable for latte macchiato preparations. Like all Nespresso systems, Le Cube features a 19-bar high-pressure pump and thermobloc for heating the water.

There are two buttons on the top of the machine - one pre-programmed for espresso and one for the larger Lungo. We tend to stick with the Lungo here at SingleServeCoffee.com, but also ran through several of the espresso shots to get a feel for the difference in the way the machine prepared the two.

You simply turn on the machine, grab a capsule, open the lever in the top, put it in, pull down the lever, and hit the button. The preprogrammed setting takes care of the rest, producing either a shot of espresso or the larger Lungo coffee. You can also hold down the button for even larger shots of espresso or larger cups of Lungo coffee.

Tasting the Nespresso Le Cube Espresso & Single Serve Coffee

Img 2698Img 2697-1We tried nearly all of the 12 varieties offered by Nepresso through their coffee club. We really liked the Ristretto espresso and the 3 lungos we tasted all had excellent mouth feel and flavor. You can really taste the difference on the two settings, and many of the espresso capsules prepared using the Lungo setting fair very well and we often liked them better with the larger setting.

If you haven't had the chance to see how easily a Nespresso espresso and single serve coffee maker can make a shot of espresso or coffee - you have to see it in person. Many Williams Sonoma stores have them to demo in person. Every time we review a new Nespresso machine what we like is the rich thick crema and the consistency. You can tell right away from each cup you produce how consistent and good the coffee is.

Wrapping Up

Pros

  • Easy to use machine design
  • Cup holding / warming area great idea
  • Good Sized reservoir
  • Programmable buttons ensures customized espresso to your taste
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • For the price still no milk frother/steamer
  • Larger footprint than other single serve coffee machines
  • Wish both models had the cup warmer

Img 2702We really like the Nespresso Le Cube. It's a stunning design with rich flavored coffee. Compared to other models like the C100 or the C90 - it's a little step up with the extra features like programmable cup sizes and cup warming you'd expect on a higher priced model. Once again, Nespresso delivers consistent coffee with a killer design.

The Nespresso Le Cube is available this Fall of 2006 at a price of $299 for the Arctic White and $349 for the Titanium. The Titanium model features the cup warming drawers.

Nespresso Lecube Review

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Posted by Jay Brewer at July 25, 2006 8:19 AM

Recent Comments

HAS ANYONE PUT THE MILK INTO THE WATER RESERVOIR TO MAKE CAPPUCINO?. ONE OF MY FRIENDS DID AND IT WORKS GREAT. JUST NEED TO WASH IT GOOD AFTERWARDS. IF NYOU HAVE ANY TIP LET ME KNOW..


Posted by: Teresa Smith at July 29, 2012 4:22 PM

This is a GREAT product with exception to the chance that it fails. Ours did, only two months after the warranty, and Nespresso's policy is that ANY fix is a flat rate $155 to cover everything (shipping included). For an additional $50, you can get a brand new machine. With the cost of capsules higher than average, continuing with Nespresso doesn't make sense to us. It was good while it lasted, but this policy is unsustainable in our view.


Posted by: Rob Dube at February 11, 2011 9:43 AM

I recently purchased le cube which came with the frother. The frother is amazing. I have to agree with the flavor, however, I can't say that I am happy with the temperature of the coffee or the milk. I feel I have to drink it straight away in order to enjoy the proper temperature.

I assume this model does not have an adjustable setting for temperature? Are there any machines either from Nespresso or others that do?


Posted by: Lisa at March 30, 2010 11:47 AM

Best bet is to try Williams Sonoma or call nepresso directly.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at August 30, 2006 3:34 PM

We live in Orange County Ca., and would like to sample the Le Cube Coffeemaker and the coffee products offered. We live in Placentia and wonder if there are any stores offering this product?

Spence Graves


Posted by: Spence Graves at August 30, 2006 3:30 PM
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