Breville-Nespresso Pixie BEC420TTN1AUC1
The Breville Nespresso Pixie is an espresso machine, marketed as a coffee maker that doesn’t require you to know how to make either.
The Pixie is simple, convenient, inexpensive and neat it is easy to see the appeal. Simple pop in a pod and press a button. In less than a minute you get excellent espresso.
One of the benefits of a Pixie is the pod system but, in some ways it is also the main drawback.
Pixie By Breville & DeLonghi
Pod System Tradeoffs
Because it is designed for simple use, you can’t program and customize your drinks the way you can with an automatic espresso machine.
You are limited to buying Nespresso pods. Many of them are very good but you are still limited. Imagine buying a wine bottle opener that only opens wine from one vineyard.
- 19-bar high pressure pump
- Simple to use, no cleanup
- Easy to maintain
- Should last a few years
- 24 ounce tank
- Pod only system is $.70 to $1.00 per drink
- Check latest price on Amazon
For espresso lovers, the Nespresso is a far better choice than Keurigs because it makes real espresso and the Keurig is really a coffee maker.
The machine itself is relatively cheap at about $229. But if you care about cost then consider the total costs of the alternatives.
The Real Cost of a Daily Espresso Drink
People put too much weight into the cost of an espresso machine. Nothing is more expensive than a daily trip to a coffee shop.
A double espresso at a coffee shop probably costs $2.50 and a cappuccino may cost you $3 to $4. So a daily trip to your barista can cost $900 to $1400 a year.
Pixie Pod Machines Vs Super Automatics
For comparison’s sake, a top notch, one-touch super automatic espresso machine will last for years, looks beautiful and will automatically make you everything from espressos to latte’s can cost $800-$1500.
Nespresso Pixie Pod Costs
Buying a pod machine is a lot like buying a razor. The cost is in the blades. Nespresso pods vary in price from $.70 to about $1.00 each. So, a year’s worth of Nespresso can save you $400 to $1000 a year over ordering out.
Cost per Drink from an Automatic Espresso Machine
A pound of coffee beans makes about 32 double shots. That comes out to $.25 to $.50 or about $100 to $180 a year. Honestly this is a pretty good reason to consider a super automatic machine which makes (often) better drinks than any barista and skip a pod machine. Look at our Breville coffee maker buyers guide for advice on their drip coffee maker line.
Keurig vs Nespresso Pixie
Nespresso and Keurig are often compared but they are really very different. Nespresso is an actual espresso machine. It expresses coffee under high pressure.
In fact, one unusual thing about Nespresso is it actually uses higher pressure than professional or high end espresso makers. Where as most espresso machines, including all the best super automatic espresso machines, force steam through the grounds using a 15-bar pump, the Nespresso uses a 19-bar pump.
This higher force makes for faster brews and real espresso flavor. However you wouldn’t use that pressure with a traditional espresso machine because many grinds wouldn’t produce good espresso under that pressure.
The Breville Nespresso Pixie model BEC420TTN is a very good machine with an interesting back story.
Nespresso is not a manufacturer and Breville doesn’t make this espresso machine. Nespresso outsources manufacturing to the biggest coffee machine maker you never heard of, Eugster/Frismag in Switzerland.
Then it licenses these machines to be marketed or sold by Krups, Breville, DeLonghi and others.
Should I buy a Nespresso Pixie?
In a word, maybe. If you want the simplest way to get great espresso at home then a Nespresso. If you love milk based espresso drinks then you will not get them at the same quality as your barista from pod machines. Over time, a pod machine like the Nespresso Pixie costs a lot less than ordering out but more than a high end, automatic espresso machine.