In this review I’m going to look at the Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno. I have previously used the Magimix Inissia and the Esseniza Mini Nespresso machines.
The first thing you notice when unboxing the Creatista Uno is the thought put into the box shape, the opening and unboxing of the machine. The rounded top gave a sleek image (similar to the machine) and the side opening allowed for easy access to the machine and accessories. The machine came with a stainless steel jug, tasting box of coffee capsules and a water hardness strip.
The first I would say to do is to read the instructions, mainly to familiarise yourself with the buttons. This is because each of the buttons has different uses depending on what you are wanting to do. For example, the froth level and milk temp buttons also set the water hardness levels and descaling functions. It didn’t take us long to set the machine up. Once the machine is in place with a clean full water tank you need to set the water hardness level to ensure your machine works well. It took us about 5 mins to do this stage. You place the dip stick provided into the full water tank, wait five seconds and look at the guide provided to know what level you should set the water hardness at.
The Creatista has a quick heat time and gives you three drinks sizes, milk temperatures and froth settings. The size of drinks are lungo (110ml), espresso (40ml) and ristretto (25ml). The ristretto is a smaller more concentrated shot of coffee, for a quick pick me up. You can select between cool, ideal or hot for the milk temperature and changing the froth consistency means you can make a flat white, cafe latte, cappuccino and latte macchiato (stronger than normal latte). Included along with the manual you will also find a quick label showing you how to make each of the drinks above, which is handy to keep next to the machine, instead of having the manual out all the time.
The manual does say that it is best to use milk straight from the fridge for the best results and if possible whole milk, although we mainly use skimmed, which works well for us. I have also used coconut milk, as an lactofree alternative and on the high froth setting I got a little froth but it is definitely a less creamier, smooth drink, again it was ok for me. I have also used the steam wand to heat milk using the hot milk temp and maximum froth to make a hot chocolate, the temperature was perfect to help melt and mix in the chocolate.
There are two drip tray/cup stands on the machine and a container for used capsules, as shown above. The milk jug needs to be placed on the sensor to ensure milk meets the correct temp that is set. The machine will not drain the water supply right to the bottom, so once it has reached a low level it will not commence until more water is added.
It is a good idea to purchase more capsules, water hardness strips and descaler sachets not long after you have purchased the Creatista. There are has two cleaning functions and when they need to be performed a light will show on top of the machine, it will stop functioning if you don’t complete the wand cleaning or descaling actions when the lights appear, so make sure you have descaling sachets always available. To clean the steam wand you have to remove the water tank and retrieve the plastic attachment that has a pin in it. Once you have removed the cap the pin is used to the prod the end of the wand to clear any built up milk. The best way to reduce the wand cleaning light come on is to clean the outside of the wand each time you use it. This gives a better tasting drink, is more hygienic and prevents the build up of milk in the wand. The wand does self steam after use, once the jug is removed and it is back in its original position. You will have seen baristas do this in any coffee shop and in my opinion I find that it is a lot easier to wipe the wand and wash out the jug each time. I have found the wand easier to clean than the aeroccino stand alone milk frother, which has a separate whisk inside that gets removed to clean. However, I have used a aeroccino for many years with no complaints, it’s just that the wand is less time consuming.
Overall, I really like the Creatista Uno for its ease of use, cleaning and that it gives a good tasting personalised coffee drink. However, the two machines I have used before were a lot cheaper than this one at around £150 to £180 whereas the Creatista is around £320 on Nespresso or we have seen it for £234.99 in Costco. All the machines took up a similar amount of space, even though the others were compact, but once you add the aerocccino they take up the same space. The smaller machines are good for a single user but the creatista uno I feel is better for a family or office environment. It also looks very stylish in black and silver.
Score 8/10 it loses points just for the cost