Fancy brewing a latte macchiato or cafe latte at home?
The Nespresso Creatista Plus lets you do that easily. It is a coffee machine that combines Nespresso's famed coffee-capsule machine with the highly efficient automated milk-frothing system by Australian company Breville.
Looks-wise, the Creatista Plus is already a winner with its stainless steel exterior. It looks like one of those expensive coffee machines that hipster cafes use, but much smaller in size. It is around twice the size of my personal Nespresso Pixie coffee machine.
The coffee machine forms the left side of the unit, and the milk frothing system the right.
In front is the coffee outlet and steam wand.
On the top left, you will find a lever and hole where you insert the coffee capsule. Beside it, there is an LCD display with the Start/Cancel button and a Select dial below it.
As usual, the water tank is sited at the rear of the machine, while a drip tray is located at the front of the machine below the coffee outlet and steam wand.
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
There is no need to read the manual. The display will provide step-by-step instructions the moment you power on the machine.
You rotate the dial to select the type of coffee you want.
You can still brew non-milk coffee. Just turn the dial to select the volume of brew for Ristretto, Espresso or Lungo.
Once you turn the dial to the milk coffee options, you can select Flat White, Cafe Latte, Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato. For each option, you can adjust the volume of the coffee, the amount of milk you want and the temperature of the milk. I wasn't sure what temperature I needed, so I chose the Ideal Temperature option.
Next, pour the milk (pasteurised whole or semi-skimmed milk at 4-6 deg C are recommended) into the bundled stainless-steel milk jar and place the milk jar under the steam wand.
Make sure the milk jar touches the temperature sensor that is located in the drip tray, and that the steam wand is in the milk. Choose the milk coffee you want, say, Cafe Latte, and press Start.
You will be asked to pop in the coffee capsule. Close the lever and brew the coffee. Next, the display will show the milk preparation window. Press Start again, and let the steam wand work its magic.
It is quite amazing to see the milk being frothed to the right texture and temperature, without your doing anything except pressing a button. Once the milk-frothing process is completed, lift the steam wand and wipe it with a clean cloth. Return it to its down position and it will purge to rinse itself.
Pour the milk into the coffee to finish your caffe latte. Yes, this is still a manual process and probably the hardest part that requires plenty of practice.
After brewing numerous cups of caffe latte and cappuccino, I still can't create the perfect leaf latte art.
• Verdict: If you want to brew your own cappuccino and cafe latte, or practise latte art in private in the comfort of your home , you have to get the Nespresso Creatista Plus.