When you think about who's ruling the consumer coffee scene two brands come to mind: Nespresso and Breville. So what happens when the these two cosy up and share their technology? You get a love-child that's never existed before. Let's explore this baby further in this Creatista Plus By Breville review. (Or click here to check its price).
The Partnership That Needed To Happen
When I think about the best Nespresso machines of the past all of them have left me disappointed in one main area - the steaming of milk.
But this is understandable.
Nespresso was never the go to brand to make barista style lattes or cappuccinos. Rather their focus was on producing convenient espresso and black coffee.
Overtime Nespresso attempted to compensate for this by creating external milk frothers such as the Aeroccino Plus. These are an excellent solution for people who enjoy frothy cappuccinos, but they still aren't accurate enough to produce the textured milk needed to make latte art.
Breville on the other-hand have always been a company that sought to bring barista quality coffee to the masses. Their Australian team are known for visiting speciality cafes, noting down what they do well, then translating those features into a consumer machine.
Most recently Breville came out with its impressive top of the line model, the Breville Oracle, which includes one of the most advanced self frothing steam wands on the market. This wand is capable of producing the textured milk needed for latte art. Unsurprisingly it is this innovation that caught the eye of Nespresso and soon after they created a joint venture known as the Creatista Plus.
The Creatisa Plus is an espresso machine that combines the two innovations of Nespresso and Breville. From Nespresso it's their pod system. From Breville it's their milk frothing technology.
It's the partnership that needed to happen.
But how well integrated are these features?
Let's take a closer look under the hood.
Inside The Creatista Plus
Single ( Dual Thermoblock)
Yes - Automatic
6.7 x 12.2 x 16.1 inches
The Creatista Plus comes with many features that allows you to stream line the coffee making experience at home.
Let's start off with it's most impressive feature - the steam wand.
I got to admit, I was at first hesitant on whether this machine would be able to create the appropriate foam for lattes. My past experience with automatic milk frothers is that they tend to produce very frothy and bubbly milk.
Sure, this is fine for those who love frothy caps, but texture is more important when making lattes.
Much to my enjoyment Breville's milk frother is up to the task to create the smooth, textured milk required for barista coffee.
But it's not just a good milk frother - it's smart too. The steam wand is cool to touch, so you wont accidentally burn yourself. It also auto-purges when you finish steaming.
In terms of the Nespresso pods, if you've used any of Nespresso's prior models it's the same experience. The pods are consistent in flavor, however the volume it extracts seems to over-extend at times.
In terms of temperature production the Creatista Plus is very accurate. This is because the milk jug sits right above a thermometer that's linked to the machine's system. So you'll always get the temperature you like.
But the best bit is the level of customization you can achieve. With a turn of a dial you can select the the density and texture of the milk you need to make a cappuccino, flat white, latte and more.
In all it's has a great user experience. It's intuitive to use, and it looks stylish in it's stainless steel casing.
Can The Creatista Plus Make Latte Art?
As you'll see by that domain up there this site places a certain emphasis on teaching people how to make latte art.
So I think it's fair to call myself somewhat of an expert when judging whether a machine is capable of producing latte art.
Let me be frank.
The Creatista is not a traditional espresso machine, so it should come no surprise that you cannot make latte art to the same complexity as you can with a proper espresso machine.
But that doesn't mean you can't do it.
In fact while reviewing the Creatista Plus' abilities I was pleasantly surprised that you can make basic free pour rosettas and hearts.
Although you have to remember there is a manual aspect in pouring latte art - so don't go thinking as soon as you buy this machine you'll be slinging like a veteran barista. No matter how convincing this advertisements below is you'll need to practice.
It took me 2 months of experience behind a commercial espresso machine before I was serving up swans and wave tulips. It's no different to this machine.
But why did I say you can't make latte art to the same complexity?
Well there's a few reasons.
Probably the main reason is the espresso itself. Although Nespresso pods are very convenient, they don't produce the same level of crema as a traditional 30g espresso shot from a commercial machine.
In fact most Nespresso pods are only equipped with 14grams of espresso, which results in a less rich crema.
The crema in latte art is sort of like the foundation or canvas. If the foundation isn't strong, it's harder to do more complex designs.
The second reason is the milk frother. Although it does texture the milk correctly to make basic designs, to make more complex patters such as phoenixes you need that manual control to get just the right amount of milk foam. If you're looking to make more complicated designs, you should consider upgrading to the Breville Barista Express - read about it here, or check out my reviews of Breville's coffee makers.
But this machine isn't meant for that level of coffee making, it's designed for convenience and consistency for those who want to make good coffee right now without investing a lot of time like you would with manual cappuccino makers you can see here.
Creatista Plus vs Creatista
Breville has decided to create two variants of the Creatista. The Creatista Plus is its premium stainless steel model, while the Creatista is the budget option that uses a combination of plastic and stainless steel to reduce the manufacturing costs.
Other than that the two models are identical on the inside. They both use the same technology, both come with LCD drink and milk selectors, and both create identical coffees.
It really comes down to personal preference and whether you think a stainless steel model will compliment your kitchen more.
However as the Creatista has just recently been released it's currently selling for a good price, you can check it out here on Amazon.
Creatista Plus Review Summary
In summary the Creatista Plus is a great machine for those who love Nespresso and want to taste a better milk frothing experience. It really does produce milk that is far better than conventional automatic milk frothers. I would recommend this machine whole heartily to them.
But for those who already have a commercial style espresso machine I would give this one pass. It is better suited for a person who values convenience and stream lined coffee making.
You can pick one up for yourself by clicking the button below.