Comparison Review: Essenza C91 & C101

Nespresso is a brand of Nestle, a well known manufacturer of coffee and coffee machines based in Switzerland. Nespresso machines are famous as espresso producing coffee machines which use coffee capsules to make and serve a single cup of coffee. Launched in 1990 Nespresso machines create a cup of high quality Espresso coffee with excellent aroma and full bodied taste.

Nespresso’s espresso machines, the C91 and C101 are 2 of the most popular machines in their entire range. Any time you feel like having a hot cup of espresso you can pick up an espresso capsule and put it into the machine. As soon as you switch it on it will start the brewing process producing espresso with a few moments. 

Nespresso C91 'Essenza' Espresso Machine

Nespresso Essenza C91 Manual Espresso Maker, Black
Amazon Price: $129.00 $79.99 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 28, 2013)

Similarities Between the C91 and C101


Both machines look exactly the same except for a dash of silver on top and around the spout of the C101. The dimensions of both are 8.1 x 10.2 x 13.5 inches making them small and compact. In fact, you can place it anywhere on your counter top without worrying about taking up too much space. They look attractive with a curved conical shape with a prominent spout and semi-circular metal grill in front. The backlit power and brewing buttons add to the attractiveness of the machine. They are lightweight at 6 pounds each.

Nespresso C101 'Essenza' Espresso Machine w. Frother

19-bar Pressure Pump

The C91 and C101 have 19-bar pressure pumps which can extract the flavor out of the espresso capsules quite effectively.  It also has a thermo block element for fast brewing. 

Detachable Drip Tray

The drip tray can be easily removed so that it can be cleaned and kept back into the machine. However, the removal of the drip tray does not create additional space for larger travel mugs. You will need to use small cups for getting your espresso from the machine. 

Removable Water Tank

The C91 and C101 have a 30 ounce water tank which can be removed for easy cleaning. Removing and reinstalling the water tank is not difficult at all. The water tank also has a handle which makes it very easy to remove it. 

Nespresso Capsules

You will also get a pack of 16 Nespresso capsules with the machine. Nespresso capsules contain coffee in different flavors with each capsule holding about 5 gms. Ideally each capsule can be used for making 40 ml of espresso. The capsules are made of aluminum and lined with food grade lacquer.

Both machines hold about 12-14 used capsule before they need to be emptied out. This means that you can make several cups of espresso in a day without having to dispose the capsules each time. 

Fast Preheating

Both machines have a 60-second preheating time. Nespresso recommends that you must prime your cup so that you can get piping hot espresso when it comes out after brewing. 

Manual Volume Control

The volume of the espresso has to be controlled manually in the C91 and C101. This allows you to get customized volume of coffee which is neither too less nor too much reducing wastage in the long run.  

The Differences Between the C91 and C101

Features of the C91

The C91 is an excellent machine for making espresso with compact dimensions and 19 bar pressure pump and a thermo block heating element for fast brewing. The volume control is manual and you need to press the brew button again after setting the volume that you prefer.

Improvements in the C101

The C101 is identical to the C91 except for the addition of an extremely useful feature for volume control. The automatic volume control can be used to customize the amount of espresso that you want so that the exact same amount of espresso pours into your cup each time. 

How To Brew with a Nespresso Essenza

Making coffee with the C91 and C101 is really easy. Keep your cup under the spout and switch on the power button if it is shows a solid green. If the light shows a blinking green then it means that water needs to be filled in the reservoir. First prime your cup so that it is warm. 

The C91 machine is not automatic hence you need to watch the level of espresso in your cup. After the cup is primed toss out the hot water. Open the brew chamber,  drop your favorite Nespresso capsule and press the brew button. When you feel that you have enough espresso in your cup press the button again and the pouring will stop. The C101 is automatic and can be set the first time that you make espresso. 

Cleaning up is as simple as can be. Open the brew chamber and the capsule will automatically drop into collection tray which collects 10-12 capsules. Dispose of the capsules and the machine is ready again.

Conclusion: Which Model is Best - Should I Buy a C91 or C101?

Both machines have the same features and are identical in shape and size. The C101 comes with programmable automatic volume control. If you have to choose between the two and do not mind paying a bit more for the additional option, consider the purchase of the C101. 

Have You Considered Upgrading to the Citiz?

Nespresso D121-US-BK-NE1 Citiz Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother, Black
Amazon Price: $299.00 $298.95 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 28, 2013)

Also, if you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding either the comparison account C91 Vs C101 or about either Nespresso maker specifically then please do not hesitate to make them in the comments section -- which you will find just below the fold -- and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Also Check Out Our Favorite Espresso Maker

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, Electric Titan
Amazon Price: $229.00 $139.00 Buy Now
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