Nespresso covers all bases when it comes to coffee machines and if you’re considering a step up from some of its more basic models then the Creatista could be the one to buy. However, there are variations on the Creatista theme and we’ve put two of the models head to head to see which one comes out tops and can join the ranks of the best coffee maker league.
For the purposes of this coffee machine stand-off we’ve already run a Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno review – and we loved it (spoilers). However, we also like the moer expensive Sage Creatista Plus, and that's what we'll be comparing it to.
There’s also a Creatista Pro, which is even more premium than the two models featured here but certainly worth considering, should you want to really – aha ha ha – 'splash out' on coffee.
Depending on where you live you might find that your Nespresso machine is branded differently, so for example these will be Breville models in the US and Australia. We’ve been trying out the Sage models here in the UK.
Branding aside, the great thing about a Nespresso machine is that in terms of coffee and the taste then you’re not going to get too many surprises. Nespresso pods come in a variety of different flavours to suit all coffee tastes. It’s generally pretty easy to spot when you’re drinking coffee from one of these machines. That’s a good thing in terms of consistency as far as we’re concerned.
Making your Nespresso coffee is easy too. Simply add water to the tank, put a cup under the nozzle and pop in a pod. Power up the machine, wait for it to prime and away you go. That’s basically it for both, or indeed all the best Nespresso coffee machines, so you’ll have a drink before you know it.
Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno vs Sage Creatista Plus: price, availability and what are they?
The Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno is available for £329 in the UK, $399.95 in the US and $553.36 in Australia. This is the cheapest model of the three Creatista variants, and comes in just one colour too, black, with some silver flourishes and is most notable for its automatic steam pipe that allows anyone to create super frothy jugs of milk to compliment the Nespresso pod coffee it produces.
That’s right, you won’t need a separate milk frother. The Creatista Uno is a countertop number that weighs 5.2kg and has dimensions of 17.1 x 39.3 x 30.8cm (WxDxH), so it’s not huge, but certainly isn’t compact either.
Meanwhile, the Nespresso Sage Creatista Plus is available for £449 in the UK, $599.95 in the US and $640.33 in Australia. This is the middle model of the current Creatista crew and is available in four different colour schemes including black, but it also looks great in stainless steel too, especially with its chrome touches adding to the impressive effect.
It also comes with the built-in steam wand feature that lets you whip up fluffy hot milk to produce fab Cappuccinos and Lattes with the help of Nespresso coffee pods. In terms of size and weight then everything is pretty much exactly the same as the base model, so you’ll need a similar amount of countertop space to accommodate it.
Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno vs Sage Creatista Plus: features
The Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno might be the cheapest model of the three, but it’s still got a very decent set of features. The unit can be primed and ready to go in just 3 seconds, while the auto frothing aspect of the steam wand delivers 3 different texture levels. You can also pick one of 3 different milk temperature settings.
There’s 19-bar pressure available too, which means that the coffee you get from the Nespresso pods is always consistent, albeit a little samey. For many though that predictability is the whole point of a machine like this.
This model, and indeed the other two come with a handy stainless steel Creatista milk jug, which has a neat design that includes maximum and minimum filling lines and a precision pouring spout for any barista wannabees out there.
The Nespresso Sage Creatista Plus packs a pretty impressive specification with the same great selection of drink options on offer. These include Flat White, Café Latte, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Ristretto, Espresso and Lungo plus there’s the capacity for whipping up hot milk as needed. The texture of the milk frothing can be tweaked to suit your tastes too, which adds extra value.
This is also a fast machine, with a 3 second heat-up time and there are 11 different temperature settings to choose from once it’s ready to go. The Plus, like the Uno features an auto shut off after 10 minutes, which can take you by surprise if you’re nearby as it makes you think (wrongly) that it’s about to start serving up an unsupervised coffee. It is, in fact, shutting itself down.
Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno vs Sage Creatista Plus: performance
We’ve enjoyed trialling both these Nespresso machines because they’re an absolute joy to use. While we didn't find too much to differentiate between them in the performance stakes, the Plus does manage to leave more of a lasting impression thanks to its extra features.
However, both machines are ready to go in the same time and have the same 1.5-litre removable water tank too, so capacity is therefore no different. There’s a container in the body of the machine that can hold spent pod capsules too and just needs to be emptied when it’s full.
What is different with the Plus model though is what you can do with your drinks. The unit is able to cover all bases in terms of drinks but does it with a little more precision. While it’ll turn out quality Espresso we got most value from its Flat White production, excellent Café Lattes and, indeed, anything else that required hot frothy milk to make the moment complete.
We even used it for producing steaming hot chocolates using a little bit of manual intervention rather than Nespresso pods. The Uno does much the same, but it lacks the breadth of settings, with a pared down range of options compared to the 8 texture levels and 11 milk temperature settings of the Plus.
One real boon with both units is the automatic purge feature of the steam wand. Simply lift up the pipe, remove your milk jug from under it, wipe the stainless steel pipe with a damp cloth, place it back down and the appliance fires some hot water through the pipe and into the drip tray, cleaning as it goes.
This does splatter a little, due to the pressure, but it’s invaluable for getting rid of any waste milk deposits. Plus, all you need to do then is remove the drip tray and grille for a wash. Performance is one thing, but when it’s combined with convenience then the desirability factor goes up a notch.
Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno vs Sage Creatista Plus: which one should I buy?
Seasoned coffee drinkers will tell you that no matter what Nespresso machine you purchase the resulting drinks it produces will basically be the same. While that might be true in terms of having to use coffee pods and capsules to get the basic drink, both the Nespresso Sage Creatista Uno and Sage Creatista Plus are top machines. The main reason for that is the milk frother.
If you love coffee with milk then either one of these appliances will fit the bill. With practice you’ll even be producing your own showy designs in the froth thanks to that great little milk jug.
However, we think that the Creatista Plus justifies its more expensive price tag simply because you get extra functionality. These allow you to squeeze even more potential from the coffee maker. Aside from the performance, both machines are also nicely designed, with little touches that make all the difference, like the little pop-out shelf for small Espresso coffee cups.
While both machines produce excellent Nespresso drinks, if you’re after a little more flexibility on the features and functions front then the Creatista Plus is the one to go for, particularly if you never tire of frothy Cappuccinos and the like.