There’s nothing quite so sweet as that first cup of coffee in the morning – especially if it’s loaded with three teaspoons of sugar. But getting that caffeine hit has never quite been as easy as the Nespresso U.

Nespresso’s pod-based coffee dispersion system has been growing in popularity in recent years thanks to some pretty nice machines and the fact that you don’t have to drop four bucks every time you crave a large latte.

The Nespresso U is one of the easiest Nespresso systems yet, and that’s saying something. It’s taken almost every manual process out of the act of making coffee. You don’t even need to press a button – the machine automatically starts brewing as soon as you close the pod door.

From a design perspective, the U is a small unit, with a water tank that can rotate left or right around the back of the main machine, which makes it perfect for tight spaces. While slightly plasticky, the magnetic latches that hold the drip tray to the pod capture bin make it super simple to pull the U apart for cleaning.

There’s no milk frother on board, although Nespresso were bundling one with every purchase of the Nespresso U when it originally launched back in August.

Unlike the Lattissima+, the U does require a fair bit more attention in the cleaning department. One thing we noticed with the Lattissima machine was that the pods didn’t seem to leak liquid after they’d been ejected. The Nespresso U does, although why that is the case is beyond our understanding of the machine’s inner workings.

When you insert a pod and shut the door, the machine automatically starts brewing. You have a few seconds to adjust the size of your cup, but otherwise it will work off the previous setting.

Sometimes though, the machine just wouldn’t extract the bitter drink properly. Out of the first 20 or so cups, we lost three to this weird phenomenon of the machine doing little more than delivering a few drips of coffee. And because the U automatically starts and ends a brew, you can’t tell it to try again either.

Still, this is very much an entry level machine for the cash-conscious. And in that regards, it’s highly recommended. There’s something beautiful about being able to get a cup of coffee in just over a minute in the morning for the equivalent of about 60 cents or so.

Even if you don’t care for the flavour of Nespresso coffee, for that early morning caffeine hit, this is a pretty attractive option.

Price: $299
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