October 26, 2008

Nespresso Le Cube C185 Full Review


The Nespresso Le Cube Black colored edition came in for review recently and we are are pretty happy to check this one step easy espresso brewer out. The Le Cube is one offering in the line of Nespresso capsule based brewers that at their heart have ease of use and high quality brewing at their very core. The recent line refresh includes the New Black version of the Le Cube. The Le Cube is a simple design statement that fits in a small footprint on the counter with some bold lines and innovative design elements making it a great looking unit as well as a highly functional one. It's got a 1-liter reservoir, has cup holder space for up to 6 espresso cups and a chamber that holds up to 15 spent espresso capsules. The 19-bar pump driven extraction is impressive for its crema creation, while its 1260 watt thermoblock heating element powers the unit. Le Cube retails at $349.


We took the Le Cube for a spin while we were trying out our Jinogalpa Special Club Capsules that are offered as a limited time offer, it's been fun mixing them in with a lot of our standards.


The Le Cube is highly functional and aesthetically pretty cool. The obvious cubic design is a bit of a no brainer to recognize, but there are a few touches that make this uber-cool. As-is, the unit is a pretty tight cube, drip tray folded up, which when you press the power button on, the drip tray releases and drops down to hold your espresso cup ready for a shot. When you do have the unit on, the spent capsule chamber is backlit through a translucent high impact plastic with vertical slots on the front of the chamber that let you peer through the chamber. The vertical slots on the front of the chamber receive the grooves in the drip tray when it is folded up.

The Le Cube also offers integrated cup storage along its top side that are covered by flip up plastic covers. I like having my espresso cups right there at the brewer instead of hunting all over the kitchen for them. The innovative design of the water tank has it fold out from below the left cup holder, for filling. The small tank unbelievably holds a liter of water. Small annoyance is avoided here though; the tank folds out with the cups on the cup-holder still in place. I only have do this once in a while anyway - you do the math for yourself - 30 ml shots coming out of a liter tank times the number of shots a day. Some people want to change up the water frequently; I do it about every week at best.



Like all Nespresso Machines, the Le Cube fires off shots from it's line of espresso capsules and does so in fast, efficient fashion. The single button on the left top side is the power button that kicks on the machine's heater. The 1260 watts are pretty powerful and crank the heater up to its ready point in about 60 seconds. By lifting the chrome lever on top, the small capsule chamber is revealed. Drop it in, and hit either the single (40 ml ~1.4 ounces) or lungo (110 ml ~4 ounces) button. About 30 seconds later a simple and delicious shot comes out of the unit; perfect every time. With a house full of friends the other night I was able to pull a half dozen shots in no time and the unit was able to keep up and crank the shots out in under 5 minutes; cold machine to serving all guests. Amazing; a few people even asked "was that all it took?" When you lift the lever for the next capsule, the spent one drops into the capsule chamber for disposal later - that chamber holds up to 15 dead capsules. If there are drips onto the drip tray it artfully drains into a separate chamber that supports the spent capsule chamber making for a very clean and smart little design.


How to Customize your Brew Volume on Le Cube

If you decide that you want to alter the size of the espresso shot, you can easily create a new "espresso" and "lungo" setting for yourself in a few simple steps:

  1. Insert Capsule in machine to brew espresso.
  2. Press and HOLD the desired brew button that you want to alter the brew volume on
  3. When the Espresso shot gets to the desired level, release the button.
  4. You now have set a custom brew size that will allow you to get that brew volume each and every time you brew.

How to Reset your Nespresso Le Cube

Okay, so you don't like that brew volume setting anymore, or you accidentally set it to some insane level, it's easy to return the Le Cube to the factory settings. Again a few easy steps:

  1. Switch the Le Cube off
  2. Press and hold the "Lungo" brew button
  3. Switch the machine on and wait for the Lungo button to flash
  4. Release the Lungo button

Yes, it's that easy.

Review Summary

I will admit that I enjoy the Nespresso machines for their dead simple operation and their excellent shots that are a result of such little effort. The quality of shots to effort ratio is pretty good with the Le Cube. The design is tight and in weeks of use, I have not run into any flaws or deal breakers here, as it continues to perform well as a quick dispenser of great espresso. Le Cube offers a couple of features that I like lot - the cup holders that are integrated into the machine, protected from getting bumped on a daily basis, and the drip tray that folds up to keep the unit's clean lines in tact on the counter top. The new Black color is great and keeps the unit in fashion and for us, fits well with the gray tones of the countertops - something that I would imagine would work well for a lot of people in their kitchen designs too.

The Nespresso Le Cube C185 is available in Black at the Nespresso Website, and at Amazon as Nespresso C185T Le Cube Automatic Espresso Machine, Titan Gray

You can also read our sister site's review of the Le Cube at Single Serve Coffee

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Posted by Scott Martin at October 26, 2008 11:00 PM
Recent Comments

i tried to reset Le Cube the way that is described above but it did not work. Can you suggest something else?

Posted by: Vasilis at July 4, 2011 12:26 AM

Subject: Request for Quotation# YL-R-10012820

Please send your best price and delivery time for the materials described below:


Nespresso Le Cube Coffee Machine.

Part Number: C185.See attached supported picture.

Qty: 6

Unit: EA


(Set) Triple Cereal Dispenser. Only European qality will be accepted. See attached supported picture.

Three Dispenser 5 Liter Containers.

Item: 8910/3

Height: 28", Width: 21.75", Depth: 7.25"

Qty: 4

Unit: EA

Appreciate your quick respond.

Looking forward to your reply.

Posted by: Enas at December 18, 2010 7:44 AM
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