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Nivona NIVO coffee machine

New Nivona NIVO 8101 and NIVO 8103 coffee machines Review

The German Nivona Apparate GmbH with an office in Nuremberg was founded in 2005 by engineers Peter Wildner, Thomas Meier and Hans Errmann. The company develops coffee machines that are produced in the Portuguese plant of the Swiss group Eugster/Frismag. As known, it and Saeco are the world’s largest OEM (original equipment manufacturer) manufacturers of coffee machines. In particular, Eugster/Frismag also produces models under the brands Jura, Bosch, Melitta, etc. But, of course, some industry leaders, including, for example, Delonghi, produce coffee machines without their participation.

Unlike most competitors, Nivona sells its products exclusively in specialized stores through qualified sales consultants. Of course, this system has significant pros, but, unfortunately, it also significantly limits the brand popularity. However, high competitiveness due to the superb price-quality ratio largely compensates for this negative aspect.

Nivona model range covers almost the entire price segment, including:

– entry-level budget models NICR 550/560 CafeRomatica and NICR 690/695 CafeRomatica models;

– mid-range and premium NICR CafeRomatica 79x, 8 series, NICR 970 CafeRomatica and 1040 coffee machines.

Like other industry leaders, Nivona expands its product range every year, and 2024 was no exception. The company introduced the compact CUBE 4 for coffee bean lovers.

Nivona Cube 4106
Nivona Cube 4106

In addition, Nivona presented NIVO 8000 series with a new RomaticaPlus brewing unit.

Nivona NIVO 8000 series

In fact, the 8th series, including NICR 859/842/841/825/821/820 models, became an improved version of the 7th series with expanded functionality. This list includes:

– customizable sequence of adding ingredients to the cup for milk-based drinks (milk+coffee or vice versa);

– two nozzles of milk frother in the dispenser support the simultaneous preparation of two milk-based drinks;

– 10 vs 5 memory cells for individual recipes;

– selecting the size of icons in the menu interface;

– auto-on function;

– two-color vs one-color cup lighting (orange for coffee and white for milk).

It’s no secret that many updated versions mainly only demonstrate the development of the series, offering minor improvements. But the new Nivona NIVO 8xxx showed real progress, including even the name. In particular, the company replaced the letter prefix from NICR to NIVO and expanded the numeric code to four characters.

The new Nivona NIVO 8xxx coffee machine (8000th series) is positioned as a pre-flagship level with the 9 series.

Like the flagship, it offers:

– a full set of popular ‘one-touch’ programs with adjustable priority of milk and coffee supply (Cappuccino Connaisseur);

– automatic cappuccino maker with a hose that supports the simultaneous preparation of two milk-based drinks and adjusts the foam height;

– ‘taste profiles’, remote control with Nivona app via smartphone, large color display, etc.

The New series includes the all-black NIVO 8101 and 8103 with titanium front panel.

Nivona NIVO 8 series colors
Nivona NIVO 8 series colors

Their minimalist design was developed in collaboration by the German Formate/Studio design studio.

Nivona NIVO 8103 Design
Nivona NIVO 8103 Design


New models offer 8 most popular programs:

– Espresso – default 40 ml, temp 2 out of 3, strength 4 out of 5, Constant flavor profile / setting 20 – 240 ml with 10 ml step adjustment;

– Coffee (lungo) – 120 ml / 20 – 240 ml, 10 ml step (20-25 ml for ristretto).

Ristretto espresso
Ristretto espresso

– Americano – 40 ml espresso + 80 ml hot water / setting 20 – 240 ml for coffee and water, 5 ml step (but total volume ≤ 360 ml);

– Cappuccino – 160 ml milk foam + 40 ml espresso / 40 – 240 ml milk foam, 20 – 240 ml espresso, 5 ml step (total volume ≤ 360 ml). The program has a separate modifier for selecting the sequence of milk and coffee supply, which is important for fans of the classic recipe (espresso + milk).

Unfortunately, the program does not support the adjustment function for foam height, frothing milk only with maximum intensity;

– Latte – 160 ml milk + 40 ml espresso / setting range as for cappuccino.

But unlike cappuccino, this program adds hot milk instead of milk froth and does not have a sequence modifier (milk + espresso only);

– Latte macchiato (without sequence modifier) – 40 ml milk + 200 ml milk foam + 60 ml espresso / 40 – 240 ml for milk and foam + 20 – 240 ml espresso, 5 ml step, ≤ 360 ml total;

– Milk – 150 ml (100 ml milk + 50 ml foam) / 0 – 240 ml, 10 ml step, ≤ 360 ml total;

– Hot water – 150 ml / 50 – 500 ml, 25 ml step.

The My Coffee submenu can contain up to nine recipes with custom settings and name.

RomaticaPlus brewing unit

Of course, the new RomaticaPlus brewing unit is the main improvement of the new series. To be honest, the formation of a coffee tablet, its shape and the chamber volume for 15-16 grams of ground coffee have not changed. But the components, the way they are fixed and even the location of the RomaticaPlus brewing unit have been improved.

Nivona NIVO Brewing unit difference
Nivona NIVO Brewing unit difference

List of differences:

– closed shutter on the ground coffee chamber of axially displaced brewing unit in the ‘parking position’.

Considering the closed curtain of the brewing chamber in the parked position, it’s better to direct the water stream to the mesh of the upper piston, turning the brewing unit over.

Nivona NIVO Cleaning
Nivona NIVO Cleaning

– kinematics and guides have also been changed;

– new design ensures cleaning the drain valve on the brewing unit during periodic washing with running water.

In previous models, the drain valve is located in an area inaccessible to running water. Of course, unscrewing a few screws solves the problem. But it’s troublesome and requires skills. Typically, it requires cleaning approximately once every 6 months. Otherwise, its clogging requires contacting a service center. Overall, the new RomaticaPlus brewing unit promises significantly simplified maintenance and extended service life.

In addition, the new model uses a new multivalve and drive gearbox.

As known, a multivalve switches the flow of water, steam and air inside the coffee machine, distributing them between the hydraulic/air lines and the coffee dispenser. This is one of the most important and highly loaded components of a modern coffee machine, which is designed for ~ 7,000-10,000 cycles. Of course, increasing its reliability will significantly affect the overall service life.

Engine operation with the new drive gearbox has also become quieter. Reliability assessment is still premature.


The Sysko 15 bar water pump with a pulsation damper at the outlet, 1450-watt thermoblock and conical steel coffee grinder with 5 grind levels have not changed. The Bluetooth module provides control from a smartphone via Nivona App for Android and iOS.

Modern coffee machines have long become part of the kitchen interior, which places increased demands on their design. The previous 5, 6 and 7 series use the same body. The differences between them and the 8 Series are also minor.

Basic NIVO specs have not changed:

– 1.8 l water tank is accessible from the top left;

– 250 g grain hopper;

– coffee grounds waste – 10-12 servings.

But with the same dimensions, the model looks more squat and elongated in depth.

Nivons NIVO 8 Size
Nivons NIVO 8 Size

A thick silicone seal around the bunker perimeter isolates the coffee beans from surrounding odors, preserving their aroma.

In addition, the developers placed the lid of the ground coffee bunker at the top. In previous models it was located on the right panel, which is inconvenient when placing this side close to the wall.


– 5 degrees of strength (from 7 to 15 grams of coffee per serving, ~ 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15g gradations);

– 3 temp level;

– auto shutdown time (10 minutes to 16 hours);

– display mode for drink icons – large for a ‘carousel’ menu format, or small for vertical screen.

Components and Aroma Profiles

The dispenser with two coffee nozzles, an integrated cappuccino maker for simultaneous preparation of two milk-based drinks and a separate spout for hot water is identical to the modules in the NICR 8 and NICR 930.

Nivona NIVO 8103 Dispenser
Nivona NIVO 8103 Dispenser

The 3.6-inch color display is also no different from the NICR 930. But unlike the NICR 8 and NICR 930, the new series uses only a push dial without the additional two keys on the sides.

Similar controls are used in the NICR 79x. In fact, a single dial provides selection of programs, settings and modes through nested submenus. Of course, this minimizes controls, but requires some skills at first. However, numerous tips make the task easier.

The ‘Care Menu’ now contains a ‘Rinse the brewing unit’ item with step-by-step instructions and a customizable request frequency.

Five flavor Aroma profiles have also become a significant bonus of the new series. With the exception of the budget 5 series, all Nivona coffee machines have Aroma Balance System. In fact, it regulates the pre-wetting duration. Today, many companies, including Delonghi or Jura, offer this feature in mid-range and premium models under different names. But it’s hard-coded and cannot be edited. Only Nivona supports its customization for each recipe.

The new series uses an expanded version of this feature. In addition to the pre-wetting duration, the coffee machine additionally corrects the water flow speed through the coffee tablet by adjusting the water pump operation.

In fact, Aroma profiles extend the standard settings, which include coffee volume, temperature and strength. This list includes Quick, Dynamic, Constant, Harmonic and Intense.

Aroma Profiles

– Quick (making coffee with reduced extraction) – 1-sec pre-wetting and max intensive pump operation (pouring – 40 ml espresso / 20 sec);

– Dynamic (without pre-wetting) – preserves the aroma with reduced extraction. It may be effective on very fresh, recently roasted beans;

– Constant – 1-sec pre-wet, 40 ml espresso / 25 sec. Universal mode for any coffee beans;

– Harmonic – 40 ml espresso / 25 sec (no pause, gradual increase in the water flow speed through the coffee tablet from slow to accelerated).

In fact, the coffee machine smoothly increases the pump pressure, providing several extraction stages. For reference, a drop in pressure below the classic 9 bar causes the extraction of more complex components and a decrease in the amount of coffee oils in the cup. Therefore, combining phases with different pressures expands the flavor range. The preparing espresso with dynamically changing pressure and selecting the optimal mode is called ‘pressure profiling’. This function is sometimes found in sophisticated manual professional models or in expensive commercial super-automatic coffee machines. In fact, the Nivona NIVO 8101/8103 offers an additional tool for adjusting the coffee taste. But, of course, the influence of profiling with Harmonic Aroma Profile also depends on the coffee beans, grinding, strength settings, temperature, volume, etc. Moreover, the finished drink may receive stray notes from the acidic or bitter spectrum. To be fair, fresh and good coffee usually does not require pressure profiling. But this function will be usefulfor for fans of experiments;

– Intense – slowly pouring through a coffee tablet without pauses at a constant speed (40 ml espresso / 30 sec). The mode prolongs extraction, increases the drink density, enhances its taste and descriptors (taste shades). It’s especially effective for not very fresh coffee beans.

Nivona Aroma Profiles
Nivona Aroma Profiles



– new RomaticaPlus brewing unit with washing of built-in drain valve when rinsing under running water;

– sequence modifier (coffee + milk or milk + coffee) for Cappuccino;

– new multivalve and brewing unit gearbox;

– two additional flavor profiles: Harmonic with pressure profiling and Quick.


– no active heating of cups at the top;

– no separate settings for milk volume and milk foam;

– series doesn’t have model with metal front panel;

– no drip tray fill sensor.

The coffee machine uses a pop-up float and offers to empty the tray after every 10 servings, but the sensor seems more convenient.

The German company managed to create a great model with several premium features. It offers a sequence modifier with a new brewing unit and an improved Aroma Balance System with two additional flavor profiles, including a Harmonic with pressure profiling. Considering the price of ~ € 1,200, Nivona NIVO has a superb price-quality ratio, which promises it cloudless marketing prospects and perhaps a place among the bestsellers.

This video demonstrates cleaning the system in Nivona NIVO 8000 series.

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