My daily cup of coffee is more than a casual addiction, it’s more like a full on love affair. I plan my days around my morning latte. Until I’ve breathed in deep the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, my day hasn’t really begun. Coffee preferences are so personal. I like a strong double shot of espresso nestled in with some hot and lightly frothed 2% milk. How do you like your cup in the morning?
As far as obsessions go, there are far worse out there, so I revel in my love of coffee free of any guilt. My name is Vanessa and I’m an unrepentant coffee addict. I suspect that I’m not alone in this delicious addiction.
A few weeks ago, I flew to New York for a three day coffee immersion courtesy of Nespresso. I was buzzed even before my first cup, thrilled to learn more about the coffee in my cup every morning. We stayed in Soho, at the extremely hip Mondrian Hotel. Gaggles of tween girls stood outside the entrance for the three days I was there, desperate to catch a glimpse of some YouTube celebrities staying there. Either my hearing is going or my coolness level is so low that I thought they told me they were waiting for Jackie Chan. The only thing remotely cool about me is my love of fine food and my appreciation of great coffee. And for a high quality coffee experience, I was in great hands with the Nespresso team: everything about the Nespresso experience is high class.
Did you know that you can taste coffee and call out flavor notes, just like you taste wine? You begin with a deep inhalation, then sample the crema on top of the espresso, letting it linger in your mouth, hitting the different parts of your tongue. And when you taste the same coffee coupled with frothed milk, the flavor takes on a whole new level. We tasted a lot of coffee, and I feared caffeine palpitations, but I learned that the caffeine level in espresso is significantly smaller than in brewed coffee. I could have kept going all day.
I knew little about Nespresso before arriving in New York City. I had played a few times with the Nespresso U machine sent to me prior the trip, but had returned to my trusty expensive espresso machine and my espresso from beans flown in from Italy. I felt like a rockstar replicating the gestures of a barista in my kitchen every morning! It wasn’t until I learned more about Nespresso’s quasi-fanatic commitment to quality that I gave the machine a second look, and I now am hooked on the flexibility of choosing my capsule each morning, calibrating my intense espresso to my mood and the weather.
We spent the first day learning about coffee production, how Nespresso carefully selects the best beans on the market and creates a variety of flavors to meet the needs. We didn’t delve too deeply in the production methods, but did hear that Nespresso has ecolaboration programs in place to encourage stewardship of the land with their farmers and other environmental measures.
Most of the Nespresso grand crus capsules are blends of beans from different locations to achieve a specific flavor profile or beans from one location that best represent the flavors of that region. The honey notes of the Brazilian Dulsao da Brazil are incredible in a late afternoon latte. Nespresso also produces limited edition capsules to feature a certain harvest or experience. Trieste and Napoli are the current limited edition coffees available and the Trieste is intense with heavy caramel overtones. I adore it. The experience of choosing a jewel colored Nespresso capsule is similar to picking a nice bottle of wine. Each capsule is rated by intensity and flavor notes. Whether you like your coffee dark and intense like me, or prefer a lighter cup to start your day, you’ll have plenty to choose from in the starter capsule box. There is even a good selection of decaffeinated capsules.
We also learned a lot about the Nespresso machines. Their commitment to quality is not limited to the coffee they produce. Their engineers have been creating sleek and intuitive machines for over a decade, the types of appliances that change your life without taking over your entire countertop. I have the Nespresso U with the Aeroccino separate unit that has two different attachments to quietly froth milk for lattes or cappuccinos. In the summer, the aeroccino froths milk while keeping it cold, perfect for iced lattes.
The Nespresso mission seems to make the greatest cup of coffee possible, exactly how each customer likes it. Now if only I could get as skilled as the Soho boutique barista in making my coffee this pretty!
Since my return home from New York, I’ve been quietly falling in love with my Nespresso experience, trying the different capsules, rearranging my kitchen counters to accommodate my Nespresso U machine as well as my husband’s espresso machine. Yes, we are now a two espresso machine household. Old habits die hard. Now I’m ready to start talking about the trip and the magic continuing to happen back in my kitchen. Stay tuned for a giveaway soon for you to win your own Nespresso machine as well as some really fun recipes. Think way beyond breakfast drinks and get ready for some really fun and surprising entertaining ideas involving coffee. What’s not to love?