Friday, May 4, 2012

Nespresso, what else?

George Clooney drinking nespresso, what else ?
Mr. George Clooney - Nespresso front figur

Some days ago I ran into a Nespresso coffee demonstration in a local electronic shop, providing service, counseling and of course selling both their capsules and espresso machines. I couldn't resist the opportunity of chatting with the Nespresso promoter, because I have always wondered what all the Nespresso fuzz was about? I mean; coming from a household where I roast my own beans, its hard to get that the majority of households machines is a Nespresso machine, but maybe its because its easy and simple. It couldn't be because of the superior flavor I supposed; so with these prejudice I went for a nice chat.

First off a little background information: Nespresso patented their own harvesting, roasting, packing and extracting system for about twenty-five years ago. They hereby ensured that the picked coffee was only from "Grand Crus" green beans providers and roasting after their own coffee-experts opinion. This coffee is then ground and sealed into a hermetically aluminum capsule, like shown in the picture below, which is said to seal and keep the 900 volatile flavors intact. In my world of coffee, I keep my roasting coffee beans sealed in a CO2 valve bag, which has a expiration date of three weeks to a month in my mind. The reason why I set the expiration date so low is simply that I can taste the flavors escaping, so can the Nespresso capsule really keep these, against all odds?

In my opinion roasted coffee extracts CO2 gasses, which should be allowed to escape from the coffee because it would simply rotten the beans if not. Also these capsules should have an expiration date of a hole year, which is a lot ! Think of how many groceries you keep in your kitchen, which have a expiration date of an entire year and still is thought of as fresh?

Nespresso capsule

The Nespresso promoter used a Livanto capsule to extract my espresso, which should have a full round body with a roasted caramel flavor. The Livanto mixture of coffee beans came from both south- and central America and is a pure mix of only Arabica beans.

Nespresso also states that they only used the worlds best "gourmet" coffee, which only consist of 10% of the worlds entire harvest of coffee beans and among these 10% are only 10-20% good enough for Nespressos quality demands. Nespresso themselves calls it for a treasure hunt, which can lead their coffee experts to the edges of the world.

Extraction and brewing a cafe latte

The machine used for this Livanto extraction is shown in the above pictures and holds a patented extraction system providing a 19 bars of pressure to extract all of the coffee flavors. Nespresso states that this patented extraction system ensures the consumer a incomparable compact and fine nuanced crema every time, hmm.

The machine could provide the espresso shot and also frothed the milk, therefore my opportunity of getting a first class latte, I hoped. If the espresso extraction is first to be commented, the shot came in three different characters judged only by the appearance. First off came a rich brown color that looked just like good strong coffee, but some seconds later it turned into a more transparent extraction looking like it ran out off ground coffee. I could only imagine that the bitterness of the espresso was extracted in this part, but I haven't tried it straight so I wouldn't actually know.

The machine first frothed the milk into the cup and afterwards extracting the espresso shot onto it, this is actually the opposite of when Im producing a latte, but the flavors should definitely be the same - only difference is that its more convenient to make some latte art, when pouring onto the espresso shot. Nevertheless the milk was the part that really didn't do the trick for me, because the machine didn't manage to caramelize the milk and therefore just heating it. Likewise the air bobbles incorporated into the milk was actually quite large leaving the milk quite non smooth and dry. This of course didn't match the espresso shot, which traditionally made just merge in a complete fusion of fantastic flavors and depth.  

Used Nespresso Capsule

The general flavor was incredible flat and boring, but very hot indeed! It was like I only could taste strong coffee mixed with some hot extreme low fat milk, was didn't suit my taste at all. I think that the Nespresso supply of capsules and machines is more of a lifestyle instead of a question of quality and flavor. The capsule machine just fit perfectly into our stressed everyday life and stressed people haven´t got the time to taste what they actually are drinking, it should just be kept simple, easy and reliable.

I sincerely prefere a quality cup and I thought a millionaire like George Clooney did too, considering all the millions of dollars he´s keeping on his bank account. He could try investing in a more do it yourself espresso machine or perhaps hire a butler/barista to service him, but maybe its just a question of making more money for him.

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// Hendrup


  1. Kasper, you said:

    >> I think that the Nespresso supply of capsules and machines is more of a lifestyle instead of a question of quality and flavor.

    As they say in American English, "You hit the nail on the head." Some friends in France had a Nespresso unit, and I liked it because it was quick, convenience, and created a lot less mess in the kitchen than conventional expresso machines. Of course the resulting expresso from the Nespresso tasted good to me: I was on holiday in France!!!

    I will purchase this unit because it will cleanly and conveniently brew me a single cup at a time. I may bring the unit to the office, where kitchen sinks and amenities will not be readily available.

    Thank you for your excellent and helpful review!

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