November 26, 2014

Review: Gevalia Peppermint Mocha Limited Edition

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It’s that time of year, when the holiday flavors come flooding to the market, and Gevalia/Tassimo is not alone. On the heels of Pumpkin Spice, comes the Gevalia Peppermint Mocha T-Disks. Winter, and especially the holiday season seems to have the aroma stitched into its fabric, so it’s natural to have the Gevalia Peppermint Mocha around to to help welcome the holidays.

The Gevalia Peppermint Mocha comes with eight large T-discks of peppermint flavored chocolate syrup, and eight Gevalia Espresso T-disks. The extra heft of the chocolate syrup disk may be a little surprising the first time you open the pack, as they are about twice the size of the espresso T-disks, and as a result, the package contains two boxes (4 per box) of the chocolate syrup T-Disks to the one box (8 each) of espressos.

Today, we’re making the Peppermint Mocha on a Tassimo T-20 made by Bosch. More after the jump.

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November 19, 2014

La Marzocco Home GS3 - Commercial Legend in Home-sized Package


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La Marzocco has announced a home version of their legendary commercial machine. The machine is designed for the espresso lover who wants to dedicate a little extra cash and a lot of extra love to their espresso habit. The machine is a dual boiler set up with a dedicated 3.5 liter steaming boiler that will operate to get you the steamed milk you want at the right temperature and pressure for the task. Don’t like filling a boiler? Yea, they thought so, you can have this directly plumbed into your house water supply.

The La Marzocco Home can be customized with a black finish, stainless, or with wooden accents of maple or walnut. Very cool. You can also take a quick shortcut and get it set up as fully manual or a pre-programmed auto-volumetric draw for consistent, but not very customized shots.

For this level of excellence, it will set you back around $7,000 - customizations can move the price up a bit.

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November 16, 2014

Review Nespresso Variations 2014 Capsules - Apple Crumble, Chocolate Mint, Hazelnut Dessert

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Nespresso released their 2014 Nespresso Variations capsules this past week in the US, and took a dessert theme this year. In past years, they have been all over the place with wild flavors that may not seem to go with coffee (Ginger, Chai, etc.), but are surprisingly good. My personal favorites were the Crystalized Ginger from the 2008 Variations, and the Apricot from the 2009 Variations, both unexpectedly good. Great ones don’t have to be wild either - a classic caramel is a great choice, and was popular enough to become a regular capsule that can be ordered anytime.

The capsules come reminiscent of little wrapped packages, and use the multi-colored print designs that they have been using recently to mark the special production runs. Even the ends of the boxes look like little wrapped packages.


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But are they any good? Sadly, this year isn’t going to go down in my “Best of” category. Nespresso tends to have a light hand with their flavors, favoring a Euro style taste.

Limited Edition variations 2014 are:

  • Apple Crumble - I thought this was the best of them all, with a nice baked apple aroma, slightly sweet, great with a hint of sugar to transform it into a sweet indulgence.
  • Chocolate Mint - Chocolate is tough to do in coffee, and neither flavors comes through strongly enough to make it great. Sorry Nespresso.
  • Hazelnut Dessert - Tried over and over, and it just comes off as a chemical soup of hazelnut flavors. Nut flavors can be hard to replicate, and this one misses the mark.

I really like the Livanto capsule as a base coffee capsule (I tend to drink this regularly), and had been anticipating the release of these since they published the poll results back in the early part of 2014, but they just didn’t deliver for me on the Chocolate and Hazelnut versions. Glad I ordered a couple of sleeves of the Apple Crumble.

If you are interested, they tend to go fast, and sell out by early December.

At Nespresso Club


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November 16, 2014

25% Off Tassimo Brewers at Tassimo Direct with GROVE Discount Code

Tassimo Direct is offering a 25% discount on Brewers right now, and on top of that, free ground shipping makes it a great deal. Use Discount code, "GROVE" to get the discount at checkout.

They are offering their T20, the T55, and the T47 brewers for purchase. See why Tassimo can brew a better single serve drink by customizing the conditions for brewing in the video below.

Get Discounts at - Tassimo Direct - offer ends 11/21

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November 7, 2014

Nespresso Capsule Price Increase November 10

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Prices are going up for Nespresso Capsules, including the Original Line and the Vertuo Line. The price increases are being blamed on Green Coffee cost increases. For those who down a lot of their coffee the price increase will be minimal; hey if you’re already shelling out for a $200 machine and like ordering capsules mail order (for many), a nickel increase might not matter. Original Line base Grand Crus will rise to $0.70 each, while the popular Kazaar will go from $0.70 to $0.75.

What might hurt the coffee capsule giant more are the optics of the VertuoLine increase on those capsules from $0.95 each for a coffee capsule to $1.10. The move above a dollar a cup may slow demand a bit more than the fact that it is only a $0.15 hit to the wallet.

Nespresso is probably in for a busy weekend; prices increase on November 10th, and sent out an email to remind people to get their orders in ahead of the increase. Clear some room for the coming Variations doing later this month….

Not missing a beat, the fine folks over at Hi-Line coffee dropped this graphic out to their mailing list yesterday. I think it says it all.

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August 27, 2014

Cubania 2014 Nespresso Limited Edition Capsules


Cubania Capsule Nespresso 2014

As summer winds down, Nespresso releases their Limited Edition into the stores; this year we are looking at the Cubania, a very robust little capsule that tips the scale at a 13 on the Intensity meter…. that used to go only to a 10, until Kazaar broke the scale at an 11. Hang on.

Nespresso bills this as a Cuban inspired coffee, and no Cuban coffee beans were hurt, or even used in the making of this blend. Given the state of trade relations here in the US with Cuba, that makes some sense.

This capsules is "Inspired by the passion, and warmth of the Cuban way of life…. a bold blend of Arabicas with a specially prepared Indian Robusta, steam treated to obtain a dense texture and a powerful bouquet with complex aromatics and inimitable strength of character, but without an overwhelming bitterness."

Available at the Nespresso Club now

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July 5, 2014

Dualit - Tea in Nespresso Compatible Capsules


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Dualit is selling (in the UK) nespresso compatible tea capsules in the UK. The original line capsules are available in five varieties, including English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Kenyan Gold, Peppermint Infusion, and Blackcurrant Infusion.

The capsules contain a microfilter to keep the fine tea particles int eh capsule. Given that the average lung takes around a minute to brew in a Nespresso Machine, one has to wonder how they get enough flavor coaxed out of the teas in that time, given it doesn't have a proper steep.

Nespresso Vertuo to Brew Tea?

Nespresso has toyed with a capsule-based tea machine in the past, called the Special T machine. With the product still selling in France (the website is still up), you have to wonder if they have set their eyes on introducing a newer iteration that works with the Vertuo Line machine. Recall that the codes on the lip of the Vertuo capsules allow the machine to brew at different conditions, and maybe one of those conditions can be used to brew tea?

More at Dualit for tea capsules. the price is 3.30 GBP per ten capsules or about $5.70 US.

Via PocketLint

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June 30, 2014

Illy Y3 - Small Countertop Capsule Espresso Machine

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Illy has introduced the Illy Y3 Espresso maker targeting those kitchens that want to save on space while offering an easy to use capsule-based espresso maker. The Y3 espresso brewer gives you a slim profile, and a one touch brew cycle that allows you to brew espresso and lung coffees. Want your own size to fit your favorite cup? No problem the brew buttons are user settable for easy use day after day.

The water reservoir is about a liter/quart, and the spend capsule container will hoped about eight capsules. The Y3 Espresso maker will use the Illy iperEspresso capsules, available in a number of roasts, as well as several single origin versions.

If you buy via Illy, the price is $230, and that comes with two cans of iperEspresso capsules. If you buy via their coffee supply subscription service, Illy a Casa,, you can buy it for $125.

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June 25, 2014

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine

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Nespresso has announced a new espresso machine to fill in at the value end of the "Original Line" as they call it after the Vertuo Line launch.The small machine is roughly the same size as the Nespresso Pixie, with a slightly different design, and a much lower price target of $99 (vs. the $229 for the Pixie).

The Inissia Machine has the same manual operation of inserting a capsule, 2 automatic brew sizes (shutting off when it reaches a set brew size), a quick 25 second pre-heating cycle, and a 24-ounce reservoir capacity that will get your through several brews before re-filling.

The Inissia machine still features the same energy saving mode that has become standard over the last few years that shuts the machine down after nine minutes of inactivity; I like this so I don't forget and leave it on all day after I get distracted drinking the espressos.

At $99, this might just be a machine that gets Nespresso going in the value end of the market, where pressure-based machines dominate. Available in the US in Red, Black and Cream.

At Amazon Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine

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June 23, 2014

Coffee Prices Going up Tomorrow

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If you haven't heard; prices on some Starbucks coffee drinks are going up a few cents tomorrow - between five and twenty according to reports.

Its not a surprise give the crop issues in Central America (Coffee Rust), and the drought in Brazil, dragging on supplies, and pushing coffee prices up for rage swaths of the bean.

Enjoy that Grande today, it'll cost more tomorrow.

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June 22, 2014

Lavazza Going to the Space Station? ISSpresso!

Ever since we went to space, those travelers probably woke up dreaming of a good coffee; at least that's what one Italian astronaut dreamt of. Well the folks at Lavazza got to work and are preparing a prototype machine that would extract espresso under pressure to create the first high quality espresso at the International Space Station.

So while you might think they will be sitting around with those little espresso cups, these are probably going to be a little more contained, enjoyed in a little sizable bag, and a little more, well space-aged to handle the low gravity environment.

Via Slate

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May 15, 2014

Impressive Design - Streitman ES3 Espresso Maker


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Interesting espresso machines never cease to amaze me; they are simple in function - push water through coffee, but often amazing in their creativity. The Strietman ES3 is one of those interesting designs. Manual pressure forces the hot water through; notice in the video this isn't for the weak; it takes some serious work.

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May 11, 2014

Illy Issimo Ready to Drink in Multi-Serve Sizes


Illy Issimo Ready to Drink Coffee

Illy has released their Issimo ready to drink coffee beverages in larger, multi-serve, 1-quart sizes. That's four servings of the Caffe Macchiato, Cappuccino, and Latte Macchiato drinks. They are 100% Arabica coffee based, and at least the Cappuccino comes in at around 100 calories, so it's pretty lightly sweetened.

The Issimo line has been around for a while, and in several packaging iterations too. We reviewed the main Illy Issimo line a few years back, then took a look at the Issimo Mocha earlier this year. Overall, not bad for a shelf stable coffee drink, but won't blow your mind if you make your own iced americanos. It's lightly sweetened, with a himt of cocoa in the finish. Great over ice, and fairly smooth. Not totally clean or overwhelmingly coffee in the flavor profile, but a fairly refreshing coffee drink.


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The 1-quart Issimos that I see in the grocery are in the refrigerated section and cost $3 - $4 each. They come in a shrink wrapped PET bottle, and needs to be refrigerated (not shelf stable and no preservatives). Once opened, they say that it must be consumed in seven days.


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April 14, 2014

Can you Make your Next Coffee Cake with Coffee Flour?

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Regular flour is just ground up wheat, so why can't we grind up coffee beans and make Coffee Flour; well someone did. A start-up in Vancouver, CF Holdings, has started to make Coffee Flour, a high fiber, high iron, gluten free flour that can be used to partially replace other flours in baked goods. Coffee flour does pack some caffeine, and will slowly release into the system; but don't expect a huge jolt. It would take over half a loaf of bread made with 20% coffee flour to get the same caffeine dose as a cup of coffee.

Check out their site; they have a few recipes that you can ponder; the brown pasta recipe is maybe my favorite. Maybe that would go well with a frothed cream sauce?

Via

More at CoffeeFlour

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April 10, 2014

HiLine Coffee: Win a Nespresso Citiz Machine

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HiLiine coffee, maker of some pretty good coffee in Nespresso compatible capsules, is taking entries to win a Nespresso Citiz coffee machine, plus three months of free coffee.

If you have been interested in getting a Nespresso machine, but weren't sure, it's a great contest to enter, because who doesn't want a new espresso machine for free.

HiLine's coffee is pretty good, and if you already have a machine, head over to their website and check a few sleeves out of their roasts.

Enter here at their Hi-Line Contest Facebook page, and stop by their site at HiLine

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