December 29, 2006

The Nespresso Gemini CS220

Last month Nespresso opened up their Boutique in NYC where you can go hang out have a cup of coffee and shop for machines or capsules for the new Nespresso systems. If you wanted to go all out, you could opt for the dual head Nespresso Gemini CS220 that can crank out two drinks at a time and has a thermal compartment for storing a liter of cold milk up to 8 hours. The two water tanks hold 3 liters of water each to keep you running for a while, or there is a direct connect option for it to go straight to the plumbing. Designed with semi-automatic capsule insertion and ejection, both of these Nespresso machines feature 2 waste containers for used capsules with each container holding up to 35 used capsules and offer three programmable cup sizes - Ristretto, Espresso and Lungo. Great for the office, or the well-heeled high volume kitchen. If you don't need the milk storage, the Gemini CS200 should do.

More at Nespresso


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December 28, 2006

ESE Pods for the New Espresso Machine

There are a lot of people writing in about their new espresso machine and how to get into using ESE Espresso Pods. If you are new and want to learn a bit about ESE Espresso Pods, check out our article covering ESE Espresso Pods and what they are, how they got started, etc. They are easy to use, and are VERY convenient.

Now, we really enjoy a few ESE pods, but no way to really get into Pods and really have fun exploring the world of ESE Espresso Pods is the ESE Espresso Pod Super Sampler ; tons of pods; 2 of each kind. Total blast exploring dozens of different ones.

Of course, if you like coffee at Starbucks, try out the Starbucks ESE Espresso Pods, they taste almost exactly like what you'll see in the cafe.

If you really love a nice Italian espresso, one of the favorites around the kitchens here is the Lavazza Grand Crema ESE Espresso Pods. See my review of the Lavazza Grand Crema ESE Espresso Pods.

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December 27, 2006

Illy and the Future of Espresso

If you want a decent overview of the Illy company, where it’s going and where it’s been, you should check out the NYT article looking at the company, and the founder’s grandson who is now running the company, Andrea Illy. Illy is pushing to gain back its heritage a bit by driving for more high end espresso bars, called Espressamente, and constantly selling high end cup collections designed by the world’s best designers.

Readmore about the Illy company, and the evolving espresso business at NYT

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December 26, 2006

Sale at CoffeeWiz - Tully's K-Cups


So we recently reviewed the Tullys variety pack of K-Cups and we really liked the Tully's French Roast K-cup. We are using them in our Keurig B-70 and I was going back for another order, and noticed that Tully's K-cups are on sale at CoffeeWiz. Normally, $13.95 and are now on sale for $9.75. Free shipping over $50 makes the K-cups even cheaper.

See our Review on Tully's French Roast

More at CoffeeWiz

Don't forget the
Keurig 5060 27-Cup-Capacity K-Cup Spinning Carousel
to store all of those great K-cups.

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December 22, 2006

How Many Calories in that Holiday Latte?

So while the holiday drinks are flowing ever faster, I thought I would put up the expected calorie load of these bad boys that have been pouring out of the shops for the last few weeks. Don't want to rain on anyone's Christmas parade, but I thought it would be best to be an educated consumer.

Calories in specific drinks (For Starbucks: no whipped cream and whole milk):

Starbucks Eggnog Latte
Grande: 424 calories, 21g of fat
Venti: 530 calories, 26g of fat

Starbucks Gingerbread Latte
Grande: 336 calories, 13g of fat
Venti: 420 calories, 16g of fat

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Latte
Grande: 368 calories, 12 g of fat
Venti: 460 calories, 15g of fat

Dunkin Donuts Gingerbread Latte

10 ounce: 400 calories, 9g of fat.

For reference: McDonald's Quarter Pounder, no cheese: 420 calories, 21g fat.

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December 21, 2006

Presso Espresso Maker

So, in the elegant and manual category, the Presso espresso maker stands out as a design beauty. This espresso maker has been widely available in the UK, and is now moving to Australia. It works by putting hot water in the top, raising and then lowering the levers to push the hot water through the espresso ground coffee in the portafilter. The video below gives you a glimpse into how it works. Not sure if the demo was well done or not, but the espresso looks like a crema-less cup of "joe". Too bad.

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December 20, 2006

Capresso FrothXpress Automatic Milk Frother

So, if you can't afford to get that $1,000 superauto that brews and froths milk for you, here's the shortcut if you hate frothing milk. The Capresso FrothXpress Automatic Milk Frother is the shortcut to frothed milk in short order. The unit heats up in a couple of minutes, and after you hook up the milk container, the unit is ready to froth. The unit will produce up to 30 ounces of frothed milk. Clean up is fairly easy as you can run some steam through after shutting off the milk to steam clean the parts before popping the milk pitcher back in the 'frige.
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December 19, 2006

The Nespresso Lungo Set

Here’s a great way to share coffee and a snack, the Nespresso Lungo set that offers a 110 ml cup and a broad saucer for serving a little snack on the side. I like the built in snacking saucer/plate that can serve some biscotti or scones while sipping your favorite espresso based drink.

At Nespresso

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December 18, 2006

DeLonghi EC155 $98 at Amazon


Thanks to the readers who wrote in letting me know that the DeLonghi EC155 is back in stock at Amazon. Friday I wrote up some machines that were still in stock, and I see that over the weekend, a few went out of stock, so it must mean that a lot of people are finding espresso again. I say great! Anyway, as far as inexpensive pump driven espresso machines go, the EC155 is a pretty good one. It accepts ground coffee and ESE espresso pods. If you want some pods, add some Espressione ESE pods (in Classic or 100% Arabica), I just got some and they are pretty good. I'll write up a review on them after the holidays.

If you want more information on the DeLonghi EC155, check out my review.

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December 15, 2006

Espresso Machine Deals and Gift Buys

Sales of espresso machines are up about 25% over last year by some news reports, so there are a lot of out of stocks on the really popular models. There are some good deals sill left in stock on pump-driven espresso machines that will get you some nice shots of espresso with that delicious crema on top. We've been bombarded with emails about which inexpensive espresso machines to buy, and there are quite a few. We've got a total wrap up in out Holiday Buying Guide, or see below for a few that are in-stock and ready to ship.

Today is the last day to order something from Amazon and get Free Shipping in time for Christmas; you can still shop through next week and select faster shipping to get it in time.

Krups XP4030 - (Shown above) Very capable, very good looking machine from Krups. Runs ground coffee and ESE Espresso pods. Has sold out and is back in stock. $100 off and priced at $149. Don't forget to use the $25 savings code on the page for a final price around $125.

LelloAriete45900Espresso.jpgLello Ariete 45900 Espresso Machine - This good looking stainless steel machine cranks out good espresso, looks great and is priced to move - $99. It works with ground espresso, but not all ESE Pods. See my Review of the Lello Ariete 45900.

Gaggia 35008 - This silver beauty upgrades with brass components and of course comes with the Gaggia heritage. Don't forget to use the $25 off when buying it to drop the price to about $175.

brevillecaferomab.jpgBreville Cafe Roma ESP8XL - very nice and very capable, runs ground and ESE Espresso pods. Beautiful stainless steel (see right). See our review of this unit. $249 less $25 savings code promo = $225.

Finally the DeLonghi EC140B - Bargain priced at $79 for this pump driven espresso machine.

If you are getting an ESE Espresso Pod capable machine, don't forget to throw in some pods to enjoy easy espressos right away. Starbucks ESE pods are popular, and the espresso tastes just like the shop (if you like that kind of thing).

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December 14, 2006

Krups FNC2 Novo 3000 - $95 at Amazon

Krups FNC2 Novo 3000 Espresso maker.jpg

We’ve highlighted this machine a few times before, but as the shopping days before Christmas start to disappear, along with free shipping in time for gifting, I wanted to highlight the Krups FCN2 Novo 3000 espresso machine again. I continue to get email requests about affordable espresso machine recommendations and I always point to the importance of a pump driven machine, and for most people, they want to flexibility to run ESE espresso pods.

This affordable pump-driven espresso machine comes with a 16 bar pump, a 37 ounce water reservoir, and 2 portafilter inserts so that you can make espresso from ground and run ESE Espresso pods in the machine without worries. The price is very good, and it comes with 18 Illy ESE espresso pods so you can start the rounds of espresso the minute it gets out of the box.


  • 15 bar pump with thermoblock technology
  • E.S.E compatibility
  • Two filter holders, one for E.S.E pods and one for ground coffee
  • Cappuccino system
  • Large, one liter water tank
  • Hot water function to prepare tea and hot beverage
  • Removable drip tray
  • 18 Illy E.S.E pods included

    At Amazon

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  • Holiday Party? Break out the Espresso Martini

    Come on we’ve all been at that party that is just a little bit dull and drinks that aren’t so exciting…. Cheap wine, boring beer. Try spicing things up with some espresso. Not just espresso, but espresso martinis. I’ve run a few of these through, and they are pretty good. I’ll give you a couple of variations.

    Make the espresso right in front of the guests, so they get a kick out of the process. I like to use ESE Espresso pods when cycling through drink after drink, as it just makes things a little bit faster and easier.

    Espresso Martini
    1 oz espresso
    1 1/2 oz Absolut vodka
    1 1/2 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
    1 oz white creme de cacao
    Pour ingredients into shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into chilled martini glass. It should be somewhat frothy.

    Espresso Martini Too
    1 oz espresso
    1 1/2 oz Absolut vodka
    1 teaspoon of sugar

    Pour ingredients into shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into chilled martini glass.

    Top off with a couple of espresso beans as a garnish.

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    December 13, 2006

    Frey Supreme Cafe & Cacao Chocolate Bar


    This time we grab a bar of Frey’s Supreme Café & Cacao chocolate. This happens to have coffee and crispy cocoa nibs in the bar, so it is not a smooth bar. The bar is a milk chocolate style bar from Frey, a Swiss chocolatier. According to the back of the package, Frey was started by two brothers in 1887, and now they offer over 1,200 different chocolate products for your engorgement enjoyment.

    I happened to love this chocolate, as I think that the milk chocolate and creamy texture plays well off of the subtle coffee flavors. The crunch of the coffee and the cocoa nibs is great, and gives a very understated complexity in flavor and mouthfeel that is intriguing. It's not a blast of coffee, and at this price, it may not be the best chocolate, but it's certainly enjoyable.

    I got this 100g bar for $1.99 at Target.

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    Senseo Presso - Espresso from a Senseo Pod Machine

    Presso Espresso Pods and Pod Holder for Senseo

    This in from Europe, could you potentially make a decent espresso from a Senseo Pod machine? Apparently in Germany there is information about a new Senseo pod holder that makes Espresso, called the Presso (short for espresso).

    Presso is a combination of coffee pods with a finer espresso ground coffee and a new Senseo pod holder that increases the pressure while making a cup of Presso. Not sure if it can rival pump driven 15 bar espresso machines, but it may certainly bridge the gap between regular and espresso coffee.

    More information and news at our sister site:

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    December 12, 2006

    Holiday Gift Picks: ESE Espresso Pod Sampler



    So you're thinking about that ESE Pod brewer for the holidays, but aren't sure how to start out? I thought I would highlight this little sampler that might open up the possibilities to a few espresso pods that you haven't heard of but might thouroughly enjoy. This ESE Espresso Pod Super Sampler has 60 total pods - 2 each of 30 different pods. It's an easy way to enjoy a lot of variety for not a lot of money. Figure out what you like and then go back and get more of those. At a about $35, it's not a lot of money for a whole lot of espresso experimentation.

    Also available in a Decaf ESE Espresso Pod Sampler with 26 total pods - 2 each of 13 different pods.

    Still uncertain what brewer to buy - check out our Holiday Buying Guide.

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    December 11, 2006

    Starbucks Company Info - Where they're going....


    Interested in what Starbucks is up to as a company? TIME magazine just posted a pretty good read on where the business is going and how much they can still grow. Did you know that they are striving to serve you within 3 minutes and that less than 60% of the stores hit that mark? How about your local Starbucks?

    ReadMore at TIME

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    December 8, 2006

    Review: Delonghi Magnifica EAM 3500 Review

    The DeLonghi Magnifica EAM 3500 Super Automatic Espresso Machine is simply put an excellent machine to have in your kitchen. If you love having espresso made for you, figure out how to justify the price and get one of these on your countertop. I can’t put it any other way, but it’s a delight to have such access to such high quality coffee. The design is a sleek metallic look that offers a bit of elegance on the countertop. The DeLonghi EAM 3500 is a super automatic espresso maker that has a lot of features going for it including that “Barista Button” as I like to call it. With a pitcher of milk plugged into the machine, you hit the one touch latte button, and the unit makes a latte for you. The unit has an ample whole bean supply bin on the left top of the machine, as well as a 60-ounce water reservoir along the left side that is removed from the machine by sliding it out the front. The unit has a bypass doser, which give you the ability to use another coffee type (as long as it’s pre-ground) instead of the “House Standard” that you have in the whole bean bin. I ordered up some Gimme Coffee Leftist espresso blend for the purposes of this review. Try them out yourself; they are great.

    I liked this machine so much I put it on my Holiday Buying Guide for the best Espresso gifts. Check it out.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Delonghi Magnifica EAM 3500 Review"

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    30 Year Old Coffee?

    So, while you know you don't want 30 year old roasted coffee for anything except to top off your compost pile, did you know you COULD have 30 year old green coffee? Apparently with coffee prices high and supplies down, this year must be a good time to sell off the extra green coffee laying around. Anyway, Brazil recently auctioned off 40,000 bags of 30 year old green coffee into a willing market.

    "The only thing lost is the color. The bean yellows. But experts say that coffee that is well kept in the warehouse will last for 30 years," said Lucas Tadeu Ferreira, planning coordinator for the ministry's coffee department .

    I'll pass, but my hunch is that it will end up in that $1.50 per can no-name coffee can coming to a grocery store shelf near you!


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    December 7, 2006

    Tully's French Roast K-Cups and Variety Pack

    So I recently ordered up a variety box of Tully's K-Cups, and thought I would take a quick tour of what they offered an espresso drinker for flavor and body. Long time readers know that we've recently adopted a Keurig B-70 into our house and for us, it's allowed everyone in the household to get a cup of what they want. After a few months we're still enjoying it and the happiness is palpable. The Tully's variety pack comes with a healthy caffeinated mixture of roasts: House Blend, Tully’s Full City Roast, French Roast, Breakfast Blend and Kona Blend. All are extra bold K-Cups, which have an extra boost of ground coffee in the K-Cup.

    After drinking all of these for a few weeks, I have come around to the roast color as a pretty good indicator of what I like. The House, Kona, and Breakfast blends wee just too lightly roasted to jump out of the cup at me. Obviously the French Roast is a dark roast, and apparently the Full City roast is a "dark" roast. If they are sticking to their true roasting designators, the Full City is a couple of stages short of the French Roast typical color.... and it shows. For me, the Full city is a little light and not as bold as the French Roast in either flavor or body. The French Roast has a nice rounds smokiness without being to acidic or sour. It's not too bitter either. I will say that the blending on all of these are good, and nothing stands out as out of balance.

    So, If you are looking for a fun experiment in extra Bold K-Cups, check out Tully's, and see what you like. If you are really interested in a darker, bolder flavor, jump to the French Roast.

    At Amazon:
    Sampler Pack or the French Roast

    Don't forget the
    Keurig 5060 27-Cup-Capacity K-Cup Spinning Carousel
    to store all of those great K-cups.

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    Nespresso Boutique Espresso Bar Opens in NYC

    Nespresso Boutique Bar - 8

    If you're in the Big Apple, you should stop by the new big Nespresso Boutique Bar. We were disappointed that we couldn't attend the opening, but if you're in the area, you'll need to check it out for us. The Nespresso Boutique Bar is located in New York City at 761 Madison Avenue, between 65th and 66th Streets, the Nespresso Boutique Bar will serve a discerning clientele in one of the city’s most prestigious residential and shopping areas, which is home to the world’s most fashionable brands.

    More news and a lot more pictures over at our sister site,

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    December 6, 2006

    Lello Ariete 45900 Espresso Machine Price Drop! (AGAIN)



    This is great - second price drop in a week. Amazon just dropped the price on the Lello Ariete 45900 Espresso Maker to under $90, and it includes free shipping. This stainless steel espresso maker is a great deal at this price, and I put it on my Holiday Buying Guide because I thought it was a good deal at $130.

    See my review of the Lello Ariete 45900 Espresso Machine

    At Amazon

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    December 5, 2006

    Starbucks Gift Cards - a Hit


    If you've been to Starbucks lately, you've probably noticed that there are a lot of people paying with their Starbucks cards. Well, in fact about 1 in 8 people use them today at Starbucks, and they're pretty happy about it. Apparently last holiday season, 15 million cards were bought and $170 million was redeemed in that quarter from those cards. That's about 50 million lattes is you're keeping track. Wow.

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    December 4, 2006

    Review: Lello Ariete 45900 Prestige Espresso Machine


    The good-looking Lello Ariete 45900 Prestige Espresso Machine is a bright and smart looking espresso machine that would look great on any countertop and hold its own with the big boys without paying a lot for this high quality pump driven espresso machine. The Lello Ariete 45900 turns out a very respectable cup of espresso and doesn’t kill your pocketbook to do it. The simple controls and easy design features are a nicely put together to make for a good little espresso machine, priced to make anyone enjoy it.

    Need help with Espresso Gift Ideas? Check out our Holiday Buying Guide – The Best Espresso Gifts. I like this brewer so much it's on the Holiday Buying Guide.

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    December 3, 2006

    Blackboard Mugs - The Perfect Teacher Gift


    I put these up a while ago, but a couple of readers wrote in saying how much they liked them. I thought I would pass them along again and mention that it's time to think about gifts for the kids teachers! The mugs are made so you can write on them with chalk, so you can craft whatever design or message you want. The chalk washes off in the dishwasher. We're going to fill ours with some fun candy treats and wrap it in cellophane after the kids draw a special design on it.

    More at GreenMountain

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    December 1, 2006

    Lello Ariete 45900 Espresso Machine Price Drop!


    Amazon just dropped the price on the Lello Ariete 45900 Espresso Maker to under $100, and it includes free shipping. This stainless steel espresso maker is a great deal at this price, and I put it on my Holiday Buying Guide because I thought it was a good deal at $30 more. I am trying my best to wrap up the review on The Lello Ariete 45900, and I will post in the next few days. So far so good, and this is an excellent price for beautiful stainless.

    At Amazon

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    Monthly Round-up for December 2006

    Well, there’s a lot going on in the espresso world, believe it or not, as they gear up for the holiday season. We’ve responded to a lot of emails about what types of machines are best given this or that condition. I’ll point out our Holiday Buying Guide below and the Pump Driven Espresso Machines around $100 posts below as a good place to start for information. I’ll also point out that the Ariete 45900 machine is a great buy right now at $99; pump driven and heavy stainless steel. You need to go to twice this amount for a machine that looks this good in another brand. Ariete is made by DeLonghi and is just starting to be imported into the US. I’ll point out that I loved roasting my own coffee with the iRoast 2 home roaster; and it’s very easy to do. Check out my review below.

    Espresso Gift Buying Guides and News

  • Holiday Buying Guide - Best Espresso Gifts
  • Pump Driven Espresso Machines Around (and Under) $100
  • Lello Ariete 45900 Espresso Machine Price Drop!
  • Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans - Great Gift

    Espresso Machine News

  • Review: I-Roast 2 Home Coffee Roaster Review
  • Review: Lello Ariete 45900 Prestigio Espresso Machine Arrives for Review
  • Krups FNC2 Novo 3000 Espresso Maker
  • Review: DeLonghi Magnifica EAM3500 Super Automatic Espresso Machine Arrives for Review
  • Compare the DeLonghi Magnifica 3200 vs 3400 vs 3500
  • Review: Lavazza Blue Pininfarina Capsule Espresso System
  • VillaWare V41006 Moderno Prima Espresso Maker
  • Krups 4050 Espresso Machine
  • Krups XP4030 vs. Krups XP4050

    Espresso Drink Recipes

  • Peppermint Mocha Recipe
  • Eggnog Latte Recipe
  • Gingerbread Latte Recipe

    Other Espresso News Bits

  • Espesso - Invention of the Year 2006
  • What does "15-Bar Pump Driven Espresso Machine" mean?
  • Blackboard Mugs
  • Preva xSport Sailing in The San Juans
  • Espresso Shorts - Krups Sponsored Movie Shorts
  • Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans
  • Review: Green & Blacks Organic Espresso Chocolate Bar
  • Review: Newman’s Own Sweet Dark Espresso Dark Chocolate Bar

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  • Coke and Caribou Coffee to launch Ready to Drink Coffees in 2007

    Coke announced a deal with Caribou Coffee in order to make new iced coffee drinks or the US market. The deal is expected to yield new drinks by next summer. If that's true, they had better already be working on some formulations, because in terms of launching products, 6 months is not a lot of time to get a new product out the door.

    Coke makes a good deal of money in Japan on its coffee products. They typically find new formulations and push them to the public with the force of their distribution systems into vending machines that are all over the place. We'll see how they do in the US. Apparently the ready to drink coffee market has expanded 17% in the last four years in terms of volume and up 24% in terms of dollar sales.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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