Nespresso Variations 2008 - Espresso Capsule Review
Nespresso always puts out a few great flavored capsules this time of year, and in years past, the quality has been fantastic, surprising me since I am not a big flavored coffee person. The Three variations come as a surprise every year, offering Nespresso a chance to compound a great blend and flavor system allowing the flavors to dance and play off of each other as you experience the espresso from aroma to aftertaste.
This year is no disappointment in the line of Variations successes. Some better than others, the line is worth getting across the board to see what you like, unless you are absolutely against trying one particular flavor. I say this because when I got the three in, I was expecting one toe be my favorite, and another be passable. After sipping and shooting these baby's for a few days straight in all kinds of combinations, I have to say that I have a clear favorite and it's a big surprise.
All three flavors are subtle and not overwhelming, blended in more of a high cuisine soft, layered approach instead of an over the top candy-sweet style. I like that, it fits with the Nespresso heritage.
Caramel - This is a subtle flavor, and does best with a little sugar and milk - I like caramel flavors and subtle hints in all kinds of ways. This was my most anticipated flavor, and I will say that I could have used a bit more caramel coming through in the cup. The nose was good, and again, it's a subtle, roasted, browned flavor versus a sticky-sweet one.
Mandarin - I will start with the admission that I am not a big orange flavor fan - love oranges, but not with chocolates, coffee, etc. The mandarin Nespresso capsule as surprisingly good, and again, with touches of orange woven with the coffee flavors make it an enjoyable cup. I drank it as a latte, as a shot straight and with a bit of sugar. I think that this does well as a shot, with or without sugar - offering nice orange finishes that remind you of a beautiful base orange flavor.
Crystalized Ginger - My hands down favorite of the bunch. The flavor is more true ginger, and is not a spiced up gingerbread flavor, but that's what I like. With a bit os sugar to lengthen the flavor profile delivers a subtle ginger flavored that lingers swirling around the coffee flavors along giving you glimpses of the flavor that is surprisingly good.
So, again, I think that they are all worth checking out - $6.20 for a sleeve of 10 from Nespresso for a limited time. These tend to sell out quickly, so jump on them and they will have them out to you pretty quickly. The sleeve of ten is about the length of my Christmas stocking - get the hint?
I was also able to check out the Variations recipe glasses this weekend, making some fun drinks, and just drinking double shots. The glasses are 150 ml (about 5 fl. ounces), so they have plenty of room for a quick drink, offering a nice way to enjoy your new flavored shots. Some people balk at the idea of a glass with no handle because of it's ability to be too hot, to the touch, but I thought these were a great change to the normal routine. Hey, we're into it here at SingleServeEspresso, and playing with these glasses was fun. I pulled successive shots into mine in the morning for a double to get going, and added some steamed milk later in the day for a different treat. The little Nespresso sugar spoons in the box are a nice touch and add a bit of formality to the very casual glasses without being overt he top. With these glasses, you can even experiment with layered drinks if your hand is steady enough and your luck is running strong. Again, you have to be into it, but these can make a fun gift too.
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Posted by Scott Martin at December 17, 2008 9:00 AM