October 30, 2008
I don't know here, not exactly your standard espresso cup set, but certainly an interesting one and certainly a conversation starter. These cups can sit and look like a huge Tylenol capsule sitting on the counter - could just be a cool bit of counter art. On the other hand it might just be the perfect cure for a hangover.
Made of porcelain, dishwasher safe, 2.75 ounces. Imported from France.
At Amazon - Revol Pill Set of Two Espresso Cups
October 29, 2008
I dropped into Dunks the other day and saw this little ad on the door pushing the Dunkin Beat Starbucks website. First McDonalds and now Dunks. I guess it's tough being the market leader as everyone wants to pick you off.
It's all about flavor preference and anyone who remembers the Coke vs New Coke taste test debacle where New Coke won in Taste Tests, but no one really wanted to drink it, will know that Taste Tests don't always make for a market winner.
My hunch is that Starbucks will still be a great place to go for corporate good quality espresso drinks and Dunks is going to be well known for their Medium "regular" with a snack on the side.
Worth spending a couple of minutes to check out this Dunks propaganda site.
October 28, 2008
Great article in the NYT the other day about high quality coffee houses coming back in the city. The ubiquity of the Hot Cuppa Joe type vendors in recent years have ceded some of their business to Starbucks and then in turn to higher end shops that offer artwork and quality that is unsurpassed in an 8-ounce cup for just a few bucks.
From the Times...
"What you see going on now is a de- Starbuckification, if you will," said Suzanne Wasserman, a food historian who is director of the Gotham Center for New York City History. "People are yearning for authenticity."
Read the whole article in the NYT
October 26, 2008
The Nespresso Le Cube Black colored edition came in for review recently and we are are pretty happy to check this one step easy espresso brewer out. The Le Cube is one offering in the line of Nespresso capsule based brewers that at their heart have ease of use and high quality brewing at their very core. The recent line refresh includes the New Black version of the Le Cube. The Le Cube is a simple design statement that fits in a small footprint on the counter with some bold lines and innovative design elements making it a great looking unit as well as a highly functional one. It's got a 1-liter reservoir, has cup holder space for up to 6 espresso cups and a chamber that holds up to 15 spent espresso capsules. The 19-bar pump driven extraction is impressive for its crema creation, while its 1260 watt thermoblock heating element powers the unit. Le Cube retails at $349.
We took the Le Cube for a spin while we were trying out our Jinogalpa Special Club Capsules that are offered as a limited time offer, it's been fun mixing them in with a lot of our standards.
Continue reading: "Nespresso Le Cube C185 Full Review"
October 24, 2008
It doesn't come any simpler than this - basic porcelain white espresso cups. Easy on the eyes and the fit in with a minimalist design theme. Oh, yea and they are pretty inexpensive too - $15 for the set. Heavyweight and dishwasher safe.
At Amazon - Konitz K100 Coffee Espresso Cups and Saucers Set of 4
October 23, 2008
One of my favorite machines is a top seller at Amazon these days, and for good reason. The Nespresso C100 Essenza
, a stylish looking little machine that takes the Nespresso capsules. These foil wrapped capsules are packed with coffee blends that come in a nice amount of variety; adding seasonal products to keep things interesting. All of this can easily be accessed through the Nespresso website or the handful of Nespresso Cafes across teh country. For most of us through the downside is that coffee can only be bought through the Nespresso website. I tend to buy a bunch of 10-packs at a time to keep a good inventory hanging around. The capsules cost $0.55 each, which can seem like a lot when you are only getting a tiny little shot of espresso, but if it's good espresso that's this easy, the cost isn't too terrible. It's in the ballpark with ESE Pods.
The Nespresso C100 Essenza is a compact little brewer that takes the Nespresso capsules, brews your cup and then dumps the capsule into a waste bin for clean up later. Very fast, very easy. This little brewer packs a punch though with a 19 bar pump, 1200 watt heating and a 34-ounce water reservoir. The machine and capsules can make a standard espresso, or a 5-ounce lungo for larger cups. For more information see my Full Review of the Nespresso Essenza C100.
At Amazon - Nespresso C100T Essenza Single-Serve Automatic Espresso Machine
October 21, 2008
Illy is running a quick Taste of New York contest to give away a whole bunch of prizes including a trip to NYC that comes with the opportunity to see opening night at the New York Film Festival, two nights at a couple of great restaurants (Tribeca Grill and Le Bernardin), and tickets to the Guggenheim and the MOMA. You'll get $1,000 spending money a Francis Francis X7 iperEspresso Machine and a case of espresso. Not the grand prize winner? Well they are also giving away Illy coffee and Illy Espresso Cups.
Hurry - entry deadline is November 14th at Illy's Website
October 20, 2008
If you haven't already it's time to order the next Special Edition from Nespresso, Jinogalpa. Nespresso puts out special editions every year, and Jinogalpa is a good one that is worth putting on the shopping list.
Jinogalpa comes from Nicaragua's best arabica coffee and is split roasted to reach different roast colors then blended after roasting. Nespresso describes it as having "full body, and a smooth crema that reveals soft tones of sandalwood as well as subtle and refreshing herbal accents." Jinogalpa is to be made at a 40ml brew setting into an espresso shot, the Intensity "6" shot.
I got mine along with the special edition Jinogalpa Espresso Cups, which carry the hummingbird logo for the design. I like the cup shape, and they fit well in the Nespresso C185T Le Cube
maker that I have in for review right now.
Brewing the Jinogalpa in any Nespresso maker is pretty easy and I like my own Essenza for it's easy and simple operation. Flip up the lever, drop in the capsule and you are ready to go. The Nespresso brewers have an integrated reservoir and a system that holds spent capsules. When you lift the lever for the next brew the spent capsule will drop into the chamber for dumping later. The chamber in the Le Cube holds upwards to a dozen spent capsules in my usage.
With the capsule loaded, and the maker up to temperature, you just need to punch the single cup button and out comes the espresso and crema. The Jinogalpa does have the pronounced acidity of an arabica only blend. It's very up front but not so acidic that it is outright sour. The thing is that the Jinogalpa is also a good blend with a lot of complexity that I would attribute to the complexity of the blend and the split roasting. A lot of 100% arabica espresso blends that I see and taste are sharp and acidic, but have nearly not aftertaste and little body if not formulated to have one. I like the Jinogalpa for its complexity and its full body flavor. The blend is definitely dark roasted and carries with it some complex dark flavors that are earthy, woody, spicy and pungent without tasting burnt. As always the espresso can come out shot after shot with excellent crema looking awesome and tasting good. This one one be around for long and it's always great to get a little variety in the mix.
Check out Jinogalpa at Nespresso
October 13, 2008
Having had the Cafe Britt drip coffee, I was pretty happy to find the Cafe Britt ESE Pods the other day at their website. I happen to like bright, full flavored drip coffee and Cafe Britt's Dark Roast fits and happens to be a pretty good Costa Rican coffee. The ESE Pods are 100% arabica and Fair Trade Certified.
Cafe Britt describes them as: "It's widely recognized that the natural sweetness and intensity of Costa Rica 's pure, mountain-grown Arabica beans make some of the best espresso. Café Britt enhances this uniqueness by carefully selecting and slowly roasting only the choicest gourmet coffee beans for a full-bodied flavor and rich consistency. Our Espresso pods contain just the right amount of coffee to create a delicious Cappuccino, Cubano or Macchiato."
The Cafe Britt Espresso Pods are for sale, $24 for 30 pods.
October 3, 2008
I haven't written on Latte art in a long time, but this caught my eye yesterday in the Seattle Post Intelligencer and I just had to pass it along. Tired of those "Plain old designs" well there are a few there that may just blow you away.