April 22, 2009

Nespresso Single Origin Capsule and New Lungo Review


Nespresso launched a series of single origin capsules that come a little late to the recent single origin craze that has made for some interesting drinking among those who are experimenting. I would have loved to have seen a mico-lot or single estate based capsule, but maybe we'll see that in a Special Edition sometime. There are three new single origin capsules available hailing from India, Colombia and Brazil. From the Nespresso site, they describe the Single Origin capsules like this:

Indriya Indian- "The Arabica is lightly roasted, to allow its subtle aromas to remain. In contrast the Robusta is well roasted to allow its intensity to be expressed and to develop a full body. Moreover, very fine grinding supports the body and enhances the flavor." - After re-reading this description from Nespresso, I am not surprised to see a split roast on this, where they roast the different beans and then blend after roast to obtain more complexity. The up front (Arabica) flavors are lighter, not smoky or pungent, but good coffee flavors leading to the Robusta flavors that follow. The Indriya blend has a definite Robusa finish that lingers without too much bitterness. The flavor is just a little earthy for me, and while I really like a Robusta blend for espressos, this was a little too earthy for me. Nicely complex and balanced though. If you like a "Blend" type espresso, you should give this one a try.

Rosabaya Colombian- Notes of red fruit, suggestive of wine: black currant, cranberries and red currants. - This was my favorite and while I usually like a bit of robusta in my espressos, but this was excellent. Clean flavor with bright floral notes and enough acid to make it interesting but not so much that it makes it sour.

Dulsao Brazilian - Sweet notes of honey and maple syrup dominate, on a base of malted cereal. This definitely has a grassy and caramelized cereal flavor to it and some amount of sourness. Not as clean and crisp as the Colombian, but still a good brew.

The new Lungos that can be appreciated in a longer pull/taller shot (3.75 ounces/110 ml) are:

Fortissio - "A full body and bitter base from which a note of intensely roasted grains develops, along with plant and woody notes, reinforced by a typical cereal note from the hint of Robusta." - I went through this set of capsules in a few days. I loved it, and is at the top of the list when I go back to re-order. I never really liked the Lungo's before, but the Fortissio is a great few ounces of coffee; well balanced and a nice strong cup of coffee.

Finezzo - "Floral Notes reminiscent of jasmine and orange blossom, and notes of the bergamot fruit." - I was not able to get this one with the early order I placed, but will grab this in the next order.

The one thing that I like on the new packages was the strength ratings for the capsules inside - a nice reminder of what you have there when you have a bundle of cartons in the cabinet.

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Posted by Scott Martin at April 22, 2009 6:46 AM
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