November 12, 2009

Nespresso Boutique Tasting Event - Grand Crus


Sorry if you missed it, but there was a tasting event in Boston at the Nespresso Boutique last night that explored the Grand Cru line of capsules with several corporate Nespresso representatives who walked a packed audience through the delicacies of the three grand cru espresso capsules and if you wanted the two Lungos in the line. Not only were there plenty of coffees to be had, but a nice complement of some amazing hor'derves and wine. Nespresso_Finezzo.jpg

After a short run through of a talk about the coffees selected and the various distinctive attributes of these coffees and their flavors that went into these blends, Karsten Ranitzsch, head of green coffee buying, led people through the tasting of each of the three espressos, Dulsao, Rosabaya and Indriya, noting the differences and pointing out their strengths. While most were sipping, Karsten brought out his cupping spoon to taste his; there certainly seemed to be interest in everyone in the audience using a silver cupping spoon to taste their coffee. While regular people may think it a luxury, it is clearly a tool of the trade and something that went home in its own protective cloth drawstring bag.

Most people went home with bags of nespresso capsules bought from the boutique's sales counter; if you haven't stopped by for a taste and a demo of the machines, you should. The espresso is free and they have lots of it.

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November 9, 2009

Nespresso - Fast Brews a New Store

Thumbnail image for nespresso_citiz.jpg

Newpresso has opened up a "Pop-up Boutique" for the holidays, apparently bullish on what could be the bounce-back holiday shopping season. They positioned their new boutique well in Bloomingdales on 59th St. in NYC with espresso demonstrations and the new Nespresso Citiz line - (See my Full Review). Not a bad little pick-me up for the busy shopper.

Press release below.....

Nespresso--the worldwide pioneer in premium portioned coffee--celebrates the opening of its first-ever Pop-Up Boutique at Bloomingdale's 59th Street, a holiday installation open now through the end of the year. The temporary retail location offers coffee lovers the opportunity to discover their ultimate coffee experience as they enjoy the ultimate shopping experience offered by the most famous store in the world.

"Our Boutique partnership with Bloomingdale's has been a very successful retail model, and we are excited to expand our partnership to this iconic location. As well, to share space on the newly renovated main floor which has just undergone a stunning transformation," said Frederic Levy, president of Nespresso North America. "As the perfect holiday gift for the coffee lover on your list, we look forward to fulfilling the needs of both new and current Nespresso customers."

"To offer our guests at Bloomingdale's 59th Street the opportunity to experience Nespresso coffee on our main floor during the holidays is a real treat," said Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer at Bloomingdale's. "Holiday shopping at Bloomingdale's will be a lot more fun and a bit warmer this year."

Sleek and stylish, the Pop-Up Boutique offers Bloomingdale's customers the opportunity to peruse Nespresso's extensive selection of espresso machines and sample Nespresso's Premium Blend Grand Cru coffees. Nespresso coffee specialists will staff the Pop-Up offering demonstrations of the single-serve coffee systems, including the new Nespresso CitiZ range.

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November 6, 2009

Favorite Espresso Cups - #1 - Bodum Pavina

The Bodum Pavina is still my favorite espresso cup to enjoy everyday espressos in, with its light design and cool double wall, it lets you experience the shot of espresso in so many ways, that it elevates the experience above taste and smell. By adding in a three dimensional visual enjoyment, the espresso cups, or glasses rather, the shots come alive, as you witness the swirl of the crema being created during the the brewing and its delicate balance perched atop the espresso as you start to enjoy it. I tend to use them to share with friends while we stand around the kitchen, and enjoy a casual espresso, versus the more formal espresso cup on saucer style of sharing after dinner or at a party.

At Amazon - Bodum Pavina Double-Wall Espresso/Shot Glass

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November 5, 2009

Favorite Espresso Cups - #2 - Illy


Illy has the prominent collection of espresso cups around, and it's always a treat to see the new ones when they come out. On a regular basis they work with well known artists to celebrate their work in the form of a new espresso cup collection. The works are usually stunning, and are all based on the classic design that is probably one of the best known cup designs in the world.

More at Illy

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November 4, 2009

Favorite Espresso Cups - #3 - Nespresso


Nespresso has a simple design to their white espresso cups that mirrors their simple approach to making espresso. Put in a capsule, push a button and excellent espresso magically appears each and every time. Their designs are not simple to get such a simplified experience, and offer total eye candy in the dizzying array of beauty when they put out new machines - their most recent is the Nespresso Citiz.

For me, the Nespresso cups are a classic design with gradual sloping sides to cradle the top notch crema you get every time. The cool, contemporary spoons are a great way to finish the presentation. I use these when I entertain, and crank out a few espressos at a time after dinner.

At Nespresso

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November 3, 2009

Favorite Espresso Cups - #4 - Gimme Coffee


Today I am going to highlight the Gimme Coffee Espresso cup - definitely one of my favorites for its simple design and understated but bold logo. Like many espresso cups, it is not as much the cup itself, as the association of the cup with the shop. Like a pilgrimage, I return to Gimme in Ithaca whenever we visit to sample some of the best coffee in the world. The straight shots are not for beginners, and are very short, very powerful and very complex in flavor. The shops are well known in town and in NYC (and well written about in the press) for their quality approach to offering up a work of art in a cup. For me, they are the penultimate local coffee shop, it's just too bad I live a few hundred miles away.

So as much as this cup represents Gimme, it also represents the cup of your local coffee shop. Go ahead, head over to your local shop, buy some special drink ware and and support your local shop.

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November 2, 2009

Favorite Espresso Cups - #5 - Lavazza


This week we're going to count down favorite espresso cups. It's pretty personal to have your favorite espresso cup or coffee mug; I know that I definitely have my preferences in the cabinet every morning. I would imagine that you do too. Ones for slow mornings, ones to go, ones for company, ones that are special, and ones that break and you don't care.

Coming in at number five on my list is the Lavazza espresso cup. I love the straight sides on this, and the strong statement of the design as the sides align with the logo stripe. One can't help but imagine yourself in a cafe in Italy enjoying one of these. These are also the cups I enjoy my espresso in when I visit Caffe Vittoria in the North End of Boston, an eclectic cafe that has some old world charm, and a hopping night time feel as a destination of choice as diners pour out of the italian restaurants all over the neighborhood. It's a good mix of locals and not to add to the mix. A little pastry and an espresso to top the night off? Perfect.

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