September 25, 2011

Review: Capsul'in Empty Nespresso Compatible Capsules

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Capsul'in is the first empty Nespresso compatible capsule that works in the full line of Nespresso machines that I have used. The Ne Cap design does not work in the Nespresso Citiz and the Nespresso Pixie machines that used a new design standard for the capsules which included a raised ridge at the base of the Nespresso capsule. The Capsul'in design also features a raised ridge on the base of the capsule, making it work well with the newest and currently most popular machines that Nespresso has to offer.

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Capsul'in Left, Necap on the Right - the ridge around the Rim of the
Capsul'in makes it compatible in the
newest Nespresso Machines


The Promise of Nespresso Compatible Capsules

The promise of empty Nespresso Compatible Capsules is that users can take advantage of the amazing simplicity of the Nespresso machine design, its consistent quality and its convenience to brew up capsules filled with your own favorite espresso blend in a more economical way. Other empty Nespresso compatible designs have offered some savings and have delivered on the ability to use your favorite espresso blend, but as far as capturing the convenience of the Nespresso machine system, they fell short. I didn't think hauling my old Nespresso Essenza out of the basement very convenient, and given the popularity of the newer machines, I found that I just couldn't get behind the idea.

Having universal compatibility, the Capsul'in system has promise and was worth trying.

More after the jump.....

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September 23, 2011

When to Stop Pulling a Shot

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The ROASTe Blog has a great post on when to stop pulling your shot and walks through some steps to figure it out yourself. The process involves pulling a shot into several glasses where you'll get a "slice" of the shot in each, then taste what happens. I have done this for drip brew and have tested this type of time-slicing on French Press, but not on an espresso shot.

Their conclusion is that when the shot starts to "blond" from dark brown to the lighter and more transparent color in the finish is a good time. What's right for you though? Read their whole post to learn more, and figure it out for yourself. Even if you are already pulling the perfect shot, you may just learn a lot in the process.

More at ROASTe

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 23, 2011

Starbucks Rant Song Gets Employee Fired

If you go to Starbucks and order a specialty drink, you have to watch this and think about it next time you feel the urge to order that super triple, extra whip, decaf coffee drink at Starbucks and tip the Barista the $0.07 that you got as change. I am sure it's a tough job when the line is out the door, but Chris did get fired for this one. Nice video, even though we get a shot of him just in his undies and a Starbucks apron.


After the jump is Part 2; where Chris confirms he got fired....... and then sets it to music....




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September 21, 2011

Nespresso Lattissima+ (Plus) - One Button Latte Machine in New Smaller Size

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Nespresso has been pushing (down) the limits on small size brewers with the Citiz and then the Pixie introductions in the last few years, but they are now reapplying that capability to a fully automatic espresso and steamed milk machine that can crank out Lattes and Cappuccinos with the push of a button. The newly designed Nespresso Lattissima+ is a small, full featured brewer that uses the familiar Nespresso capsules, fresh milk and some incredible engineering to crank out cafe style drinks in short order. The result is a machine that is about the same depth and height as a Nespresso Pixie and only about two Pixies wide. (It would fit perfectly on my counter - we're working on getting a review unit in.)

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Brews and steams milk directly into the Mug.

More after the jump.....

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September 21, 2011

Review: Nespresso Dhjana Limited Edition Grand Cru

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Nespresso has a long tradition of issuing limited edition capsules that tend to experiment with various themes or delve into new territory that push the envelope for flavor, or distinct character. A study in contrasts can be seen in last year's Kazaar (Kazaar Review), an "11 on a 10 scale" for intensity of an all-robusta blend and Onirio (Onirio Review), a lightly roasted, delicate as a flower blend that was anything but intense in its punch, but formidable in its flavor.

With the launch of the Nespresso Dhjana, their sustainability message escorts the new capsule blend to market. The coffee is 100% sustainably sourced, with a goal of soon having all of Nespresso's coffee procured in the same way. It's been a long term project for them to build a better supply chain and in doing so, assuring high quality coffee through high ad low harvest years.

Dhjana is a blended espresso that has a very classic approach; add a few parts bold, and slightly acidic coffees, and build flavor profile as well as overall impact by adding back a little bit of Robusta. Nespresso has done this with Colombian, Costa Rican, Brazilian and a little bit of Indian Robusta. We got ours on day 2, and have been drinking it regularly, and have blasted through a couple of sleeves already.

More after the jump.......

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

September 12, 2011

Nespresso Dhjana Ships Today

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UPDATE: See our Review of Nespresso Dhjana

Nespresso's Limited Edition Dhjana will be shipping today, as Nespresso has already started its world wide rollout of the newest capsule. Focused on sustainability, the message around Dhjana is that the coffee beans for this blend area from Nespresso's Ecolaboration project where their coffees are farmed in a way that makes economic and ecological sense for the entire value chain.

The flavor story is one of classic balanced espresso with Brazilian, Costa Rican and Columbian Arabicas, balanced with a hint of Robusta from India. Roasted and rated an "8" on their intensity scale of 10, this should be an exciting one.

The above image is from overseas, look for a Nespresso.com re-do this morning in the US, that will allow you to oder the newest Nespresso variety; Dhjana.

You can brew Nespresso Dhjana on any Nespresso capsule machine, including their smallest machine the Nespresso Pixie, or their equally thin machine the Nespresso Citiz. Don't have one? Check out Nespresso's store on eBay for great deals on reconditioned Nespresso machines.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

September 7, 2011

Pumpkin-ize Yourself - Pumpkin Spice Latte is Back

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The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is back. Actually it has been news for a while (it launched nationally yesterday), but it seemed like sacrilege to talk about it before Labor Day. Anyway, this Fall flavor is in stores and ready to enjoy. This year, Starbucks has a fun capability of creating a pumpkin carve out of your face for your Facebook Page Profile Pic. Head over to their FB page, and get started on the little routine. Once you create your FB picture, you can also print out a guide to carve your face on a real pumpkin.

Nutrition Information on the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks Facebook Page


Want to make your own at home? Check out this Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe



Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 1, 2011

Nespresso Limited Edition Grand Cru: Nespresso Dhjana

Nespresso Limited Edition Dhjana

Photo: Sara Van de Velde

UPDATE: See our Review of Nespresso Dhjana

Nespresso will be releasing their Dhjana Limited Edition Grand Cru, and it sounds like it will be a complex blend of several varieties that sound pretty enticing. The strong blend (an "8" on the Nespresso Intensity Scale), will be a blend of Arabica coffees from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and a Robusta from India. The Indian Robusta should provide enough kick to make it a full bodied strong flavored blend that balances out the acidity from the Colombian and Costa Rican coffees.

Nespresso is touting their sustainable coffee production platform with this launch citing that all of the coffee is sourced from a new "AAA" program called Ecolaboration. The program offers financial and training assistance so that small farmers can grow high quality coffees in a sustainable manner. By 2013, Nespresso has pledged to get all of its coffee from the program. Clearly, it's a tough job and one that has a long investment cycle, because they started the program about a decade ago.

Look for more news on Nespresso Dhjana in the coming days. We have confirmed with a representative of Nespresso that the release in teh US will be on September 12th.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Starbucks Skips the Espresso Machine - Goes for KCups

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Starbucks announced that they are going to be going the way of the KCup and starting in November, you can buy a select set of Starbucks Blends in the KCup format. So while they haven't ruled out the idea of introducing their own Nespresso type machine, the move into the KCup single serve format is certainly an acknowledgement that the KCup will offer a much more attractive return on investment.

Last year, there were 2.9 Billion KCups made, and even a fair share of that market is a pretty good return at about $0.60 each retail price. The work isn't going to be hard, and the returns should be all but guaranteed..... if Starbucks can capture even 20% of the market, that's 150,000,000 KCups, or about 5 million pounds of coffee, and if they made even $0.20 each KCup , that's $30 million gross revenue. Not bad for very little investment if Keurig/Green Mountain handles the KCup packing.

Starbucks expects to grow the business into a billion dollar franchise according to their press release. That means that they will need to roughly double the KCup market. That's pretty ambitious.

Starbucks will be selling KCups in the following varieties and configurations: Breakfast Blend, Pike Place® Roast, House Blend, Sumatra, and French Roast. In addition, two selections of Tazo® tea will be available in K-Cup® Portion Packs: Tazo® tea Awake and Tazo® tea Zen. Starbucks® coffee K-Cup® Portion Packs will be available in 10-count, 16-count, and 54-count packs. Tazo® tea K-Cup® Portion Packs will be available in 10-count and 16-count.

If Starbucks were to go the single serve espresso capsule route, the investment would be steep, and the market much smaller. I haven't seen the Starbucks Sirena tearing up the market, so if that's any indication, they face a tough road of trying to push out a new espresso machine that may or may not catch on. So while the logical thing would be to try to deliver the in-store drink experience in a proprietary espresso-based machine, the fastest route to market share and income is straight through KCup valley.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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