These demitasse cups are 4-ounce wonders for the space starved. This set of four cups stack in a wire rack along with the saucers to form a neat little bundle that is about 9 inches high and a little over 5 inches at the base. Not bad for a set of four.
For those folks who are space starved, this seems like a good idea.
There are lots of pump driven espresso machines out there; some are inexpensive and some not. In general, you get what you pay for, and the Saeco Aroma is a little more expensive than your usual entry level machine, but the extra costs come in the way of some durability and high quality components. I have a couple of friends with these and they are going on three years plus with them. Under daily use they are still cranking out high quality espressos. See my mini-review on the Saeco Aroma.
The specs are pretty good but they don’t convey the overall high quality of the device. It’s got a 15 bar pump, a 950 watt stainless steel boiler and the ability to brew from both ground and ESE Pods as a result of the special portafilter inserts that come with the machine.
Nespresso announced today that they are bringing back Kazaar in 2012. Kazaar was the Limited Edition that was very successful, kept getting more and more requests, so they decided to bring it back next year to re-visit the 12 on a 10 scale for intensity. Recall the Kazaar is an all-Robusta blend that seeks to minimize the rubbery off flavors that come with high Robusta content, while delivering the punch of espresso flavor that is associated with Robusta; Maximize the good while limiting the bad.
Nespresso announced the news just hours ago on the Nespresso FB page, with a cool video to support it. I think the video is great, and totally created to hype the news. Kazaar was founded on hype (12 on a 10 scale anyone?), but also backed the hype with a decent product. So here's the start of the 2012 hype machine, and I know I can't wait for the product to back it up.
Illy has released a set of single origin coffees for use in the iperEspresso compatible machines or simply to be bought as a wholebean coffee. Personally, I like the concept of a special iperEspresso version where you might need a little variety from the standard versions; hard to do if you can only use capsules.
The whole bean and iperEspresso capsules come in three varieties:
Brazil - "The lush and verdant forests, deep in the Cerrado Mineiro region, create an enchanting landscape with well-defined wet and dry seasons, which provide one of the world’s finest beginnings for coffee. MonoArabica Brazil offers a full-bodied boldness and smooth, rich taste with subtle hints of decadent chocolate. Savor the start of your day with MonoArabica Brazil."
Guatemala - "Perhaps no other place on Earth can compare to the ideal conditions of the remote Huehuetenango Mountains. This is a place where Arabica beans are grown at just the right altitude, with the perfect combination of warmth and coolness inviting the warm winds from Mexico and thriving in the shade of the Maya forest. This medium-bodied coffee is strong, yet sweet with just a whisper of chocolate, caramel and honey. Find delight in the first moments of morning with MonoArabica Guatemala."
Ethiopia - "Legend has it that coffee as fuel for the human mind has its origins in Ethiopia. Deep in the tropical forests, the Yirgacheffe region has rich and fertile soil where coffee is shade-grown and handpicked. It’s in this geography that Arabica coffee is characterized by its delicate, seductive taste with gentle notes of jasmine and citrus discoverable in each sip of medium bodied coffee. Create a small moment of joy with MonoArabica Ethiopia."
Nespresso has their annual holiday espresso capsules out and they have brought new flavors to the party this year; Vanilla Blossom, Dark Chocolate and Cherry. As always, Nespresso has gone all out to highlight the release of their Variations Capsules and this year is a bit better than most. Go to their Variations website and open the book to learn more. The 3-D pop-up book has a tab for each flavor, that will have you pulling tabs and spinning spinners to see the animations in action.
Vanilla Blossom - A delicate harmony capturing the roundness of the Livanto Grand Cru and the velvety taste of vanilla. A smooth blend distinguished by the light floral notes.
Dark Chocolate - Dark and bitter chocolate notes meet the caramelized roast of the Livanto Grand Cru. A rich combination reminiscent of a square of dark chocolate.
Cherry - The sweet and fragrant notes of ripe cherries awaken the toasted ones of Livanto Grand Cru. Together they create a fruity and full-flavores taste.
Starbucks has long been described as the McDonalds of coffee, but like McDonalds, it is branching out beyond its staple. McDonalds has breakfast, Espresso and salads. Starbucks is getting into Juice. Today's WSJ talks about Starbucks Evolution, a Naked Juice knock-off that will see itself as the first step in a non-coffee beverage line that will lead Starbucks in its own evolution. Through the article, Starbucks is laying out a vision of becoming a packaged goods brand in the grocery channel that will be as much a lifestyle brand as it will be a segment for all things coffee and as we see, maybe many things non-coffee.
The move also puts other providers of goods on notice; if we like your segment, we are going to create our own brand, or buy you out. Tea fit well, they buy Tazo. Naked Juice sells well; start selling Evolution. What else seems to do well that they should own?