The new Nespresso VertuoLine machine arrived for review and we wanted to share the first looks at the new dual brewing machine. I feared that the thing was going to be massive, but it's actually not, coming in a little larger than my Latissima Plus (Above: Left to Right, Pixie, Latissima Plus and the new VertuoLine), and actually looks a little smaller sitting next to the Keurig B-70 where it will reside for the coming weeks (Below: Keurig B70, and the VertuoLine).
Nespresso has entered a new realm with the new machine; and is attempting to get into the US market for larger cups. Keurig has a giant head start, and with K-Cups on just about every coffee aisle, Nespresso has their work cut out for them.
The new Vertuoline machine has two symmetric tanks on either side of the machine; the left is for the water reservoir, and the right for spent capsules. The thing is stylish, and has an art deco kind of feel to it. The chrome brings a bright professional look to the machine, almost yelling "Good Morning!!"
More has come out on the Nespresso VertuoLine capsules that are available to brew coffee and espressos. The Vertuo:one machines will be able to brew both an eight ounce (7.7 ounce actually) coffee as well as an espresso given the new capsule format and two sizes available.
The machines are intelligent, and read the little bar code on the rim of the capsule (see the black and silver dashes on the rim above), creating a brewing set-up that is just right for that capsule. I would imagine that it gives Nespresso the option for future expansion and fine tuning as they build out the line.
Let's take a look at what Nespresso has to say about the new VertuoLine Capsules. First the Coffee Capsules:
Stormio - An intense coffee, Stormio's myriad aromas stem from its highly roasted Nicaraguan and Guatemalan Arabica coffee beans the evolk spicy, woody and cereal notes. Adding milk softens the intensity of Stormio but distinct roasted notes remain. Intensity 8
Odacio -An audacious blend of fine Arabicas from Nicaragua and Ethiopia, Odacio is a full-bodied coffee with cereal notes accented by a slight East African fruitiness. Adding milk softens the flavor, bringing dairy, sweet notes. Intensity 7
Melozio - Fine quality Brazilian Bourbon and Central American Arabicas are lightly roasted to create a rounded coffee that is smooth and perfectly balanced. Adding milk opens up the softer, sweeter sides of the coffee, enhancing the biscuity notes.Intensity 6
Elvazio -A fragrant blend of fine Arabica coffee beans from South America, lightly roasted to release abundant flavors, in a Coffee full of light fruity notes. With milk, the fruitiness fades to reveal a much creamier brew, with cereal and caramel notes. Intensity 4
Hazelino -Hazelnut flavored A blend of slightly roasted Brazilian and Central American Arabicas infused with a hazelnut flavor which creates a smooth, balanced Coffee that is sweet to the taste with a distinct, nutty aroma. Adding milk gives a praline note to the original hazelnut flavor. Intensity 6
Vanizio - Vanilla Flavored The flavor of vanilla brings a velvety layer of taste to the roundness found in this smooth and balanced blend of Brazilian and Central American Arabica coffee beans. With milk, Vanizio becomes creamy and biscuity, for a gourmand break. Intensity 6
Decaffeinato - Created from Costa Rican and South American Arabicas, the Decaffeinato blend is deliciously rounded and smooth. This Coffee is rich in flavor, with generous malted and cereal notes. The addition of milk establishes a new balance of flavors, releasing notes reminiscent of fresh nuts. Intensity 6
Half Caff -SWEET AND VELVETY This perfect marriage of caffeinated and decaffeinated Arabicas, mainly from Brazil and Africa, displays a smooth texture and medium intensity, with delicate hints of biscuit. Maintaining its light, sweet character, milk opens up new dimensions of Half Caffeinato, as caramel and nutty notes are also brought into play.
How much will the VertuoLine coffee capsules cost? They aren't cheap; they run $0.95 per capsule, and are clad in the well known recyclable aluminum.
The espresso line of VertuoLine capsules is a short one, but that isn't the emphasis here. Let's check out the capsules:
Diavolitto - HIGHLY INTENSE AND POWERFUL A high intensity Espresso for coffee aficionados. Energized by highly roasted Robusta and Brazilian Arabica coffee beans, with an aroma that hints at oak wood and leather, balance is achieved with a creamy texture. Intensity 11
Altissio - FULL-BODIED and CREAMY This highly roasted full-bodied Espresso is made with Arabicas from Costa Rica and South America. The hint of Robusta contrasts with smooth cereal notes. The addition of milk complements its natural full body. Intensity 9
Decaffeinato Intenso - DENSE AND HARMONIOUS The pleasure of an intense decaffeinated Espresso with body. Colombian and Brazilian coffees subtly blend with fine Asian Robusta to create harmony, releasing cocoa and fruity notes. Add milk for a sweet taste and creamy texture. Intensity 7
Voltesso - LIGHT AND SWEET Lightly roasted, Voltesso is a balanced, round coffee that reveals biscuity notes and pronounces a distinctly sweet aroma thanks to its South American Arabicas. For an even smoother result, blend Voltesso with milk for a delicious new take on this Espresso. Intensity 4
the espresso capsules for the Vertuo line will cost $0.75 each.
Nespresso is trying to move into the American market with a strong offering for larger coffees. The Capsule-based systems to date have been great at making espresso drinks, but with the K-Cup craze, Americans continue to seek a coffee experience with larger cups.... ranging up to carafes.
Nespresso is trying to do something about it with their new brewer, calld VertuoLine, a brewer capable of making 8-ounce cups of coffee AND espresso drinks. notice int eh picture above, the capsules are not a normal Nespresso Espresso capsule.
The Nespresso VertuoLine brewer will retail for $299, and be sold through typical Nespresso outlets, including Macy's and William Sonoma.
I would expect that while this will get them moving in the right direction, they are very far behind in the market here in the US, and are probably missing the fact that many people are brewing larger cups of coffee (My K-Cup brewer can brew travel mugs; really diluted coffee though), so there is a consumer demand there. With grocery stores being dominated by K-cups these days, the distribution channel will also be a challenge. Will Nespresso expand their sales? Sure. Will Green Mountain feel it? Maybe not so much.
As the world continues to march down the pathway of single serve coffee as a go-to daily indulgence, the choices continue to expand as more and more roasters get into the format. I welcome the move, as I continue to try new coffee whenever I can get my hands on them, in addition to trying out specialty coffee and espresso from smaller roasters all over the country.
Today, I wanted to hi-light a roaster out of NYC, HiLine Coffee (sorry, had to do that). This roaster specializes in Nespresso compatible capsules and roasts up a pretty wide variety of coffee, including seasonal specialties. I love the idea of introducing specialty blends, as they keep a little excitement in the line, and interest in following the company.
I recently bought a few sleeves to try out, and Review; I'll report back in a while to let you know what I think.
Nespresso has changed their piercing system that is widely thought to prevent other capsule makers from working in their newest machines. Right now, HiLine has this statement on their website about compatibility:
"Our capsules are 100% compatible with the following Nespresso models: Citiz, Essenza, Maestria, U, Le Cube, Lattissima Plus and Pixie. Additionally, each batch of capsules is rigorously tested in all models of Nespresso machines for quality and consistency and to ensure proper operation. Please note that our capsules are currently not compatible with U machines purchased after November 1, 2013."
I think that's a pretty good list of compatible machines.
Nespresso and De'Longhi announced a new brewer, the Latissima PRO, a higher end machine that is se tot deliver espresso and milk based drinks in home kitchens. The Latissima Plus is already a favorite, giving easy access to higher quality espresso-based drinks.
The New Latissima PRO is boasting that is will be ready to brew Ristrettos, Espressos, Lungos, Lattes and Cappuccinos. This happens through a touch screen allowing for easy use.
The sidecar milk carafe (500 ml/17 fl ounce) plugs into the machine and can steam or froth milk, while it can be detached and stored in the refrigerator. The auto-clean system cleans the milk frothed after use.
The Latissima Pro heats up and is ready in 25 seconds; it also shuts off after use automatically after a few minutes to save energy.
Nespresso announced their new Pure Origin Bukeela ka Ethiopia capsule this week, a low intensity capsule that is a 3 on a 12 (used to be a 10 scale before Kazaar). the flavor is "Floral and Wild".
Last year Nespresso said that they would be putting out more Lungos to compete in the US more effectively, where people want cups/mugs of coffee, versus Europe, where short espressos rule. The Bukeela is a "Lungo" which is recommended to be brewed to 4 ounces/110 ml. (See my Post on Setting Brew Volumes if you need to change your Lungo Brew size)
The Bukeela blend is made form a washed Arabica from the Sidama region, claiming to be the source of its floral notes, while the other beans are sourced from the western provinces bringing on their "wild" flavors.
Nespresso is pitching Bukeela together with the other three Pure Origin capsules making me think that the blend is making its debut with the plans that this is a permanent addition. If not, it would probably have a "Limited" or "Special" name.
This year, Nespresso pulled a fast one; selling one flavor Variations capsule per country, but making three. Earlier this year, Nespresso had a vote, and the folks in the US picked Masala Chai flavored Nespresso (Full review - Masala Chai Nespresso). Not sure what you folks voted for, but I voted for Raspberry Chocolate; they called it Cioccorosso.
Our good friends north of the border in Canada voted for Cioccorosso, and luckily, Sawn, a SingleServeEspresso.com reader offered to swap some for a Chai Masala.
Nespresso Variations are layered on top of the slightly acidic Livanto base, offering a good springboard for fruity and lively notes. It doesn't hurt that I like Livanto a lot.
Tasting Notes - Cioccorosso
Nespresso's Cioccorosso capsules brew up with a pretty good nose of fresh raspberries, and keep it for a few minutes while you sip your espresso. I like to add a small amount of sugar to get the full flavor to come out. The Raspberry flavor was delicate enough to be masked by milk, so the latte that I brewed up lost some of the raspberry punch.
The chocolate flavor is more persistent and comes across as a drier, less sweet cocoa flavor that is slightly bitter like a dark chocolate. It's good, and again I think the added sugar helps it come to life. I tend to add about a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, so we are not talking a lot here, just enough to make it come to life.
We shall see how this went over; I think it drove some excitement, and if Nespresso sees it as a success, we should see a similar program next year.
The Nespresso Variations capsules have enjoyed a long run, shipping three different flavors in each market, and in 2013, Nespresso shook a few things up. While they are still offering three flavors, they polled Nespresso drinkers in the middle of the year, and allocated the most popular flavor in each country to that market. After thousands of votes, the US got Masala Chai.
It's worth noting that Canada got Cioccorosso - a chocolate raspberry flavor..... visit us here at SSE for more on this next week.
Just in case you wanted more variation earlier this year, Nespresso re-introduced three "favorites" into the permanent collection for people to buy any time of the year; vanilla, chocolate, and caramel.
Matt Damon is reportedly getting paid $3M for his appearance in the Nespresso ads with long time spokesperson George Clooney. The ads run outside the US, where the brand is better known and is able to talk more to the brand exclusivity, featuring the espresso drink.
In the US, the Penelope Cruz ads run, where the brand is still trying to position itself as a coffee shop alternative featuring the milk-based Latte.
This past summer, Nespresso had users vote on one of three flavors for this year's Nespresso Variations flavor, and the US picked Masala Chai as their favorite flavor for the 2013 Variations introduction (choices in the vote were Cioccorosso, a raspberry chocolate flavor, Liminto, a lemon mint, and Masala Chai). That special Variations flavor is now available in the Nespresso Club store online.
Nespresso added the Masala Chai flavor for the US, and is now available today for shipment; they ship in two business days. These typically go fast, so jump on it.
The Masala Chai spices sit atop the Livanto base to give it a lively flavor profile; we ordered ours here at Single Serve Espresso and we'll write up our review after it arrives.
Nespresso and Illy announced that they are working with retailers to recycle your spent espresso capsules; bring spent expresso capsules into stores from the Nespresso machine or the lilt iperEspresso machines, and recycle them with TerraCycle. Currently Sur La Table stores nationwide offer the service.
The capsules will be sent to TerraCycle, where the coffee will be composted, and the packaging will be recycled into other items.
In addition to the retail recycling option, Nespresso consumers can send their used capsules directly to TerraCycle by joining the Nespresso Brigade on www.terracycle.com.
Illy consumers can recycle directly through illy by using the pre-paid return shipping label provided to them when their capsule orders are shipped out.
So, if you're a total green, you probably won't have one of these machines, it you are sorta green, this might help.
In the "Sorta Green" camp, I use the Outpresso to compost my spend Nespresso coffee, and then recycle the capsules in the municipal stream.
Target and Nespresso are teaming up to increase distribution of the single serve espresso machines. Recently, the machines started showing up online and in select stores.
It appears that they are selling the Nespresso U machine online and in stores, while they offer others online. Target is offering the "Plus Milk" versions too with sidecars of the Nespresso Aeroccino to appeal to those whole want a latte experience. Others include:
Prices are the same as the Nespresso Club online store, and there is no word on capsule availability in-store. the Essenza is only $99 right now, and an additional $30 for the "Plus Milk" version - a bargain considering the Aeroccino 3 as a stand alone item is $99 at Nespresso Club right now.
What's this mean for the upscale purveyor of espresso machines? Euro chic or white trash? The $99 entry point will probably dissuade casual users. Not sure if Americans will jump at espresso only configurations or jump to the "Plus Milk" versions with the Aeroccino.
Sadly for CBTL, this must be the epilogue to their launch and miss in Target about a year and a half ago. They have since disappeared from shelves at our local Target stores, and appear to be available online only.
Nespresso has added espresso fan favorite Kazaar to the permanent line of Nespresso Crand Cru Capsules for Nespresso drinkers to enjoy. Kazaar, a 12 on their original 10-scale for intensity, was released twice as special limited editions, and sold out quickly to strong consumer reaction and positive reviews - I thought the capsule was great in 2010 and again in 2012.
Nespresso has also added another intense flavor called Dharkan; a slow roasted Arabica blend from Latin America and Asia, is a "complex blend with hints of bitter cocoa powder and toasted cereals" with a "silky and smooth texture creates a subtle balance of bitterness that lingers on the taste buds"
These blends are available now at the Nespresso Club for ordering; I have my order in; jump on them fast if you want to try them out; My hunch is that people will be snatching these up quickly.
Ironpeddler: Looks like the espresso capsules are different than the current read more Ironpeddler: Looks to be a bit pricey at $599.99 for a read more ludo: We have it in store in New Hampshire. read more John Grabowski: The Targets near me (Northern California) all have Nespresso machines. read more Ironpeddler: While they all look good, they are so problematic. Either read more