It's not much, but you definitely can get some power from making a battery from used Nespresso capsules. Nespresso did the demonstration at a design fair in Europe to promote Nespresso Capsule recycling that is common in Europe, showing off the fact that the difference in electric potential will in fact generate a small amount of electricity (about 1.5 - 1.7 volts) when coffee and the aluminum skin of the capsule is used.
The battery cells consist of copper strips, the aluminum Nespresso capsules, salt water and old coffee grounds.
The battery was devised by mischer'traxler and installed in the window of a Nespresso Boutique in Vienna. About 700 capsules were used in total, with the six cells powering a clock in the window. The installation won a sustainability and design award during the exhibition.
Everyone who has a Nespresso machine should check this out, because everyone has some sort of storage issue. Stacks of cardboard sleeves in drawers, capsules sitting in containers on the counter, and general disarray. While my basic Nespresso Capsule storage solution is probably the most utilitarian and ugly, it doesn't come close to matching the cool curves of this creation.
Handmade in Toronto out of bamboo, industrial felt and stainless steel fittings, this rack featured at UrbanProduct is not only for sale, but you can also request custom sizes. The wood is hand rubbed with food grade hemp oil before it is finished off with a layer of wax. If you have a need to have one in your favorite hardwood, they can work with you on that too.
Prices start at $140 Canadian for the 40 capsule size (10" x 11" x 1.25") up to $170 Canadian for the 70 capsule size (10" x 20" x 1.25")
According to Nespresso, their Ristretto capsule is the most popular seller among the line of 16 Grand Crus as they call them. I would imagine that for the periods of time that include the seasonal offerings the Ristretto takes the back seat on the popularity contest, the month in and month out results sit firmly with the strong, dark, most intensely flavored of their regular blends.
Tasting Notes for the Nespresso Ristretto Capsules
Nespresso describes their Ristrettos Capsules as: "Strong in flavour and body, Ristretto combines the best South American Arabicas, from countries such as Colombia and Brazil, East African Arabicas famous for their citrus flavour, and a touch of Robusta for added zing. The slow split roasting of the beans creates a contrasting bouquet, bringing together subtle fruity and acid notes, with intensely roasted and chocolate notes."
The Nespresso Limited Edition Kazaar Capsules were announced a couple of weeks ago, and after a few sleeves of capsules brewed in my machine, I will say that I like them a lot. The Kazaar capsules are pitched as a 12 on a 10 scale for flavor intensity, and they definitely are a different level than the other capsules, with a lot of flavor fullness swirling around. Let's take a look at the background.
The Kazaar coffees reportedly have a majority of their coffee from the Robusta variety, which is usually a filler coffee in regular ground coffee that is looked down upon for its off flavors and its general lower quality. Rubber tire flavors and general astringency plague the lower quality Robustas that find their way to the regular coffee markets.
"Classic" and "Southern Italian" espresso blends often use Robusta coffee to broaden the flavor profile with the effect of lengthening the base coffee note as it lingers. When well done, the espresso can be a very nice cup, balanced while offering a nice finish free of off flavors or harsh transition.
Nespresso sought to change the negatives and accentuate the positives here with Kazaar, starting at the growing stage, and carrying the improvements through the processing, roasting and grinding steps. If you have ever tasted a bad Robausta, it is hard to believe that Nespresso can get such a non-rubbery tasting coffee out of a mainly Robusta blend. Clearly they worked hard at this one.
Nespresso Kazaar Tasting Notes
The Nespresso Kazaar espresso does in fact have an intense flavor that lingers, warranting it's 12 on a 10 scale rating when you compare it to the cleaner Ristretto variety; previously the strongest of the line. the flavors are peppery with some dark fruitiness and a streak of dark roasted bitterness in the finish that lingers with the base coffee flavor.
As a short ristretto and when brewed as an espresso, the flavors are compact and intense. Hot; I like it. Cold; not so much. The bitterness is accentuated in the finish and doesn't offer a sweeter tasting more mild flavor that I've come to like in a cold coffee. The Kazaar certainly stands up to milk and does fine as a latte. While this dilutes the impact of the Kazaar blend, the strong notes are still there.
Review Summary - Nespresso Kazaar
The Nespresso Kazaar is strong, full flavored, and most likely a polarizing capsule. On the one hand a solid offering that delivers a lot of flavor, and remarkably clean finish given the amount of Robusta in the blend. I like it for its dark flavors and the layers of current, and peppery flavors that awaken the mouth. With that said, I like higher quality "Classic" espresso blends for their longer coffee finish. If you do too, you should try the Kazaar.
If you are one who likes only a cleaner Arabica only finish, without a lot of dark roasted swirling flavors and base notes rolling around, the Kazaar might not be for you. For those who like dark roasted espressos, I say wade into it and try it, even if you like only the clean Arabica blends. If you like lighter roasted clean Arabica style espressos, I would recommend moving on.
Nespresso has also announced the Nespresso Ritual Collection in conjunction with the Kazaar launch. They range from the ristretto to the "mug", and include bowls and saucers.
CNN/Money has a short but insightful interview with the US Nespresso President Frederic Levy and the CEO of Nespresso Richard Giradot. No stranger here at SingleServeEspresso.com, Nespresso has been turning out some impressive numbers and 30% growth rates. The line is targeted at high end consumers, and at the convenience of getting high quality coffee.
One notable insight from the interview talks about their espresso variety and number of Grand Crus, allowing them to be well liked by 95% of the time when users try their products. I think that is one of the strengths of their system versus other systems. I firmly believe that there is no one "best" coffee in the world, but a set of coffees that are high quality, and when people can find the variety that they like, great things happen.
Nespresso launched their Limited Edition Kazaar capsule to much fanfare a few weeks ago in the US, announcing to the world that they have a 12 on a 10 scale for flavor intensity. Certainly some marketing hype to bring the uniquely flavored mostly Robusta capsule to the market. See our Review of the Kazaar Capsules for more on information on them.
The Kazaar launch was also paired with the announcement of the Nespresso Ritual Collection of cups and saucers along with spoons, mugs, bowls and yes a special sugar packet holder. The collection adds to the bulk push of the Kazaar Limited edition, and given the more universal design may just become a permanent member of the Nespresso offering.
The collection is inspired by the shape of the Nespresso Capsule, angular, tapered, and for the cups and saucers, a deeper fit that mates the two and stabilizes the cups in the saucers.
The cups are available in five sizes or styles, but at this writing the Ritual Ristretto is not available, making me wonder if these are proving more popular than Nespresso expected. The Nespresso Kazaar capsules came with the recommendation to brew up the intensely flavored brew at the Ristretto level, potentially fueling demand for the Ritual Ristretto Cup and Saucer.
Lungo - 170 ml (5.7 Fl. ounces) - in a similar shape and profile to the Espresso Cup - $30/pair
Cappuccino - 170 ml (5.7 Fl. ounces) - Broader shape - see below - $30/pair
Mug - 270 ml (9.2 Fl. ounces) - no saucer - $30/pair
They also offer bowl sets to serve up your fancy treats and sweets with your coffee, and spoons that come in either espresso length of 4.1 inches or a longer 7.8 inches that will go well with the larger cups or the mug.
Yesterday Nespresso announced the on-sale for the new Nespresso Kazaar Limited Edition Capsules for the Nespresso brewer line. The buzz is certainly about the coffee blend - high concentration of specialty grown and processed Robustas, with an intensity rating of 12 on a 10 scale. Yes, concentrated flavor strength here. I have tried a few of these and even at a normal shot setting this is intense. UPDATE: See our Review of the Kazaar Capsules for more on information on them.
The Kazaar capsules are available at Nespresso Club and at Boutiques across the country. I ordered mine yesterday and then just showed up today. Pretty impressive since it was only promised for 2-business day delivery. Nespresso also has a cup and saucer collection available as a companion to the Kazaar launch, called the Ritual Collection. It is available in several sizes from Ristretto up to Lungo, plus a cappuccino and a mug.
How Long will The Nespresso Kazaar Limited Edition Espresso Capsules be Sold?
Well the answer here is that "It Depends"; this is a Limited Edition and depending on demand worldwide, the limited supply will run out sometime. Typically these Limited editions are around for about a month or longer, with popular ones lasting less than a month. Given the buzz on this one, Nespresso had better made enough to supply the world's curiosity; if not Kazaar will be a short affair. My recommendation is to get some now and don't delay. If you like it, re-order as much as you want without waiting too long.
Nespresso has released the long awaited (we talked about it last month) Kazaar Espresso Capsule for the US today that offers an intensity of 12 on their "10 scale" for an impressive delivery of flavor and buzz-worthyness. With a series of innovations in sourcing, and processing they are able to deliver a blend with extremely high quality Robustas to deliver the flavor intensity. Robustas in high percentages are usually frowned upon due to their off-flavors and general bad all around attributes. By working with growers, Nespresso has been able to change the quality level enough to bring the Robusta content up in a way that not only carries through their flavor intensity, but leaves the off-flavors behind.
"Kazaar is a complex and audacious blend of two very different Robustas and one Arabica, skillfully crafted to reveal unsuspected aromatic qualities. The Conillon Robusta from Brazil, never used before for an espresso blend, has been treated as an Arabica to reveal an extreme intensity in all its purity. The second Robusta in the Kazaar blend, the Robusta from Guatemala, newly cultivated and still rarely used, creates a smooth texture in the cup. The Cerrado Arabica bean from Brazil brings out a subtlety and roundness to the blend."
Nespresso also uses split roasting and a new grinding process to further coax the desired flavor profile from the blend.
The capsules are available today either at Nespresso Boutiques or online at the Nespresso Club. Kazaar, sealed in a deep dark blue capsule to keep all its aromas intact, will be available in a sleeve of 10 for $6.20.
Nespresso also has a cup and saucer collection available as a companion to the Kazaar launch, called the Ritual Collection. It is available in several sizes from Ristretto up to Lungo, plus a cappuccino and a mug.
Sure it's only a design, but the idea of having a few shots of Nespresso on the go sounds pretty good. While there are other ideas to get espresso on the go, like Handpresso, none to date have tried to capture the Nespresso experience in a convenient on the go fashion.
The cups would be porcelain while the water tank would hold enough water to at least support the four-shot battery charge. Conveniences like spent capsule trays and fresh capsule holders aren't discussed in its write-up at Yanko Design.
So while I still like my own free Nespresso Capsule holder, there are a couple commercials ones that work well and are more appealing. You can make your kitchen just a little bit more like the inside of a Nespresso Boutique - neat, modern and decorated with Nespresso capsules everywhere. Swissmar makes a couple below that are chrome and stainless to make the unit fit in anywhere.
I like this Swissmar wall mount holder in particular that fits on the side of the cabinet or even on the inside of our pantry door (near the Nespresso Machine of course). It holds 40 capsules and comes with adhesive strips to mount it - no nailing and no drilling.
The Swissmar Countertop stand below fits easily on a kitchen counter and is still a very neat look without taking up a lot of room. It holds 40 capsules and measures 14.5 inches tall - easily fitting under most cabinets.
So while Nespresso has their own line of Nespresso capsule holders, cubes, trays and wall mounts, they are not inexpensive. If you want to have the authentic look, check out their line at Nespresso Club.
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