September 14, 2009

Nespresso Singatoba Special Club Capsules Now Available

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Nespresso has released their Singatoba special Edition for the fall, and it is available now from the Nespresso Club. The special edition is make from "100% Blue Batak Arabica grown around Lake Toba in northern Sumatra." Nespresso is using a technique called split roasting from the sounds of their description to do a shorter roast on the early harvest in order to preserve the light fruity notes, while roasting more slowly and to a darker endpoint for the more mature beans in order to develop the flavor intensity and strength. With a "fruity and woody" flavor profile, the capsules sound interesting. They have an intensity rating of 8.

The Nespresso Limited Edition Singatoba cups are designed by Laurence Bost, to have a gentle dance interspersed with small highly prized coffee beans, representing a circles of children dancing hand in hand.

I already ordered mine up from the Nespresso Club store; hurry, these usually sell out.

At Nespresso Club

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July 31, 2009

Brewing this Weekend: Nespresso Capsule Pure Origin Colombian Rosabya

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Regular readers know that I love the ease of use and general high quality quick brews that I get out of my Nespresso machines. I recently reviewed the coming Nespresso Citiz brewer which combines the power of the Nespresso brewing machine into a slim, counter saving space; I loved it.

It's going to be a hot weekend around the Single Serve Espresso kitchens, and I have the Nespresso Rosabaya lined up to enjoy - a capsule that I think is great as a single shot hot, or iced as a black iced Americano. Even great with a splash of milk. The bright flavors tend to soften a bit when you add milk, but the overall base coffee flavors remain, and it is well suited to offer a nice flavor profile that is just great chilling out in the afternoon. Hot; I love it. Hands down one of my favorites; acidic, bright, clean and flavorful.

You can order Nespresso Capsules at the Nespresso site and they will deliver them in a couple of business days.

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June 29, 2009

Outpresso - Recycles your Nespresso Capsules

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Coming off our review this past week of the NexPod refillable plastic capsules for the Nespresso machine, reader Geoffrey turned us onto the OutPresso, a device to help press the coffee out of the Nespresso capsules and recycle the aluminum pod. Nespresso maintains a recycling program in Switzerland, but where you can't get to one, you can certainly use an Outpresso to recycle your capsules in a municipal recycling stream with other metals.

The cost is just under $30 where available at their website - they appear to ship all over.

More at Outpresso

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June 25, 2009

NexPod Review - Load Your Own Nespresso Capsules

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NexPod is a new pod system for the Nespresso line of makers that allows you to use your own capsules with your favorite espresso coffee. You might even be able to save a little money over the ~$0.55 cost per Nespresso capsule; I paid $23 on eBay for mine that shipped from Switzerland. That puts it at about $0.28 each empty capsule. Adding up the cost of about 4-5g of coffee per capsule, that adds about a dime to the cost of each unit. These can save about $15 - $20 per box of 80 units; not bad.

It arrived in about two weeks. The box is packed with 80 plastic capsules and a bunch of paper disks, the filters the you will load into the plastic capsule.

To make the review as fair as possible, I cut into a Nespresso Ristretto capsule and poured the coffee into the NexPod, and closed it. There was some coffee left over; I didn't realize how packed the Nespresso capsules were! Rest assured, I packed as much into the NexPod as I could and only left a small amount out. The loading of the capsules is easy, but if you were to do several of these, you would want to keep them in an air tight container, as the capsules have the little holes to let the water flow in and the espresso flow out.

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I had a little trouble jamming the NexPod into my Nespresso Essenza C-100 and a yet to be launched Nespresso Citiz brewer as it hung up just before getting into position. I gave it a quick tap, and the capsule fell into the bin, opening up and dumping the ground coffee all over the spend capsule bin. After being a bit more precise, I did it again, tapped it and got it into position quickly closing the lever to keep it from falling again.

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Brewing gave it a good head of crema, about half of the level I usually find in the regular Ristretto, and sadly the cup was a bit weak too. I ran through a few of these, and continued to pack as tight as I could, with similar results. It's too bad, because the promise of a decent alternative is there. In the end, with the hassle of making up the pods, the somewhat weaker results and the concern over the pods not quite loading as easily as the Nespresso capsules, I have to say that these are not for me. If you are interested in getting some to pack in your favorite espresso that you just can't match at the Nespresso store, go for it. I just don't see the value in saving up to $20 across a few months' time given the trade-offs.

ReadMore at NexPod

UPDATE: An alternative that I think is a better capsule is the Capsulin' refillable Capsule. See my Review of the Capsulin Refillable Capsule

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April 22, 2009

Nespresso Single Origin Capsule and New Lungo Review

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Nespresso launched a series of single origin capsules that come a little late to the recent single origin craze that has made for some interesting drinking among those who are experimenting. I would have loved to have seen a mico-lot or single estate based capsule, but maybe we'll see that in a Special Edition sometime. There are three new single origin capsules available hailing from India, Colombia and Brazil. From the Nespresso site, they describe the Single Origin capsules like this:

Indriya Indian- "The Arabica is lightly roasted, to allow its subtle aromas to remain. In contrast the Robusta is well roasted to allow its intensity to be expressed and to develop a full body. Moreover, very fine grinding supports the body and enhances the flavor." - After re-reading this description from Nespresso, I am not surprised to see a split roast on this, where they roast the different beans and then blend after roast to obtain more complexity. The up front (Arabica) flavors are lighter, not smoky or pungent, but good coffee flavors leading to the Robusta flavors that follow. The Indriya blend has a definite Robusa finish that lingers without too much bitterness. The flavor is just a little earthy for me, and while I really like a Robusta blend for espressos, this was a little too earthy for me. Nicely complex and balanced though. If you like a "Blend" type espresso, you should give this one a try.

Rosabaya Colombian- Notes of red fruit, suggestive of wine: black currant, cranberries and red currants. - This was my favorite and while I usually like a bit of robusta in my espressos, but this was excellent. Clean flavor with bright floral notes and enough acid to make it interesting but not so much that it makes it sour.

Dulsao Brazilian - Sweet notes of honey and maple syrup dominate, on a base of malted cereal. This definitely has a grassy and caramelized cereal flavor to it and some amount of sourness. Not as clean and crisp as the Colombian, but still a good brew.

The new Lungos that can be appreciated in a longer pull/taller shot (3.75 ounces/110 ml) are:

Fortissio - "A full body and bitter base from which a note of intensely roasted grains develops, along with plant and woody notes, reinforced by a typical cereal note from the hint of Robusta." - I went through this set of capsules in a few days. I loved it, and is at the top of the list when I go back to re-order. I never really liked the Lungo's before, but the Fortissio is a great few ounces of coffee; well balanced and a nice strong cup of coffee.

Finezzo - "Floral Notes reminiscent of jasmine and orange blossom, and notes of the bergamot fruit." - I was not able to get this one with the early order I placed, but will grab this in the next order.

The one thing that I like on the new packages was the strength ratings for the capsules inside - a nice reminder of what you have there when you have a bundle of cartons in the cabinet.

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April 17, 2009

Nespresso Citiz Capsule Brewing Espresso Maker Full Review

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I've been happily brewing with the Nespresso Citiz for a couple of weeks now, taking some extra time to bring in some of the new Nespresso Single Origins capsules to do things up right. The Single Origins are great, and I'll do a full review on those later next week. The Nespresso Citiz espresso maker is coming to the US this Fall, and I was able to get a sneak peak at a US version now ahead of the launch. From what I see, it's a fantastic design and a great espresso machine and I am ready to trade in my Essenza for one. Why? - Three reasons 1) Small Footprint - it's the width that counts here and it just takes up less room at only 5.1 inches wide 2) the ability to accommodate taller glasses/cups for Lungo's and 3) The standby mode that saves energy when I forget to turn the unit off.

The Nespresso Citiz will come in two basic versions for the US, the regular single version that I used, and the Citiz and Milk which essentially offers an Aeroccino on the side to whip up frothed milk while brewing. There is a Citiz & Co, a dual maker "machine" that offers two side by side machines for serious households that need to brew two shots at a time.

The Nespresso Citiz comes with a 19-bar pump, and a 1 liter (~34 ounces) reservoir which is plenty big for espresso brewing, and reasonable if you are making Lungo's all the time (110 ml/3.75 ounce coffees). The heating time is similar to my Essenza, and has you brewing in a minute or so. The unit brews nicely, but with the shorter lever action (about half as long as the Essenza), it takes a little getting used to. the brewing buttons have moved to the top, still offering the short and lungo brews that automatically shut off. Open the lever, drop in a Nespresso capsule, close the lever, and punch a button. In about 30 seconds the frothy espresso with rock star crema will be waiting. If you want a lungo, the brew time is a bit longer, but not too bad. Lift the lever again for the next brew and the capsule drops into the spend capsule chamber that holds about ten spent capsules comfortably.

Auto StandbySpent Capsul Bin on the Nespresso Citiz Brewer

I like the automatic standby, and see it as a great convenience. They were smart, and didn't design it to go into standby mode too quickly, as I typically have a shot ahead of eating breakfast and one after - when doing this, the machine was still ready to brew and hot. When it is in standby mode, the brew buttons flash on and off in an alternating mode. One quick push of either and the Citiz heats up and is ready to go.

Flip up Cup Holder

I loved the flip up cup holder, because I started brewing Lungo's with the new Fortissio capsules and the cups just fit well under the brew head a lot better. It's that simple.

How to Customize your Brew Volume

If you decide that you want to alter the size of the espresso shot, you can easily create a new "espresso" and "lungo" setting for yourself in a few simple steps:

  1. Insert Capsule in machine to brew espresso.
  2. Press and HOLD the desired brew button that you want to alter the brew volume on
  3. When the Espresso shot gets to the desired level, release the button.
  4. You now have set a custom brew size that will allow you to get that brew volume each and every time you brew.

How to Reset your Nespresso Citiz

Okay, so you don't like that brew volume setting anymore, or you accidentally set it to some insane level, it's easy to return the Citiz to the factory settings. Again a few easy steps:

  1. Switch the Citiz off
  2. Press and hold the "Lungo" brew button
  3. Switch the machine on
  4. Release the Lungo button

Yes, it's that easy.

Review Summary

After brewing several dozen espressos through the new Citiz, I can say that I really love it. Same Nespresso quality, with a smaller footprint, and some nice convenient features. I brewed a lot of variety from the new single origin nespresso capsules to old standbys like the Ristrettos, and even the new Lungo's. All very good. My Nespresso Essenza has moved over and is in retirement with a fresh new face on the counter handling the brewing. The thin profile is just too good not to pass up.

Available at Amazon:

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March 18, 2009

New Nespresso Capsules - Single Origin and More Lungos

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The news just doesn't stop from the house of Nespresso! They are coming out with three new single origin capsules - Indriya from India, Rosabaya from Columbia and DulSao from Brazil. The Single origin coffee trend is a strong one, and clearly Nespresso saw the demand. I like trying them side by side, or sequentially to appreciate the different flavors that the regions have to offer.

Indriya - "The Arabica is lightly roasted, to allow its subtle aromas to remain. In contrast the Robusta is well roasted to allow its intensity to be expressed and to develop a full body. Moreover, very fine grinding supports the body and enhances the flavor."

Rosabaya - Notes of red fruit, suggestive of wine: black currant, cranberries and red currants.

Dulsao - Sweet notes of honey and maple syrup dominate, on a base of malted cereal.

The new Lungos that can be appreciated in a longer pull/taller shot, are the

Fortissio - "A full body and bitter base from which a note of intensely roasted grains develops, along with plant and woody notes, reinforced by a typical cereal note from the hint of Robusta."

Finezzo - "Floral Notes reminiscent of jasmine and orange blossom, and notes of the bergamot fruit."

Might have to grab a few to try out in the New Citiz unit in for review....

All new Nespresso capsules are at available once you log in at Nespresso

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

March 16, 2009

Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine Arrives for Review - First Impressions

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Nespresso has never been short on design quality and the new Nespresso CitiZ line is a new line of slim machines that will certainly help the space starved city dwellers who still want an automatic espresso machine. The CitiZ line is launching in the US soon, and should will be offering that Nespresso convenience of brewing high quality espresso from their line of over a dozen different varieties of espresso capsules.

The design isn't just for those who live in the city, but is also reminiscent of the city skyline when you consider that the narrow, tall skyscraper was an inspiration for the design. Shown here, it is much thinner than the Nespresso Essenza that I usually crank out my coffees from. Available in eight colors, the red one is striking against the chrome accents. Look for a full review soon.


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February 23, 2009

Nespresso Machines - Great Deals Low Prices

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I know a lot of readers who really want a Nespresso machine but who also feel that they are pretty expensive at the stores. Well if you are OK with refurbished machines, you may not know that Nespresso maintains its own eBay storefront for refurbished Nespresso machines. The most common ones are the Essenza, Le Cube, Romeo and the D90 units.

I have been watching them for some time, and the prices can really be very low; $75 for a Nespresso machine is pretty amazing. The ones that I see feature a "6 month Advanced Exchange Warranty. That means that if the product should need service within the warranty period, Nespresso will send out a a temporary replacement unit while service is being completed. This not only gives you peace of mind but also a working Nespresso machine while yours is away."

Check them out at the Nespresso Storefront on eBay

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February 13, 2009

Nespresso Boutique Opening in Boston

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Nespresso had their Grand Opening for the Boston boutique tonight and Single Serve Espresso was there along with Single Serve Coffee and a whole lot of the Boston press to celebrate the Grand Opening of the newest boutique in the Nespresso collection. While it actually opened in December, the celebration held off. The Nespresso boutique is in a killer location next to the Taj, in the heart of the shopping district of Boston.

The fun part of the Grand Opening, other than the great hospitality, was some great art. The Ray Charles above and the Obama below, were there as well as Princess Diana, and Gandhi. They were impressive; up close, a bunch of Nespresso Capsules and you are hard pressed to see the art and the design, but from a few feet away, the portraits came alive. Nespresso is working to auction these off with charities across the country. Each 61/2' square portrait takes around 2500 capsules. For more information on the "Nespressions" art as it is called, see the Nespressions website. The artist, Ricardo Bellino, was there for the evening and the showing of his fun and surprising art. The Press Release about the Nespressions art is attached after the jump, where it explains a bit more about the philanthropical pursuits of Nespresso and Mr Bellino.

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Plenty of capsules, plenty of coffee and plenty of fans from the neighborhood. If you are around any Nespresso boutique, you should stop in for a quick shot and see the array of offerings. If you want to see our reviews of the Nespresso machines, or of recent capsule launches, see our Nespresso Category.

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The surprise of the night though was the sining of Charice; the 16 year old singer who has found fame and has been described as the most talented girl in the world. While that may be a stretch, it's not a huge one; she blew the doors off the place from this pint-sized frame.

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Nespressions Press Release after the jump.....


ArrowContinue reading: "Nespresso Boutique Opening in Boston"

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