Nespresso U vs. Pixie Espresso Machines

Nespresso Pixie

vs.

Nespresso U

Nespresso continues to bring out better and better advancements in its machines, and with the newest Nespresso U in the market, one has to wonder, which is better the Nespresso U or the Nespresso Pixie?

Nespresso Pixie

The Nespresso Pixie is, was introduced in the Spring of 2011, further pushing the engineering limits to get the most minimalistic espresso machine that meets consumer needs for convenient, excellent espresso. The reservoir is downsized, and seemingly so is the spent capsule storage - meaning that you can go through almost 10 espressos before emptying the capsules or adding water. Still OK in my mind.

The Pixie, as you can imagine from its name is all about being small, and it is. I love the small footprint on my countertop. It takes up almost no space at 12.8"x4.3"x9.2".

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November 21, 2012

Review: Nespresso Variations Capsules 2012

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UPDATE 12/10: Coconut and Macadamia Nut are out of stock in the US.

Nespresso releases a Variations series of three capsules every year for the holidays, and this year they went a little nutty - Macadamia, Coconut and Hazelnut. I usually do not drink flavored coffee, well pretty much never, but I do look forward to the Variations every year to see how espresso can be enjoyed and complemented with some exotic flavors. Some of my favorites from the past are flavors I'd never drink regularly, including Crystallized Ginger and Apricot. For me, the annual Nespresso Variations flavors add to our Christmas holidays, like a little treat in a busy season.

Nespresso describes their flavors this way:

  • Coconut - perfect harmony between the coconut notes and the Livanto Grand Cru creates a gourmand experience reminiscent of coconut macaroons.
  • Hazelnut - The combination of lightly roasted hazelnut notes with the Livanto Grand Cru reveals a praline flavor, giving it balance in the mouth
  • Macadamia - Rich savors of the Macadamia nut combined with the roundness of the Livanto Grand Cru develop a surprising freshness, revealing citrus notes.

more after the jump…...

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Review: Nespresso Hawaii Kona Special Reserve 2012

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Nespresso released their super-Special Reserve earlier this month, in the form of a very limited edition, at some pretty exclusive prices. The Hawaiian Kona is not a blend, but 100% from Kona, and Nespresso has tried to coax as much out of the capsule as they can. The capsules cost $2 each, so each sleeve is not the usual $7, but instead nearly three times as much. The sleeve is unique in that it opens from the side, and not the end. I like the silver embossed treatment - it lives up to the $2 per capsule price tag.

Nespresso says:

"Discover 100% Hawaii Kona Special Reserve. Characterized by an intensity of 5, Hawaii Kona Special Reserve gradually releases its exceptional roundness that will captivate you with its complex array of aromas. Due to the low volumes of production, it will be available in very limited quantities for a limited time only Characterized by an intensity of 5, Hawaii Kona Special Reserve gradually releases its exceptional roundness that will captivate you with its complex array of aromas."

more after the jump……



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November 20, 2012

Delonghi EC-702 - Stainless Steel Espresso Machine


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The DeLonghi EC-702 is a sharp looking machine, ticking off a lot of the features that you need to get authentic espresso in an easy to use machine at home. No, it's not push button automatic, but it does have the features that you need to extract good flavor, and steam milk for a nice Latte.

With a 15-bar pump, the extraction pressure is sufficient to create that creme layer on top of your espresso, in its easy to use portafilter - add grounds, tamp and extract. The stainless steel boiler keeps things tasting clean, and the cup warmer helps you serve espresso at the right temperature. Especially good in the wintertime. The EC-702 also uses the ESE Espresso pods.

This is in the sweet spot for consumer espresso machines; full featured enough to get you a good coffee, but not so expensive as to break the bank.

It happens to be on sale now with a $20 rebate (through 12/31), selling for $139 at Amazon , after rebate.

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Nespresso Ad with Penelope Cruz

Nespresso is doubling down in the US market, seeing that with the recession over, the economy getting better and products like Starbucks' Verismo already in market, and Green Mountain/Lavazza's Rivo espresso maker coming to market, it's time to get some market share. Nespresso USA has spent $12Million in media this year vs. just $40,000 last year according to Ad Age, the marketing trade magazine.

The new campaign features the Lattissima Plus espresso machine, with its one touch latte functionality, steaming fresh milk right into your cup then dropping a shot of espresso on top. According to Nespresso, 80% of espresso consumption is in a larger cup with milk (think Latte), opposite of Europe's habits, which tends to explain the line of espresso only machines that Nespresso has. Nespresso has been successful in Europe with campaigns featuring primarily George Clooney, but this one has John Malkovitch in it too as God. We'll see how they do here. Check it out, it's pretty good.

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November 17, 2012

Nespresso Machines - 25% off This Weekend Only!

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Nespresso has a 25% off sale going on this weekend; good through tomorrow. They have their Nespresso machines on sale at a pretty good discount on their line of espresso machines. Not a bad deal.

Check out some of our reviews or informational posts on the Nespresso line. The prices are the effective price after the 25% discount:

Check them out at Nespresso; the prices are also the same this weekend at Amazon; check them out: Nespresso at Amazon


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November 14, 2012

Nespresso Variations Capsules 2012 - Hazelnut, Coconut and Macadamia

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UPDATE: See My Nespresso Variations 2012 Full Review

Nespresso also just announced their Holiday celebration flavors, the Nespresso Variations 2012, helping to wrap up the year in espresso. The capsules are always around for the holidays, and even if you are not a huge fan of flavored coffee (like me), these tend to be a fun experiment in espresso that I find worth the trip.

For the 2012 holidays, Nespresso has brought us a nutty set; Hazelnut, Coconut and Macadamia nut flavors. Nespresso always offers a fantasy-based over the top site that hypes the Variations; this year is no different. Not only do they offer flavor details, but recipes too. According to Nespresso:

  • Coconut - perfect harmony between the coconut notes and the Livanto Grand Cru creates a gourmand experience reminiscent of coconut macaroons.
  • Hazelnut - The combination of lightly roasted hazelnut notes with the Livanto Grand Cru reveals a praline flavor, giving it balance in the mouth
  • Macadamia - Rich savors of the Macadamia nut combined with the roundness of the Livanto Grand Cru develop a surprising freshness, revealing citrus notes.

They are available with the Kona Special Reserve capsules for a limited time at the Nespresso USA Site

What were the Nespresso Variations for the past years?

Hit the jump for more information…...

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November 13, 2012

Nespresso Hawaii Special Reserve 2012

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Nespresso has announced their Special Reserve for late 2012, the Nespresso Hawaii Kona Special Reserve made from 100% Kona coffee. Kona is known for its scarcity, and unfortunately for its use as a minor blend coffee in "Kona Blends", short changing those who want to see what this pure varietal is really like. Nespresso, of course hasn't taken this path, and offers a 100% Kona for its capsules.

Nespresso says:

"Discover 100% Hawaii Kona Special Reserve. Characterized by an intensity of 5, Hawaii Kona Special Reserve gradually releases its exceptional roundness that will captivate you with its complex array of aromas. Due to the low volumes of production, it will be available in very limited quantities for a limited time only Characterized by an intensity of 5, Hawaii Kona Special Reserve gradually releases its exceptional roundness that will captivate you with its complex array of aromas."
It will be a lighter blend, coming in at 5 on their 10 scale for intensity, about the same as the green Capriccio, and a little less intense than the orange Livanto, that comes in at a "6".

With Kona coffee being so limited in its quantities, each capsule will cost you $2; yes, each capsule. You can order them in sleeves, and they will be a part of your order when shipped. I had to order a minimum quantity of 50 other capsules to get the Kona added.

More when I get them……

Find them at Nespresso Club

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November 10, 2012

Verismo 585 Espresso Brewer

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Starbucks recently introduced the Verismo 580 (Full Review of the Starbucks Verismo 580 Brewer ), and started a national ad campaign. Starbucks has also delivered the Verismo V-585; an upgrade that offers more features and of course more price. The larger footprint allows for a larger reservoir and a few more features.

The Verismo 585 adds a "Professional-level" look and feel, with added look and feel you see in a lot of super automatics. The LED screen gives you a readout on what drink you are making; including a short espresso size, a larger ~7 ounce size and a special milk brew button. This button allows you to use a milk pod to create that milk portion of a latte brewing at a lower temperature.

More features after the jump.....

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October 28, 2012

Starbucks Verismo Ad

UPDATE: Posted my Full Review of the Starbucks Verismo 580 Brewer

Starbucks has started their ad blitz for their new Verismo Brewer, both on TV and in print. The new Pod/Capsule driven machine offers not only coffee and espresso pods as well as milk-based pods that can help to make those Lattes that so many cafe goers want.

I saw several print ads in magazines, and the ad below on various shows. The link between the in-store experience and that at home is a big push. They did it to propel a pretty mediocre product in the Starbucks Via into a product fueled by in-store merchandising. I am pretty sure that they will do the same for Verismo, and why not?


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