UPDATE 12/11: Macadamia Nut Variation is out of stock too.
Nespresso blew it out this year with their Coconut Variation 2012 capsules (See my Full Review of Nespresso Variations 2012), and who knew it would be so popular. If you are one of the lucky or smart ones that have all the Coconut Capsules that you want; you did better than me. By the time I realized that these were some of the best capsules in years, they were sold out.
I was hoping that somewhere there were some extras in the world and that they would find their way to the US market. Sadly, it's not going to happen.
A Nespresso spokesman confirmed, "We are unfortunately sold out of our Nespresso Coconut Variation. They were very popular, and they did sell very fast."
On top of the 16 Grand Cru varieties that are offered year round, every year, Nespresso has a holiday set of Nespresso Variations; flavored espresso capsules that are a new twist on a shot of espresso. Always flavored, these variations are always fun to trey.
Nespresso still has the Hazelnut and the Macadamia Nut Variations at the Nespresso Club
Superautomatics do just about everything for you; grind, tamp, extract, steam the milk and more. For that, they tend to cost a lot. The Krups EA82 is close, and gets the espresso end automated so you can take advantage of great whole bean coffee, and get the freshest cup of espresso on the block. What it won't do is automatically steam your milk right into your cup for you in the way a typical super automatic would. Sorry, you'll have to use the steam wand to do that.
The Krups EA82 holds a few day's worth of whole beans in the hopper (seals to keep beans fresher), grinds with its burr grinder, and extracts via their thermoblock heater and 15-bar pump. The heat time is fairly short, and the LCD screen gives you a quick and easy path to what's brewing: anything from an espresso to a taller coffee, it brews up to about 8 ounces.
The used espresso cake or puck gets ejected into a bin which will hold about 14 pucks. The 60-ounce reservoir should keep you going for a while. Pretty easy to maintain overall.
On sale now at a pretty good discount off the $1,200 list price; coming in at around $740 at this writing. Available in Black and Red.
Nestle/Nespresso has decided to expand its Special T machine into additional countries in Europe after a long test in France and Switzerland. We first reported on this back in 2010, when they announced the launch, reapplying the success of the Nespresso Espresso machines into the Tea market. The machines are different; the espresso capsules need to be compact; the tea capsules need room to "Steep"
The Special T line of 25 teas plus special editions, and claim to harvest the finest 1% of teas in the world.
The Special T market expansion includes Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Nespresso is running a promotion right now at their Nespresso Club site that appears to be working really well…. in fact maybe too well. Are new buyers of the Pixie, the "U" or the Citiz clamoring for more?
Promo #1 - Buy 200+ capsules, and you'll get free shipping. Not bad; saves you about $7
Promo #2 - Buy 350+ capsules, and you'll get a free Nespresso Aeroccino 3, the milk frothing devices that changes your Nespresso Espresso into a Latte. These retail for $99, so this is a great deal, if you can run through the 350 capsules….Maybe I should think of this as a loyalty gift for those users who love Nespresso.
Huge Nespresso Demand?
The promos appear to be working so well that shipping at the Nespresso Club warehouse is in a delayed status. This is posted on the Nespresso Club Site:
"Nespresso is experiencing delays in delivery and orders can take up to 4 days to be delivered. We appreciate your business very much and will do our best to deliver as quickly as possible. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience and for choosing Nespresso."
So if you're a Nespresso Lover, maybe you should jump on these offers and grab a bunch of capsules, and pull down free shipping or a new free Aeroccino.
Starbucks is going hard to bring their new Verismo system to market, with full push button latte making capability. According to a recent article in the Wall St. Journal, nearly half of all adults aged 25-39, have at least one espresso drink per week. That's pretty astonishing, and creates the reference point of a $4-$5 coffee; making an at-home latte of about $1 pretty enticing.
Starbucks is promising to bring the authentic flavor of the cafe home to your own kitchen - "Starbucks quality at home." Given the ability to have a professional barista, freshly ground beans and freshly steamed milk prepared for you in a cafe, vs. the Versimo machine, using pods, make this a pretty tough comparison.
We've been using the Verismo for a few weeks now, and most of the drinks we've made are those Lattes that are supposed to taste as good as that cafe drink. Currently Starbucks offers ten different varieties and combinations of Pods for their Verismo Brewer. Sorry, you can't use Nespresso, CBTL, or any other branded pods in the Versimo brewer, and the Versimo pods don't fit those other machines either. Versimo is part of a KFee System of pods.
I had to point this one out; it's an impressive machine with a few features that make this a little coffee shop on your countertop. The machine has a built in conical burr grinder/doser on it so that you can grind and dose right into your portafilter, just seconds before you brew. Breville is pushing the fact that fresher is better here, as they talk of better flavor and better crema on your shots. We all know fresher is better; this machine helps you get there.
This machine gives you control over grind size, and grind amount, so you can dial in your best shot, and then pull that shot with either pre-programmed sizes, or pull your own size shot if you want.
Consumer vs. Professional
The machine has dual walled portafilter inserts, or commonly known as "Consumer" level ones that give you great crema time after time. The dual walled inserts have a small hole/holes that create the back pressure for proper extraction. The machine also comes with single walled inserts, that are a mesh, commonly known as "Professional" type inserts. For this, you'll need to properly tamp the coffee to get it dense enough, offering the back pressure to develop as it tries to squeeze through the coffee puck.
Macy's is running a Thanksgiving Day sale on the CBTL Americano brewer for $99, down from the $149 regular price. Pretty good deal on this single serve espresso machine. The CBTL runs on Caffitaly capsules that are commonly available at places like Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, as well as online at the CBTL Website.
The CBTL Americano can brew several sizes, including espressos and larger cups of coffee. With several varieties to choose from, the capsule selection is good. Check out my full review of the CBTL Americano if you want to learn more. Also, more at CBTL Website for the CBTL Americano. See the video below too!
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?
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".
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.
Terry Smith: do you have a refillable capsule for a Nescafe Dolce read more Mike: This prime for an air lock worked perfectly. To avoid read more SH: @Bogiesan... Have you tried calling the Customer Service line to read more Bogiesan: This capsule seems to have sold out. I've been looking read more Hennie Greeff: Where can I get hold of an operating manual for read more