January 29, 2014

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine


BrevilleBES870XL.jpg

The Breville BES 870XL espresso machine looks like a pretty cool machine for aspiring baristas. The countertop brewing station allows you to be lazy and brew like a consumer, pulling a shot through a double walled portafilter, where crema is all but guaranteed, or brew through a single walled portafilter to test your skills at tamping and brew like a barista.

When brewing through the double walled filter at the bottom of the portafilter, the backbressure is created from the wanter pressing through only a few openings. The build-up is almost guaranteed, and the extraction happens, emulsifying the coffee, water and wire to create that pillowy crema on top of the espresso.

When using a single walled filter, the bottom is more open and there is little to no back pressure created by the filter, relying on a proper grind, and tamp to create the proper amount of back pressure for extraction and crema production. If the tamp is too loose, the water channels through the puck, and you get a weak cup, too tight and you get flavor problems.

The Breville BES870XL, offers a built in burr ginger, that doses right into the portafilter, approximately a half gallon water reservoir, and controls to brew singles or doubles, and a sleek look with a temperature dial face.

At Amazon - Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

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January 27, 2014

Illy and Samsung Tie the Knot

Famed coffee name Illy has tied the knot with Samsung to create a symbiotic relationship that is sure to be watched for a while. The relationship is not about the machine; it's about a better or best in class retail experience. Illy is looking at an upscale retail experience, driven by a strong visual component. Samsung will help there.

Samsung on the other hand claims to want some reason to pause in their showrooms, and maybe a cup of Illy coffee can do that for them.

According to the press release, "The agreement is designed to pool the resources of both companies in order to leverage each other’s strengths and brand equities by utilizing Samsung’s legacy in technology innovation, electronic devices and multimedia content and illycaffè’s expertise in premium coffee, food and beverage retail marketing and their connections with a diverse set of artistic projects. The attention that both companies bring toward human creativity, specifically with regards to art and design, provide a common ground for the two brands."



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January 25, 2014

Review: Illy Issimo Mocha Drink

Illy Issimo Mocha

Illy Issimo Mochaccino is a ready to drink coffee treat that you can grab and go at a lot of convenience stores and sometimes can be found in the regular grocery store. I didn't grab a Mochaccino when I reviewed the rest of the line a few years ago. Since then, Illy has added the drinks in this bottle package shown above.

So, hey, with a quick chill, and a need for a little treat, I grabbed one of these the other day and enjoyed.

Give it a good shake, as you'll need to get the cocoa off the bottom. I had it straight, and not over ice, which I would recommend, because the flavors are already a little on the light side.

It's got a good Mocha flavor, but is not overwhelming, nor is it biting with bitter cocoa. The packing process sands off a lot of the top notes and finer flavors for most coffee drinks, so don't expect to look for the fine flavors you might fine in single origin coffees.

Overall, I give it two thumbs up if you like coffee, and like a little sweetness.


IllyIssimoBottlePour.jpg


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January 24, 2014

Review: Nespresso Bukeela Pure Origin from Ethiopia


Bukeela Ka Ethiopia Capsules from Nespresso

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.



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November 28, 2013

Review: Nespresso Variations Cioccorosso (Raspberry Chocolate).

cioccorossoNespressoCapsule.jpg

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.

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November 14, 2013

Review: Nespresso Variations 2013 Masala Chai Capsules

Nespresso Varaitions 2013 Masala Chai

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.

Review and tasting notes after the jump.....

ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Nespresso Variations 2013 Masala Chai Capsules"

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November 12, 2013

Matt Damon Joins George Clooney in Nespresso Ads

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.

Below is the George and Matt ad…..


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November 11, 2013

Nespresso Variations 2013: Masala Chai in US Available Now

masalaChaiNespresso.jpg

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.

Order yours at Nespresso Club

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October 17, 2013

Nespresso and Illy: Recycle at Retail

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.

Full press release below:

ArrowContinue reading: "Nespresso and Illy: Recycle at Retail"

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October 14, 2013

World's Smallest Espresso Machine? - Piamo


Take a look at what may be the world's smallest espresso machine - one that after 30 seconds in a microwave, puts out a steam driven espresso.
This German inventor has worked through the prototypes to create a simple four piece device that with a scoop of espresso and a few ounces of water can make a quick espresso. The set-up of driving water down through an espresso pod or puck isn't new, but the concept of having such a small package in a microwaveable package is. It's a bit like the Handpresso for the microwave.

Piamo_image.jpg

More at Piamo or see the Piamo Facebook page
Image and video - via Piamo.

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Scott Martin: Erik, Answering a few questions: So the whirring is definitely read more
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