October 6, 2013

Siemens EQ.8 Super Auto Espresso Machine


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Siemens has a new top end machine that boasts some luxurious capabilities to turn out coffee and espressos.

The super automatic machine grinds the beans, pulls the shot and will top your latte with steamed milk in one single move. Pretty simple, eh? Getting there can be fun though, as you are able to experiment with the machine to play with the grinding, and the extraction times. With a 2-stage adjustable brew setting, the extraction time can be extended to vary the flavor experience. Most baristas will experiment to figure out the right time and length of pull; you can too with this machine.

The stainless steel and blue-hue TFT display allows for intuitive controls that can make using it a breeze.

via Appliancist

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October 5, 2013

Nespresso Machines now at Target

Target and Nespresso are teaming up to increase distribution of the single serve espresso machines. Recently, the machines started showing up online and in select stores.

It appears that they are selling the Nespresso U machine online and in stores, while they offer others online. Target is offering the "Plus Milk" versions too with sidecars of the Nespresso Aeroccino to appeal to those whole want a latte experience. Others include:

Prices are the same as the Nespresso Club online store, and there is no word on capsule availability in-store. the Essenza is only $99 right now, and an additional $30 for the "Plus Milk" version - a bargain considering the Aeroccino 3 as a stand alone item is $99 at Nespresso Club right now.

What's this mean for the upscale purveyor of espresso machines? Euro chic or white trash? The $99 entry point will probably dissuade casual users. Not sure if Americans will jump at espresso only configurations or jump to the "Plus Milk" versions with the Aeroccino.

Sadly for CBTL, this must be the epilogue to their launch and miss in Target about a year and a half ago. They have since disappeared from shelves at our local Target stores, and appear to be available online only.

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August 28, 2013

Nespresso Dharkan and Kazaar: Permanent Intense Crand Cru Capsules Added to Line

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Nespresso has added espresso fan favorite Kazaar to the permanent line of Nespresso Crand Cru Capsules for Nespresso drinkers to enjoy. Kazaar, a 12 on their original 10-scale for intensity, was released twice as special limited editions, and sold out quickly to strong consumer reaction and positive reviews - I thought the capsule was great in 2010 and again in 2012.

Nespresso has also added another intense flavor called Dharkan; a slow roasted Arabica blend from Latin America and Asia, is a "complex blend with hints of bitter cocoa powder and toasted cereals" with a "silky and smooth texture creates a subtle balance of bitterness that lingers on the taste buds"

These blends are available now at the Nespresso Club for ordering; I have my order in; jump on them fast if you want to try them out; My hunch is that people will be snatching these up quickly.



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August 26, 2013

Illy Espresso Machine Stop Motion at Vine

Illy making espresso. It takes a while to get tired of watching the cup come out of the base. Love it, sometimes I feel like this is my day.

For your enjoyment.

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Review: Starbucks Discoveries - Chilled Espresso Beverage (Caffe Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, Vanilla Latte)

Starbucks Discoveries At Grocery

Starbucks has launched its Starbucks Discoveries series of products with partner Pepsi to bring three flavored coffee drinks in ready to drink form to you grocer's chilled section. We thought we'd Review them and give you a snapshot of another cool summer coffee drink.

The 1.5 liter (1.49 actually) packs look different, and come with a screw cap that unleashes the Vanilla Latte, Carmel Macchiato (you need to supply your own "Macchiato"), and Caffe Mocha. The carton is notable because it's some masterpiece of packaging shape; who knew a machine could fold something like this. It's not a regular gable top carton; it's some

My world needs more coffee, and Starbucks Discoveries are a pretty good fit. The flavors are not stand-out, but the drink is a bit indulgent, and sweet, with a hint of the signature flavor at the end. Mocha has a bit of a lingering chocolate flavor, while the caramel has a bit of a salty sweet caramel flavor. Not bad, but it doesn't scream coffee…… at all. Maybe it whispers coffee at best. It doesn't hit you over the head with sweetness either, so maybe a decent balance.

ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Starbucks Discoveries - Chilled Espresso Beverage (Caffe Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, Vanilla Latte)"

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July 3, 2013

Nespresso Variations: Masala Chai for ths US

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Nespresso has announced that the results of its consumer vote are in, and one of the Variations flavors this year will be Masala Chai. Sounds like a pretty new flavor choice, and was run off Masala Chai, Cioccorosso, and Liminto. The voting was conducted worldwide where nespresso does business, and in the US, and a few other countries Masala Chai won. Across most of Europe and in many other countries the Cioccorosso came out on top.

Masala Chai is an obvious blend of typical chai spices into the Livanto base for the Variations. The Cioccorosso is a blend of chocolate and red fruit flavors. Both sound pretty good, and with both going to production, I'd like to try both.

Look for the 2012 Variations coming out in late November here in the US.

Check out the worldwide results at Nespresso Variations

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May 28, 2013

5 Tips for Great Iced Coffee this Summer

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We drink a lot of coffee, and if you're at a blog on espresso, you probably do to. Not everyone drinks hot coffee all summer long, and with the first heat wave of the season coming this week, we thought we'd offer a few tips on getting a cool treat in a coffee kind of way.

  1. Skip the ready to drink variety from the store - they generally taste the same, and are not as fresh as your own, generally cost more and it wasn't heat processed like a moon rock.
  2. Choose an all Arabica blend - the "traditional" blends of espresso include Robusta coffee, which while I love that full bodied dark flavor in hot espresso, it comes across as a bit of rank pungency in an iced coffee.
  3. Get a pair of these glasses - they are different, and can handle hot and cold drinks. I brew right into them and ice. The special glasses make the occasion.
  4. Keep a little cream in the fridge as a treat for "chill" weekends - espresso over the rocks with a splash of cream is an excellent indulgence.
  5. Try something new - drinking iced coffee is different and you might like a different blend hot than cold. Variety is the spice of life.

Cheers; see you on the balcony/patio/deck or in the park.


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May 22, 2013

Nespresso CEO Talks Expansion in the US and China

The WSJ had a conversation with Nespresso's CEO Jean-Marc Duvoisin to talk about Nespresso's plans, and hurdles in the global marketplace. At a high level, Nespresso is using George Clooney in Europe as their spokesman as he supports a more mature market, while Penelope Cruz is the spokesperson in the US, where the market is just developing.

Nespresso has hit some speed bumps with competition getting around their patent fortress, and while that creates some headwinds, Duvosin is kind in his words indicating that competition is good. I think the PR spokesperson took care of that for him.

Finally, Nespresso expects that they will continue to expand in the US, and start to expand in China, noting that China will be a slow and steady expansion.

Read the whole interview at the WSJ

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May 1, 2013

Great Espresso Video - Taking a Coffee Break

In the tradition of Stomp, this video takes a walk through a simple coffee break in the Sanremo UK shipping dock. This maker of espresso machines takes a fun look at what that coffee break might sound like.

Via Giz

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April 30, 2013

Illy Recipe Contest


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Illy has a recipe contest up on their Facebook page. You'll need to create your best recipe and submit it to win one of the fabulous prizes…. channeling some hawker mojo here. The best recipes will go into their seasonal recipe book.

Once you like them, and submit your amazing recipe, you'll be eligible to win a Francis Francis X7.1 iperEspresso Machine, one (1) can of iperEspresso Medium Roast Capsules, one (1) can of Ground Drip Coffee Medium Roast, one (1) set of four (4) illy Logo Cappuccino Cups and one (1) set of four (4) illy Logo Espresso Cups.

More at: http://on.fb.me/10F551m


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Recent Comments
Scott Martin: Erik, Answering a few questions: So the whirring is definitely read more
Erik G.: Nice review! Just a couple of questions though. How hot read more
Scott Martin: SH, Excellent question - added a section to the review read more
SH: What about machine sound/vibration during the brew process? If it read more
Ironpeddler: Looks like the espresso capsules are different than the current read more
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