March 28, 2013

Coffee and Climate Change

There is an informative article that I wanted to pass along about the effects of climate change on coffee. There is a lot at stake here, and some of the potential changes might be loss of growing regains in what we know today as great coffee regions; Africa, Guatemala, and more.

With warming, you might start to see the plains of Texas emerge as a Robusta growing region like Brazil.

Even if you aren't convinced that climate change is a threat, the article talks up what's going on today to fight the emerging issue of the Coffee Rust fungus.

Worth a read at US News & World Report

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March 27, 2013

Review: Aromo ESE Espresso Pods - Boost, Bounce, Buzz and Buzz Lite

Aromo_Boost1.jpg

As the snow clears off our deck, and the weather turns warm here near Boston, it's a great time to enjoy a new set of espresso pods and take in the change of seasons. Today we take a look at the Aromo ESE Espresso Pods that were sent over a few weeks back to us here at Single Serve Espresso.

Aromo covers a good space with their four different pods, including a decaf version. With a lighter blend (Buzz) to a full bodied, and complex blend (Boost), I think most espresso lovers will find something they like.

To try the range, I got one of their samplers with a nice selection of their four blends; they have a couple of different ways to try out their blend and roasting expertise. A Mixed Up sampler with 18 total pods, or a special Free sampler (just pay shipping) with a pair of all four blends. The folks at Aromo provided us the Mixed Up sampler for this review - enough for a couple of weeks' worth of espresso drink in' fun.

ESE Pods - Easy to enjoy

Recall the ESE Pod is an easy way to enjoy espresso in machines that have the ESE Pod adapter for their portafilter - most consumer espresso machines come with them. The pods are made, and foil wrapped in a pouch for convenience . Aromo can ship smaller, 18-packs for those in short-term relationships, as well as fully committed 100-packs that should last a while.

I like the ease of use, and the quick clean-up. The ESE pods make espresso something I can do in the morning or in a pinch later in the day. No grinding, no mess; rip open the pouch, put the pod in the portafilter, crank it on the machine and you are ready to go. There are folks who are not interested in pre-packaged espresso, and I can understand that, but for me, I just don't have the time in the morning to do the whole routine, but I do have the time to enjoy a shot; that's why ESE Pods work for me.

Brewing the Aromo ESE Pods

For this review, I used a Cuisinart EM200 machine for this review - it's a good go-to brewer, with plenty of brewing and heating power for my espresso.

Across the last two weeks, I have been having about a shot a day of the Aromo espresso pods, and have really enjoyed them. Overall, there is a good balance of body, acidity and roast that really screams espresso here. when you open the pouches, the coffee aroma of the pods is good; not stale with a rich chocolate and deep roasted smell that is inviting and worth a quid check each and every time.

CafeAromoBrew.jpg

Good Dark espresso, with a decent nice layer

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Nespresso Napoli and Trieste - New Capsules for Spring 2013

Nespresso will be launching two new espresso capsules the Spring, the Nespresso Napoli and Trieste as limited editions. The two blends will tuck into the line as part of the annual tradition of adding temporary capsules to offer some excitement, news and variety. Nespresso recently stated that they would expect to have more variety, and potentially at higher prices, like the Limited Edition Hawaii Kona capsule that sold for $2 per capsule.

Trieste LE Spring 2013 capsule

The Napoli capsules is a blend of South American, African and Asian beans that have a dark, complex and STRONG flavor with a bit of a Robusta finish. The capsule sis said to be an 11 on a 10 scale, much like the fabled Kazaar all Robusta blended capsule. With the Napoli, Nespresso is pushing a "Black Gold" concentrated coffee concept of taking the espresso as a Ristretto, (25ml) or an even shorter 15ml. We'll have to see.

The Trieste is a bit less intense, but not by much. The Trieste capsules will be 100% Brazilian and African Arabica beans with a nutty and chocolatey flavor coming in at a 9 on the 10 intensity scale.

More on the Launch after the jump…..

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March 26, 2013

Veloce's V12 Espresso Machine

veloceV12EspressoMachine.jpg

Sure it's a little over-the-top, but if you're into cars and espresso, you might just put this espresso machine at the top of your Must-Have list. Veloce's V12 espresso machine will certainly delight gawkers who want to drool over the design. Espresso lovers might have to take a test drive or two to make sure the espresso is really that good. No stats on the espresso machine cred; so we'd have to way on that, as well as a price.

Thinking about ripping it off? It's got a few design patents that you'd have to get around.


veloceV12Espresso2.jpg

More at Veloce, via Gizmodo

Pics via Veloce

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March 11, 2013

Rumor: Nespresso picking Cruz over Clooney

A few articles popped up over the weekend that Nespresso may be moving on from George Clooney and going with Penelope Cruz as their spokesperson by the end of the year when Clooney's contract expires.

Clooney has been their spokesperson for at least a half dozen years, in which time, Nespresso's popularity soared overseas. Cruz was in Nespresso's ad here in the US, late last year, which featured the new Lattissima Plus espresso and latte machine.   

As Nespresso tries to deal with the onslaught of new models from competition. This includes 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.

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March 3, 2013

Aromo ESE Pods Arrive for Review

We are always happy to try new coffee here at SingleServiceEspresso.com, and the folks at Aromo Coffee just provided us a new selection to try out. They caught my eye with their fun flavor blend names, Bounce, Buzz, Boost and Buzz Lite (Decaf). Aromo coffee is located in the United Kingdom, which means that these little ESE pods traveled a ways to get to our test kitchen near Boston. Our readers from the UK should be interested in this review.

Aromo Coffee's slogan is "No Mess. No Fuss. Just great coffee every time." - to me that's exactly what the ESE pod system stands for, and we are looking forward to trying these blends out. Briefly, they describe them as:

aromo_ESE_Bounce.jpg

Bounce - They cite it as their best seller, and is for those who are interested in a 100% Arabica espresso. They tell us to expect crema heaven with this thick and curvy bodied beauty, between a typical French and Italian espresso roast. Creamy yet fully satisfying with the Sumatran providing a wonderful baritone of bitter sweet dark chocolate. Strength = 5

Read about two more fun blends after the jump……

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February 15, 2013

Kona Special Reserve Propsels Nespresso Profits - Expect More

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Nespresso released their super-Special Reserve blend for $2 per capsule, and subsequently sold out pretty quickly (not as quick as the Coconut Variations though). The sales of these expensive little buggers reportedly pushed revenue and profits up a noticeable amount. According to Bloomberg, this won't be the last example of super premium offers that Nespresso turns out. While I forked over my $20 for a sleeve, I was disappointed in the overall flavor of the Kona Reserve; it just wasn't for me.

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February 14, 2013

Illy Coffee Amore - Espresso Drink Recipe

Illy has a great little recipe out just in time for Valentines day. They passed this along, maybe it's something you should try out tonight, or maybe this weekend. They make the Espresso Amore… from Illy….

"Ingredients:

  • 2 shots espresso
  • 1 1/2 oz. amaretto
  • 2 oz. heavy cream
  • 2 illy coffee beans

Instructions:

  1. In a small steaming pitcher, add amaretto.
  2. Heat the liqueur for a few seconds using the steam wand on your espresso machine. Pour into a 6-ounce freddo glass.
  3. Prepare espresso and add to the serving glass. Gently stir.
  4. In a small bowl or mixing cup add heavy cream. Lightly whip so that it is still a liquid.
  5. Starting at the edge of the glass, slowly pour/float cream on top of the coffee.
  6. Garnish with coffee beans."

See the video demonstration after the jump.

Go check it out for more at Illy



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February 7, 2013

Huge Coffee Crops Expected

While there is a Coffee Rust Fungus issue going on across some growing regions of Central America, both Brazil and Colombia are set to turn out some very big coffee crops. The loss of the harvested quantities in high qualify growing regions in Costa Rica, are a concern for smaller roasters who fight to find those lots of coffee to turn into better cups of coffee. With the currents moving the other way on Brazilian coffee, the markets are sure to notice.

Brazilian coffee production moves in two year cycles, and this year is supposedly a down year while still yielding a high tonnage. The crop size is driving down the commodity price for Arabica coffee. Who knows what the divergence will do for the high quality coffees, and the types of blends we will see in the coming months.

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February 4, 2013

New Nespresso Grand Cru: Linizio Lungo

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Nespresso announced that they have a new capsule in their Grand Cru line called the Lizinio Lungo, a capsule designed to help welcome in the day. With its split roasting, Nespresso brings together Colombian and Brazilian coffee to bring out the highlights of each origin. The Brazilian brings out a roasted cereal and malt note, while the Colombian brings out the bright light notes.

The Linizio Lungo's name comes from the Italian word inizio, which means the beginning, inspired by the bright flavors and its intended use as a breakfast drink. It's lighter and less intense than a lot of other Nespresso capsules, as the Linizio comes in at a "4" on the "10" intensity scale.

The orange capsule will get its own orange stainless steel Pixie Cup in the spring.

Available now at the Nespresso Club website or at the Nespresso Boutiques.

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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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