Espresso machines are great, and if you;re giving one as a gift, maybe you should grab an espresso cup or something to put that new latte in it. Here are a few ideas to help out.
Bodum Pavina(or any Bodum glass line) - these are made from lab glass, and are handblown. Your creation looks oh, so cool in it. The beverages float in the doubles walls. Dishwasher safe. Get the Espresso ones for an espresso lover and maybe the 12-ounce for the Latte variety. These are really my "go-to" cup/glass on a daily basis.
"Espresso" Cups - these are simple espresso cups that have "ESPRESSO" written across them in black and white. A fun design take on the espresso cup.
Illy Art Cups - usually pretty stunning in their design, and often collected, these cups are designed by world renowned artists and issued annually. There are some less expensive and classic standard illy cups in their collection too. One of this year's art cups is shown above.
CBTL and Target are running a special - buy a CBTL Americano and get four free boxes of capsules. That's worth about $45. The CBTL Americano brews the CBTL capsules which come in several coffee and espresso varieties as well as several flavors of tea. I like the Premium Espresso the best for its slightly sweet and caramelized flavors.
Below you can see the price tag at Target for the CBTL brewer, and the special offer for free capsules.
Nespresso has a deal going on right now that will give you a $100 credit from the Nespresso Club store after buying a Nespresso Machine for $199 and above. The special runs from 11/23 through 1/21/13.
Nespresso has 16 Grand Crus to choose from, and delivers to your house in a couple of business days. I've been pretty happy with my deliveries, and after running through the sampler that comes with the machine, you can pretty much nail it down to one or two that you like, and grab a few boxes of them in the first order.
Eligible machines include; The narrow and sleek Nespresso Citiz, the even smaller Nespresso Pixie, the espresso and latte brewing Lattissima Plus, The big and powerful Nespresso Maestria. The Nespresso U is technically eligible, but watch out; Amazon sells it for $198.95, five cents less than Nespresso's stated $199 floor. Not sure if this makes a big difference, but I'd hate to lose out on $100 of free capsules over five cents. Nespresso does list the New Nespresso U as one of the potential machines, but I am not sure about the requirements on your proof of purchase and how they might check the purchase amount.
See more at the Nespresso Rewards page where you enter your information for the credit. The credit is good for one year after you receive it.
Keurig is no stranger to brewed coffee, but they aren't well known for their work in espresso. They announced earlier this year that they are working with Lavazza, the famed Italian coffee company to bring an espresso system to market in the US that uses Lavazza coffee, and a milk frothing system to address the US market tastes.
The Keurig Rivo Machine
With 15-bars of pressure, the Rivo brings out coffee flavors like only pressure can, leaving a née creme on top. The capsules, in several different espresso varieties, are from Lavazza, including Intenso, Classico, Delicato and Decaf.
Using fresh milk the frothing is going to take place in a sidecar, letting you manually pour the milk from the carafe into your cup. not elegant, but it works.
Brewing the espresso gives you the push button choice of shorts and longs, and brews in under a minute. the reservoir is on the side, where it is easy to refill.
Check out the Keurig promo video below of the Keurig Rivo:
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.
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