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, 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:


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


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….


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


  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


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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January 24, 2013

Coffee's Win is Soda's Loss


The Atlantic has a short article that talks about coffee's popularity. Let me break it down for you.

Coffee as a category of drinks is up 50% in the last ten years, while the value of soda sold is down 40%. It's not necessarily the volume of coffee drunk, but the value…. yes, with 14-19 year olds more likely to claim to have had a coffee daily, and the fact that the coffee is espresso based, the cost of that cup adds up.

With coffee bean prices up, consumers are paying more all over the place, while also trading up from a cup o' Joe to en espresso.

ReadMore at the Atlantic

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January 22, 2013

Homemade Portafilter Handle


Do you read Instructables? I've found a bunch of good things there, and this one came up; thought I'd share it. Instructables is a website where users can upload step-by-step directions on how to make things; just about anything actually.

This Instructable is a handmade Portafilter handle and it shows a step-by-step process for taking a local branch, and milling it to make your own replacement handle for your Portafilter. I think the project came out pretty good, and shows a great way to put a little sweat equity into making your espresso machine a little more customized.

Check this Instuctable out by NoahW - Wooden Handle for Espresso Portafilter

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January 21, 2013

Coffee Rust Fungus Affects Central America

The cost of coffee could be headed up in the near future for higher quality beans as up to 30% of Central American coffee is affected by a coffee fungus. The Rust Fungus (Hemileia vastratrix) infects the leaves of the coffee tree. The infection drops coffee harvest amounts and has been reported in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The effect can ultimately devastate the producers who may have small farms, that if infected could bankrupt them with only one or two years of low production.

The fungus is spread by physical contact as well as wind and rain.


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January 20, 2013

Trader Joe's Espresso Pillows


Did anyone pick up a tin of these this holiday season? I did, and I had to go back for more. Trader Joe's has a great little pick-me-up available in a stylish tin that will fit in a small pocket, briefcase, kitchen drawer, or anywhere you'll need a little sweetness and a shot of caffeine.

The tin is classic, and has a satisfying snap to it when it closes. The see-thru window gives you a quick chance of the beautiful treats inside; it also gives you a reason how much is left, with a clue to see if anyone has been downing your Espresso Pillows without your knowledge.

The Espresso Pillows are not just chocolate covered espresso beans, but instead have a sweeter layer of toffee coating the bean, then with a layer of dark chocolate on top to finish it off. These really aren't pillows, and are not fluffy, but instead are strong flavored and a bit crunchy - not sure who named it, but I don't really care. They are pretty good.

These are better than your average chocolate covered bean; the light sweetness of the toffee with its buttery notes, make this a better, tasty treat, and because it comes in a closable tin, a far better option than the usual cellophane bag for run of the mill beans.


Read More in: Espresso & Food

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