There are many ways to bliss out on coffee in this world and my newest favorite way to do it is pictured below, the Nespresso Pixie.
The Nespresso makes terrific shots of espresso that you can have first thing in the morning to shake the cobwebs, mid afternoon when things get dull or in the evening when you are just trying to hang in there. Just stumble into the kitchen, drop in a capsule, press the button and watch it do it’s magic. As they say, it’s all good. The shots are hot, but not tongue searing and they have a nice layer of crema (aerated coffee foam) riding on top. There are a number of machines that will do this for you, but a lot of them cost a lot more or require you to mess around with the coffee a lot more. Nespresso is flat out the easiest way to make a great cup of espresso.
Nespresso is made by Nestle and it has a definite European mojo to it. The unit is small, the capsules are small, the cups it pours are small and the buzz is definite but not harsh. You get a decent lift for a small amount of java and if you are like me, that’s important. What the heck, I wouldn’t bother if it was just for decaf - I’d go for beer instead, but beer and coffee point me in opposite directions and there you have it.
The only hitch with Nespresso is that you have to get the capsules from Nestle, either over the web, or if you are lucky enough like we are to live near a boutique that sells them you can walk in and pretend you are in Switzerland. As far as I know, nobody else makes them. The business angle is pretty clear, get a customer to buy one and they buy coffee from Nestle the rest of their lives. The capsules look like little space ships – they are metallic in a mix of gemstone colors and there are a 16 regular flavors all with ridiculous European names you will never be able to remember if you are over 45 – regardless of how much coffee you rev up your head with. Ristretto, Livanto, Volluto, Indriya, Rosabaya – they sound like Urugayan reindeer. Anyway you can buy these things by the hundreds and get fancy accessories like they probably had on the Orient Express. Here’s a picture of the one we have to help us pick out the perfect capsule:
They also have limited-time special flavors that you need to order before they run out. The corner drug pusher has nothing on these guys.
The idea is that you drop the capsule down into the miniature bowels of the machine like you are making a tiny orc or something. The mechanism for opening the front is cantilevered where you rotate the handle up and the front of the machine pushes outward where the handle had been. This in itself is a really cool little design detail that I appreciate every time. When you pull the handle back down, the capsule seats in the machine where it is ready to have pressurized steam blown through it. Three small holes are made in one end of the capsule and a grid of punctures go on the other end (the cup end). These apparently are the blow holes that the steam gets blasted through on the way to your cup. You push the button and the compressor kicks in. It doesn’t shake the house but it could wake up dog and shortly thereafter the desired result is in your hands. The next time you open the handle, the expired capsule drops into the receptacle of wasted capsules below. It took either Swiss or German engineers to come up with this compact mechanical wonder.
In addition to the espresso machine, Nestle also makes Nespresso milk frothers for making lattes, cappuccinos and any other drink where foamy milk is used. Darn, if they don’t turn out great too. In addition to coffee, I’ve been using it to make milk for chai lattes and the results have been excellent.
We’ve had our Nespresso about a month so we don’t know how long it will last, but the quality of the coffee drinks has been top notch. Highly Recommended.
This blog post was 100% produced on my Microsoft Surface -all words and pictures.