Recently, I was invited to an espresso tasting. Learning more about coffee is part of the key to enjoying making it at home. It becomes more interesting and then I can make sure it is actually tasty and exactly what I like. I often enjoy espresso, but as far as knowing the differences in taste I am an amateur. The Nespresso event was an excellent opportunity to learn a bit more. The event was dedicated to the launch of Naora...their 2012 limited edition espresso which is on the verge of sell out so if you are interested BUY IT NOW! It's a late harvest Columbian Arabica...the late harvest gives it a fruitier taste. The technique they used to produce it is a new one similar to wine making in that the fruit is left on the branch for as long as possible. OK this might sound like jibberish to you...I must admit...I didn't know what they were on about with the fruit taste description until I got to taste another coffee.
The next one we tasted was a Livanto AND I really could taste the difference. Livanto is a pure Arabica from South and Central America. It is traditionally cultivated and medium roasted for a malted, caramelized taste. This was fabulous...I think I prefer my espresso less fruity and more malty. However, more experimentation is required and Nespresso has a total of 16 different Grand Crus. The Naora and Livanto were both delicious and if I had not had the opportunity to taste them together I wouldn't have been able to define the difference.
In case you are a little dubious about these capsules (like I was)...we got to look inside and have a smell. The coffee inside is protected from air and light and kept extremely fresh for up to 12 months.
To get others involved in appreciating coffees diversity in taste Nespresso is opening a boutique store on Regent Street in July. A highlight will be the coffee bar where you can enjoy their high quality espresso and compare all the flavours!
The Nespresso event also included demonstrations of their espresso machines. I was very tempted by The Pixie picture above. It is very compact and reasonably priced at £139. I could keep it in my room and wake myself up with a beautiful cup of espresso. It would soon pay for itself if I could leave my coffee shop habit...even just a few days a week. hmmm tempting ;)
The fancier ones have their benefits too...they can steam milk for a gorgeous cappuccino or latte, amongst other benefits including cup warming, hot water and volume control...
I have to say I enjoyed the afternoon and I definitely learned a lot. I now take a slightly more educated approach to my coffee drinking! Also it seems that as a company Nespresso really makes an effort to source high quality products and to take care of the producers and the environment they source from. Details of this process are well described on their website.
I plan to take advantage of the tasting bar when the boutique store opens in July. I have also discovered a machine on someone's desk on my floor!!! I am trying to get up the nerve to get to know this person. As a freebee I got a few Naora capsules to take home. I could offer a capsule or two in return for use. If I make a new friend I might be able to buy some Livanto capsules...that's the plan...£139 saved.
Nespresso Boutique Store
Opening in London (Regent Street) in July