Nestle Nespresso S.A. is one of the operating units of the Nestle Group headquartered in Paudex, Switzerland
Without a doubt, Nespresso, the worldwide pioneer and market leader in premium-portioned coffee, is the best portable electric appliance I have ever bought! Although having said that, my KitchenAid® stand mixer is on the same level and actually the two machines stand side-by-side on my counter!! My first exposure to the Nespresso machine was in the late 1980s when I ventured into the field of doing kitchenware product demonstrations for various manufacturers when we lived in Honolulu, well before the espresso craze entered the American marketplace. Today, drinking espresso has become a lot more popular with Americans since then as evidenced by the number of other companies in the espresso market. But you need look no further.....by providing the quintessential espresso coffee of the highest quality with full-bodied taste and exquisite crema (that gorgeous tan colored foam that appears on top of an expertly brewed Nespresso espresso) Nespresso ensures that all of its customers around the world can indulge in their love of perfect coffee. The following statement by Nespresso says it all.....
Nespresso's Three Pillars of Excellence
Added to that list of excellence should be Nespresso's partnering with The Rainforest Alliance to promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility on the farms that produce coffee for Nespresso's gourmet espresso capsules. Known as the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality ™ Program, Nespresso and its key suppliers work closely with farmers who are part of the AAA Program to ensure farm practices are implemented that lead to highest quality beans and economic viability while respecting the environment. Coffee farmers who are part of the Program are rewarded not only with higher compensation but also with a long-term partnership with Nespresso. Thirty percent of the coffee that Nestlé Nespresso currently buys is from the AAA Sustainable Quality ™ Program and the Grand Cru Volluto is made 100% from such coffee. By the end of 2010, Nestlé Nespresso expects to buy up to 50% of its coffee from this Program. See www.rainforest-alliance.org
About the Capsules
There are some espresso machines that are now using "pods" of espresso coffee (think round tea bag) which fits into the coffee arm and although they may be convenient, once the tin of espresso pods are exposed to the air, the coffee may lose some of its intensity.
Exposure to air is not at all an issue with Nespresso coffee capsules which are exclusive and hermetically-sealed 100% recyclable aluminum capsules The recycling system is currently only available in Switzerland. Each capsule contains the perfectly blended Arabica coffees from a number of coffee growing countries, and so the espresso coffee in the capsule is guaranteed fresh for 12 months. The innovated design of encapsulated coffees has expanded to include many more choices to enjoy. Nespresso offers 12 Grand Cru coffees - nine of which are Espressos (best enjoyed in a small 40ml cup) and three are Lungos (mild but intense coffees for enjoyment in a larger 110ml cup)
Each of the 12 coffees has a different name and color of capsule as well as a strength numbering system - 10 being the strongest taste:
Espresso Grand Crus:
Ristretto - a typical Italian espresso, which is short, strong and full bodied, with just a touch of acidity...and a delicious taste that lingers. (strength 10)
Arpeggio - a Mediterranean blend and an intense body and long exquisite after-taste, and a thick smooth crema (strength 9)
Roma - a short espresso, not overly strong, and with sweet, woody notes. (strength 8)
Decaffeinato Intenso - intense and rich, with high notes of acidity, and all the strength of a true espresso - with no caffeine. (strength 7)
Livanto - well balanced, and beautifully rounded, with a dense, velvety aroma. (strength 6)
Capriccio - a full bodied, creamy and mild espresso, with a crema so delicate, it reflects the light (strength 5)
Volluto - lightly roasted, with a velvety character and biscuit note mixing a blend of Arabicas from Brazil and Columbia (strength 4)
Cosi - combines East African Arabicas counter-balanced by light bodied and aromatic Arabicas from Central America with a touch of the "Santos" Brazilian coffee for added balance (strength 3)
Decaffeinato - combines Arabicas from South America for acidity and balance and African Robusta enhances its strong character. Offers a rich and delicate balance between mildness and acidity with a hazelnut color crema (strength 2)
Lungo Grand Crus:
Vivalto - pleasant roasted and floral notes, and with a silk-smooth crema; equally delicious when prepared with milk. (strength 6)
Finezzo - well balanced, with fruity notes, a light body and a hint of acidity (strength 4)
Decaffeinato Lungo - a consistent body, a fine texture and a delicious roasted flavor. (strength 7)
When you buy a Nespresso machine you are automatically enrolled as a member of the Club so ordering the capsules is an easy process through the Nespresso Club at 1-800 562-1465 available 24/7. With more than 2.5 million members loyal to the brand in more than 35 countries that's quite a Club! If you're lucky to live in a city with a Nespresso Boutique bar as I am in New York City at 759 Madison Avenue, (see more on Boutiques below) I can visit the store and buy my favorite Nespresso capsules and have an espresso and a luscious snack too!
Fast forward to 2007......and you've undoubtedly seen a variety of Nespresso machines with a choice of price points (ranging from $179 to $799) to match your budget being sold in department stores, gourmet kitchen, specialty stores nationwide and online at www.amazon.com and other websites. Their website at www.nespresso.com is a very well designed and beautiful product webpage that you'll enjoy browsing through to help you choose the style and cost of a machine that suits you best. Below are the details and features of the style I've chosen, model number D290, and I've also included information on the latest style to consider.
I chose the silver D290 model for a few very simple reasons, not the least of which is Nespresso's reputation and reliability, but also because I love the shape of this machine and it fits in a space on my countertop as if it had been designed for it, right next to my KitchenAid stand mixer!
The D290 model (and other Nespresso models) are available at retail outlets such as Bloomingdale's, Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table, www.amazon.com and other fine retailers nationwide. Most of these retailers will allow you to have a sample espresso to taste and to see how easy it is to use a Nespresso machine.
Features of my D290 Nespresso:
This is the latest model that will create a range of professional quality espresso beverages in seconds. It's most distinctive feature, the Romeo showcases Nespresso's revolutionary extraction system with a CD-like drawer or "balcony" which was the inspiration for naming the machine, to automatically load and eject the exclusive Nespresso coffee capsules.
Some other Romeo features:
As if selling the finest espresso machines and coffees wasn't enough, Nespresso entered the espresso bar business in 2001 with it's first boutique in Paris. Currently Nespresso boutiques are located in more than 50 cities around the world with many more boutique openings planned for this year and into the future. The first North American boutique opened in New York City in December 2006. I attended the opening celebration of the boutique which was a thrilling and enjoyable experience (despite the huge crowd that also attended!) as each store is designed to appeal to the five senses. Premium quality materials, polished aluminum, fine leather and glass walls, the renowned French architect Francis Krempp has created an understated, pure, precise design for the Nespresso Boutique bars that exudes simple elegance and a welcoming atmosphere to all who enter these establishments. Here are some photos of the New York City location:
For the business that wants to impress and pamper its clientele, the Nespresso Business Coffee Solutions is the answer. This division provides a range of portioned coffees, machines and services specially adapted to the needs of high-end restaurants, hotels, premium event caterers; customer care and other luxury outlets, first class travel; and any business office that caters to its clients desires. See www.nespresso.com