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Nespresso - Thoughts

I know that some of you fellows are serious espresso enthusiasts, possibly even baristas. I wonder what folks think of Nespresso - the technique embodied in the machines, the resulting beverage, or whatever angle one wants to approach the subject.

I was not a coffee drinker when I first encountered espresso at lunch with a customer in a good restaurant in Sao Paulo Brazil, back in 1985. I also had work in Italy, France an Germany, and continued to have espresso now an then in those countries as well as in the USA. The results varied considerably, but I got the habit. I knew basically nothing about espresso. Italy was the best; even the espresso from their vending machines was better than anything I had gotten in the US, except for maybe one restaurant in New York City. The Italians also will put in a shot of good grappa to make what they call a corretto (correct, or made correct) -- that with some good Italian pastry will get you going in the morning! The espresso I had in France and Germany was uniform, but the roast must always have been very dark, so the coffee flavor was always dominated by bitterness, not of the coffee, but more so of the burnt sugars in the over-roasted beans. Determined to understand espresso, I studied the process, bought a decent (I thought) Breville portafilter machine, and I dilligently tried to make consistently good shots. I often made what I thought to be acceptable espresso - not great, but certainly acceptable by my standards then, though the time spent to pull a shot got to be a burden.

Then I got on to Nespresso -- I got a free Nespresso shot in a cooking store, if I recall correctly, and bingo, I bought a machine - a Citiz. The machine and the coffee impressed me with how very little time and counter space were required. The coffee was consistent, and I had a decent variety of coffees and roasts from which to choose. Cleanup was a breeze, alongside of other equipment said to produce espresso. I'd say the coffee was on par with what I'd had in Italy. Many folks complain about the price of the capsules, but truly good coffee has always been relatively expensive. The whole Nespresso set-up I had was less costly than decent equipment for espresso (burr grinder, espresso machine, good tamper,etc, etc.), and frankly the shot-for-shot consummables are less costly, too, in the end.

So that's what's working for me on the espresso end of coffee. Every now and then I'll try a shop-made espresso, but it is a rare experience ehn that beats what comes out of my Nespresso machines.

Any of you fellow compare Nespresso with espresso you're making.? I'd like to hear about it I'm tempted to try a Flair or an AeroPress, but when I see comments about AeroPress coffee turning out less like espresso than even a moka pot, I resist.

Cheers!
Tony
 
Moka and Aero Press can make good coffee, potentially even excellent coffee but they do not make espresso.

I used Nespresso for about 17-18 years. At home and at the office. Then I switched to excellent espresso.
Nespresso makes a decent espresso shot. You can also buy other brands that make compatible capsules and also make decent espresso. Kimbo, to mention one.
The mid range machines were relatively reliable and Nespresso always provided excellent service. Capsules are relatively expensive but you are correct, when you consider the price of good quality grinders and traditional espresso machines, and the price of good quality coffee beans, Nespresso probably still wins.
If you are satisfied with the convenience of the Nespresso system, and you like their coffee you can use it for years and be happy.
 
I have a Nespresso machine (original line), a 58 mm Portafilter semi automatic kitchenaid and now a Flair Pro 2. I also have an aeropress and Mokka pot.

I agree with your assessment of the Nespresso. The selection is good and the quality of the coffee is better than I expected when I bought it - better than mediocre coffee shops for sure. The kitchenaid beats it after replacing the stock portafilter and baskets and using fresh, high quality beans. The 58 mm Portafilter is a big plus when it comes to aftermarket upgrades. The Flair is capable of anything you could want as you completely control the entire process. It’s also another increase in effort - a pretty big one if you want to pull shots back to back for multiple people. I enjoy taking the time and manually pulling a shot just how I want it sometimes, but it’s not a fast or mindless process. Adding one of the Flair models while keeping the Nespresso machine could be a nice balance. I’d recommend one of the Flairs that supports a pressure gauge, but it’s not necessary.

The aeropress won’t make true espresso by definition, but it can certainly make very high quality concentrated coffee without a lot of the preheating hassle required of true espresso machines. You can also brew standard ratio coffee. I don’t like Mokka pots. I like the coffee they make, but they’re too fiddly and hard to handle for me and it’s nowhere near as versatile as the aeropress.
 

Legion

Staff member
We have one that we received as a gift. It's ok. It's mostly used by the wife, since she struggles to make a good cup with a moka pot, which is my preferred method.

They are quick and easy, I'll give them that. Personally I would stick with the moka and not have another appliance taking up kitchen counter space, but it's nice to not have the wife making me make her coffee every time she feels like one.
 
We have an original line of the nespresso machine with a frother. It makes good espresso for what it is, quick and convenient. I recently bought capsules from Colonna coffee, much better tasting than anything from nespresso in my opinion. I still use it on random occasions.

The aero press even with a fellow prismo is not espresso. It does make a delicious cup of coffee.

We did a side by side with an aero press and French press with the same beans. And each brought out different subtleties in the coffee.

We have bought an ECM synchronika a few years back. I, in my opinion and taste, make a decent cup of espresso. I don’t enjoy outside espresso any more. It could actually be I’m used to my own nasty espresso which is probably closer to the truth.

It is a pain in the rear, playing with temperatures, grind size, bean freshness and age. I will take that over the nespresso for the tastes that come from it.

I also have the flair 58. It’s okay also, I keep it in the basement for when I’m having a cigar in the back yard. Also makes a good cup of espresso but seems to me much more work. Heating the kettle, grinding the beans, waiting for the flair to heat up.

I’ve given up on my moka pot. All I wanted from it is a good cafe cubano.
 
I recently bought a L’Or Barista. I love it—makes great espresso and coffee with a good amount of crema on top. It will take any original Nespresso compatible pods and their own larger pods for coffee. Honestly, it beats most coffee shops with poorly trained baristas.
 
None of that fancy pants stuff here, Light fire [subject to fire bans] boil billy fulla dam water, pick the chunky bits out, leave crawfish in, huck 4 spoons a black n gold instant in a beetroot tin, stir with a brushed on you sleeve stick, [always carry a stick in oz] put hair on you chest that will, sonny!
 
None of that fancy pants stuff here, Light fire [subject to fire bans] boil billy fulla dam water, pick the chunky bits out, leave crawfish in, huck 4 spoons a black n gold instant in a beetroot tin, stir with a brushed on you sleeve stick, [always carry a stick in oz] put hair on you chest that will, sonny!
Good one laddie!! Let's get our caffeine on, eh!
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
My daughter has a Nespresso and I like the coffee well enough, but I'm not in love with the espresso. The espresso in Italy was both wonderful and cheap compared to what I usually pay at home.
 

TexLaw

Fussy Evil Genius
As others have said, it is good for what it is--quick, easy, and convenient. I want something more at home, but I am happy when I see a Nespresso machine in a hotel room (as opposed to Keurig). I'm even happier when I get home to my own setup and coffee, but Nespresso is a good deal more than mere survival.

It's going to be more than good enough for a great portion of folks out there (and too much for a good portion of that). It's only we coffee geeks that care all that much.
 
That's a fine machine. I also love my DeLonghi Magnifica, but we're talking about something altogether different in the nature of the machine and the price point.
100% true for upfront cost. But I found in 2 years I made the money up on buying bags of lavazza vs capsules.

I have been to Europe more than 130 times, Germany and Italy the most. This is as close to an automatic espresso that I like from either that I can make with a touch of a button.

Hope I didn’t mess up the thread, I just found the savings in coffee substantial enough to mention.

All the best from PA - Mike
 

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Whisky

ATF. I use all three.
Staff member
We have a Nespresso with a frother. My wife uses it almost daily to recreate her Starbucks “a little coffee with your sugar drink” by adding caramel sauce etc. I occasionally use it to make a 3-4 shot Americano and it works decently for that.
 
100% true for upfront cost. But I found in 2 years I made the money up on buying bags of lavazza vs capsules.

I have been to Europe more than 130 times, Germany and Italy the most. This is as close to an automatic espresso that I like from either that I can make with a touch of a button.

Hope I didn’t mess up the thread, I just found the savings in coffee substantial enough to mention.

All the best from PA - Mike
What you said is relevant, and not against the thread. JMHO, but I think you're missing out a lot in flavor by using pre-ground coffee such as Lavazza, or Illy. Good as it is for pre-ground stuff, you're stuck with some pretty bituminous roasts😉
 
What you said is relevant, and not against the thread. JMHO, but I think you're missing out a lot in flavor by using pre-ground coffee such as Lavazza, or Illy. Good as it is for pre-ground stuff, you're stuck with some pretty bituminous roasts😉
I never use pre-ground, the Jura will grind fresh for you. I use lavazza super crema whole bean.

None the less, I had a nespresso in my office and loved it.
 
I recently bought a L’Or Barista. I love it—makes great espresso and coffee with a good amount of crema on top. It will take any original Nespresso compatible pods and their own larger pods for coffee. Honestly, it beats most coffee shops with poorly trained baristas.
I bought a L'Or Barista with a sampler pack of pods on a Black Friday deal from Amazon. Have been pleasantly surprised with how good the coffee and espresso is. Hoping the selection of the larger coffee pods increases, but the couple varieties I've tried so far haven't disappointed.
 
Like the OP, I first encountered Nespresso at a store at a high end mall. I thought the coffee was extraordinarily good. Then I stayed at a BnB in Bermuda and enjoyed a Nespresso for a week. Very impressive.

When I returned home I returned to my drip machine and whatever ground coffee was on sale. So long as it has sufficient caffeine to get me going in the morning, I don’t care.
 
I’ve given up on my moka pot. All I wanted from it is a good cafe cubano.
Heh, heh . . . I'm such an amateur . . . Having recently moved to Florida, I'm trying to understand and absorb some of the Cuban culinary knowledge, and discovered "cafe cubano". Y'know . . . that ain't bad stuff. It reminds me a lot of how I started with coffee -- that pretty heavily sugared espresso I experienced in Brazil, but with the cubano process, it somehow comes out with a more creamy mouthfeel. In Brazil, it is simply a strong espresso shot into which you dump the often white sugar that is such a Brazilian natural resource. And yes, depending on the bean a moka pot can come out with some evil stuff -- strong in bitterness and acidity. Anyway, when visiting a more "Cuban" grocery store, I discovered in the coffee section many brands of the heavily roasted preground stuff vaccuum-packed in a brick so solid you could beat someone to death with it. I bought the most expensive one -- Bustelo Supreme. Start at the top, is my philosopy. Other brands are amazingly cheap, and I suppose there is a reason for that, and maybe I'll find out, but I doubt the brands could be much different from each other when the coffee is roasted so extensively, and ground so fine. So I whipped out my Cuban cookbook, (purloined from the "reading shelf" of the little "restaurant" at the former "resort" end of the former parade ground of the former USAAF WWII Marana Army Airfield, where today old airliners are cannabalized and munched up by big T-Rex-like machines . . . but I digress -- by all means take the tour -- it's call Pinal County Airpark right now) and looked up Cuban coffee. Anyway, it turns out my little Bialetti moka pot is perfect for making Cuban coffee, and I use demerara sugar only (taste the molasses! yeah! - and by all means use demerara simple syrup in your Old Fashioned!).

Cheers!
Tony
 
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Heh, heh . . . I'm such an amateur . . . Having recently moved to Florida, I'm trying to understand and absorb some of the Cuban culinary knowledge, and discovered "cafe cubano". Y'know . . . that ain't bad stuff. It reminds me a lot of how I started with coffee -- that pretty heavily sugared espresso I experienced in Brazil, but with the cubano process, it somehow comes out with a more creamy mouthfeel. In Brazil, it is simply a strong espresso shot into which you dump the often white sugar that is such a Brazilian natural resource. And yes, depending on the bean a moka pot can come out with some evil stuff -- strong in bitterness and acidity. Anyway, when visiting a more "Cuban" grocery store, I discovered in the coffee section many brands of the heavily roasted preground stuff vaccuum-packed in a brick so solid you could beat someone to death with it. I bought the most expensive one -- Bustelo Supreme. Start at the top, is my philosopy. Other brands are amazingly cheap, and I suppose there is a reason for that, and maybe I'll find out, but I doubt the brands could be much different from each other when the coffee is roasted so extensively, and ground so fine. So I whipped out my Cuban cookbook, (purloined from the "reading shelf" of the little "restaurant" at the former "resort" end of the former parade ground of the former USAAF WWII Marana Army Airfield, where today old airliners are cannabalized and munched up by big T-Rex-like machines . . . but I digress -- by all means take the tour -- it's call Pinal County Airpark right now) and looked up Cuban coffee. Anyway, it turns out my little Bialetti moka pot is perfect for making Cuban coffee, and I use demerara sugar only (taste the molasses! yeah! - and by all means use demerara simple syrup in your Old Fashioned!).

Cheers!
Tony
Yes, a simple as it sounds, coffee and sugar, I just couldn’t replicate it. When we were in Orlando, our first stop was a Cuban restaurant, I really wanted to make it down to little Havana. A morir soñando and a couple cafe cubano and I was hooked. Even the place in Disney Springs was excellent.

Alas the moka and I just couldn’t get along. Tutorials, cafe bustelo, cafe du mond and fresh ground coffee, I just couldn’t replicate that taste and mouthfeel of a cafe cubano. I even tried the sugar in the portafilter on the flair; all I’ll say is I should have been given five fingers across the face for that monstrosity :lol:

A few Turkish coffees I’ve made have come pretty close to taste.

Other than the Turkish and an occasional mocha when we’re out and about. Black coffee and straight espresso for me.
 
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