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Hoke

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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Hoke » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:39 am

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:And there you have it: Nespresso is commoditized coffee, ultimately bland. Once you get past the pretty little cups and the gee whiz verbiage in the descriptions, it's still stuff that was ground weeks ago and parcelled into small lots (which increases its exposure to air).


It's not like you to be tiresome, Jeff. This was established and given many posts ago. I stipulated it from the beginning. To leap to "it's all the same" is too far a leap for you to make.

All coffee is commoditized. Doesn't mean it is "ultimately bland." Differences remain. If you understand that you are consuming coffee that has been handled and, yes, podded and vacuum sealed, then it's all valid to me.

I've been to the coffee plantations. I've roasted coffees, I've sampled extensively. Unfortunately, much as I'd really like to, every time I want a good cup, I can't go to that place in Costa Rica I like so much, help them harvest the beans, process and cook the beans to absolutely the peak of perfection for me, and make that cup of coffee right there.

You live in New York. That means you make compromises every time you drink a cup of coffee. It has to be picked, processed, shipped, graded, sorted, roasted. Commoditized, as you call it. I'm willing to make certain compromises for my convenience, So are you. You're willing to compromise differently than I am, or less. That's fine.

The one thing I will agree with you on is that Nespresso/Nestle poses a certain limit on the range of coffees I can make in my machine (from whence their profit comes.) I'd be happy to use the Illy pods for the most part, if I could. Can't. There are non-Nespresso alternative pod companies out there, but I don't know how good there coffee is, or how well their pods actually work.

There are also means (as you know there would be) to laboriously re-use and re-engineer Nespresso capsules with your own choice of coffee...although to me that begs the purpose of having the Nespresso in the first place, I'd think.

Tell you what, come to visit me (both of you) in Portland and I'll offer you an espresso. You can refuse, then we'll go to Barista, where I can promise you you'll be more than satisfied by their ferocious focus on a superb cup. All of us will end up happy.
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Tom Troiano » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:22 pm

Can you buy a do it yourself Nespresso pod like you can for Keurig so that you can use your own coffee?
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Hoke » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:19 pm

Tom Troiano wrote:Can you buy a do it yourself Nespresso pod like you can for Keurig so that you can use your own coffee?


No. Not yet, anyway. You have to re-use (and therefore refoil) the Nespresso capsules. The trouble is not worth the savings.

The alternative coffee capsule companies have to constantly redesign their capsules for comparability, because Nestle keeps tweaking the seal apparatus in their new machines to...er, foil..them.
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Tom Troiano » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:34 pm

Sounds a lot like inkjet printer manufacturer's and inkjet cartridge design to prevent/reduce the aftermarket.
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Hoke » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:26 pm

Tom Troiano wrote:Sounds a lot like inkjet printer manufacturer's and inkjet cartridge design to prevent/reduce the aftermarket.


Exactly, Tom. Nestle can't quite prevent the alternative capsule producers (although they make it as difficult as possible) but they can definitely try to sabotage it with their machine designs.
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Hoke » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:12 pm

And of course, as soon as I replied to Tom T. about empty capsules, I got an Amazon notification that there is a producer/supplier of empty Nespresso-compatible capsules---you fill the capsules with fresh coffee, apply the little foil seals by hand, and voila.

Also got notice of about four or five more potential Nespresso-compatible capsule providers.

I'll still wait a while.
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:53 am

Hoke wrote:It's not like you to be tiresome, Jeff. This was established and given many posts ago. I stipulated it from the beginning. To leap to "it's all the same" is too far a leap for you to make.

Sorry. I did not mean to poke a nerve.

My upstairs neighbor has a Nespresso and she has allowed me to prowl through the big collection of cups she bought with it. I found about half to be downright dull and the other half to be attractive to smell but less interesting to drink. I believe it is an expensive machine and I don't think it lives up to the hype.

All coffee is commoditized. Doesn't mean it is "ultimately bland." Differences remain. If you understand that you are consuming coffee that has been handled and, yes, podded and vacuum sealed, then it's all valid to me.

This strikes me as a bit disingenuous, or perhaps merely uttered in haste. It is patently obvious that 99.99999999999% of everything I eat or drink has been commoditized at some level. But it is a rare food that is doled out to me by the tablespoon, and especially so for a food that is greatly diminished by being prepared ahead of time.

I've been to the coffee plantations. I've roasted coffees, I've sampled extensively. Unfortunately, much as I'd really like to, every time I want a good cup, I can't go to that place in Costa Rica I like so much, help them harvest the beans, process and cook the beans to absolutely the peak of perfection for me, and make that cup of coffee right there.


I've never been to one. I can say that my favorite coffees tend to come from Costa Rica. :D

Nespresso/Nestle

And then there is the ick factor of eating food from Nestle. I suppose I eat other things from them, as they are a huge international conglomerate with a million <strike>tentacles</strike> brands.

Tell you what, come to visit me (both of you) in Portland and I'll offer you an espresso. You can refuse, then we'll go to Barista, where I can promise you you'll be more than satisfied by their ferocious focus on a superb cup. All of us will end up happy.

Or I can drink both!

Portland, you say?

I will soon start looking for a venue for my summer D&D game. I need a house that sleeps 12-15 people, weekly rental....
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Hoke » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:11 pm

Well, you're always welcome in my house...but your 11-13 friends would have to camp in the back yard.
Do you guys dress up in costumes or just hang around in grunge clothes when D & Ding? Doesn't really matter here in Portland, as either would go totally unnoticed.

And I'd never really offer you a Nespresso, knowing it's less than what you prefer to drink, of course.

The marketing verbiage didn't really effect me, and 'cute little capsules' don't mean as much to me as they apparently do to you. I enjoyed the machine's product first when I was in Bordeaux, when a good friend explained he had finally found a workable compromise of having a decent espresso at home without spending a fortune and becoming a barista.

Next, when in Napa, something similar occurred, when a very fastidious and demanding gourmand offered me a Nespresso, explaining that he had finally found a way to immediately enjoy an espresso.....la la la.

Having had a couple of enjoyable experiences with Nespresso with friends, and admiring the neatness, quickness and relatively decent quality of a cup of espresso at home, I decided to look into Nespresso...realizing that when you take the advantage of technology and corporate investment, you have to understand there are tradeoffs to make in terms of absolute quality, and you can either accept those or not. So it wasn't the verbiage or the capsules that got me; I noticed those only in the final phase of getting the machine. I did, however, appreciate the clever design and function of the machine, sorta kinda like the appeal of Apple or KitchenAid products, where there is good design and good functionality combined.

As I said before, these are not the best cups of espresso I've ever had; but they are far better than the bland, tasteless ones you describe. After tasting through the portfolio of cute little capsules I rejected several of them immediately, yes; I also decided that several of them were sufficiently interesting that I could have them on a regular basis.

Quite frankly, I've had far worse espressos and other coffee drinks in bars and bistros, where I've paid a lot more money for them. And of course, you and I know, those expensive espressos that come out of the back rooms of some of those fancy places are made with capsules (although perhaps not as cute). Haven't found any of the Folger restaurants yet; thank god.
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:23 pm

Hoke wrote:Well, you're always welcome in my house...but your 11-13 friends would have to camp in the back yard.
Do you guys dress up in costumes or just hang around in grunge clothes when D & Ding? Doesn't really matter here in Portland, as either would go totally unnoticed.

Normal clothes. We all have computers and we recently changed our map equipment from flat hexagon grid to 3-D squares. I bemoan the loss of isometry but the new scale allows the DM to buy pre-made stuff (and he's very driven by the look of things).
And I'd never really offer you a Nespresso, knowing it's less than what you prefer to drink, of course.

Don't be silly. What better occasion for me to try to shake my opinion up?

...sorta kinda like the appeal of Apple or KitchenAid products...

Hm. I admire Kitchen-Aid but I find Apple design to be... squirmy. In some ways it is way ahead of everybody else but in other ways they sometimes forget about the basics.

Quite frankly, I've had far worse espressos and other coffee drinks in bars and bistros, where I've paid a lot more money for them. And of course, you and I know, those expensive espressos that come out of the back rooms of some of those fancy places are made with capsules (although perhaps not as cute).

Indeed.
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Jim Cassidy » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:05 pm

Hoke, an experiment with the new fill-it-yourself capsules is in order. Your system's upper limits have not yet been explored.
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Fredrik L » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:02 pm

I love my Nespresso, too. My old Gaggia made better coffee but it was big and cumbersome, and I was the only one who could handle it. This morning my ten year old woke me uppwith a perfectly decent Latte! In fact, I pour all my Nespresso made espressos into Lattes. My stomach will only accept a straight one after a meal with at least five courses, and those meals I normally have in restaurants.

You can buy the capsules in your normal supermarket here in Europe but the selection and prices are better on the net. I roughly pay 40 cent per round and a bit more for the artisanal versions; how much are they in the States?

Greetings from Sweden / Fredrik L
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Re: Got my Nespresso for Xmas. Love it.

by Hoke » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:27 pm

About 60 to 70 cents here, Fredrik.

I do more lungo shots than anything else. No lattes as yet, although I do order those in good coffee shops.

I also had a couple of the mini-espresso machines. Gave them away after a while.
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