The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Home-made barista coffee

“Would you like to have a coffee?” asked my host at a company that I was visiting.

We were standing beside a small table that had a coffee machine and a box that contained several small foil packages that came in different colours, each denoting a different taste variant.

He then took one of these, popped it into a small receptacle in the machine, pressed a switch and a few seconds later, I saw steaming hot coffee dispensed into a cup.

I have heard of, seen and tasted various barista style coffees, but this was something new.

It was a capsule or pod system of coffee making. The concept appears simple enough. The aluminium foil capsule contains a precise amount of ground coffee. When this is inserted into a compatible capsule system machines, the top is pierced to allow water to flow through. Hot water is forced through the capsule at high pressure, and the final beverage is extracted to the cup.

Specialty coffee shops such as Starbucks popularized and standardized coffee house culture, and offered gourmet-style variants to clientele across the world. It was Nestle, through its brand Nespresso that brought premium coffee into the workplace and into homes. With huge margins for themselves, needless to say.

The whole idea of bringing gourmet coffee into the home is based on aspiration – buy the product, taste the lifestyle (George Clooney is the brand spokesman), and with global sales in excess of US$ 3 billion, Nestle haven’t done too badly with this.

Nestle is not a monopoly – there are others such Sara Lee with their Senso brand who are selling large numbers in the U.S. What differentiates Nestle, however, is that the Nespresso pods can only be used on Nespresso machines unlike many other brands that work on “universal” machines.

There are several varieties to choose from and they carry exotic names such as Ristretto, Arpeggio, Livanto, Capriccio, Volluto and Vivalto Lungo, amongst others. Caters to individual taste, and comes handy when guests who drop in have different preferences, since all one has to do is drop in a different variety of pod into the machine.

The pod comes with a hefty price tag, though. The machine itself costs upwards of US$ 150 for the basic model, going up to US$ 600+. And, each pod costs approx. 55 cents, which is steep.

However, if one does not wish to stand in line at a barista, and wants to have different varieties of one’s choices at call, within the convenience of the home, the coffee pod is a must-have.

As for my first experience with this concept? Well, the coffee tasted good.

And, I asked for a second cup.

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September 30, 2011 - Posted by | About this and that, Human Behavior | , , , , , , ,

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