I used to think that I’d have to fly to Europe to enjoy a good espresso, cappuccino, latte or macchiato. Here in America, we aren’t a café culture like in many other parts of the world. Everyone here seems to be addicted to Starbucks. As if Starbucks is good coffee or something. The fact that their beverages are over-priced and the shops are all nearly identical (with no real character) makes it not at all appealing to me. I actually know many people who can’t function without their daily cup from Starbucks. At the prices they charge, we’re talking up to $80 a month just on coffee. That seems like a huge luxury to me.
A few months back I purchased a product that in many ways changed my life. Well, at least it changed my morning routine. My Nespresso machine. Manufactured by world-famous Swiss company, Nestlé, these machines brew espresso from special, hermetically-sealed aluminum capsules containing different varieties of ground coffee. There are sixteen varieties of what they call “Grand Crus” coffee blends, with names like Ristretto, Arpeggio, Livanto and Voluto that range from mild to bold, as well as three intensities of Decaffinato blends. The machine has two settings—one to create a shot of espresso and one for a larger portion called “lungo.” When the capsule is inserted into the machine, its top is pierced and hot water is pumped through it under very high pressure. The brewed coffee exits the capsule through small rupture holes and flows into the coffee cup. You can really see the difference between this coffee and American coffee. It is thicker, velvety, more luxurious looking. My favorite part is the optional Aeroccino machine which creates light, creamy milk froth for the perfect cappuccino. It comes with two attachments—one that makes warm milk with light froth and another that whips the milk into thick, dense foam that’s sure to give you a milk mustache. If you hold the button down, the Aeroccino performs the same functions, but without heating the milk—perfect for cold coffee drinks.
The Nespresso machines range from $199 to $349. I bought the Art Deco-inspired CitiZ machine along with the Aeroccino Plus. Yes, it was a costly initial investment, but if you are a coffee lover, the savings definitely will add up over time. Each capsule costs 57¢, so a fraction of the cost of a cup at Starbucks, but likely more expensive that a cup of drip coffee you brew at home. Like I said before, I used to look forward to my European sojourns to enjoy the coffee over there. Now that I can enjoy the same drinks at home, I’m a little more patient between trips.* I was not paid anything for this product endorsement. It is my own, unsolicited opinion of a product that I love and use daily. For more information, visit the Nespresso website.