I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a coffee fanatic. I’ve spent countless hours on the CoffeeGeek.com forums and invested in a bunch of home equipment, all with the goal of making the perfect cup of coffee. The more time you spend in the world of coffee, the more you realize that the perfect cup is an elusive thing. The beans, the water, the grind, the temperature, the machine, the pressure, the tamp … they all make a difference. I'd say my one greatest learning is that the true coffee fanatic is really seeking consistency which leads to good coffee.
When I was asked to test out a Nespresso machine I was inherently skeptical. All of the manual factors I just talked about disappeared and I was convinced that something so easy couldn't produce a cup of coffee worth drinking. I've had previous experiences with systems from Keurig, Flavia, and Senseo, all of which were fairly lackluster. Why should Nespresso be any different?
First off, the Nespresso coffee pods are the most attractive and easy to handle of the lot. They are color coded to easily identify the different types of coffee and have a very aesthetic shape. Compared to the Flavia bag-thing or the large Keurig capsule, the Nespresso pod is elegant and easy to handle. I recall the first time I tried to use a Flavia I was downright baffled as to how to make the thing work.
The machine we received, the Latissima model made by Italian manufacturer” DeLonghi, was solid. Nespresso produces a series of machines with partners from Krups to Miele, so there is a machine for most any budget. Our Latissima is in the middle of their price range and offers a larger water reservoir than some of the cheaper models and more advanced milk frothing accessories. All in all, if I was going to purchase one for home, I think this is the one I would get.
Lastly (and maybe most importantly to me) is the coffee itself. The Nespresso consistently produces the nicest cream and tastiest coffee I've ever had from a pod system. The selection of coffees are excellent and each individual blend is well balanced. Nespresso also has a series of limited edition coffees for the more adventurous coffee drinker
So here's the punch-line: the Nespresso system makes a damn good cup of coffee. It pains me a little to say this, but if someone were to take away my grinder and manual machine, this is what I would turn to next. It's a great system for the home or office and consistently surprises everyone who has a chip on their shoulder over crappy automatic coffee machine setups. Thumbs up.