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Thursday, September 29, 2016

happy things: the nespresso machine

One day when I was at college, senior year, we had had a late night. So late, in fact, that it was dawn when we walked across the wet grass of the quad, holding up the bottom of our long dresses (and having somehow lost our shoes during the previous evening's activities.) I remember watching the sky streaked with pink as the sun rose as we headed back to the dorm, all of us supremely aware that this was what college was all about--this moment of being young and happy.

We got back to the dorm, some of us with our boyfriend's blazers around our shoulders. I was with my favorite girls trying as hard as we could to speak (OK, giggle) softly as we stood in front of the building talking about the night before. We didn't want to go in, afraid then the magic of the night would end. It was at that moment that a car pulled up and in it were the boys, our boys, who drove up and handed us hot cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee and a bag of blueberry muffins. They thought before we went to bed that we would want a snack. And on the front steps of Sullivan House on that Sunday morning, we sipped coffee, waved the boys goodbye and pulled the blazers close around our shoulders.  Sometimes now, when I inhale the scent of coffee, I think of that moment, that blissful moment. It makes me happy.

So many moments in our lives involve coffee. When we want to see friends, we say "Let's meet for coffee" not "Let's meet for juice." We sit around the kitchen table sipping coffee on a Sunday morning. We meet at the coffee bar at work, we sip coffee in the car. A Starbucks cup is practically a given on a morning commute whether it's via car, train or a walk. While I love swinging by Dunkin Donuts (when I'm on the east coast) for a small Coffee Regular (that's Dunkin Donuts speak for a coffee with cream and sugar), when I'm home, I love our Nespresso machine. Ever since Nespresso came out with their first espresso machine we have used their products in our home and in the studio.  

While L. prefers a tiny mighty cup of espresso, I like sipping my coffee slowly.  What I love about the Nespresso VertuoLine (seen above) is that the taste is always perfectly the same thanks to the high tech system known as Revolutionary Centrifusion technology which recognizes each capsule via the individualized barcodes. Whether you place a recyclable aluminum espresso or traditional coffee pod in the machine, your drink is precise and impeccable.  There are a multitude of flavors to chose from (including decaf, vanilla and hazelnut) for both espresso and coffee drinkers. L 's favorite is the Altisso espresso while I like the Caramelizio coffee. With both the espresso and the coffee, you get that delicious layer of crema that you see above. (Crema is not cream. It is often referred to as the "Guiness effect," the layer of foam that settles on top of a great glass of beer.) Pods typically range from $.80 to $1.10 which is more expensive than the Keurig.  There is a high capacity water tank and the machine heats up in less than 20 seconds.

I do love this machine. It's tried and true. However, there are a couple of negatives. While you can buy hundreds of various coffee, tea and cocoa Keurig K cups in the grocery store, Nespresso only sells their coffee and espresso capsules on their website and in their Nespresso shops (including the Nespresso shops in select Macy's). I have also found that the coffee isn't as hot as I would like it. (It's perfectly hot if you drink it black but add creamer and it's just warm.) When I asked the Nespresso representative about this, I was told that in Europe they don't prefer to drink their coffee as Americans so the settings are a couple of degrees cooler than you would expect. Neither of these issues are dealbreakers, however.

The Nespresso VeruoLine is a happy way to start your day ($249).
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