Friday, 14 January 2011

Coffee heaven

I'm starting to develop quite a habit of buying new electrical appliances in the Christmas/New Year period (during the sales, of course). My latest, picked up just this afternoon, is a new Nespresso Coffee machine.

I've been quite dismissive of capsule coffee machines in the past: there is still a sizable part of me that feels guilty about all the packaging, plus there's no getting away from the higher running cost. However, after witnessing one of these machines in action, and tasting the coffee that comes out of them, I've decided the advantages outweigh the negatives.

The most important thing, obviously, is the taste of the coffee. Nespresso has 16 different capsules to choose from (samples of all provided on purchase) so now I just have to drink my way through these and decide which ones I like best. The quality of the coffee is excellent; but just as one might prefer one cafe brand to another, I expect it to be the same with these.

Significantly, the quality of the coffee from the automatic machine is substantially higher than I could achieve with a manual machine. I'm no barista, not at all. The way the capsules work ensure no burnt coffee, or tamping variations. And the milk heats/froths to precisely the correct temperature, so there are no too-cold or too-hot coffees. The machine takes out all the user-error, and delivers a technically perfect coffee.

Another major factor, and probably the one that tipped me over the edge, is the 'no mess' factor. I hate cleaning up coffee grounds. Hate it, hate it, hate it. For this reason, I avoid using plungers, stove-top cafetieres, percolators (unless there's a crowd). Yes, I would honestly rather drink instant coffee than deal with the mess. Sad.

But with the Nespresso machine, there's no mess! The pods empty into a container that is easily emptied (and can apparently be recycled/composted), and the milk frothing device is easily cleaned. I know I will actually use this machine on a daily basis, rather than have it sitting dormant on my benchtop for over a year (as happened with the last manual coffee machine I had). An added bonus is its teeny-weeny footprint. So compact.

This will not replace my love of heading off to a cafe with friends. But it will hopefully counteract my tendency to head to a cafe for a coffee (and whatever else I might find there) when I should be writing, or doing some other form of work, instead. Not that I intend to entirely give up taking me and baby computer off to a cafe for a few hours' indulgence. . .

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