Nespresso C190 – Red Dot Espresso Perfection

March 15 2010 - 8:09 PM

C190_2 I have to say about a month ago I hated coffee pods. Look back at my posting. I roast beans in a hot air popcorn popper. I enjoy my french press. I have written about burr grinders. I don't particularly like my drip machine but I (obviously?) love coffee. Nevertheless I have tried capsule coffee in offices and meeting rooms and have never given it thought past that. Occasionally on my way back from Ginza, the Japanese restaurant, I walk through Bloomingdale's. There  I get to check out the newfangled and expensive gadgetry and doodads.

I was perusing the espresso machines, one gadget I don't have, and couldn't help but notice the fancy Nespresso espresso bar setup. Not being one to turn down a free shot I began a habit of getting an Americano after ramen. I was surprised. The Nespresso pod system is a very colorful one. I was under the wrong impression that those different colors were different flavored coffees. They are simply a variety of different strengths and blends of coffee. Bonus for me. My preference is rather to have tea than flavored coffee. The next plus was that I never got a bad shot. In fact, I never got anything but a perfect shot. Beautiful crema, fresh flavor. I had no complaints except that the accumulation of used pods is a fast way to a larger landfill. The final straw that put me into a buy now mode was that the pods were aluminum, not plastic. Those Swiss.

Which one to buy?

One drawback is that the units are very expensive. If I were to get one I really wanted the steamer. Several years of working in a coffee shop I guess… or maybe that I wanted hot foam and not the dry frothed milk. Then again it could be holding on to tradition now that I have done away with grinding, measuring, tamping, etc. Nespresso has also simplified dosing. Most of the machines, I believe all of the current machines, are push button. You get a single shot and a 'lungo' which is a long pour drip alternative. Certain older machines let you manually start and stop the pour. That's really all the control I need. So I went with a C190.

Crema That control, albeit limited, is another plus in my eyes. It lets me mess with a stronger Americano. Instead of my Starbucks order being a grande Americano in a tall cup with lots of room… I just long pour a lungo. Coffee vocabulary is really ridiculous. I suppose the new version, the D290, would let me simply press the button again but I kind of liked the yellow color and the ball-lever top… and the cowls are more rounded on the old one too.

So far we have these pluses – 1) Great Variety of coffee 2) Recyclable 3) long pour solution with insane crema 4) Perfect shots 5) Less waste – I frequently toss grounds, old coffee, etc.

Am I rationalizing? Maybe. The machine is beautiful. It won the Red Dot award which is great but I like it because it looks like my Vespa. But I really love it because it makes AWESOME coffee.

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