Finding Nespresso Necessary

29 Mar

My weeks of late, have looked a bit like this: get up, write, find time to eat, write more, dash to meetings and a whisky event before a quick sleep and then a repetition of the cycle. Last week I tried 38 whiskies (I write about the stuff; I’m not an alcoholic). I drank lots of water in between, but it was a bit epic.

Now, do not get me wrong – I am not complaining in the least. Every once in a while the boy and I even get a chance to indulge in an episode or two of The Wire (to which we are addicted). I love it (the schedule, and The Wire, that is) and would have it no other way. But, after the first week of this, not only was I developing black circles around my eyes, but a greater need for caffeine.

Nespresso pods sit, waiting to be devoured by me, myself and I.

So, when the team at Nespresso mentioned to me they were launching a new espresso, well, I was down there as fast as my feet would march me (I’ve also taken to walking most places since the weather has improved – this is partially due to the fact I had about as much exercise this winter as a hibernating bear).

And what was the launch all about?

Well, every so often the development team brings out a new flavour of espresso. This time around, it is featuring Naora, made from Colombian Castillo Arabica beans.

Now, I’m sure you’re just thinking: so what? A new coffee pod?

Well, what was interesting about this blend was this: the new coffee has been made using (what Nespresso says) is a first-time technique. Working with the Federation of Colombian Coffee growers and inspired by wine-making techniques, the coffee cherries have been left to grow for as long as possible on the branch. These are then picked and the “late-harvest” bean is extracted to be dried for coffee production.

Company coffee expert, Jonathon Sims, said the decision to try out this experiment was based around the fact customers’ palates are changing.

“People want to try different flavours,” he told me, while I nodded and chugged down as much espresso as seemed polite in the company of others.So, what did I think of Naora? Well, I’ll be honest – it wasn’t my favourite. The stuff I chugged was mostly the Kazaar, another special edition release. I found Naora to be extremely acidic on its own, despite Nespresso only categorising it as having a “juicy acidity”. There is a slight sweetness and light bitterness, so it will appeal to those who don’t love really bitter beans. But, for me, it wasn’t a winner.

The new Pixie, featuring side panels made from recycled capsules.

What was intriguing though, was just how much effort goes into making those little coffee pods. Johnathon told me that “much how a master chef comes up with things for the coming season, we’re thinking two years ahead.”

As such, if you own a Nespresso machine, Naora is worth trying just to experience the sheer effort that went into the planning and experimentation around leaving the coffee cherries on the tree until the last possible minute.

And as for me, I’ll be the one you see standing outside of the company’s new capsule-crazy, modern-art styled flagship store, opening on Regent Street in July. I’ve heard there is a tasting counter and I might just make it my “go-to” stop in between meetings.

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