Nice article about Nespresso from the Guardian

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
User avatar

#1: Post by AssafL »

Nice coverage of Nespresso's market - from the beginning to the challenges they face now. Also surprisingly accurate (AFAIK - for a mainstream paper) in regards to the technical details the article raises. ... nvironment
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

Supporter ♡

#2: Post by baldheadracing »

"In many ways, the Nespresso pod is the microwave meal of coffee," said James Hoffman.
Article now available on Pocket (with no nagging, but with less pictures). Great read for anyone interested in the coffee industry. ... ket-newtab
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

User avatar
Team HB

#3: Post by another_jim »

Given the James Hoffman byline "of worst espresso being fantastic," calling the capsules microwave meals is somewhat dismissive. The best capsules make a work-a-day Italian single shot at about the same price of going to a bar and plunking down 0.80 Euro. In essence, the worst Nespresso shot is a real shot of espresso, albeit very average. That's not true for superautos or K-cups.

The problem they had in the US and many other countries is that their original capsules are single shots, and that's it ... and that doesn't really play here. I don't know much about their new system; but it looks like it aims to more completely cover the superauto and *$s menu. So if the new capsules are as solidly competent as the old ones, they are a long way from saturating the market and have a rosy future.

As far as the green gourmet stuff ... there's a very big difference between how people talk and how they eat and drink.
Jim Schulman
★ Helpful

User avatar

#4: Post by HB »

Interesting article, though I admit skimming most of it. This jumped out at me:
Wandering through the centre of Rome, Favre noticed a long queue snaking from a coffee bar near the Pantheon. Plenty of other cafes nearby used the same machines. What was it about this place, Favre wondered, that made it so special? Inside, the barista explained that other operators pumped the piston just once before releasing the coffee. But at Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè, the baristas pumped repeatedly. This meant they forced more water and air into the ground beans, which meant greater oxidisation, which drew out more flavour from the beans and produced more of a crema - the layer of foam formed on top of a good espresso.


The capsule design would also ensure greater aeration, mimicking the repeat oxidisations at the Sant'Eustachio. After the pod was inserted, a needle-like spout would pierce one end. Hot water would be pumped through this needle at high pressure. As the capsule became pressurised with water, the foil would be forced against a spiked plate, bursting it inwards, and out through the spout would run an espresso.
Repeated oxidations? It says "the baristas pumped repeatedly... This meant they forced more water and air into the ground beans, which meant greater oxidisation, which drew out more flavour". Are they referring to a Fellini Move or are baristas at Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè pressurizing/depressurizing multiple times?
Dan Kehn

User avatar
Team HB

#5: Post by TomC »

Where are they getting the "air" they're forcing into the coffee puck on a second pull? :roll:

Supporter ♡

#6: Post by baldheadracing »

My guess is repeated Fellini moves done quickly, and started with no pre-infusion, so no pauses when the lever is fully depressed. That repeated quick pumping could give the impression of more air, but I suspect what might be more important is more fluid in the cup - so the customers are getting "more coffee" for their Euro.

As for 'oxidation,' perhaps something got lost in the translation. Substitute "extraction" in that sentence and the sentence makes a bit more sense - if one assumes that more water is being pushed through the coffee.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann