.: Exploring Coffee – Nespresso Capsules :.

You know by now I’m crazy about coffee right? (I wonder if baby will be as crazy for coffee as I am, to be discovered later) And although I love to explore new coffee shops, like I’ve been doing around my area (you can read all about it here), I also like to have coffee at home, mostly for breakfast with milk and after lunch as an espresso.

Even though I intend to buy a professional coffee machine at some stage, I use a lot my nespresso. And ever since the patent for the capsules have expired, there are a lot more brands offering their own variety. You can even buy re-usable capsules (such as sealpod), so you can have any coffee as you fancy.

I always have a good Ristretto or Roma at home,

as well as the Vanillo and Caramelito for my morning capuccino, or also to use for cakes / puddings.

But I also like to try a few other options.

What I have tried:

Nicola – Rossio

I always have these at home for my Portuguese friends. Nicola for me is a perfect coffee for milk. It has the flavour of a good “galao” (our latte). You can only get them in Portugal or maybe in some of the Portuguese shops spread in UK.

Cru Capsules

This was the first capsule service I’ve subscribed and I’ve been keeping it ever since. (you can read the review here). I love the fact that the capsules are really consistent and they have really good packaging, not to mention the coffee quality which is really good. They are also really good value for money!

Pact Coffee 

I knew Pact already for their coffee offer, so when I’ve discovered they were doing a kickstarter campaign to release their nespresso compatible capsuled I had to give it a go. Although I’ve really enjoy the quality of the coffee, it felt too inconsistent. Not all the capsules would work correctly and the taste would be a bit of surprise. When it worked it was good though. Also in terms of packaging, they come in an open box, meaning once you open it you have no way of ensuring all the capsules are sealed in a better environment. They are working on a second release of their capsules, after working on all the feedback of the first bunch, so I’m expecting to try them again soon.

Cafe Pod

We found this one in Sainsburys the other day (£2 a box!), so we had to give it a go. We’ve bought the “supercharger”, so he could have a strong punch in the morning. While baby is inside I’ve been avoiding stronger coffees, so the review is based on his feedback

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He says it’s really easy to drink and it doesn’t feel as strong as it claims to be (again take this with a pinch of salt, since we’re used to really bitter and punchy coffee). From the smell, it tastes strong indeed. But we won’t try this one again most likely. Will try their other capsules though.

Taylors

I had seen this one at supermarkets and at amazon, so was quite curious to try. I’ve selected the Brazil variety.

It came out quite creamy, but the cream didn’t last enough. Also after having the first try, I’ve noticed it felt quite a smooth coffee, so I’ve added a bit of milk to my espresso and the flavour was really enhanced. Sounds it’s a good option for my morning capuccino.

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The best relationship ever: Coffee & Dark Chocolate:

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Have bought 2 other brands of capsules, but haven’t tried them yet. Do you use nespresso? Any favourite capsules apart from the branded ones?

.: Nespresso Cafe :.

As he went to stock coffee for us the other day, he arrived home with a voucher for the new Nespresso Cafe. I had no idea it was already opened. I’m quite a fan of the nespresso concept. Even though I’m really craving to have a proper professional coffee machine at home:

Maybe something like this (Bean to cup) – where pretty much everything is automated

(Delonghi Bean to Cup link to amazon)

Or even one like this (as I still enjoy the manual process)

(Available from amazon here)

But indeed if you want convenience, the nespresso capsules are pretty good. The best part is that since the patent for the capsules expired, there are loads of brands out there offering capsules as well (although not as reliable as the nespresso ones).

I have one of this at home

Bundled with my beloved aeroccino

You can buy the coffee machines with the aeroccino included, but they tend to be a lot more expensive than if bought separately. Plus it makes a lot easier to have them separately to organise the kitchen space. I used my aeroccino at least once daily and it still works. Love it!

So yap, once we’ve discovered there was a new Cafe in town we had to try it. For example, our portuguese brand Delta, has this concept for more than 7 years now. The stores are really beautifully decorated (Delta Q)

So it was about time for Nespresso to pick up the boat as well. Similar to the concept in Portugal. Nespresso Cafe is conveniently located near St Pauls, which makes it a perfect escape over lunch in the city (not so great for the weekend), but hopefully this will be just the first if many cafes. The store is really well decorated (it’s Nespresso, so what else?) They also have some sandwiches in case you want something more consistent to go with your coffee.

Photo from official website

We’ve tried the coffee creations. He had the Wake up wonder (Coffee, Muesli and Caramel)

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Really tasty and perfect for the any time of the day to be honest!

I went for the Chocolate Dream (which is ultimately an affogato). I couldn’t resist chocolate. (Ristretto + ice cream and cream on top), I would remove the cream and leave it as a classic affogato, but that’s just me.

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He couldn’t resist to try the sweet temptations as well. He went for the Ricotta blueberry cheesecake. 13932803_10208041957701532_2655497728167855411_n

I went for the brownie. But hold on that this wasn’t a regular brownie, it was actually an avocado one (so a healthier option). There’s a similar recipe here. It was really creamy and I could still feel the avocado flavour, so really enjoyed it.

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It’s not a cheap option, but the prices are not that far from what you would get in a starbucks and you get better flavours. The plus side is that you can even stock up on your coffee, as you have the nespresso cubes where you can buy your favourite capsules (card only, apparently it doesn’t accept cash).

So overall really enjoyed my visit. Would feel bad to pay £1.90 for a ristretto though, knowing it’s £0.27 a capsule at home 🙂

.: Exploring Coffee – CRU capsules :.

For those of you that follow me for a while you will know I’m crazy for coffee. I would say coffee is one of the things I crave the most, more than spaghetti (hum… though choice here) or more than Gin tonics.

And I don’t crave coffee because of the caffeine – actually I wish coffee would work in that sense for me – but it’s really about the smell and the flavour.

Legend says when I was very very small I was already craving for coffee, but was only allowed to taste a drop of it with milk. That’s me right there and my great-grandad (ohhh I miss you!)

Moreover, I grew up in a coffee culture, and by coffee I mean Italian way.

This is coffee for me (I love coffee in a glass or in a ceramic cup)

This is black tea (aka americano)

My favourite coffee (espresso) will be very short, creamy, strong and tasty and no sugar or milk added. In UK, I mostly drink cappuccinos because I don’t like the flavour and that’s the option with less milk or a macchiatto.

Did you know that: in some parts of Portugal we order coffee by asking for a cimbalino, which comes from the first modern coffee machines Cimbali?

My favourite coffee brand is the Delta (portuguese)

Love the morning coffee with Nicola (which also produce nespresso compatible capsules)

Best international brand for me is illy’s (and has nothing to do with my name, well…. after all I have 2 coffee names: Lilly & Costa)

The best coffee I had in UK so far (or let’s say the first) was at Boston Tea Party in Bristol, in London was probably Flat White . I’m actually quite happy to notice that the coffee culture in UK is changing and it’s no longer just about starbucks or terrible water from the office machines (the worst coffee I ever had was in the office in Watford, although the american airlines coffee even beats that!). So I have lots to explore. I’ll be doing dedicated sections in the blog about coffee places.

This time, however, want to go back to drink coffee at home. As per above, one of the first things I bought in UK was my Nespresso machine and the lovely aeroccino.

I’ve been a fan of the concept since it started. I was actually quite surprised that there were no boutique stores in UK when I moved (whereas in Portugal there are loads of them). Now there are a few in London. It’s so simple and convenient! Although what I find is that I miss the chance to explore all the different coffees available if you had a more traditional machine. But even that is changing! There are more varieties available now. In Portugal for instance, even the supermarkets have their own brands and machines. In UK there are small companies entering this market as well.

One of them is CRU. I don’t really remember how I found them, probably through advertisement on facebook. But I remember I really loved the concept so I’ve applied for the demo box which arrived a few weeks back. Loved it! Really tasty coffee! Today I just received my first order.

Love the message on the box “we might not be quite attractive as George, but we definitely taste better“. Brilliant!

The capsules are 100% recyclable. The coffee itself is a good compost

Obviously, couldn’t wait to prepare morning coffee 🙂

As someone said, life is too short for bad coffee and I couldn’t agree more!

How do you like your coffee? What’s the best one you ever had?