Christmas has come early at the Flush offices and we’ve just taken delivery of a new coffee machine that could be the start of a ‘Perculation Revolution’.
Fact; For me there are few things in life more pleasurable than a great cup of coffee in the morning. Over the last 3 or 4 years Capsule coffee machines have become amazingly popular in the UK and we’ve now got all kinds of systems – Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, Lavazza to name just a few. I’ve pretty much tried them all and they each come with their own unique quirks and capsules.
Nespresso, the brand that really broke through with coffee capsules have just raised the bar with a brand new system just released in the UK called ‘Vertuo’. It’s a coffee machine for those who like just a bit more coffee in their cup.
Let me explain… over in Europe probably the most popular coffee drink at home or in cafés is an Espresso – a quick shot pick-me-up in the morning to start the day with a kick. It’s there, head back and then it’s gone. The original Nespresso machine was designed with this in mind, however for me and a lot of Brits one shot isn’t quite enough.
I like to really savour and enjoy a coffee and as a result I usually end up having two Nespresso cups (and two capsules) to satisfy my caffeine fix. So this is where the new ‘Vertuo’ comes in. Depending on the type of capsule and there are already 20 different blends available, you can now grab yourself a BIG cup of coffee.
The capsules are bigger and rounder and come in 4 measures, the original ‘Espresso’ to delight the purists and aficionados and another 3 larger sizes, a ‘Gran Lungo’ (150ml), a ‘Mug’(230ml) and my favourite the ’Alto’ that is a whopping 414ml. Add a dash of milk to the bottom of the cup and you’ve got awesome barista quality coffee with crema all the way up to the top of your favourite mug.
I’m still working my way through all the different ones, but each is rated for strength (like Spinal Tap’s amps they go up to 11) and the prices range from 37p per capsule up to 60p for the Alto ‘Intense’.
The range covers the full spectrum of coffee flavours from ‘Solelio’ a full washed Arabica blend from Kenya and the Narl’o highlands of Columbia that is a 2 on the scale, smooth and great for mornings, to Stormio, a Guatemalan Arabica bean blend that is spicy, woody and very strong (8). If you like a shot of something sweet there is also some really nice ‘flavoured’ capsules, Hazelino, Caramelizio and Vanizio.
The technology in a ‘Vertuo’ is very different to a regular Nespresso machine, so much so they’ve invented a new word to describe it – ‘Centrifusion’. Once the machine is loaded and you’ve pressed the button on the top, the capsule is spun around at 7,000 revolutions per minute (very fast) as water is injected into it.
While this is all going on a laser on the machine reads a bar code on the capsule in order for it to know five specific things; the size of the coffee, the right temperature, how fast the capsule should spin, the flow rate of the water and finally how long the water should stay in contact with the coffee.
It’s really quite clever. This produces a layer of crema on all of the different coffee flavours. This crema layer also helps to really get the wonderful aroma of the coffee out too.
The machine is easy to keep clean and the while the jury is still out on the eco-friendliness of using a capsule system, Nespresso are actively encouraging the recycling of their capsules with free recycling bags, drop off points and bookable collections. There are currently several machines available for around the £170-£200 mark with I’m sure more on the way.
I’m not sure how the barcode on the capsules will affect other manufacturers producing ‘Vertuo’ friendly capsules, but I do know there is plenty of discovering to be done with the current range that should keep me stimulated well into the New Year!
For more info visit www.nespresso.com/uk/en/vertuo-coffee-redefined