Friday, November 30, 2007

My Adored Nespresso Machine

No, this isn't ebay. (Although, click here if you're interested in looking at what ebay sellers have in the Nespresso D300.) Since I had to make some espresso for my coffeecake a day or so ago, I thought you might want to know what I use. This is a very prized "baby" in my kitchen. I've had espresso machines over the years. At least 20 years ago I even saved up for a long time to buy one of the fancy Pavonis from Italy. It was a fortune, back then, nearly $500 for a hand-pull machine. I used it for several years, but it required a trip to a very inconvenient Italian type espresso machine repair store about once every 2 years for new gaskets (expensive) and I found it very messy to use. The coffee also wasn't reliably the same. I tried measuring each time, tamping just so, pulling the handle down slower, faster, etc. Nothing seemed to produce a reliably similar cup of espresso. I kind of stopped using it.

My friend Cherrie introduced me to the Nespresso. Soon after buying it, she made me a cup. Oh. My. Goodness. I was in love. I vowed to buy one, using one of my 10% off coupons from Sur la Table. These machines are pricey, so 10% off was enough to make it worthwhile (you get coupons when you attend classes there). You can buy them directly from the company, or they are available in some high-end cookware retail stores. They don't manufacture this model anymore - they have a different one with a newer, sexier shape. You can buy used, but reconditioned D300's (with warranty) for about $300 (I paid $400 new).

I've had mine, now, for about 3 years. Maybe 4. And it gets used every single day. It's so very easy to make a good always-the-same espresso each time. This machine does use pods (all their models use the same coffee pods). They're small light weight foil things, carefully constructed so the pod is pierced exactly the same each time. I always thought that buying a machine that required me to have coffee pods shipped to me would be such a big waste. Expensive. A nuisance to do. But I'm a total convert since I bought the Nespresso. The pods were about $.50 apiece (in sleeves of 10 each), but they just raised prices, so they're likely more like $.60 each. When I order them, I order a big batch of them. Cherrie and I order them together, too. Still a bargain compared to Starbucks or Peet's.
One of the other features of this machine - other than the precision in which it's made - it's a simple press of a button to make an espresso size or a somewhat larger 1/2 cup - is the fact that the Nespresso gives any cup it makes a lovely head of foam. Without using milk and the steamer nozzle. So I don't have to dirty up my steamer pot to make a latte. I just heat up the cream in the Bodum cup in my microwave, stick it under the Nespresso spout and press the button. How easy is that? This machine is a real workhorse, and has a very important place in my kitchen.

L-R: the Bodum thermal cup that's my go-to cup every morning, because it keeps the espresso hot longer (it's filled with about a tablespoon of cream); espresso streaming in; a cute little espresso cup I use sometimes; the coffee pods.

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