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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Nespresso  
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acctingguy
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Joined: 11 Feb 2011
Posts: 42
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 2:56pm
Subject: Nespresso
 

I'm a starbucks mocha drinker.

Has one here tried this machine and can you comment on how close it tastes in comparrison to a Starbucks mocha?

Link doesn't work, but its the Nespresso Citiz

Thanks
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,961
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 4:20pm
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

Umm...I'll go out on a limb here and say that most/all of the "regulars" here on CG will have the same difficulty as me in answering your question. The reasons for this include our general dislike of just about every coffe based drink at *$$...especially those built on an espresso foundation, and also our tendency to bypass most any espresso-based drink with flavorings, syrups and even chocolate.  Having said that, I personally consider the Nespresso made drinks to be superior to *$$ in general, though I didn't know they came with the option of mocha.  To me, the espresso at *$$ is so over-roasted and ashen tasting that no amount of sugar or chocolate can mask it enough for me to find it drinkable. This wasn't the case several years ago, but somewhere along my journey into good homemade espresso I developed a palate that precludes me going to *$$. I have close friends who own a Nespresso and find I can usually drink a cappuccino at their house. I hope that this response is somewhat useful to you.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cuznvin
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Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 7:56pm
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

emradguy Said:

Umm...I'll go out on a limb here and say that most/all of the "regulars" here on CG will have the same difficulty as me in answering your question. The reasons for this include our general dislike of just about every coffe based drink at *$$...especially those built on an espresso foundation, and also our tendency to bypass most any espresso-based drink with flavorings, syrups and even chocolate.  Having said that, I personally consider the Nespresso made drinks to be superior to *$$ in general, though I didn't know they came with the option of mocha.  To me, the espresso at *$$ is so over-roasted and ashen tasting that no amount of sugar or chocolate can mask it enough for me to find it drinkable. This wasn't the case several years ago, but somewhere along my journey into good homemade espresso I developed a palate that precludes me going to *$$. I have close friends who own a Nespresso and find I can usually drink a cappuccino at their house. I hope that this response is somewhat useful to you.

Posted May 20, 2013 link

I have a nespresso. There isnt a pod that makes a mocha.. I dont find the shots thick or syrupy...
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 653
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 8:36pm
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

There is a Williams Sonoma near where I live and they were demoing one of these nespresso-style capsule machines.

I asked them to make me a cappuccino and it was drinkable. The coffee wasn't very strong and I really wasn't impressed.
All the fuss and mess the demonstrator had to go through to make a cappuccino didn't seem worth the bother to me.

Compared to a Starbucks Mocha? Well, I really can't say. I don't like loading my drinks down with anything but milk. I only
add things if I find there is a flaw in the way the coffee is prepared. (I don't mind adding cream and sugar to drip coffee.)

Nespresso machines have one very serious drawback in comparison to grinding your own coffee. It's bloody expensive!
Each capsule has about 5.5 grams of coffee according to the Wikipedia article on them. The average cost per capsule is
works out to approximately 50 cents. That means for 1 Kilogram of coffee, you'll spend about $90. Not to mention the sheer
amount of non-compostable waste they generate.

In comparison, for "Gourmet" coffee, I typically spend about roughly $16/kilogram. Then again, I typically make shots with
about 19 grams of coffee, so I do get less cups, but they taste better and I can stretch out a Kilogram over the span of a month.

It has also been my own personal experience that once the patents run out, quality control goes into the toilet if you ever
consider buying capsules from other vendors to save money. I switched from K-Cups because one generic store brand was
actually using instant coffee in the K-cups!

The only upside to buying capsule machines is convenience. If you want something quick and fast and you just want your
caffeine kick but you don't care much about flavor, then those machines are perfect for that purpose.

Looking at one of the local appliance retailers, Nespresso machines range from $130 all the way up to $300.

Entry level pressurized portafilter espresso machine territory starts in at the $200 mark and goes up from there to about double that.

I'd say that since Starbucks uses Super-Automatics, one of those cheap pressurized portafilter machines used with a coffee grinder
would produce a shot which probably would be on par with them and would be a lot cheaper too.

If you want "On Par", that's your range. If you want "Better than", you would have to go to a machine which uses unpressurized portafilters,
or modify a cheaper machines pressurized portafilter into an unpressurized one.

Good luck!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 3:49am
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

hello,

As Starbucks quality is so low to start with is not a very high bar to exceed.

You will have to do a little bit of work,  such as with the semi automatic machine.

When people come asking in comparing to Starbucks quality, we usually suspect that they are fairly new to espresso and high end coffee. Starbucks tends to over roast their coffee giving it a very strong roast flavor and very little coffee flavor. That is why they add so much garbage to their drinks, so people will be able to drink it. More of a milkshake or a coffee shake if you will. Exactly what are you looking for?

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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scanfield
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Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 6:28am
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

A lot of people here have crossed the line from coffee geek to coffee snob.

My advice to people who go to Starbucks is to order either a pour over or press pot of something other than their Pikes or Espresso beans. That's basically what got me looking for more from my coffee - a helpful barista who recommended their Kenya coffee in a press pot. I ordered that and few minutes later had the best coffee I ever had up to that point.

To get back on topic, I'm sure you could make a mocha with a Nespresso. If you google "nespresso mocha", you get quite a few hits that look interesting. If you buy the machine from a store with a liberal return policy (like Williams-Sonoma), you can try it and return it if you don't like it.

The limitations of Nespresso-type machines are well known. If you are ok with the costs and quality, go for it.
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
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Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 7:50am
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

I have a Nespresso Citiz & Milk and use it often with some caveats.  It won't make a thick mocha drink like you mention, but here are some ideas:

  1.  Remember that this isn't true espresso like a real machine can make, but it can work.

  2.  Get the self refill pods from EMOHOME 4th Gen.  I use these pods exclusively for my nespresso.  You'll have better coffee at far less cost.

  3.  Find some freshly roasted coffee, preferably lighter roast, grind it to an espresso grind and take it home.  Nespresso doesn't care that much about freshness of your grind.   It's a pressurized portafilter, and it's just not that picky in my experience.  The biggest problem with grinding it outside is trusting someone elses grinder.  I had to buy a burr grinder eventually, and bought one that would work for real espresso machines too: Baratza Vario.

  4.  Experiment with filling those pods.  Depending on the grind you might want more packing or less.  I dump my ground coffee into a small, plastic, square tub; scoop up coffee into the pod and press against the side wall so that the coffee just sticks enough to mound slightly; sweep the top with a popsicle stick and cap it.  Run a few pods though as a test to make sure it will work.  Note of warning, coffee expands after grinding and if you pack freshly ground coffee to the right level 2 days later it will be too tight and choke the machine - just my experience.
    Cleaning is another issue with pods, but it's not that hard either.  I use a popsicle stick with a narrowed edge to pop the tops and scoop the coffee into a bowl.  Then wash the pods in one big pot with hot soapy water and a toothbrush.  Takes me 15 minutes to empty and clean 30 pods at one time.  Dry completely before filling with coffee!

  5.  If a pod chokes the machine just eject it and try another.  Retrying the same pod over and over will heat the plastic to the point where pressure can cave it in.  I did that, and was able to fix my pod with a heat gun and other pods for shaping.

  6.  RE-CALIBRATE THAT NESPRESSO.  I don't know why they put so much 'espresso' out by default, but it will taste that much better if you calibrate your single button to be ~25ml.  Believe me, it seems like a little, but there's alot of flavor there.

  7.  Milk is very nice to have, and this frother does an okay job.  If you want hot chocolate then heat up the milk with a latte wisk, once heated drop in some finely broken or grated chocolate.  Give it a minute to soften and then run the milk heater again.  Works pretty well, and I've used it for mocha when experimenting.  If you want a true cocoa mocha then you'll have to experiment from there.  It likely won't get thick like a barista might make though.

Now if you get to this level of using and working the machine you'll have enjoyable coffee pods that are pretty good for an 'espresso like' product.  It's not that bad, and I like it as much as a french press.

If you're like me then it won't stop there and you'll eventually end up moving towards an espresso machine.

If you are considering buying the Nespresso pods, but care about the costs of your machine then don't do it.  Pre-filled pods are very expensive, and in no time at all you'll be adding your nespresso to the legion that abound on craigslist.  Most of those people didn't realize the cost of their pod habits, and when they did they just gave up on the machine.  I purchased the first mega pod bundle from Nespresso and nothing else since - mine is cheaper and I like my favorite blends better than theirs.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 9:19am
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

scanfield Said:

A lot of people here have crossed the line from coffee geek to coffee snob.

Posted May 21, 2013 link

Was that in reference to my statement that Starbucks is a low bar quality wise to jump over?
This is just the fact, once they DID have high quality and high standards but they long ago crossed over into the too big to be able to keep those standards and they over roast ALL their coffee, even the BLOND which is supposed to be the light roast coffee, is way over roasted and burnt. I NEVER order an espresso if I am forced in the door of a Starbucks, even the brewed coffee is bad be it drip or whatever.

The fact is that they are a low bar quality wise and it is very easy to best them with only a little care, sorry if you think this makes me a snob, I just know what I like and what I don't like and honestly, I choose AM/PM or 7/11 if I need coffee out on the road, the quality is higher and the price is much less but then,

YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

calblacksmith Said:

Was that in reference to my statement that Starbucks is a low bar quality wise to jump over?

Posted May 21, 2013 link

Partially. The other part was your claim that they add garbage to their drinks so people will be able to drink them. I think that's a little bit harsh.

I always read what you write because you are a big contributor here and I've learned a lot from you. This is one of those rare times I don't agree with your view.

I'm not a huge Starbucks fan but I have had some very good coffee there. The store near me has a Clover machine (or at least they did last time I was there) and it's definitely worth trying, IMHO. I bet you'd like it even more than fresh 7-11. :)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue May 21, 2013, 2:17pm
Subject: Re: Nespresso
 

Harsh or not, the truth is the truth, I have had their best and again, honestly, 7-11 is better and better priced for what you get.

Thank you for reading my posts, I am however, just another person here, no better or worse than anyone else. I do have my own views and while for most of the time I take a very neutral position, I just can not endorse Starbucks, or their products. Perhaps 8 or so years ago, I did think more highly of them, I suspect that the coffee there was better than it is now but I can say for sure, since then I have learned a LOT about coffee, my likes, dislikes, how it is grown, picked, processed, stored, transported, roasted and shipped as well as being ground and brewed. My taste has grown also so while it is possible that 8 years ago, they had better coffee, I know for sure, I have grown.

If growing and becoming more informed about the product and how it is prepared makes you a snob then I guess I am one and I can say for sure, I do not ever want to go back to the starting point.

YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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