If you’re a coffee fan like me, you might have heard of a new single-serve coffee maker, released earlier this year – the Nespresso VertuoLine. I’ve tried a couple of other single-serve machines over the past few years -both at home and in various hotels and haven’t found one I really was keen on – mostly the coffee was average, nothing that special. Since we already have an espresso maker I really like at home (that I can whip up our morning coffees with pretty quickly, and froth milk too), a new machine would have to be something really special to make me replace our trusty Cuisinart.
I’ve been testing the VertuoLine machine for a couple of months now and here’s what I think.
Nespresso VertuoLine – the pros:
1. The coffee is excellent. Hands down the best single-serve coffee I have tasted. Café quality.
2. It looks sleek and stylish.
3. It doesn’t take up much room on the countertop (for someone with hardly any counter space, this is important!).
4. It’s easy to operate. One touch to make a coffee – the capsules have bar codes which the machine reads so it knows whether to deliver a long shot or an espresso.
5. It’s fast. It doesn’t take long to heat up so you don’t have to wait long for a coffee (this said, this is also one of the cons – see below)
6. The price of the coffee is really reasonable. A coffee works out to 95c for the 8oz (mug) size or 75c for the espresso size. No question it’s cheaper to drink coffee this way than to buy it at a coffee shop. For an office this wold be a great machine.
Nespresso VertuoLine – the cons:
1. The coffee doesn’t seem *quite* hot enough for some people who have tried this at our house (it’s ok for me). We’ve been zapping mugs and cups in the microwave to get them a little hotter. Not ideal. Although reading around online, it seems there might be some inconsistencies between machines (i.e. some brew hotter than others).
2. To make a latte or cappuccino, you have to buy a separate Aeroccino milk frother ($99) which apparently must be washed after each use. It’s also something *else* to keep on the countertop. (this being said, I’ve been drinking the coffee with just a splash of milk or cream and because the coffee is so good on its own, I’ve been enjoying it this way. I do like my morning latte though.)
3. The capsules… surely that can’t be good for the environment?
What do I do with the VertuoLine capsules when they are used?
Actually – Nespresso capsules are recyclable (the metal capsules are melted down and turned into new aluminum products and residual coffee is separated and sent to an industrial composting facility) and can be dropped off at any Nespresso Boutique.
That’s great but since there are not a lot of the stores in Toronto and I don’t drive, carting around used coffee capsules on public transport isn’t exactly ideal. But since the capsules are recycled through third party TerraCycle, they can also be shipped to TerraCycle (free shipping). Participation in the Nespresso Capsule Brigade is completely free, there are no fees and all shipping is covered by the program. Once you have joined the Nespresso Capsule Brigade simply:
- Collect enough Nespresso capsules to fill up a box or bag.
- Download a pre-paid shipping label from terracycle.ca.
- Ship the box to TerraCycle by affixing the pre-paid postage label and dropping it off at a UPS location
I’ve yet to try this (again, there are no UPS locations near where I live in walking distance but there is one close to work – so I’d still have to cart the capsules on the subway) but it’s definitely made as easy as possible for people who want to recycle. I hope people will go to the extra effort and not just throw the capsules in the garbage.
Overall, I’m impressed with the coffee from this machine – it might just join me at work
Here’s Neil’s impressions: “I was pleasantly surprised by the coffee – the few I’ve had, have been flavourful – if lukewarm. I’d heard many negative things about Nespresso coffee taste prior to this. As for the pods…well, I just cannot get used to the idea of all the various machines with the metal and plastic pods. Sure, it’s convenient beyond belief. But despite the recyclable claim, the fact is I would bet most are not in fact recycled. So I think one big trade-off of all these wonderful single-serve coffee machines is you have to accept that you are drinking some of the most environmentally-unfriendly morning javas out there.”
A (Canadian) Nespresso VertuoLine Giveaway!
How to enter:
There are 3 ways to enter (maximum of three entries per person for the duration of the contest).
1. Leave me a comment on this post telling me why you’d like to win a VertuoLine machine.
2. Visit the Nespresso website and check out the range of coffee available for the VertuoLine machine then come back to leave me a second comment telling me what coffee you’d like to try and why.
3. Tweet the following message: Win a @Nespresso #VertuoLine from @eatlivtravwrite (Canada only). Details: http://bit.ly/1kL1TL1
then come back to leave a third comment letting me know you did.
Eligibility and contest rules:
- Open to Canadian residents
- No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
- Winner will be chosen randomly (using www.random.org) from all qualified entries on May 10th 2014 after 6pm EST.
- Winner will be notified via email Sunday May 11th 2014.
- The prize consists of of one Nespresso VertuoLine coffee machine.
Disclosure: I received a Nespresso VertuoLine machine for review purposes. I was not required, nor was I further compensated for doing so.
Let’s ALL get kids excited about food on May 16th 2014 – Food Revolution Day! Check out all the details on how you can participate here.