Over the last week I mostly took a break from cafes and instead tried out Nespresso. I've used their system before and thought it pretty good, but I've tasted a lot of very good coffee since then and I wanted to see how Nespresso would compare.
I'm sure many readers are already familiar with the Nespresso concept: Nestlé produce a range of coffee machines that accept only proprietary coffee-capsules ("pods"). [In Dublin you can buy these in Brown Thomas on Grafton Street.] The pods come in about sixteen varieties plus occasional specials. Whereas traditionally coffee-making could be quite a skill - with plenty of room for error and mess - the Nespresso machines are highly automated. Pod goes in, coffee comes out. Easy.
"A superior result ... comparable with an espresso prepared by the most skilled Barista", says Nespresso. Sorry, Nespresso, but a skilled barista most certainly can product a coffee far superior to a Nespresso-pod coffee.
To be fair to Nespresso, the coffee their pods and machines produce is pretty good. It's as good as some cafes can offer, better than others, very consistent, and of course quite a bit cheaper. It's much better than instant coffee (although also more expensive). There's also the fun of accessories: as well as a wide range of machines there's a good selection of cups, saucers, and biscotti.
But "exceptional coffee" comparable to coffee from the best freshly-ground beans? Not even close.
Next: Newly-opened cafe, Fitzroy & Flinders. Based in Rathmines this cafe will use coffee provided by Dodo & Badger.
Other coffee-related posts.