Today I’m sharing a few fancy espresso drink recipes and my experience visiting the San Francisco Nespresso Boutique for a coffee tasting. Enjoy!
I was quite surprised to get an invitation to the Nespresso Boutique in downtown San Francisco for a special coffee tasting with Nespresso’s head of coffee, Karsten Ranitzsch. Until then, I actually didn’t know much about Nespresso, or their coffees, so I thought it would be a fun way to learn a bit more.
The occasion for the tasting was to introduce their 2 new limited edition Ristrettos, the aromatic and smooth Tribute to Milano and the more intense Tribute to Palermo. Karsten talked about the intense research that went into developing each blend, which included drinking cup after cup of espresso in both Milano and Palermo. How do I get signed up for this sort of project? #dreamjob
It was fun to be talked through a coffee tasting. The first step is to look at the crema, or foam. The crema helps to release the aromas from the liquid coffee and is a sign of coffee quality. Next, you use a spoon to gently smell the coffee aromas. Slowly stir the coffee and lift it gently to your nose. Finally, taste the coffee. Take a large sip so the liquid coats your mouth and taste buds. Look for qualities such as acidity, bitterness, body (thickness) and aromas.
We also talked about how the aluminum capsules are specially created to capture the coffee at its freshest and prevent oxidation. One of my concerns about drinking coffee is the environmental impact of both the coffee beans and the packaging. Nespresso selects only the best beans – just the top 10-20% of the top 10% of the worlds coffees (to simplify that math, the top 1-2%). They collaborated with The Rainforest Alliance to create a sustainable program that making sure the coffee has a positive environmental and social impact for farmers. It was great to hear that the capsules are fully recyclable and that many of the Nespresso machines are made from recycled plastic.
Nespresso also just introduced a new Intenso Grand Cru coffee. It’s larger than a traditional espresso and is a first for Nespresso. It’s brewed in their new VertuoLine Evoluo machine. It’s super thick and rich I love that it’s the size of a regular coffee.
The San Francisco Nespresso boutique frequently has free coffee mixology classes so you can learn more too! The classes will restart after the holidays every other Tuesday. You can find out in advance when they are being held by calling Nespresso at 877-637-1650. Even if you don’t have a Nespresso machine, you should still check out the Nespresso boutique. The space is absolutely amazing – with amazing architecture and European decor. You can grab a coffee drink and a bite to eat and enjoy a bit of repose from San Francisco’s crazy downtown. Try the new Intenso coffee while you’re at it!
And in the spirit of A Side of Sweet being a mostly-recipe blog, I’ve shared a few fancy Nespresso drinks at the end of the blog. I hope you enjoy them!
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Aranciata Caffee Freddo Maple Cinnamon Coffee Nespresso Coffee Tasting & Fancy Coffee Recipes
The light, fruity notes of Elvazio meet the tangy citrus of orange in this chilled sweet treat.
- Yield: 1 1x
- Category: Drinks
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 capsule Nespresso Elvazio
- 2 tablespoon orange peel (approx. 3 pieces of sliced peel about 3/4 inch by 1 inch each)
- 2 teaspoons sugar or 1 1/2 oz sugar syrup
- 1/4 cup ice, plus more for glass (1/4 cup)
- 3 ounces blood orange soda
- Chilled slice of orange, for garnish
- 1 capsule Nespresso Melozio
- 4 ounces milk
- 1 ounce maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 capsule Nespresso Elvazio or Melozio
- 4 ounces milk
- 3 tablespoon dulce de leche caramel
- Place orange peel and sugar (or sugar syrup) into heat proof glass
- Brew Coffee directly over peel and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar
- Fill a large (20 oz) cocktail shaker with ice
- Quickly pour brewed Coffee mixture over ice into cocktail shaker
- Let sit for 30 seconds to chill
- With lid on shaker, shake mixture to chill completely
- Fill a cold VertuoLine Recipe Glass with fresh ice
- Pour the blood orange soda in glass
- Gently pour the strained Coffee mixture over a spoon, on the top of soda
- Garnish with orange slice
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon
- Whisk until all have combined
- Continue until brown sugar has dissolved and milk is heated through and foaming
- Pour into VertuoLine Recipe Glass
- Pour Coffee onto the milk mixture
- Note: For an even sweeter and gourmet taste, add 1 tbs brown sugar into the milk mixture
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and dulce de leche
- Whisk until dulce de leche has melted and combined with milk and milk is heated through and foaming.
- Pour milk mixture into VertuoLine Recipe Glass
- Brew the Coffee onto the mixture
Thanks to Nespresso for having me as a guest for this coffee tasting!