Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nespresso 2014 Variations Dessert Collection

I love coffee, and ever since I got used to waking up with a Nespresso machine in my room, I realized that I couldn't really live without one. 

This Nespresso machine, in my sea-side Durban hotel room,
set the coffee standard for me in terms of quality and convenience. 
Imagine, all I had to do when I woke up was pop in a capsule,
press a button and I could enjoy great coffee together with the view.

When I got back to Singapore, it was a given. I had to buy my own Nespresso machine. In fact, I settled for the same model because it was the cheapest at that time, and because it was the Great Singapore Sale, they even through in a SG$50 coupon which could be used to buy capsules. 

My favorite blends were leaning towards the more intense ones, with Roma, Arpeggio or Livanto. But when the limited edition flavors came out towards the holidays, I was so excited to tried them all.
My first taste of Limited Edition Variation flavors in 2011.
My favorite ones were Cherry and Dark Chocolate.
Since I used to travel so much for work, it was the first time I realized that if you don't hoard enough of your favorite ones, they run out of stock, and you won't be able to order them again.

So I bought a lot of the lighter Limited Ed Naora blend in 2012.
2012 Variations included Coconut, Macadamia Nut and Hazelnut.
Macadamia Nut was my favorite in this batch.
Last year, Nespresso introduced the Cioccoroso as part of the Variations
range (Caramelito, Ciocattino, Vanilio) which became part of the permanent
Cioccoroso was so good... just imagine rich chocolate notes mixed with the taste of raspberries! Unfortunately, I got quite confused with the other variations being part of the permanent collection, so I hoarded both the Caramelito and the Cioccoroso instead of focusing just on the limited edition one, so I was quite disappointed to find it gone in one of my attempts to buy more.

This year, I asked my friend to buy me the Limited Edition Cubania to try,
really high intensity, but so good as a latte, that I asked my aunt to buy
me a lot from London to hoard, especially since it was running out in Asia.

Yes. That's how coffee obsessive I am. So back to the main topic of this post.
When I got the email that Nespresso's 2014 Variations include
Apple Crumble, Chocolate Mint and Hazelnut Dessert, I literally could not
sleep until I figured out how I can get my hands on them to try.

I tried several friends vacationing in Australia and Hong Kong, but I kept catching them too late. Believe me when I say I was so frustrated! Hahaha, then I figured out my aunt would be in Hong Kong for a weekend, so I asked her to buy me a sleeve of each flavor so I could try it (and she was nice enough to go out of her way to buy some for me and my friends). Then the next thing I did was I convinced my sister to change our Macau itinerary so I could go to Hong Kong for a day... you got it... so I could buy more of my favorites!
I even insisted on picking up my coffee the day after it arrived, and I opened
it on the spot so I could try all flavors - even while I was in my Aunt's house.

Nespresso 2014 Variations Review
Methodology wise, we made an espresso for each variations variant.
Then we smelled it, then we tried it black, then we tried it as a latte with milk and sugar.

Here's my verdict:

1. Apple Crumble
This is the variant I was most excited to try, because who can say no to warm freshly baked apple anything, and I couldn't wait to see how that translates to coffee.
Smell: 0/1 STARS
A bit of a turn off. My aunt said she smelled some apple-pie notes, but to me, I thought it smelled like a Chinese Restaurant... and the worse part of eating in a Chinese Restaurant for me is smelling like one after the meal.
Black: 1/2 STARS
It was okay, but still predominantly tasted the way it smelled. So I would still prefer the normal flavors over this.
Latte: 1.5/2 STARS
I'd say the taste improved a lot after you add cold milk and sugar but because I would still prefer the normal flavors over this, I only give it 1 star.
I didn't want to waste my capsules, so I decided to make a proper
Apple Crumble Cappuccino, so I even brought out my milk frother,
and it made a world of difference.
I guess when you make it a proper cappuccino with warm-frothy milk, it loses the Chinese Restaurant smell, then you get to taste the apple crumple notes when you drink it. However, because it's a hassle to bring out my milk frother, I am only adding half a star to my original rating. 
Apple Crumble Total: 2.5/5 Stars

2. Chocolate Mint
You'll love this variant if you love Andes Mints, or after dinner mints.
Smell: 1/1 STARS
After you press the button, you can immediately smell how you imagine Chocolate Mint to smell.
Black: 1.5/2 STARS
It was good black, but it smelled better than it tasted.
Latte: 2/2 STARS
It tasted so much better after we added cold milk and sugar.
Chocolate Mint Total: 4.5/5 Stars

3. Hazelnut Dessert
This came as the biggest surprise to me. I thought I would prefer this the least, not because of anything, but because I was really in love with the idea of apple crumble coffee and drinking my Andes mints.
Smell: 1/1 STARS
After you press the button, you can immediately smell a really rich dessert in coffee form.
Black: 2/2 STARS
It was good black, and it tasted the best among the three variations, and it tastes better than some of my usual favorites.
Latte: 2/2 STARS
Again, with cold milk and sugar, it tasted the best. It was like drinking dessert in coffee form.
Chocolate Mint Total: 5/5 Stars

You can buy a sampler box with one sleeve each of the 2014 Variations,
or you can buy it per sleeve since the price is the same.
No such thing as Buy More Save More for Nespresso.

For me, I will probably buy 1 more sleeve of Apple Crumble since making a proper cappuccino takes some effort, I will buy some Chocolate Mint, but I will definitely hoard a lot of the Hazelnut Dessert. just saying.

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