Unlike my caffeinated partner in crime Chia, some mornings, I just can’t be bothered to commit to, as she puts it, a “very involved process” of making layered lattés, using an Aeropress, manually grinding my coffee to the perfect consistency, or (gasp!) making my own whipped cream for a gorgeous café Viennese.
Maybe in the afternoon.
Mornings, however, are a different story: Before my first cup of coffee, they’re horrible episodes of me dragging myself mentally kicking and screaming as I force pleasantries to people around me, holding off on major decisions lest I accidentally destroy something. Functionality is kept at a bare minimum, along with my ability to see beyond five feet, spectacles or otherwise.
For years, my remedy for these situations involves the everyman solution: Instant Coffee.
I know, I know… It’s borderline sacrilegious for most of the coffee fans of this blog (I can also feel Chia cringe). For the longest time, I’ve justified this by finding palatable versions (my go-to has always been ChekHup Ipoh White Coffee, or the Korean Maxim T.O.P. Latté) that comes in bottles, but, alas… Chia has spoiled me.
Instant coffee is no longer good enough for me (one can argue that I could easily order from a neighbourhood coffee chain, but let me repeat: I am horribly unpleasant some mornings, and excessive barista cheerfulness makes me want to scream).
I struggled with this dilemma for some time until a couple of our friends decided to don their angel wings and gift us with a Nespresso Essenza Mini.
Confession: I’ve never managed to justify the expense of owning one of these babies in my head, which is why I never bothered to get one. The skeptic in me was scoffing at the idea of getting the machine until I made my first morning brew with it.
There was something about the ease of instantly making a really good cup of coffee that just made me want to kick myself for spending all these years refusing to buy one. The compact and chic Essenza Mini allows Espresso and Lungo sizes and the pods come in a variety of flavours to cater to my every mood. My personal favourites are:
Why I Like It
|Kazaar (Intenso)||Ristretto and Espresso||Exceptionally Intense and Syrupy (Intensity 12)||I tried this the first time after partying the night before and believe you me, I was awake. Two thumbs up.|
|Arpeggio (Intenso)||Ristretto and Espresso||Intense and Creamy (Intensity 9)||I like the creaminess and the strength of this one… It’s like being woken up gently as opposed to being jolted awake.|
|Volluto (Espresso)||Espresso||Sweet and Light (Intensity 4)||It’s easy drinking and perfect for an afternoon cup or two (I could never stop at one with this flavour)|
|Dulsao Do Brasil (Pure Origin)||Ristretto, Espresso, and Lungo*||Sweet and Satiny Smooth (Intensity 4)||I’m personally going through a “gentle” coffee phase (with a touch of cream and stevia), which is why I gravitate to this one.|
|Rosabaya de Colombia (Pure Origin)||Ristretto, Espresso, and Lungo||Fruity and Balanced (Intensity 6)||This is my go-to variant for whenever I want my gentle coffee with a little bit more complexity in it.|
|Vivalto Lungo (Lungo)||Lungo||Complex and Balanced (Intensity 4)||This is a great complex alternative for my strictly lungo needs.|
|Vanilio (Variations)||Espresso||Vanilla Flavored (Intensity 6)||Because I’ve got to have flavoured coffee from time to time, enough said.|
So, finally, is it worth owning one? If the people around me in the mornings could speak on my behalf, they would all be unanimous in saying YES. PLEASE.
Which Nespresso machine suits your needs? You can check out their site to find the perfect machine for you (I want to get their Latissima Touch next so I can make lattés) and get pods. Again, the flavours I’ve featured are my personal favourites, so I’m positive you can find your own variants. Let us know which ones you end up liking best in the comments. 😉 Cheers!*
*Size guide: Ristretto = 25ml, Espresso = 40ml, Lungo = 110ml