By Kupluthai Pungkanon
The Nation Weekend
IT’S NICE to take a few moments out of your day to indulge by a cup of coffee at home and pretend you’re sitting in a Parisian cafe.
Nespresso has made that “pretend” a little more realistic just in time for the festive season, working with renowned interior designer India Mahdavi to create Variations, a set of coffees of superb taste and aroma, and accessories marketed as Les Collections.
Jay and Jareyadee Spencer share a Nespresso moment.
Paris-based Mahdavi, who conceived the Gallery at Sketch in London, Jean Francois Piege in Paris and APT in New York, has designed for Nespresso the packaging for Variations and Les Collections and the overall marketing campaign.
Mahdavi’s influence is evident in the pastel hues and playful designs.
Two coffees, Macaron and Praline, feature quintessentially French flavours, while Paris Black espresso is perfect for those who prefer coffee in its purest form.
Each of the Variations is based on the Nespresso Livanto coffee blend, which consists of pure arabica from South and Central America. It is well balanced, with roasted, caramelised notes providing roundness and balance.
“What we try to do is bring the most exquisite cup of coffee to the comfort of your own home,” says Nespresso executive Samuel Dambreville. “If you look at all the Nespresso machines, they all feature the same design – one capsule and one button – very simple. You don’t need to be a skilful barista to create the most sophisticated coffee.
“Customers can enjoy Nespresso everywhere, not only at home but also in a hotel, a high-end restaurant and a coffee shop. Some hotels have Nespresso machines in every room.
Interior designer India Mahdavi created the Limited Edition Festive collection.
“The coffee business is a very dynamic and extremely exciting industry because there’s a lot going on and a lot of innovation,” Dambreville says. “If you think high quality, high variety of choices, Nespresso is very well positioned to expand. We come up with many flavours to offer a lot of possible choices, whether you like your coffee intense or balanced, more with cocoa or flowery or fruity.
“Asians love iced coffee, and last season the collection was inspired by Italian summer. Ispirazione was made to drink with ice and syrup, and Salentina iced coffee with milk or almond milk. In Europe, summer is always a special time – people like to be outdoors – but it’s also very hot, especially in the south of Italy. That’s why most food recipes are designed to refresh.”
Dambreville emphasises the importance of the coffee bean’s origin and the way it’s processed.
“Nespresso is always exploring the world for new ways to give customers the best coffee moments. Apart from the permanent range, we do offer limited editions at different times of the year. The idea is to give coffee lovers new ways to enjoy coffee. Customers are more sophisticated and they want creativity and sustainability.”
Growing, roasting and tasting coffee demand specific talents. Nespresso’s Master Origin blends – five distinct coffee sensations – evoke their places of origin, from the forested mountains of Sumatra to the highland vales of Nicaragua. Within each region Nespresso has formed a partnership with local farmers with the goal of crafting superlative new aromas and tastes.
Mocca Latte is chocolate squares melted under Nespresso coffee, topped with milk and, if desired, cocoa powder.
In Ethiopia, the beans are raked hourly to ensure even drying. In Colombia, the traditional harvest time was pushed to the limit, with the coffee cherries left on the bushes, risking fermentation, until they were exactly the right shade of deep purple to be picked.
In Sumatra, Indonesia, farmers use a time-tested wet-hulling method, while in Nicaragua, the “black honey” technique involves leaving the bean inside its fruit rind while it soaks up the natural sugars. Coffee from India experiences a “monsoon” process that replicates the natural absorption of moisture and swelling that used to occur when the beans were being transported across the ocean.
“Then there is another part of innovation,” says Dambreville. “Every capsule has a story to tell.”
Mahdavi set out to invoke dreaminess in her creativity for Nespresso, making the capsules seem like imaginary delights, “floating like sweet clouds in the sky”.
“These voluptuous forms, reminiscent of childhood, suggest a gourmand’s fantasy,” she says. “Nespresso speaks to the senses, celebrating taste in all its aspects, ranging from sight to touch via smell, with subtly sweet aromas.
“I wanted to add a hint of reverie. Offering delight for the eyes to relish and to then flying away in each and everyone’s imagination.”
Find some great ideas for hosting a Yuletide coffee party at Nespresso.com/recipes.