A while back, it somehow became a thing that me, my wife (who was at the time still my girlfriend), my brother and some friends and cousins would go to our local Starbucks in Sayville, Long Island and sit out front, smoke tobacco pipes, play the ancient game of Go, talk about cool shit, and occasionally drink coffee.
I was never a coffee guy, so I typically got snacks or other drinks. But we were ritually going every Tuesday. As a result, birthday and holiday gifts starting coming in the form of Starbucks gift cards. Eventually my wife and I had more money in Starbucks gift cards than we knew what to do with, so we consolidated them all onto one card and put the money towards an espresso machine that Starbucks sold in-house.
We had that machine in a box for about 8 years and never touched it. I think we maybe tried to use it once but it seemed too confusing. We rarely ever drank coffee, so why bother anyway?
Espresso, though, is really the only coffee that we DO have on occasion. Usually when we were tired after a meal and still needed to be awake to get to the train for the hellish commute back home.
Fast-forward to my insane running regimen. Suddenly now I’m really tired some mornings after running several miles before 9am. “Hey we still have that espresso machine… let me try to figure it out now.” I pulled it out of retirement and figured out how to use it for those tired mornings.
But I quickly started to pass on the entire effort. First, it was a learning curve to figure out just how to get the machine to produce exactly the kind of coffee that I like. Second, it was a hassle to always have to grind, scoop, pack, fiddle with the machine to get it going, rinse, clean, etc. It was a 20 minute ordeal every time. Just when I started to get it down to a science I was starting to give up on it.
Enter Nespresso. My brother has had one for a while and I was always interested in it. Eventually I cracked and purchased one, the Inissia model.
Quick, clean, convenient and cheap, since I was able to apply some credit via Groupon Goods. I paid $62. Pods aren’t cheap, ranging from $0.70 to $0.77 a pop, but they’re worth it when you factor in the quality of the coffee and time saved in making it. Plus, from what I hear, they are much better than the Nespresso-compatible capsules by Bestpresso and Gourmesso. Since Nespresso’s capsule patent expired, others have started making them as competition. So far I’ve only had the real-deal pods:
The great part is the variety of flavors, styles and roasts. I tend to favor strong espresso, no cream but with a little bit of brown sugar.