Cof­fee for one, please

Ne­spresso in­tro­duces sin­gle-serve cof­fee cap­sule ma­chines

Business World - - ARTS & LEISURE - J.L. Gar­cia

COF­FEE is the tax the world pays us to get up in the morn­ing and func­tion like nor­mal hu­man be­ings. Ne­spresso, a sub­sidiary of Nes­tle, makes the deal a lit­tle bit sweeter with the in­tro­duc­tion of its sin­gle-serve cof­fee cap­sule ma­chines for home use.

While the ma­chines have been in the Philip­pines since the 2000s, present in ho­tels and restau­rants, the home use ver­sions were only in­tro­duced last week in a launch at The Penin­sula Manila.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of No­va­teur Cof­fee Con­cepts, Inc., which brings the ma­chines and the cof­fee cap­sules to the Philip­pines, were on hand to ex­plain the show­case of the ma­chines. While Ne­spresso is a sub­sidiary of Nes­tle glob­ally, Ne­spresso in the Philip­pines op­er­ates in­de­pen­dently from Nes­tle.

With 24 fla­vor choices, it can re­ally be quite a puz­zle to find one’s fla­vor pro­file. This writer fi­nally set­tled on a blend from In­dia, which tasted quite spicy and pep­pery, and had a metal­lic open­ing note.

Ma­chines in the line in­clude the ba­sic Essenza Mini (about P8,000), the Pixie and the Latis­sima, as well as more ex­pen­sive lines (cost­ing from P14,000 to P26,000); the main dif­fer­ence be­ing the size (the Essenza is a lot smaller). The more ex­pen­sive ma­chines come with a built-in milk frother.

The ma­chines work just like any cof­fee-cap­sule ma­chine: a blast of hot wa­ter from a reser­voir goes through the cap­sule and comes out as steam­ing cof­fee. While other such cof­fee sys­tems are al­ready avail­able in the mar­ket, Melissa Valdez, Mar­ket­ing head for Ne­spresso, says: “What re­ally sets Ne­spresso apart from other brands us­ing the same sys­tem is the cof­fee it­self.” Ac­cord­ing to her, Ne­spresso uses 1-2% of the world’s top cof­fee sup­ply.

“For Ne­spresso, it’s a life­style,” she added, em­pha­siz­ing that the Ne­spresso brand has a Web site ( www.ne­spresso.ph) and a call cen­ter tai­lored to ser­vice cus­tomers, such as the ser­vice for stream­lin­ing a cus­tomer’s pre­ferred fla­vor pro­file, as well as home de­liv­ery.

A prob­lem with the cof­fee cap­sule sys­tem is the in­evitable trash it cre­ates from the plas­tic cap­sules that con­tain the cof­fee, a prob­lem that Ne­spresso ad­dresses by seal­ing their cof­fee in alu­minum cap­sules. “It’s 100% re­cy­clable,” said Ms. Valdez.

Right now, they’re work­ing to­wards a sys­tem that could col­lect and re­cy­cle the cof­fee pods, “Or at least send them to the proper re­cy­cling fa­cil­ity,” she said.

The ma­chines will be avail­able in Rus­tan’s Makati, Rus­tan’s ShangriLa Plaza, and Aben­son BGC, and a Ne­spresso bou­tique is slated to open within the year. —

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