Have you ever heard of Nespresso? No? Up until I was invited to a media dinner with Ted Allen at the Nespresso Newbury Street location, neither had I. I was obviously excited about the event and RSVP’d immediately. I love Ted Allen, and I was definitely intrigued at the idea of a private dinner party in a Newbury Street boutique.
Here’s a little bit about Nespresso from their website:
Nestlé Nespresso US, the worldwide pioneer and market leader in highest-quality premium portioned coffee, introduces consumers to the world’s finest Grand Cru coffees to be enjoyed in the comfort of their own homes and savoured outside the home, in locations such as gourmet restaurants, upscale hotels, luxury outlets and offices. As a company, Nespresso is driven by core competencies that enable it to create highest quality Grand Cru coffees, long lasting consumer relationships, and sustainable business success. The Nespresso offer focuses on its unique Trilogy, the unmatched combination of exceptional coffee, smart and stylish coffee machines.
I arrived in the area early (I am super early for EVERYTHING; I spend a lot of time wandering and waiting!) and met up with Megan for some more wandering. After seeing the sleek interior of Nespresso on my walk by, I couldn’t wait to get inside. Once we found Bridget, we headed into the event, and as good bloggers do, whipped our cameras out and got started shooting.
Check out how modern and pretty these Nespresso machines are. The spacious, sparsely decorated store featured an abundance of colorful coffee capsules; they really were the décor, and it made for an interesting and beautiful event space.
While Ted Allen was interviewed in the back, I checked out the beautiful dining table, set for an intimate dinner party.
Creative coffee cocktails kicked off the event; I opted for the mojito which had an espresso float. At first sip, I thought. . . interesting. Once the espresso integrated a little more into the drink, it became delicious, like an espresso with a hint of citrus, really refreshing.
I got to chat with a few other bloggers and with Rachel, one of our Weber-Shandwick hosts, before sitting down for dinner. Mark Uhlemann, Nespresso coffee expert, was on hand to talk about Nespresso and the menu pairings he decided on; each course was paired with a wine and a coffee. Ted Allen also spoke, and then we dug into our amuse, a sweet potato cup with parsnip puree whip and coffee caviar, paired with Nespresso Livanto Grand Cru and Argyle 2000 “Extended Tirage” Brut sparkling wine. We were instructed to first taste the sparkling wine, the amuse, and then the coffee. The bubbly was beautiful; aged on the lees so it had that nice toasty, brioche characteristic that paired well with the sweet potato. The coffee had a toasty caramel flavor that also went well with the sweet potato.
Bridget sat next to Ted Allen and got to chat with him quite a bit. I thought it would be nerve-wracking to be at such a small dinner with a celebrity, but he was so incredibly down to earth and seemed genuinely interested in his guests that I think everyone felt at ease.
Prior to our entrée, Mark and Ted got up to talk a little more about the pairings and coffee conversations. Ted shared his first Nespresso experience, at a villa in Provence, and shared with us a little bout the idea behind Nespresso; it’s not about grabbing a coffee to go, it’s more about the moment or the experience and the quality of the coffee. He likened it to wine, and I loved the idea of savoring that quality experience.
Then we started in on our next course, grilled sirloin club steak with veal demi ketchup, chive roasted fingerling fries, and a fried crab cake with lemon caper aioli, paired with a 2004 Pahlmeyer Merlot and a 2011 Fall Limited Edition Dhajana coffee.
We talked a little bit about Merlot and the Sideways effect, how Merlot got a bad name. I know it’s a wine people love to hate, but I actually really enjoy a good Merlot (one of my faves comes from Michel-Schlumberger), and this one had hints of coffee along with some beautiful dark fruit. It paired well with the meat, not so much with the crab, but overall was really delicious.
And then came dessert. I am pretty sure the delightful trio of minis was everyone’s favorite. From left to right, we have a mini mocha frappe with Nespresso chocolate pearls, vanilla affogato with homemade coffee biscotti, and Nespresso pot du crème with hazelnut crema. This dream trio was paired with a 10 year old Niepoort Tawny Port and Decaffeinato Intenso. Thank goodness for decaf espresso that doesn’t taste decaf!
The Port offered dark, dried fruit qualities, not too sweet, and nice and rich, the perfect sip. My favorite dessert was the frappe, especially the chocolate pearls. They were tiny bursts of cocoa in the creamy, coffee shake. The chocolate-dipped straw sealed the deal.
But that wasn’t it. Before we left, a group of Boston bloggers got to have a photo taken with Ted Allen, pretty exciting! And as we made our way out, we found out that, thanks to the generous people at Nespresso, we were going home with their brand new Lattissima Plus coffee machine. This sassy machine warms and froths your milk for perfect coffee drinks at home. I can not wait to set it up. And to buy some cute little espresso cups to drink out of!
I am all about quality, strong coffee and love the way Europeans take that moment to enjoy things, whether it be coffee, wine, food, or time together, and I am excited to get started brewing up my own Nespresso. I am also very excited to return to the Newbury Street coffee boutique to shop around for capsules and to savor a taste or two of espresso.
Many thanks to Nespresso and Weber-Shandwick for the invitation to this event which I attended free of charge as their guest.
Are you a coffee fan? How do you like yours?