If you’ve read any of my blog posts you can probably figure out that I’m a “hands on” kind of guy. I like to use a manual grinder to grind my beans and I like using the French press (and Clever dripper) to brew my coffee. However I’ve always been apprehensive about tackling espresso. I hope to soon purchase an electric grinder (burr grinder, obviously) and a decent espresso machine (something like a Gaggia Classic, or a Rancilio Silvia, nothing too fancy for now) and start pulling shots at home. For now, however, I want to focus on the Super Auto, a machine where you push a button and out comes “espresso.” Many people, myself included, are just a little anxious about all the many things that can go wrong when you pull a shot. Now, I can prattle on and on about how to pull a shot of espresso (thanks to countless hours on coffeegeek and home-barista) but if I had to do it myself I wouldn’t know where to start.
Many people are familiar with the capsule coffee systems popularized by Green Mountain Coffee (under the Keurig brand name). On the other hand up until about a year ago I had no idea that a similar system existed for espresso. At my workplace I saw a sleek shiny looking little metallic box with Lavazza on the front, and it turned out to be one of their Espresso Point machines. I purchased some capsules in the café and tried the machine out, and was shocked! The quality was far and away better than what I was used to from Starbucks (my only other measure for these kind of no fuss push-a-button get-a-shot machines). Sure, it was worse than what I’d had at Third Wave café’s, but still really good!
In any case, I now have a Nespresso Pixie. It’s pretty much just to hold me over until I get a real espresso machine, but for now I’m kind of enjoying it. I’ll do a more detailed review soon, but I think that for many people who are a little anxious about having a bubbling, hissing, steaming machine in their kitchen, it could be a pretty funky alternative; especially if their standards for espresso are limited to Starbucks and other large chains.