It's no secret that I've been cranking the words of late. But although I've tweaked a few things in my workflow, I credit this bad boy, the Nespresso Pixie, with keeping me at the keyboard and on my game a little longer each day.
I resisted buying one for a long time. Long enough that Jane eventually rolled her eyes and made the purchase anyway.
I was sceptical. But I have seen the Light.
I recall reading an article in The New Yorker a whole ago about how coffee making was ripe for automation, but having had the experience of campus coffee machines long ago, I didn't believe them. Turns out I should have. There is of course both art and science to brewing a perfect cup, but the art is rare and for most of us it can be replaced by the science. A good barista is a craftsman or woman of great skill, but making coffee is also a process that lends itself to being programmed. A controlled blend of coffee grounds, exposed to water of a specific temparture and pressure for a measured amount of time will deliver that same result every time.
Get those inputs right and your output will be unvaryingly sublime.
That's why a lot of restaurants sneakily, shamefully make your coffee out of sight now. They're using a Nespresso machine.
If you order an after-dinner espresso at roughly a third of the twenty-four hundred Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, you receive a demitasse filled with a thin drink that came out of small, thimble-shaped pod packed with five or six grams of coffee that was pre-ground a month or more prior. You are drinking Nespresso, which has quietly infiltrated restaurants all over the world in the name of convenience and consistency - The New Yorker.
For me, it's meant fewer trips to the local cafe. Much fewer. I still buy coffee while I'm out, but I'm even pickier and more dismissive of shitty brown water than I used to be, especially at $4 a pop. The unit cost of each Nespresso pod is about 70c. Plus I'm not having them with muffins or brownies, so I've cut out hundreds of sugary calories a day. I've lost weight using this thing! About a kilo and a half. (And grabbed an hour of time for myself that I've been using to write more).
The coffee is uniformly good and comes in dozens of different blends, some flavoured with natural oils to create chocolate or caramel aromas. I usually stock up on pods every four or five weeks and there's a lovely air of Jony Ive-style wankery to the set up at the Nesresso shop. In fact, the whole thing reminds me of the vaguely cultish experience of visiting the Apple Store.
So naturally, I approve.