June 28, 2013 by Beans Ahoy
First, sorry to all my readers for the delay on the new Nespresso Variations article, life has just got in the way. I thought I would start this trilogy with the Caramelito and the reason for this was really very simple. All the Variations I have tried in the past I have hated, so I thought I would give them the best chance by starting with the flavour I like most. Caramel.
I have in the past written of the Hazelnut Variations (https://beansahoy.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/nespresso-variations-hazelnut/) a coffee I thought was so foul I couldn’t actually finish a short espresso shot. It was like being stuck in a paint factory with all the windows shut. The stench of plastic hazelnut filled your nostrils and brain clouding your vision and making you wretch endlessly…okay okay I exaggerate, it wasn’t quite that bad, but what I am saying is that it really was not very good at all.
What struck me most about this coffee is how they had managed to get rid of all the flavour with the introduction of the ‘hazelnut. The coffee itself was incredibly flat and tasteless.
I am sorry to say that history has repeated itself with the Caramelito. Although it is more tolerable that the Hazelnut it still exhibits the same lack of coffee taste. The smell of Caramel is there in abundance, but no aroma or taste of coffee. Where has it gone Nespresso? What did you do with it? More importantly, bring it back!
When we drink coffee we want to taste coffee. Despite what market research tells you most of us are actually interested in drinking coffee because of its taste, not because we like the warm fuzzy feeling of a hot drink or because we want to be ‘seen’ drinking coffee. So please, when you produce a coffee, make it actually taste of coffee. It may be that the Variations do taste of coffee, but the stench of these ghastly ‘flavours’ doesn’t allow you to taste any of it.
It is puzzling. Anyone who has tasted good coffee knows the infinite variation (no pun intended) of aromas and flavours you can achieve with the right roast and preparation. Whether it’s sweet, rich or zesty, you can achieve all of these and more with the right coffee. So why bugger up the coffee with slab of aroma to go with it?
I was going to provide a tasting note as I do with most coffees, but there really is no point. I couldn’t really decipher any tastes from that of caramel, or provide any incite into the character of the coffee. By all means if you are going to drink a Variation, drink this ahead of the Hazelnut (which hopefully they don’t bring back), but don’t drink it ahead of…I don’t know…say…coffee!
Nespresso I like that you are trying new things, I get that, and I appreciate it. You have forged the path in capsule coffee like almost no one else could and it has helped bring slightly better quality coffee to a wider audience, but these Variations aren’t helping the cause.
Who knows, I might be completely wrong and they may sell like wildfire, in which case I will climb back into my cave a brew up some Central American high grown wonderfulness.
Ciao all. Stay tuned for Vanilio and Ciocattino.