Regular readers may recall my acquisition, earlier this year, of a shiny new Nespresso machine. 6 months on, and I am still a Nespresso evangelist – there’s nothing else that combines such ease of coffee preparation (and machine cleaning) with such a range of excellent coffees.
Nespresso regularly issue ‘limited edition’ coffee capsules – one off, unique blends that sit outside their collection of 16 permanent ‘Grand Crus’ (believe me, as a member of the ‘Nespresso Club’ – an honour bestowed upon anyone who owns a machine and buys the capsules, you soon get familiar with the lingo!) Their latest such launch is Crealto. Crealto comes in at an 8 on the Nespresso intensity scale of 1-10. It’s blended from washed Aribica coffee beans, and its name comes from combining ‘Createur’ with ‘Alto’ – which in turn comes from ‘alta cucina’ or ‘high gastronomy’. The beans are slow roasted, a technique more associated with cooking. As a fan of all things gastronomic, I liked the sound of this one!
Unusually, this capsule is not a solid colour – it’s white, with brown streaks. Apparently, this is reminiscent of the way chefs decorate their creations (perhaps with a drizzle of chocolate sauce!), but to me, it doesn’t look as pretty or as sophisticated as the other capsules in their jewel-like packaging, and I’m unsure as to when ‘brown streaks’ is ever a good thing – but, thankfully, I didn’t judge this particular book by its cover!
Nespresso suggest Crealto is best sampled as an espresso, but can also be enjoyed as a milk recipe (latte, cappuccino, macchiato etc.) I like my coffee with milk, but have to confess that I was fully expecting this blend, with its intensity of 8, to be too strong for me, even with milk, given that my usual Nespresso of choice comes in at a mere 5 on the scale. I was wrong! The tasting notes say that the long roasting time of the beans used for Crealto allow it to develop round notes that are long lasting, and that adding a drop of milk releases nutty aromas, with more milk revealing wild nuts – and they were right! The flavour was intensely rich, but incredibly smooth, and not at all bitter or strong, just really, really tasty. I only started to enjoy coffee as a drink in my early 20s – I actively disliked it through my childhood and teens, but always loved coffee flavoured things, with coffee cake being a particular favourite – and the flavour of the Crealto, with some hot, frothed milk added, was highly reminiscent of a really good coffee cake!
Something that people will either love or hate about Nespresso is their marketing. As a marketer by profession, I love it! I regularly hear people talking, in the context of all sorts of businesses, about ‘marketing ploys’ or ‘marketing tactics to get people to buy more’ – and to me, that’s a good thing! Marketing is all around us and is critical to the success of any business – and I love businesses that do it well with innovative ideas of how to get existing customers to buy more, buy different products, or buy the products to use in different ways.
It’s the latter of those things that Nespresso has done here, with chef Mauro Colagreco, of Mirazur, one of the top 50 restaurants in the world, having created four recipes that Nespresso drinkers can prepare using Crealto capsules in their own home: Dark Coco Zest, Velvet Pistachio, Oriental Perfume Espresso and Orange Refresher. I had a look at these on the website, and they are beautifully presented and animated, but to be really honest, they looked like they’d be a bit of a faff to prepare just for yourself at home. Creating some ‘roasted pistachio milk’ when you fancy a cup of coffee goes against the quickness and ease of Nespresso that I love. That said, the recipes do all sound lovely, and they are the sort of thing I would consider making as part of a dinner party menu, so I will certainly keep them in mind. In the meantime, I’m going to just enjoy drinking my Crealto!
As always, the capsules are available online or in Nespresso’s boutiques (there’s sadly still not one in Cardiff, but I live in hope!) They come in sleeves of ten, and work out at 33p per capsule (although you have to order sleeves in multiples of five (not necessarily five of the same flavour) and also factor in the cost of delivery.
Thank you to Nespresso for supplying me with a sample sleeve of Crealto capsules.