Many years ago, I won a Keurig coffee machine through a blog giveaway. It was too tall for my counter and I immediately sold it on Craigslist. I saw it as a sign, we didn’t need a coffee machine, we were just fine with our French press. I then had a campaign with Tassimo and with it received a machine short enough for my kitchen counter and a big box of T-Discs. Since having Emerson a few years prior we strived to be as eco-friendly and healthy of a home as possible. We stopped using paper towels and napkins, we composted, we line-dried, we made our own hand soap, we cloth diapered, we collected shower water in buckets for our garden. But dang if we weren’t obsessed with our trash-creating Tassimo. We were struggling to keep up with a little kid, a stressful job with a long commute, shooting weddings on weekends, and the blog. It was so nice to pop in a disc, press the button, and have quality coffee in just the right size. But after a year we just felt too guilty (and to be honest, too low of an income bracket) to keep up with the Tassimo and I gave it away on Freecycle. We went back to the French press.
I just didn’t like French press coffee as much. I never mastered the right ratio of bean grinding and grounds per water. I was always in a rush in the morning and the French press just pissed me off. The Tassimo made it quick and foolproof, and I was able to buy different T-Discs from my husband so we could both get the roasts and flavors we preferred. When I was working out of the house, I was leaving 10 minutes early so I could buy coffee on the commute. My husband bought a jar of organic instant coffee that was easier for me to make when still blurry-eyed in my bathrobe. It got the job done, but it wasn't delicious. I started researching traditional coffee makers to buy myself one for Christmas.
This fall, we visited friends. We spent the day outside, it was bright and clear but a bit chilly. We came back to their house and one of them offered me a cup of coffee to warm up. She asked what kind of coffee I liked, I said it didn’t matter, she brought me the most delicious smelling mug of foamy goodness. It was rich and flavorful and tasted creamy though it was black. She shared they had a Nespresso. My husband also had a mug. We spent the next couple of weeks thinking about and discussing the Nespresso. We don’t need it, it’s so wasteful, our counter space is already minimal and this will take up so much room. It’s expensive, it’s ridiculous, but damn if that coffee wasn’t more delicious than what we’ve had at Dunkin or Starbucks or Vigilante or Peet's or any of the other places. And when you think how much we spend on a drink at one of those places versus the price of one Nespresso pod, well we’re saving money right?
And then I read that Nespresso recycles their pods. The aluminum is recycled to make new things, the coffee grounds are composted, they offer free UPS bags to collect the pods and send them back postage paid, or they can be dropped off at a Nespresso boutique (which I have never seen in the wild but looking at their site I see in the DC/VA/MD area there are boutiques at Tyson's, Pentagon City, and Montgomery Mall). Now in NYC, you can throw Nespresso pods right in your commingled recycling.
A campaign I didn’t expect, doing work I knew I’d enjoy creating and sharing showed up in my inbox. With part of it, we treated ourselves to a Nespresso machine and some sleeves of coffee pods. Nespresso machines are hella confusing. Do you get the old classic pods or the new VertuoLine ones? Do you need a milk frother? Why is everything in some sort of code you need a degree to understand? We ended up getting this machine, which is perfect for us. No milk frother, no complicated extras. It comes with a mix of pods so you can figure out which ones you may like to buy. The reservoir on the left holds water, the one on the right collects used pods. Open the top, put in the pod, close and turn until it locks and press the button. It's easy to remove the reservoirs to refill or empty and they slide back in super easy. We've had it for two months and have no complaints.
We’re obsessed. My husband has his favorite roast, I have mine, and we occasionally try a new one for fun. We even bought a drawer for our pods to go under the machine. If you sign up for Nespresso's emails you'll know about any promotions but take it from someone who has been stalking Nespresso all holiday long, they hardly have sales and promotions and when they do they're pretty disappointing (Buy 10 sleeves of pods and get a box of chocolate! Buy 30 sleeves and get one sleeve of a random brew you don't know and won't like for free!). It does take up valuable counter space. It is more expensive than a French press or a traditional coffee maker (each pod is around $1). You can argue the fuel to transport our bags of Nespresso pods back to their headquarters to recycle is counterintuitive. But I love it. I love how I can have delicious coffee any time of day, delicious coffee that doesn’t require flavored creamers and stolen packets of Splenda. My Nespresso machine is one of my not-so-guilty pleasures of 2019.