An interesting perspective from somebody who is clearly not into the whole single-serve coffee market, James Hoffmann, World Barista Champion 2007 and renowned coffee Youtuber, released a video reviewing all the pods currently available in the UK from the Original line of Nespresso.
Check the “I Tried Every Nespresso Pod” video (over 30mins) and then head back here for our few words.
The reviews of each pod are brief, with only the few pods he found intriguing longer. Coming from somebody much into the 3rd wave of coffee and clearly not a lover of dark roasts, it is interesting to notice how he considers 90% of all Nespresso pods too roasted. Like the whole line of pods is skewed towards the medium/dark roast levels while he, and a lot of other coffee connoisseurs and baristas, think and brew in lighter, much lighter, roasts. Plenty of coffee pods he doesn’t as much dislike but feels that the dark roast used by Nespresso ruins the flavours of them. Nespresso “flattens” the flavor profiles, basically, towards what the mainstream coffee drinker may probably like.
Considering the huge success of Nespresso capsules, Nespresso so far is right.
It is supremely interesting to us how James Hoffman and Nespresso are clearly on different spectrums of coffee drinkers. Hoffmann is a good representative of those who think that by lowering the roasting levels so to bring out more flavors from the beans is justified and a necessity to taste the full range of tones that a coffee can offer.
We are not going to argue against this, it is absolutely true. The issue that some coffee drinkers have, and the take that Nespresso has taken throughout all these years, is that by doing so you lose body, intensity and the “coffee punch”. And that is absolutely true as well. People like Hoffmann value more the range of flavors and the acidity that some coffee beans can have and are willing to sacrifice body and intensity in order to have more of them.
Nespresso and its drinkers think that this exchange is not often worthwhile. And the video above showcases perfectly this difference.
We are greatly interested in discussing further this topic and we are going to do so in the future. Until then, we would love your impressions on the matter and the James Hoffmann’s video in the comments.