Gran Maestria

Man, am I a lucky girl. Last week I was studying upstairs when my roommate sent me a picture message of a package at the front door saying, “ANOTHER ONE?!”.

I have school books coming from all over the world and my paycheck has been going straight to Amazon (free Prime!) due to unnecessary browsing. This leads to a disgusting amount of brown boxes arriving daily at the Tara HQ. However, I wasn’t expecting one last Thursday. I ran down the stairs and let out an audible gasp when I saw the Nespresso logo on the box.

It couldn’t be…but was it? The box was heavy, but I hauled it up three flights of stairs with ease; it must be all the strength workouts I’ve been handling (read: five squats a week if lucky).

Ta-da! My very own Nespresso Gran Maestria machine! Isn’t she gorgeous? To be honest, it took me a day or two to take it out and display it because it looked so nice in the box and I didn’t want to touch it. Now, it is definitely one of my new favorite kitchen equipments. I even set up a little table display for her, she deserves the best.

The folks at Nespresso saw my blog post about the Grand Chef Rendezvous event I was invited to and wanted to thank me for writing it, but really, I should be the one thanking them! I do not mean to sound so sponsored, but they are one of the best companies I have worked with. They also did not ask me to write a review or even publish this post but I seriously wanted to share my excitement and how much I have been loving this beautiful piece of machinery.

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All the machines come with a tasting of the different coffee flavors Nespresso has to offer. Some of them are for espressos, others for lungos and even three decaf options for people that already have that inner built-up energy.

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My roommates and I set up the machine earlier in the week and had a mini mid-day coffee commencement to welcome the Gran Maestria to our house.

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Nespresso has many different models at a wide price range and each machine can do different tasks. Mine can make espressos, cappuccinos and latte macchiatos. It also comes with a milk frother and espresso cup warmer!

Our first test run was a regular espresso, please excuse the shot glass. We did not have espresso cups in advance so we had to make do with what was already in the kitchen. It kind of works though, no?

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All of us took a sip with our pinkies up and thought it was quite good, tut tut. Since we work best with baby steps, we then attempted to make a cappuccino.

Step one…

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Listo!

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By the end of this tasting, all of us had the foamy upper lip going on. Real classy, if you must say.

I don’t even know what to call this one but it was delicious. I am going to start working on my foam art and showcase it at the next big art exhibition in San Francisco. 😉 Requests, anyone?

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An Americano for the Americans.

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Lastly, because everyone already had (at minimum) the amount of two espresso shots, we made a Latte macchiato.

We definitely need to improve on our technique, or at least our glass equipment.

Helpful hint: shot glasses do not pour with finesse.

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But the end product came out amazing! I’m sure with a few more trials, I can put any coffee house baristas to shame.

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Now, lets talk pros and cons.

PROS:

  • The machine works very fast, I made one espresso and one latte (including heating up the milk) this morning in less then 3 minutes. This is really important to me because saving time when you have to get out the house before seven in the morning is optimal.
  • I love the built in frother. I know some machines make it really complicated but I just choose which setting I want (out of four) and push a button and I get warm foam or heated milk whenever I please.
  • It definitely classes up my kitchen, the platinum finish is stunning in person. Also, the two knobs in the center reminds me of eyes and makes the machine look like a coffee robot. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto…
  • Cleaning up is a breeze with the use of pods (which also falls into the maybe-con category, read on). No more grinding, dripping, washing every little piece of machinery. The pods fall into a little storage area and you just need to empty the water and container disposal.
  • The options are endless. I went on their website and they have so many recipes to try including deserts!! I am so pumped to experiment with my new baby.

CONS:

  • The cup warmer only fits an espresso cup. Although, this makes sense since it is an espresso machine.
  • I like to be as environmentally friendly as possible, meaning using glass bottles instead of plastic and reusing things as much as possible. I was a little weary of the coffee pods because they seem wasteful, but this is one of those situations where you compromise and factor in the convenience issue. I did a little bit of research and found out that Nespresso actually has an awesome recycling program where you can bring the used pods into their Boutiques or affiliated stores
  • It is a little pricey, but you have to think of it as an investment piece like a Vitamix or Kitchenaid. There are also many budget friendly options like the Pixie or U!

The ultimate con is that this machine makes me never want to buy another cup of coffee again! Drats! A latte at a coffee shop can easily round up to five dollars and I can make one at home for 70 cents. I can also put in exactly the kind of milk I want and I have so many different flavor and intensity options to my disposal.

Speaking of milk, I tried using almond milk and it didn’t froth well. My roommate, who used to work at a coffee shop, said that almond milk just isn’t the best to make foam and to use cows milk or soy milk. I read online people have had success with almond milk. Any suggestions?

Thank you Nespresso!

**Nespresso sent me the machine as a gift but did not ask me to publish this post or review the machine. All opinions are (always) proudly my own.

Now on to food! I have been eating out a lot lately. This also has it’s pros and cons (last list, I promise).

Pros: Everything I consume is delicious. I do not have to wash any dishes. I have something to look forward to after a long day out.

Cons: My wallet is not happy with me. Neither is my waistline. Or my produce that is slowly spoiling in my fridge.

The only cool thing I have made at home this week is green beans and prosciutto, tomato & cream cheese open faced sandwiches.

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I also get my greens in other ways, such as salads and chicken (with broccoli/bok choy/swiss chard), but who wants to hear bout those boring things when we can talk about Patxi’s pizza?

It is tradition for me to eat a salad before pizza. That way I don’t feel bad about eating 2-3 slices more than I need to. It’s the little things, right guys?

Arugula salad with shaved Grana Padano, EVOOO and lemon. It was so simple and sometimes that’s all you really need.

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Patxi’s is known for their deep dish, but I really wanted a thin crust pizza. We ordered the Picante, with Zoe’s spicy salami, hot coppa, mozzarella, tomato sauce and chopped pepperoncini.

It reminded me of my favorite pizza from Beretta, which I like to lovingly call the fancy pants meat lovers. Too delicious. For more product reviews check out Comparoid.

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Favorite kind of coffee (espresso, macchiatos, lattes, iced)? Can you spot the Arrested Development reference?

22 thoughts on “Gran Maestria

  1. oohhh she’s so pretty! 🙂 i want one! i have a k cup maker at home, but not nearly as pretty as that one!! (plus im a starbucks fanatic, and usually go out even in the dead of winter) also i have been eating so much lately too! and i completely agree with your pros and cons on that 🙂 that pizza looks sooo good!

    • Our boss bought us Starbucks yesterday (as a token of appreciation for making us come at 7:30a on a Saturday) and I tried the coveted bloggers Pumpkin Spice Latte for the first time.

  2. I am a coffee connoisseur (or addict to some) and am so jealous! Can you fit another roomate into your apt? This machine is a beaut! But I might end up quitting my job and staying home drinking coffee all day if I had this…before you know it, I will be buying coffee and not food..and …oh my!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  3. I love that machine! I wish I could afford one! And the shot glass looks totally professional, I don’t know what you’re apologizing for!! 🙂 There’s a guy in my office building who has a Nespresso and I make my way over to his office a few times a week instead of going to Starbucks! Mooching is a proud skill! 🙂
    Eating out def takes a toll on your wallet and waist line – I hear that! I try really hard not to eat out during the week so that the weekends I can let loose.

    • I wish I could avoid the temptations. I will be prepared to make dinner and then get a text saying, “Come eat at x,y,z with me!”. I just can’t say no!

  4. Holy wow! I can’t believe they sent you that beautiful machine. Kudos to you for making all that espresso. I’m not sure where I would put that if I had it! I’ve been eating out all week this week and it’s sooooo bad. Next week I’m getting back on track!

    • My counter space is so limited I had to bring up a small end table up to the kitchen, ha. Time for me to get back on track as well!

  5. As if my mind did not go to Buster Bluth dancing in the car with his claw…heyyyy brother!

    I have a nespresso at home and I love it! I don’t use it daily but definitely take it out for special occasions or when we have guests! Have a great weekend!

    • Davida you are my new favorite person ever! Heyyy brother! I’m craving juice all of a sudden…

      Also glad to hear you’re enjoying your Nespresso! I’m still getting the hang of mine but loving all the different possibilities.

  6. I love a strong, short machiatto! There was a nespresso machine in one of the hotels when I travelled Europe and I literally downed 5-6 capsules…just in the morning! And that pizza… it may not be a meat lovers, but it comes a darn close second!

    • Wow my heart would be racing! I did a triple shot by accident the other day and still felt caffeinated 8 hours later and I am usually really good with caffeine.

  7. I’m so jealous – and I was totally hoping for a Nespresso give-away at the end ! 🙂 I am a latte junkie and despite making my coffee at home every morning, I’m hitting Starbucks every afternoon for a latte fix..
    Dont watch Arrested Development – so can’t spot the reference.

    • Archana, I can’t say I didn’t try. 🙂 Maybe next time!

      I know Starbucks has “happy hour” deals, maybe you can take advantage of those and save a few dollars a week. 🙂

  8. Wow, I’m officially jealous. 😉 Hehe that looks like an awesome machine! So glad you’re having fun with it! I’m not much of a straight up coffee drinker, but I do love mochas. Add chocolate to anything, and I’m in. 😉

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