Last fall, a cousin invited us to her party and made me cup of coffee with her little Nespresso machine. Specifically, she made me a lungo – which, to me, is a cross between a shot of espresso and an Americano. It was a strong and delicious cup of coffee, with the water steamed to a light froth.
It reminded me of Europe: The hotels where we stayed all had these nifty coffee machines in their breakfast rooms that, with the push of a button, could produce lungos, espressos, cappuccinos, and more – on demand. These were small cups of coffee – six ounces at most – not the grande-sized drinks we are used to here in the States.
So when Chris found a barely-used Nespresso Lattissima Plus on eBay, he surprised me with it on Christmas.
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It was one of the nicer Nespresso models and could make both milk- and water-based coffee drinks. (This model is also currently available, new and used, through Amazon.)
Worrying – It’s What I Do Best
I was excited about my gift but also hesitant.
First of all, even though it was a small machine, it was still something that would take up countertop space (and an electrical outlet) in our kitchen. And since this little machine would only make single cups of coffee, and short ones at that, it would not take the place of our existing coffee maker. So we’d have to keep that one as well.
Secondly, it came with disposable pods. And we couldn’t send the used pods out in our curbside recycle bin. Nespresso does offer several ways to recycle their pods, but those ways would require more effort on our part than curbside recycling.
And lastly, cleaning the machine, specifically the milk spout, looked like a lot of work.
Chris immediately dispelled my concern about cleaning the milk spout. He showed me the button to push to automatically clean the spout with steamed water.
“Now just try it,” he said. “We don’t have to keep it.”
Moments later, while sipping a delicious lungo, I said “Oh we’re keeping it.”
So I pushed aside some of the serveware on the hutch countertop and plugged the Nespresso in there.
The clutter was not ideal, but it was wonderful to be able to make espresso drinks so easily.
But soon the used pods were piling up – and so was my guilt over having them.
So we ordered RECAPS stainless steel refillable capsule pods. They work with most (but not all) Nespresso makes and models. Luckily they would work with ours.
Now that we had these reusable pods, we could fill them with our own coffee – any coffee we liked! And we would save money by not having to buy more disposable pods. (It’s funny how, oftentimes, doing something good for the planet also results in saving money.)
We followed the directions carefully and got good results. A few experimental cups taught us that the coffee has to be tamped down and compacted in the pod – but not too tightly. There also has to be a small – very small – bit of space left in the pod.
The Coffee Station
The hutch countertop remained cluttered until recently when we added this vintage cabinet to our kitchen. It now holds most of our casual serveware.
This freed up space on the hutch countertop for a prettier coffee station.
Coincidentally, my mom Erika had been organizing recently too – in her craft/sunroom. (We’re going there, by the way, in a future post. Her sunroom is so pretty that I have to show you.) She offered me one of the beautiful landscapes she paints.
When I got it home, I set it on the hutch until I found a place for it – and then I realized that the hutch is the perfect place. (Lately I’ve been loving the casual look of simply propping art against walls on tables and countertops. It makes it so easy to “layer” the pieces with more art or move pieces around.)
I found a new tray with colors that complement the painting.
And we finally had the perfect place for our cute vintage Dienes coffee grinder.
We don’t do syrups in our coffee, so I kept the coffee station simple. The Frango tin holds a bag of powdered cocoa for the occasional mocha or hot chocolate.
As far as the machine itself goes, my only small issue is that sometimes the steamed milk could be a bit warmer. (And I keep forgetting to put the detachable milk carafe back in the fridge after making a milk-based drink. But I can’t blame the machine for that!)
Overall, we’ve really upped our coffee game around here, and I’m feeling better about keeping the machine. Coffee anyone?
RECAPS stainless steel refillable capsule pods are designed to work with most (but not all) Nespresso makes and models.
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