The Nespresso experience

Posted on December 12, 2011

A month and a half ago I had the privilege of visiting Valencia, Spain. During the time there we drank a lot of coffee, and everywhere we went, including the hotel breakfast area, the places served Nespresso. The coffee had a nice frothy head and was consistently enjoyable. Some places had self-service and the machine was quick and easy to use. I decided I would get one. Conveniently there was a Nespresso shop located just behind the hotel so I popped over and bought some of the required coffee capsules. At this point I discovered that the “home use” capsules were little cup-shaped ones and different from the flat industrial ones. The sales person assured me the taste would be the same as all Nespresso machines used the same high pressure 19-bar pressure pump to produce the required high quality coffee experience. I purchased my first 6 strips (of 10 capsules each) of Nespresso coffee – having now bought into the programme.

When I got back to SA I went to my local shopping centre (Pavilion) and checked out all the options. I found the same pricing across all the stores, and although I could have saved a few hundred rand having it shipped from Amazon (UK )I was too impatient to wait. After trawling the mall between the various stores trying to figure out which was the right one for me, I finally bought the CitiZ (with Milk) from a very helpful sales lady at Boardmans (the only shop with someone who knew their product).

With the machine came a R350 voucher to be used for the purchase of coffee pods. Marvelous, well, except that they had no vouchers, but confirmed a few days later per telephone that I just needed to take my till slip down to Springfield (no address provided) and they would give me the voucher and let me buy some coffee.

Since I had the coffee I bought in Spain and the machine came with a starter pack (one capsule each of the 16 flavours in the range) it wasn’t too much of a problem.

Early last week I was finally in Durban on a “working day” so I decided to try to find the Durban supplier. It wasn’t listed on the www.nespresso.co.za website at all, only addresses for Cape Town (at the Waterfront) and Johannesburg were supplied.

I tried calling them a few times (found the number on Google), only to get a recorded message suggesting I call Jhb. So I took a chance and headed down to what I thought was the address (Google again) :

7 Springfield Ind Pk, 7 Willowfield Cres, Springfield Park, Durban (wrong)

I got there, no luck and no sign of the place. The security guard at the gate didn’t have a clue who or what Nespresso was. I sat in the car in the visitors parking and googled again. A few more addresses came up but none turned out to be correct :

Unit 28 Springfield Ind Pk 7 Willowfield Cres Springfield Park Durban (wrong)
13 Springfield Industrial Park, 9 Mahoganyfield , Springfield Park, Durban (wrong)

Taking a chance I put Nespresso into the TomTom. Big thumbs up to TomTom, they got me to the place.

Real Address : Unit 28 Springfield Industrial Park, 9 Mahogany Way, Springfield Park, Durban

Update : They have moved again. Current address : 254 Lilian Ngoyi Road (Formerly Windermere Road). Phone : 031 303 3374 (link here)

When I eventually got there, the staff were friendly and helpful. I filled in two sets of forms, they then produced the magical voucher, took my order, which ended up being 10 strips at a total of R576 (Average of R5.76 per cup), less the R350 voucher for a pay in of R226. I was happy with my haul and we have been enjoying the coffee ever since.

By way of comparison, I bought my first 6 strips of capsules in Valencia, Spain, at 3.55 euros each. At an exchange rate of R11/Euro that works out at R39 a strip (R3.90 a cup), so we are paying a premium of 36% here in South Africa. Could be worse I guess, but makes me wish I had bought more over there.

 

The machine itself, I bought the CitiZ&Milk (the left one in the pictures above) which according to the detail on the European site seems to be made by DeLonghi (it has the pipe-like spout rather than the tear drop one). It works really well, the milk frother is great, though a bit of a pain to clean.

I am delighted with this coffee machine, the simplicity and consistency is just great, and each time I have a cup I am reminded of my time in Spain.

I know a lot of people have said that Nespresso is over priced, and that I could have bought a machine, which freshly grinds the coffee from the bean for each cup, for only a little more than the price of the Nespresso machine. Such a machine uses coffee beans which work out lass than half the price per cup. I looked (briefly) at that option. The machines had too many settings, buttons, nozzles etc (for me). The R5,70 odd per cup of Nespresso isn’t cheap but is a whole lot less than having coffee out at the local coffee shops, is just as nice, and I get to have it while waking up.

The Nespresso machine is great because it simply just works. You can’t really get it wrong and you consistently get that great cup of coffee. I am very happy with it and my guests have been too. It is really quick to make a cup of coffee, taking a minute or less to warm up from a cold start, and each cup you make thereafter takes only a few seconds. No mess, no fuss and easy to keep clean.

I am sold on the Nespresso experience and would recommend it to anyone.

Table of comparative pricing information (Europe to SA) below :

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Coffee, Gadgets


17 Responses

  1. mel:

    HI SANDTON NESPRESSO very busy but i sometimes feel that they not always friendly and seem be be irritated that u are there bugging them especially this one guy thats there .when u arrive he looks at u then looks aways like i wont even bother with you as to say that u not going to buy anything ,but heh we always do beacuse we have the nespresso coffee machine .why do they look at u like u cannot afford it …i actually hate going in there becuse of him .would like to tell him off one day

    19.07.2013 13:01 Reply

    • Justin:

      I have always had the opposite experience at Sandton Nespresso (and the Durban branch too). They always offer me a free cup of coffee when there, tell me all about the new flavours and specials and are super-efficient. Guess it is down to the people on duty at the time, but no complaints from me.

      11.08.2013 14:09 Reply

  2. Harshil:

    Hi Guys, really like the blog.

    1) What are your thoughts on re-usable capsules?
    2) What are your thoughts on hand held milk frother vs Aerocino type milk frother?

    Kind regards,

    Harshil

    12.06.2013 12:30 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Harshil
      I looked into the re-usable capsules a little but didnt end up find any that seemed worthwhile. I still would like to try them as sometimes the coffee I want to use isn’t available in the capsules. If you find some that work well please share your experiences.

      I have the Nespresso machine with the built in milk frother (on the side) and it works reasonably well. Most mornings I just heat my milk in the microwave while the Nespresso machine is heating up so that I can get my coffee and be back on the move quickly. It is nice though when have guests around and we are chatting and making the coffee. I can’t see the hand held devices being any worse than the built in and may be easier to clean and be more convenient in use. In retrospect I probably wouldn’t buy the combined unit again.

      Justin

      15.06.2013 10:54 Reply

  3. Unknown:

    Thank you for this post, I stay in durban, can you not purchase capsules from stores such as Boardmans and @Home?

    05.02.2013 19:56 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi,
      No you can’t buy capsules anywhere except online and the Nespresso shop. You can get “compatible” ones at places like Checkers, Hirsch and Vida e

      Justin

      05.02.2013 20:35 Reply

      • Unknown:

        Thanks Justin for your quick response! Could you recommend any capsules found at Checkers, Hirsch or Vida e for someone who enjoys high intensity coffee’s or is Nespresso Capules still the way to go?

        06.02.2013 08:08 Reply

        • Justin:

          The Vida e capsules are ok, but seemed a bit overpriced for nothing special. The Cafe Lux capsules are R39.90 for a bag of 10, and come in 5 “flavours”, a mild, medium and strong roast, a lunga and a decaf. They are quite nice, I still prefer the Nespresso flavours, but give these a try next time you are in Checkers. It is far more convenient being able to pick them up there, and I keep a stock of both.

          06.02.2013 20:49 Reply

  4. Sharon:

    Hi. Love all the info. Is it possible to buy the capsules on line and have a monthly order delivered? I want to give it as a gift to parents, who cannot afford the capsules, but love good coffee….and we live in Europe so cannot pop to the shop to buy then!

    26.08.2012 11:36 Reply

    • Justin:

      Hi Sharon

      Yes you would be able to place orders online and have delivered. The capsules keep for a long time so you may not have to do monthly deliveries. From the nespresso official online store deliveries over R1000 are free, that covers around 20 strips of capsules or 200 cups of coffee. If you were doing 2 cups a day x 2 people x 30 days a month that would last around 2 months, you can recalc based on your estimates and see, but it certainly is an option.

      Regards
      Justin

      26.08.2012 17:23 Reply

  5. danny:

    Really enjoying these coffee blogs and info . thought id be of help , I tried espressoilove.co.za pods from Italy . Being European I really appreciate the Italian flavour , worth a try .

    03.08.2012 12:44 Reply

  6. Fathima:

    I googled “nespresso in springfield park” and found your blog..
    Thanks for saving me with the correct address 🙂

    09.06.2012 08:35 Reply

    • Justin:

      Glad to be of help 🙂

      09.06.2012 17:11 Reply

  7. Shep:

    There is a Nespresso shop at Sandton City (newly opened wing), check it out when you have time. i have passed by their door a few times and was impressed that such a specialised coffee store exists. I did not venture inside so i will not be able to furnish any prices or product range or specials information.

    But yes…thanks for sharing your passion.

    regards

    Shep

    25.01.2012 15:24 Reply

    • Justin:

      Thanks Shepard, will check it out next time I am in Sandton City.

      26.01.2012 09:58 Reply

  8. Sean Reuben:

    Couldn’t agree with you more on the simplicity of the gadget. Could not be bothered with the mess and fuss of grinding beans, etc.

    Love both the one at home and the one in my office 🙂 Going on holidays has become a bit of a nightmare though, when NDS (Nespresso Deficiency Syndrome) kicks in 🙁

    The one at home (Citix & Milk) is just about 2 years old now and developed a small problem with steam escaping out the top compartment where you put the capsule in. It is currently sitting in Randburg for a service and descaling which costs R285.

    Frothing has become a bit of an art – at home, Woolies full cream milk works well for a good head and I prefer the taste. At work we get Douglasdale milk deliveries, and only the fat-free version froths well. The other milk types just heat up in the frother and sits there with a “what the heck did you expect if you’re drinking Douglasdale” look! In general, it helps if the milk is nicely chilled.

    19.01.2012 16:10 Reply

    • Justin:

      Thanks for the comments Sean.

      I had noticed that the head on the frothed milk varies significantly between milk types, though hadn’t paid too much attention to what was causing this. Will definitely pay more attention going forward. This morning, tried some Clover 1% fat milk, and it didn’t work really well. After the frothing was done, I had mostly warm milk, and a small amount of fairly stiff froth which had to be spooned into my cup. Cross the Clover off the list. I was thinking that the amount of froth was related to the amount of cream in the milk, but given your positive experiences with the Douglasdale fat free that clearly can’t be the case.

      I have to confess as to liking the taste of the long life “boxed” milk in my coffee. This seems to froth fairly well too. Will provide more feedback on further experiences now that I am paying more attention. I do however need another cup of coffee and to get back to writing more for this long saga otherwise known as the MBA dissertation.

      Till later

      J

      22.01.2012 09:01 Reply

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