The only Nespresso Nicaragua review you need.

The Nicaragua Master Origins is described as a ‘black honey’ processed coffee which the manufacturer claims gives it a smooth texture with sweet tasting notes. But does the drink live up to these claims and is it worth a purchase? In my opinion this drink is decent in some areas but falls short in others. Read my Nespresso Nicaragua review to find out more.

Continue reading “The only Nespresso Nicaragua review you need.”

Nespresso India Capsules Review: The Definitive Guide.

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You may have looked at the India Master Origin Nespresso pods but are hesitating to make a purchase. If you are wondering what makes this different to other pods then check out my Nespresso India capsules review. I have thoroughly tested what makes this coffee distinctive and I discussed what makes it good. And some bad points too.

Coffee: Master Origin Indian With Robusta Monsoon.

Overall score: 2/5

Tasting notes: 

Woody and spicy.

Pros: 

  • Solid choice for power coffee drinkers.

Cons: 

  • Will be too intense for many people.
  • Sharp aftertaste.
  • Slightly flat taste when drunk with milk.

Verdict:

This coffee is for people that like their caffeine hits powerful, uncomplicated and overwhelming. If you like a rich and intense coffee then this could be for you. If not then let me explain why you might be better off choosing something else.

Nespresso India Capsules and box.

Drinking the Nespresso India without milk.

Without paying much to the wording on the side of the packet I could tell that this coffee was a dark roast. Its rich smell hits you when you put the cup to your nose. This coffee has an earthy aroma that is pretty hard to ignore.

I drunk this coffee as an espresso shot first and it took a while to download what I tasted. It is strong bodied, which meant that the taste of the coffee leaves quite a heavy taste in the mouth that lingers for some time. 

Whilst not myself as much of a fan of these types of roasts, the coffee tastes more bitter than I am usually accustomed to. This could be due to the fact that this is a blend of coffee from India that includes robusta beans. These are known for often having harsher flavours and a higher caffeine content. It could also be due to being over roasted although I was able to detect its advertised tasting notes.

Drinking the Nespresso India Master Origin as a lungo (longer drink) did smooth over some of its sharper edges although it still tasted fairly harsh.

As a black coffee the drink has a very earthy taste. It is definitely spiced with a kick of what I could only describe as a strong, smoked wood flavour. The harsh aftertaste does tend to overpower these tasting notes however.

Drinking the Nespresso India with milk.

Unsurprisingly this drink is smoother when paired with milk as the natural sweetness of the milk counteracts the harsh edges of the coffee flavour. It has a gently spiced aroma that is more subtle and does not hit you in the nostrils as much.

This drink has a low acidity and drinking it with milk makes it obvious how flat this coffee is without the richness of the black coffee flavour overpowering your tastebuds. A desirable acidity can really make coffee taste good. Kind of like how the acidity of a fruit can make it taste really sweet and appetising. I struggled to detect much of anything when adding milk other than a very subtle spiciness and the heavy body of the coffee. 

Having said all of this these points do not make it a bad choice if you like drinking your coffee this way. If you usually add milk and like a powerful coffee hit then it could be a good choice.

Who is this drink for?

This drink is for people that do not like a subtle taste with their coffee. If you like a rich and harsh taste with your morning fix then this is right up your alley.

If you are not put off by this and you like the sound of its smokey and spiced tasting notes then consider this a solid choice of Nespresso pod.

Who is this drink not for?

I would pick a coffee that uses a lighter roast if you are put off by my description of its bolder flavours. If you are looking for a more mellow tasting coffee, check out my review of the Starbucks Espresso Blonde roast.

I definitely would not choose this if I were new to drinking black coffee. If you have previously put off drinking coffee without milk and are trying to make the switch, the richness of the Nespresso India’s flavours would probably be too much for most people.

If you are a milk coffee drinker but prefer sweet tasting notes or a refreshing feel then you are better off picking an alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Nespresso coffee good quality?

That depends on what you compare it to. A Nespresso will not give you the same control over your coffee or the quality that comes with using fresh whole coffee beans but it can still make a decent cup of coffee.

There are many Nespresso capsules on the market to suit everyone’s taste and the capsules themselves are sealed to lock the freshness of the coffee in for longer.

That being said, they do not taste as good as freshly roasted coffee beans. I use both a Nespresso machine and a French Press and have Nespresso coffees in the morning mainly for convenience.

If you have milk in your coffee you may not notice as much of a difference in taste anyway. Ultimately it comes down to subjective taste and there are many people that love Nespresso coffees. Check out my Nespresso guide if you still not are not sure.

Is Nespresso better than Starbucks?

If we are just comparing apples to apples then in my personal opinion I prefer Nespresso capsules to most Starbucks ones although they are made by the same company and taste can be subjective.

Generally speaking I find Nespresso capsules to be stronger and there is less choice with the Starbucks ones. Having said that there are some good Starbucks capsules you can buy. Have a look at my detailed overview if you want to know more about the best Starbucks Nespresso capsules you can buy.

Starbucks Nespresso Capsules Review: A detailed look.

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Interested in buying Starbucks pods for your Nespresso machine but do not know which ones to choose? I have thoroughly tried all of the capsules so that you do not have to. Check out my Starbucks Nespresso capsules review of all the best ones below.

Best Starbucks pods all rounder:

Winner: Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast.

The Starbucks Blonde Roast is a mellow tasting coffee that will probably satisfy most people except for the strongest of coffee drinkers or people that drink lungos (long coffees) without milk.

It has a pleasingly fruity acidity when drunk as an espresso shot and and has a subtle but sweet taste when drunk with milk. It is smooth to drink and is light bodied with a gentle aftertaste. 

The Blonde Roast is also an excellent choice for those transitioning to black coffee.

Read the full review:

Starbucks Blonde Espresso guide.

Best Nespresso Starbucks for espresso shots:

Winner: Starbucks House Blend.

In many ways the House Blend is similar to the Blonde Roast but it is with espresso shots where it really shines.

It is a smooth and well rounded coffee with toffee tasting notes although I could really only taste these when drunk with milk. Drinking it without milk gives the coffee an earthy and well balanced flavour.

Power coffee drinkers may again find this too weak and may have to end up using two shots for their drinks.

Read the full review:

The Starbucks House Blend for Nespresso.

Best for Lungo coffee shots:

Winner: Starbucks Pike Place

The Pike Place Nespresso pods are a solid choice if you want a larger black coffee without milk. When drinking this coffee black you will notice a rich, earthy but balanced flavour. The taste does not overwhelm you either.

The flavour of this drink is very weak when paired with milk and does not work as well when used as an espresso shot so bear this in mind when considering this option.

Read the full review:

Pike Place Starbucks Nespresso pods.

Best with milk:

Winner: Starbucks Colombian Roast and Espresso Roast.

I have gone for two options here for milk drinkers depending on what your coffee preferences are.

The Colombian Roast is another smooth and balanced coffee drink and this time comes with subtle tasting nutty notes. It leaves you with a lasting and pleasant aftertaste but may not be strong enough for some people.

If you prefer a more heavy bodied and stronger taste then you may want to consider the Starbucks Espresso Roast instead. The aftertaste is significantly stronger too and the richness of its flavour really does show itself even with milk.

Read the full review:

The Starbucks Colombian Roast review.

Read the full review:

Starbucks Espresso Roast full guide.

Best for power coffee drinkers.

Winner: Espresso Roast.

The Espresso Roast is definitely the strongest coffee in the Nespresso range and is a like it or love it type of drink. This is a dark roast with a rich, one note flavour designed to blast your taste buds. 

Its flavour is very intense when drunk as an espresso shot and little of this flavour is diminished when drunk with milk although doing this does make it taste a lot smoother.

The intensity of this drink may put some people off, especially when drunk without milk however.

Read the full review:

Starbucks Espresso Roast full guide.

Best mellow coffee drink.

Winner: Starbucks Caffé Verona and Blonde Roast.

If you want to taste less coffee in your drink then the Caffe Verona is a good option. It is very smooth when drunk as a lungo and is very subtle with milk. 

The major drawback of this coffee is that it does not work as well as an espresso shot and I found it harder to detect some of its advertised tasting notes. Some people that are used to trying other Nespresso pods may find the flavour too weak and end up using more than one coffee shot.

As previously mentioned earlier, the Blonde Roast is a lovely and versatile drink that gives you complex flavours that do not destroy your tastebuds. 

Read the full review:

The Starbucks Verona Guide

Read the full review:

The Starbucks Blonde Roast review.

Best decaf option.

Winner: Starbucks Espresso Roast Decaf.

This drink is the decaf version of the Espresso Roast. 

Despite being decaf this does not diminish the intensity of its flavour so be prepared to adjust your tastebuds if you are not used to drinking powerful, dark roast coffees. As with the Espresso Roast option it tastes a lot smoother with milk although it does leave a strong aftertaste.

Given that the drink is very similar to the Espresso, many of the pros and cons I have already addressed there are the same.

Read the full review:

Starbucks Decaf Nespresso review.

Best value for money.

If you are still not sure as to which coffee to get or like to have a variety of flavours then getting a variety pack could be your best bet. They are often cheaper than buying the packs individually and allow you to try a range of coffee pods within the Starbucks Nespresso range. 

Check out this range of coffee pods below if you want to get a collection of coffee pods instead.

What is the best Starbucks Nespresso Capsule?

If by the best you mean the one that is the highest quality it depends on what you are looking for in a coffee as each capsule in the Starbucks range serves a specific purpose. I would say that the Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast comes out on top. It is a pleasingly smooth espresso shot and despite its mellow flavour is well balanced with complex tasting notes. 

The Espresso Roast comes out on top if you want a powerful coffee.

Are Starbucks pods good? 

Having drunk many Starbucks Nespresso pods I can confirm that they are not quite as good as their store bought coffee but they do make a solid choice of coffee for a drink at home. They compare well against other Nespresso coffees although I found that all of them apart from the Espresso Roast (standard and decaf) tasted weaker in comparison. This did not necessarily detract from the overall experience from drinking these coffees however.

Are Starbucks capsules made by Nespresso?

Yes that is correct. Despite being branded as Starbucks coffee pods they are in fact made by Nespresso themselves. They do taste like Starbucks coffees although you will always get the best coffee by buying direct from one of their cafes.

It’s time to change your daily coffee routine.

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You are probably reading this because you are either curious about other peoples’ daily coffee routines or want to change your own. Do not worry. We have all been there. Wondering as to whether this regular habit of ours is healthy or slowly killing you inside. Today I will help you assess whether you have bad coffee habits and how to reinvigorate your daily coffee routine.

What is a bad daily coffee routine?

Well there really is no right or wrong answer to this. If you are reading this you probably have a good idea already. When talking about bad habits I am not talking about whether or not drinking coffee is healthy for you, although there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it is in many ways.

Ask yourself whether drinking coffee is something you trying like doing or is something that hinders you as a person. We all have habits. The question is which ones you have are good or not. You might not care either way and that is ok too. But if is something that you suspect you might have to give up to have a better life, consider whether there is some way of reinvigorating your relationship with coffee first.

The bad habit checklist.

James Clear is the author of ‘Atomic Habits‘ and he wrote a really good article on how habits form plus how to change them. Rather than cover the same ground I have created a checklist that will hopefully help you assess whether or not you really think your daily coffee routine is bad for you or not.

Get yourself a pen and a piece of paper. Answer these questions honestly. Try not to think too much about your answers until you have finished.

  • Is your habit automatic? 
  • Do you ever stop and think about the coffee you are drinking?
  • How often do you notice different changes in taste when drinking coffees?
  • Is coffee a means to an end?
  • Do you truly enjoy drinking coffee?

Try tracking your daily coffee use to see if that helps you to identify any emerging patterns here. There are no right or wrong answers and you may find that your answers to these questions could be yes or no depending on the situation. None of us are robots and our moods can vary depending on the situation. 

Have a think about your answers and assess whether you really enjoy your coffee as a good habit or whether you think it is something you should probably give up. Before you quit (unless it is for health reasons), have a look at these ideas to see if you can reset your relationship with coffee. 

Practice gratitude.

Evidence suggests that practising acts of gratitude on a regular basis improves your mental health. Before you gulp down your coffee without thinking, why not turn the whole process of drinking coffee into an act of gratitude?

Sit in a quiet place with the coffee cupped in your hands. Think about the destination of how the coffee made its way into the cup in your hands. All the people that harvested the beans. The suppliers that roasted the coffee and the shop that sold you the beans. Think about all the great things you have to be grateful for. No matter how small.

This exercise does not have to be restricted to just coffee. In fact you can do for pretty much anything you want. The key thing here is to reorient your coffee habit towards something more reflective and peaceful. 

Keeping a journal and doing this exercise at least once a week will help you make the most out of this exercise. You may end up finding that there are more reasons to be grateful for coffee than you knew existed.

Learn how to make your daily coffee routine something to be grateful for.

Learn how to taste coffee.

Learning how to taste coffee is a great experience and makes you really appreciate the difference nuances between different coffee beans, brewing methods and roasts. The next time you make a cup of coffee, asking yourself some questions:

  • What kind of acidity does the coffee have? A coffee with a desirable acidity may make the coffee taste sweet and vibrant. Kind of like the different tastes you get from a fruit. An undesirable acidity may make the coffee bitter and astringent. A coffee with very low acidity often tastes very flat and uninteresting.
  • What is the mouthfeel of the coffee? Does the taste feel heavy and stay with you or does it feel light and refreshing?
  • Is the coffee rich and one note with a singular flavour or is it mellow with a complex array of different flavours?
  • What tasting notes can you detect whilst drinking the coffee?
  • What is the coffee aroma? The aroma is the combination of the fragrance and the taste of the coffee.

There are lots of different variables that can impact your coffee taste from brewing to the coffee roast and a whole host of other factors.

The more you understand coffee tasting the better you will get at appreciating its nuances and subtle flavours.

Practice Mindfulness.

Mindfulness, or being present in the current moment, has been associated with many positive benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing. If you are not familiar with mindfulness or other forms of meditation, make yourself a cup of coffee and give the following exercise a try.

Sit down in a quiet place where you are not likely to be disturbed and set aside ten minutes of your time. Close your eyes and hold the cup of coffee in your hands. How does the warmth of the coffee feel in your hands? Try to keep your focus on this. If any thoughts pop into your mind, simply acknowledge them and then let go of them rather than trying to force yourself not to have any.

Switch your attention to your other sensations but keep your eyes closed. What can you hear around you? How does you body feel sitting on your chair?

Open your eyes. Take in your surroundings whilst keeping your focus on the warmth of the coffee, the background noises and the feeling of the chair. Bring the coffee close to you and breath in its fragrant aroma. 

What does it smell like? You may wish to combine this with the coffee tasting exercise above. Take a note of how the coffee tastes. How does it make you feel? Take in some slow, deep breaths and try to enjoy the experience. Make your coffee routine a time for peacefulness and serenity. Doing this in the morning in a garden or park is a great way to start the day.

Change up your coffee.

I am not just talking about about switching up your coffee roasts. Maybe you are used to using a coffee machine and are getting bored with the same routine. Why not switch it up a little? If you are new to speciality coffee, get yourself a French press or an alternative coffee maker along with a decent burr grinder. Learning new ways to make coffee is a satisfying experience. Especially if you are usually used to just drinking instant or using coffee makes such as Nespresso machines.

Why not try making cold brew coffee instead of rushing for the kettle next time? I love having control over all the different variables that go into making a great drink. And it is great fun to be able to try a host of different coffee recipes.

Associate coffee with positivity.

Are you a positive person? Well it does not matter too much as neither am I. But that does not mean that you do not do things that you do not associate as positive in your life. 

Pick something you enjoy doing. Personally I like nothing more than to sit down in a quiet room and listen to some music whilst I browse the internet. I make a coffee in anticipation of doing this and it has become a habit I really enjoy and look forward to.

Some people are more social. In that case, make your coffee habit a time for drinking and chatting with friends.

If you do this enough times, you are beginning to associate your coffee drinking habit with something you enjoy. 

Your alternative daily coffee routine.

You do not have to take up all of these ideas at once but try out ones that speak to you. You may even wish to combine some of them at the same time. 

Maybe instead of getting up late you get up a little earlier and have some quiet time with your cup of coffee. Instead of drinking several cups mindlessly while you work, maybe you could take five minutes away from your desk and listen to to some music with your favourite drink instead.

We live in a crazy world with tonnes of information being thrown at us left right and centre. Sometimes enjoying something is more about changing how you do your daily daily rituals rather than doing something else instead.