By Tess Sanders
Today I was transported within the walls of legendary Grand Central Station. No, I was not catching a train for a beach getaway. I traveled briefly to Italy with Nespresso.
Until June 6, Nespresso is offering complimentary cups of their pod-brewed beverages to celebrate their new home brewing machine, the VertuoLine.
Amidst the bustle of New Yorkers and tourists alike, I met with Nespresso demonstrator Fabio Ferrari (yes, his real name) who told me the company’s cross-cultural origin story, a Swiss entrepenuer who became enamored of Italy. Watch the video story here.
And that signature Italian crema? Ferrari tells me that after countless Nespresso customers asked for it, the company delivered with the new VertuoLine: a pod system that brews an American size cup of coffee with the delicate flavor of crema, the creamy foam that crowns genuine Italian espresso.
As Ferrari—a Modena native—sees it, coffee preferences reveal cups-full about cultural proclivities.
“Italians socialize around food… The espresso signals that food is over and it’s time to get back to work.” Compare that to Americans who “invented fast food” and use coffee, instead of meals, to socialize.
The VertuoLine allows users to taste it all, brewing both espresso and coffee. In the time it took me to enjoy a cappuccino and begin a coffee, I’d learned Ferrari’s story (a “caffeine-crazy boyfriend” introduced him to Nespresso and he left his life “in a golden cage” as a 9 to 5er to begin demonstrating for the coffee company).
My only complaint about the cappuccino: it was prepared with 1% milk instead of the full-fat stuff. The coffee was the most flavorful pod-brewed I’d ever sipped. The head is lush, rivaling a Guinness!
My tastings were prepared after three staff members consulted about my preferences (the more bitter, the better if you’re wondering—though only in matters of chocolate and coffee), and the three-on-one consultation was a delight. You can revel in Nespresso’s escapism all week at Grand Central.
If you’re lucky you’ll meet Ferrari, who, in his own words, will lure you into the world of bold flavors and won’t contaminate the experience with a sales pitch.