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Exploring the Senses with Nespresso

Photography and Videography by Julie Florio

This post is in partnership with Nespresso. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

I am a rather particular human. I know what I like and how I like it. This holds true when I design a space, plan a tablescape, and establish an overall creative vision in my work. Aside from the visual component of my “taste” level, there is my actual sense of taste – and it is similarly focused and refined. I have a sharp sensory awareness. This is likely why I straddle the worlds of design and food. This is a trait I am thankful for – I know precisely what I want in an instant.

My specific tastes influence every aspect of my life, including my relationship with coffee. First and foremost, I loooooove my morning coffee ritual. As you might imagine, it needs to unfold in a particular way. When drinking, I must be in solitude, and at home. I like to wake up before my husband and son. It’s my sacred quiet time. The senses are engaged – sounds, smell, and taste. If for some reason I am unable to make my own coffee, I head to a coffee shop – and if the barista isn’t really an expert, I am cringing the entire time. This is not easy for me. Will the coffee on its own be strong enough for my liking? Should I ask for an extra shot? Will the water-to-coffee-to-milk ratio be correct? Wait, you want to put the cream in for me? Oh, no, no – for certain this will not work. The margin for error is too great. It’s stressful, and it starts the whole day off with so much uncertainty. (I kid. I exaggerate. Kind of.)

So where am I headed here? To the new Nespresso outpost on Madison Avenue! The company has built an all-around engaging sensorial, educational, and design-conscious coffee boutique. It offers tastings and workshops, each spotlighting a different element of the “Ultimate Coffee Experience”. The goal is to deliver a unique, meaningful visit and deeper perspective into the Nespresso story.

I loved learning about the thoughtful, sustainable practices of the brand – particularly the fact that Nespresso capsules are made from aluminum and are 100% recyclable. The design of the space reflects this focus. Coffee grounds are incorporated into the countertops. Hanging on the wall is an innovative art installation crafted out of recycled aluminum. There are even greenery areas with real coffee plants scattered throughout.

While there, I had the opportunity to compare and contrast two coffees, which helped me fine-tune my likes and dislikes. We used Nespresso’s newest machine called Expert, (which I’m now a proud owner of). The Expert machine allows you to brew Nespresso coffee tailored to your personal tastes, size, and temperature preferences. I like my coffee extra hot, so was able to alter the temperature accordingly. Anyone who visits the boutique is free to do the same. And if you want to learn as much as you can about coffee, you can book the Masterclass downstairs. There you are privy to an all-encompassing show, tell, and taste lesson with the Bard, a coffee expert. I took advantage of this experience with Nespresso’s U.S. Coffee Ambassador, James Pergola – take a look at the video below to see me, Little Miss I-Know-Exactly-What-I-Like, learn that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did when it came to my coffee preferences! Even if you know think you know your tastes to a T, you just might learn something.

My advice: go to Nespresso and get schooled on coffee. Your morning ritual will be that much more swoony afterwards. If you drink as much coffee as I do, the experience will pay dividends every day.

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