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Mar 18, 2009 08:27 AM

Nespresso Boutique and coffee bar

Has anyone else tried the new place on Cresent? Or have any experience with the machines there?

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  1. Nespresso is the Swanson's TV dinner of coffee culture.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SnackHappy

      Swanson's is more like the Black and Decker pod machine that uses Maxwell house coffee.
      You can do a LOT worse than Nespresso in the pod category.

    2. I have not been there but I have used a Nespresso machine (in Kyoto, Japan). The coffee was good but I was not so impressed by the incredibly wasteful little aluminum "caps" the coffee grounds come in. Landfill.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bopuc

        exactly. at an event I recently attended, goody bags included the little caps, along with an invitation to exchange a cap for a coffee at the new place. I was not impressed by this marketing ploy... "this cap is useless to you, as you do not have the proper machine, but come see us anyway!" (ok, so it was not the exact wording... but close!)

        1. re: bopuc

          Actually, the pods are made of aluminum which is completely recyclable. You simply have to choose to recycle instead of being lazy and throwing them in the garbage. Nespresso is positively known for their green practices and promotion of international sustainable farming practices. I think what people don't like is that the company is Nestle- the name has a cheap /corporate feeling. Once you get beyond that though, you'll find an excellent product line.

        2. As they say in Texas: all hat and no herd.

          Coffee lovers will make a beeline for Café Myriade, only a couple of blocks away.

          14 Replies
          1. re: carswell

            Having been to the Nespresso Boutique and coffee bar in Manhattan, I would think that the Montreal location will serve as a salesroom rather than a place for the serious coffee lover in search of the ultimate espresso. That being said, you can do a lot worse than Nespresso. I have a Nespresso machine at work and it consistently makes very decent shots with good crema. Having had a number of of low end "manual" machines in my time I like the simplicity and quality of the Nespresso. It is certainly not the machine for a "coffee geek" but will likely yield better results for someone who is not into the grinding, measuring, timing, and all of the other variables that go along with manual machines.

            1. re: eat2much

              Like Carswell, I wasn't overly impressed with the coffee compared to Cafe Myriade. But the ambiance is more adult and less student. The coffee was decent even if it wasn't exceptional.

              A friend is looking at one of the machines for his office. I rather thought that they were decent for those who are mechanically/culinarilly inept.

              1. re: bigfellow

                It is unfair to compare anything to Cafe Myriade...

                Think instead of how it compares with a Starbucks or Second Cup.

                1. re: bigfellow

                  "A friend is looking at one of the machines for his office. I rather thought that they were decent for those who are mechanically/culinarilly inept."

                  As a mechanically inept person, I am the perfect customer for Nespresso. I am too intimidated by a real espresso machine. Too much effort. I had a chance to drink a bunch of Nespresso in France, I have a friend who has a machine. It is certainly very convenient, and even an idiot like me can use it. The "pseudo-crema" is ok, very passable. Is it the best coffee ever? Probably not, but it is ok, and very easy to use. But I also had a big issue with those wasteful caps, it was astounding how many you can go through if you are a big group.

                  But there is no comparison to Cafe Myriade or Gamba. This is not the same thing at all.

                2. re: eat2much

                  «very decent shots with good crema»

                  Haven't done much research on Nespresso machines but very much doubt they are capable of making true crema, which is hard enough to achieve on a genuine espresso machine using freshly ground beans. Wouldn't be surprised if Nespresso's crema is like that from pressurized portafilters: a dense foam rather than an emulsion of colloids and lipids forced out of the ground coffee beans by the pressure of the espresso machine. Perhaps Anth or bigabeano will chime in?

                  1. re: carswell

                    I will therefore amend my previous statement to read "decent shots with a good crema-like substance"!

                    1. re: eat2much

                      It is unfair to compare the Nespresso cafe and boutique to a place like Myriade because it is meant to be more of a point of sales for the Nespresso machines and pods.

                      I, for one, have a Nespresso machine at home and absolutely LOVE IT. I am by no means a coffee geek but the quality of the coffee for the price of a machine cannot be beat. I will echo eat2much and say that it makes good shots with good crema-like substance. I do know, having researched home espresso machines before purchasing, that the machine is able to have the pressure of a good espresso machine despite its small size and therefore would even suggest that it is real crema and not jsut a crema-like substance.

                      1. re: CookEatSleep

                        Don't have time to do much research but a quick perusal of serious coffee sites like Coffeegeek and Home Barista seems to show a split between casual users (many of them Nespresso owners), who claim the machine produces authentic crema, and geekier users (including professional baristas), who claim it doesn't. Some of the latter group admit that it does a better job of faking crema than most such systems. Neither group provides much in the way of objective analysis, though it does appear the coffee in the pods contains a fairly high percentage of robusta beans (great for crema, not so great for flavour) and the machines work at a pressure about double that of a regulation espresso machine (18 bar vs. 9 bar), probably not a good thing for true crema production (see pressurized portafilter above).

                        1. re: carswell

                          I'm curious as to how one could do 'objective analysis' of different cremas (aside from having a portable HPLC apparatus in one's pocket). I'm sure I don't have the nose to differentiate between the True and the corrupt cremas, but what I can smell here is the adulterated perfume of true geeko-snobbery. I've no doubt that of course, the only machines that can achieve that true crema must cost in the thousands, or at least nowhere near those plebeian 300$ Nespresso's.

                          1. re: johnnyboy

                            You can get a pretty decent La Pavoni machine for not much more than a Nespresso, and you're not stuck buying the can most certainly get true crema from a machine that doesn't cost thousands. On the other hand, I've had coffee from a machine that does cost thousands (Jura) and the Nespresso is probably it's not really cost at all, it's quality. No snobbery here, sorry, just true coffee lovers, IMHO...

                            1. re: johnnyboy

                              A $100 Gaggia espresso machine will make you worlds' better espresso than anything from nespresso, which quite honestly is the microwave equivalent to a turkey dinner.

                              Pardon me if that makes me a snob.

                              --Anth [directly affiliated with Cafe Myriade]

                              1. re: Anth

                                In fairness, I havn't seen a Gaggia for less than $200 new. You can buy their base models in town for $250-350 if memory serves. I bought a used model for less than this though and it consistently makes fantastic coffee with plenty of "real" crema, though its ability to steam milk consistently leaves something to be desired (this is a common problem with non-commercial machines).
                                Once you factor in the cost of a good grinder-more important in fact than the espresso machine itself-the base cost for a decent espresso set-up is still around $300 (and that's probably really on the lower end).
                                Is this espresso worlds' better than anything I've had from a nespresso? Unequivocally yes. Is it as convenient? No. It depends on your motivations and your own personal quality vs. ease-of-use calculations.
                                I really like the microwave turkey dinner analogy by the way.

                                --Harrison [only very loosely affiliated with Cafe Myriade]

                              2. re: johnnyboy

                                I get tons of crema from my espresso machine. Admittedly this a 600$ machine (Rancilio Silvia) with the best coffee I can get my hands on (currently 49th Parallel Epic, 14$/lb. -- thanks Anth).

                                Tons is defined here as 1" thick of foam in a 1 1/2 oz. shot glass, quickly subsiding to about 5mm of emulsion. The crema lasts for a few minutes, if I don't drink the shot.

                          2. re: eat2much

                            If coffee is not the focal point of your existence, Nespresso certainly fits the bill. I will not delve into matters of ecological footprints... Certainly, it does not make for a transcendental cup of coffee. But it is handy to have when your kettle breaks down...

                    2. Well my pal bought as Romeo and I broke down and bought a Latissima! Thank you all for your comments.

                      1. Nespresso's aluminum pods can be emptied and recycled.
                        In the pod category, which is obviously not for everyone, no one comes close to the Nespresso product. It's not the best espresso out there, but it's worth a try for those who have not tasted it. Problem is, it's expensive for daily use if you drink a lot of coffee.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Lesley

                          On the other side of the coin the pods are always fresh for those who make it infrequently and are tired of the taste of freezer-burned coffee.