Once grad school finally broke me down and made me realize how wonderful a cup of coffee could be, I became a coffee shop kind of person. I like the ritual of going to a place, preferably with someone else, and having a barista make me a drink while I talk/read/study/work. Now that there is a toddler in the house, I don't always have time or the desire to go out for a cup of coffee. It really is not relaxing to chase after a toddler who thinks power outlets are toys. Besides, I feel like Christina Applegate's character in the opening scene of this episode of Up All Night when I place my order. Unlike her character, I have never pretended to know anything about music, and as yet (knock on wood) I have not done a face plant and gotten called ma'am afterwards. Side note: I have fallen during a run on an icy day and been stepped over by housewives doing their grocery shopping. Is that better or worse?
This past summer during our vacation in Switzerland we had a Nespresso machine in our rental house. This was a blessing for a house full of coffee drinkers. We were in the middle of the Alps at the end of a valley. It's not like there was a Starbucks around the corner. My mother-in-law enjoyed the Nespresso so much that she bought one as soon as she returned. I fail to see the logic behind her choice, because they own a very nice espresso machine. I think she had such a fun time on vacation and wanted to hold onto that. Plus, she likes having decaffeinated coffee at night and can't easily switch out the beans in their other machine. She must have asked me twenty times if I wanted a Nespresso for my birthday this year, to which I said no every time. A few weeks ago when my in-laws started babysitting for us one morning a week, they showed up with a Nespresso. They drink about ten cups of coffee a day and couldn't bear to spend so many hours in our house without their caffeine infusion. Looks like we are the owners of a Nespresso, despite my protests. This one:
I resisted at first and tried to dislike it, mostly because it's another appliance taking up space in our crowded kitchen. I think it's just in my nature to be a bit contrary--not one of my better characteristics, I'll admit. I have the demeanor of a grumpy old man on certain days. I still don't love it, but I have started to enjoy its convenience factor when people come over for a visit. Niek even used it this morning, because he knew he wouldn't have a chance for a good cup of coffee today. The coffee, while not spectacular, isn't bad.
Hats off to the Nespresso marketing team. Once you buy one of these machines and start investing in the coffee pods that go in it, you get to belong to a club. The Nespresso stores are sleek and modern, and you can try all the varieties in the store. If you are a club member you can stop in anytime just for a cup of coffee, which gets served to you at a coffee bar in the special Nespresso cups you can also buy for your home. It's as if you get celebrated for buying your machine every time you go in. Seriously, nicely done Nestlé. With that kind of customer service it's no wonder the place is packed whenever I walk past. I'm not the believer Nespresso wants me to be, but I suppose I can't be the loud-mouthed naysayer that I was.