New Nespresso Machine

I am so glad our new Nespresso machine arrived today. After some
initial difficulty (the machine refused to produce warm water which is
kinda essential for espresso) we got the baby working.

Rather than replace our aeroccino we got one of those whisk type milk
frothing machines. That also refused to work initially and only in a
slightly limp way now. But we persisted and man was it good.

This coffee tastes of home :)

Posted via email from chrisgarrett.posterous

Thanks @Nespresso, Considered Forgiven!

After the customer service issue (Dec 15th http://chrisg.co.uk/nespresso-customer-service-fail) I thought I was going to have to give up on my daily Nespresso fix but it seems they got wind of my blog post and called me up to see what they could do to put it right. Long story short I got a new account set up here in Canada and they sent me this lovely “Lungo” cup and saucer set!

Awesome :)

Even better, we ordered our new Nespresso machine and UPS say it is being dispatched, so maybe we can have our regular Nespresso lattes at Christmas using our brand new cups :)

Posted via email from chrisgarrett.posterous

My First Big Link

I just went digging to find my first “big link” – the first time someone sent me a whole bunch of traffic.

While I don’t have stats going back that far I did manage to find a whole bunch of old blog posts from back in 1999, and one in particular where I referenced a traffic spike from the post above. It was a huge thing for me, not so much because of the traffic but because I read that site as a real fan (I think the site and specifically this article were instrumental in getting me into “Blogging” rather than creating “websites”) :)

Unfortunately the .com site is no longer maintained by the original owner, Cameron Barrett, and is now a pr0n site :( However I dug around and found a .org site … but he no longer maintains it.

So thanks Cam, it probably doesn’t seem like much but it certainly was :)

I’m going to dig up as many old posts as possible and paste them into this site so they are not lost forever :)

Nespresso Customer Service Fail

I asked Nespresso customer service how to change my address to Canada so I can keep buying from them (if you attempt to change country they log you out, logging back in changes back to UK, and the address editing form does not allow me to set Canada as my country).

Here is their “helpful response”.

Edit 20th December 2010 – All is forgiven :)

Tassimo Versus Nespresso

Don't think a transformer is going to be enoughWe have had our Nespresso machine for four years this month and it has served us well. Unfortunately when we moved to Canada we discovered that the power supply is not switchable and it would need an industrial strength transformer if we want to use it on the power system here.

Up to now we hadn’t found a supplier locally for Nespresso machines. We figured if we were going to buy a new one it might as well do the milk and stuff, go for a posh one. Then I saw a tweet from Scott Stratten.

I can't find the exact tweet but it was something like this

I’m not above begging if it will get me a new gadget, so I sent my plea (“Oi, Stratten, gimme a Tassimo!”) and surprisingly it turned out I was eligible and the good people at OgilvyOne in Toronto would make the appropriate arrangements!

Yesterday the machine arrived so this morning’s cup o’ joe comes curtesy of this spanking new bad-boy.

The first thing you notice is the machine is bigger than the Nespresso. In the past we had to use espresso cups then tip the coffee into a mug. Here you can actually place the mug right under the spout.

Second, rather than tiny aluminium capsules, the Tassimo uses much larger plastic “T-Discs”. I thought the Nespresso was wasteful, this feels even worse. The positive to this system, though, is the flexibility it affords. You can do everything from tea to hot chocolate. Not sure why you would, but you can.

We were only interested in doing espresso and optionally foam milk, and they have an app for that. Sorry, a T-Disc for that.

Espresso starts out at a bit more than $0.50 per cup ($8 for 16 discs, plus taxes and delivery). If you want that as a Latte then you are going to pay double. Yes, adding milk makes each cup $1 (plus appropriate taxes and delivery). Fancier blends go up in price from there.

Tim Hortons is starting to seem the better option, right?

I can’t compare the prices between Nespresso and Tassimo right now because the Nespresso site won’t allow me to change my country to Canada, but before when we lived in the UK we would pay around 24p per capsule which converts to around $0.38 so I imagine the prices are roughly equivalent.

In operation the Tassimo is really easy. Place the mug into position, insert T-Disc, press the button, wait a couple of seconds, and you are done. If you want milk then you insert that disc and repeat.

At first the coffee was too strong for my wife, and the quantity it output wasn’t enough for me, so we ended up splitting two discs between us … but then we discovered you could hold the button down for a few seconds to switch from fully automatic so that you get a longer drink.

Conclusion

My impressions are obviously clouded by the fact we had gotten so used to the Nespresso way of working. I had never considered a single serve machine for Starbucks type coffee, and certainly not tea or hot chocolate, so I see those as largely irrelevant. As a machine for making a cappuccino though? Yeah I would say definitely consider it. With the Tassimo system you have less cleaning as with the Nespresso machines to get foam milk you either use a dedicated machine or the coffee maker has a milk reservoir. That said, per cup using your own milk rather than a capsule is cheaper.

You need to find the right coffee for you which would mean either going with a name brand or going into a store and trying some out. This gives Tassimo an advantage because while Nespresso has a much more considered “gourmet style” selection, Tassimo has the brand recognition of Suchard, Starbucks et al.

Canada One Monthiversary

We arrived here on 24th of October. Today is 25th November so we have been here a month. Time for an update :)

First let’s tick off stuff from last time:

  • The UK business is still as it was, but our Canadian business is now incorporated and we have an accountant. Unfortunately the Canadian business was spelled wrong by our paralegal on some of the paperwork so hopefully he will correct that.
  • We both have phone plans and I am now paying the princely sum of $8 a month so I can get caller ID. Ripoff or what?
  • It was touch and go for a while but we did manage to get a car. A new Dodge Journey. We get winter tires fitted Dec 6th hopefully. Not something we had even thought of, we were actually looking at Fords, but they were they only people willing to get us financed along with our bank, Scotiabank. The loan is in Clare’s name because I, as yet, still don’t exist. We took my birth certificate in again to Service Canada to try and get a SIN and we will have to continue waiting. This car finance hopefully means we are starting to build a credit history for when we come to buy a house.
  • The weather dipped to -30c for a week or so and we had a couple of nights of 15cm snow. At one point the media was telling us Calgary was the second coldest place on earth. Even with the cold, without wind or damp it doesn’t feel bad at all (unless you take your gloves off), in fact the sun can be really nice even when it is freezing at the same time. It’s now back up to a balmy 1c and feels really really warm in comparison. Possibly due to what I suspect is an oncoming Chinook. Thankfully the weather was clear the day the shipping container arrived.
  • I still haven’t had a steak, haven’t found a decent curry, but I did manage to get a really nice Burrito (Mucho Burrito) :)

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas …