Special to Thailandtoday.co
As anyone who has spent time travelling around Italy and sampling its specialties will know, a gran caffe enjoyed in a Roman piazza will taste nothing like its namesake on the magical isle of Sicily or like a crema sipped by a canal in Venice.
Today, though, coffee lovers don’t have to travel all the way to that most Latin of European countries to take their taste buds on a journey from north to south as premium capsule coffee maker Nespresso is introducing a new intense coffee range dubbed Ispirazione Italiana that stops off in seven cities through the taste of seven blends inspired by the diversity of the Italian roasting tradition. Ispirazione Italiana debuts two brand-new blends, Venezia and Napoli, and embraces five popular intense espresso and ristretto blends in this new range, namely Kazaar, Ristretto, Arpeggio, Livanto and Roma.
In its notes on the new blends, Nespresso explains that each major Italian city differs in how it expresses this art in their characteristic roast, the perfect example of endless experimentation and a deep understanding of coffee, allowing each blend to reach its full potential.
Why Italy and not France of Turkey, both of which ae also known for their caffeine kicks? Business Executive Officer of Nespresso Thailand Halai Priti tells Thailandtoday that the Nespresso story started 30 years ago and was inspired by the espresso machine invented by Luigi Bezzera in 1905, who wanted to give everyone the opportunity to create the perfect cup of espresso just like a skilled barista in Italy.
“That’s when we had the very simple idea of bringing you a product that allows you to savour a premium cup of coffee in your home, just like in an Italian bar. So Italy became kind of the DNA for Nespresso when it comes to roasting techniques. If you walk around Italy, all the cities have something very specific that they offer in terms of their coffees. We were inspired by these cities and for the last 30 years, we’ve been learning, experiencing and experimenting with the Italian coffee tradition,” Halai says,
“Ispirazione Italiana is a tribute to these deep-rooted Italian traditions and the know-how that they have. And we just want our consumers to also hear the stories behind their favourite Nespresso coffee blends.”
Today more than 75 per cent of coffees are enjoyed at home in Italy and have become an integral part of Italian culture. Unlike other limited editions that Nespresso occasionally launches, the Ispirazione Italiana range is a permanent addition and aims to take coffee lovers on a Nespresso Italian journey to discover for themselves these intense coffee aromas and cremas.
Nespresso’s range of coffees and their names are evolving to better reflect the regional Italian expertise, with each blend capturing the essence of the city that inspired it, be that the spicy North African influences in Palermo or the rich depth of Roman history.
The first of the two new blends, Ispirazione Venezia, pays tribute to the Venetian blending and roasting masters while the second, Ispirazione Napoli, is inspired by the short, exceptionally dark and creamy coffee drunk in Naples.
Meanwhile the strongest blend Kazaar is transformed into Ispirazione Palermo. Kazaar represents the Sicilian city of Palermo, which is the inspiration behind this powerful blend. Another popular blend Ristretto is now called Ispirazione Ristretto Italiano – the essence of Italy’s iconic drinking tradition, also in Decaffeinato.
The Arpeggio blend, meanwhile, represents the cultural city of Florence and is now known as Ispirazione Firenze Arpeggio, drawing influences from all over the country (also in Decaffeinato). Livanto honours the trading city of Genoa and so is now called Ispirazione Genova Livanto. The Roma blend gives a nod to the Italian capital, the centre of rich history and a melting pot of cultures since ancient times. The Roma blend is now called Ispirazione Roma.
Halai is confident that the change of names to the old five blends won’t confuse coffee fans. “Most of our customers recognise their favourite coffees and the colour of the capsules should help them. But we would really like them to understand that these iconic cities were the inspiration for behind their favorite coffees. So I think the city name is what the customer should remember.”
Throughout her eight months working with Nespresso in Thailand, Halai has seen how social media plays a role in spreading the word about coffee. “How we present our coffee to the outside world on social media is very important in terms of taste. The coffee category might be small, but it’s growing at a high double-digit rate. Consumers are getting used to drinking coffee, especially the younger generation in the emerging middle-class sector. They make up our main target,” she says.
The capsule coffee trend is also getting up steam, with more brands jumping into the market. Reusable capsules are now available and can be filled in any coffee of choice.
Halai is quick to point out that the competition is coming from the high number of Bangkok coffee shops offering excellent cups tailored to individual tastes, which is not the case in Europe. “In Europe, if you want a good cup of coffee, you will have to choose a brand like ours, Yes, you can have coffee outside your home. But at home, we offer premium coffees, we guarantee the freshness. We have very deep expertise in coffee so we’re able to bring very qualitative coffee recipes to the Thai customer, and with our smart machines. We actually allow anybody to be a skilled barista at home just like in an Italian bar.”
Asked if we can expect limited edition blends of Thai coffees in the future, Halai says the door isn’t closed to such an opportunity,
“Our product roadmap is managed very much globally. The product roadmap is not differentiated by markets. It’s one global product roadmap, so I’m sure the product roadmap innovation team is already looking at it. I’m not sure the production volume is enough for Nespresso. But as a limited edition, or as one of our special coffees that we launch for revivals, it’s a possibility. Maybe it could be on the roadmap because Laos has already found its way there.”
Ispirazione Italiana is now available online and at Nespresso boutiques. Stay up to date at Facebook.com/Nespresso.