Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Nespresso VertuoLine "Pops-Up" at Union Station

Perhaps now I understand what all the fuss is about: I used to scoff at folks who would routinely shell out five bucks (sometimes more) for a single cup of coffee. I'm simple. Any coffee would do, and I took it black (no cream, no sugar.) Boring. Yesterday, I stopped by Union Station to experience "the revolution of coffee," courtesy of Nespresso's new VertuoLine pop-up coffee house. Nespresso (as the name suggests) is best known for its upscale espresso machines; but the VertuoLine is actually two machines in one gorgeous package, dispensing large-cups of coffee and espresso along with the inevitable oohs and aahs its sleek design will garner. From 9 to 11 AM, the normally reserved Main Hall of Union Station was transformed into a coffee emporium... flush with free coffee, product information and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn.

Yesterday's stop in the nation's capital kicked-off a 108-day Pop-Up tour across 17 cities, to help Nespresso spread the word on its "Coffee Revolution." Coffee lovers descended en masse over the full two hours, putting the VertuoLine's Centrifusion brewing technology to the test. Plenty of experts were on hand to answer questions, and show how easy the VertuoLine is to operate. How simple? Even I can do it, with minimal instruction (and that's sayin' something.) We should get our hands on a test model in a week or so, and report back on all the details; but suffice it to say... this machine looks very cool.

DC's favorite (and Top Chef alum) Spike Mendelsohn

If yesterday's Pop-Up is any indication, Nespresso plans on making a big splash with the VertuoLine. Once you discover crema in your coffee at home, you may never drink a regular cup of joe again. Choices abound with eight coffee and four espresso capsules available: Best of all, the VertuoLine knows which is which, thanks to barcode reading technology, so all you have to do is... drop in the capsule, and hit start. To learn more about the VertuoLine, stop by their website (click here) and check back next week to read our extensive, hands-on review.

The Nespresso VertuoLine machine is available in three colors (red, black and chrome) and retails for about $300 ($350 when bundled with the Aeroccino Plus milk frother.) It's available for sale at Nespresso Flagship boutique stores starting March 1st, at Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, Bloomingdale's and Macy's beginning February 20th, through other retailers starting April 1st, and online at on February 20th.

Union Station turns into Coffee Central

Spike and Nespresso's Jackie Hull (center) address the press

Breakfast wouldn't be complete without some of Spike's creations