Nespresso x Riedel for the ultimate enjoyment of coffee

Only one generation ago, instant powder quickly mixed with hot water was often the standard for a good cup of coffee at home. Nespresso inventor Eric Favre believed that a barista’s made to order cup of excellent java could be replicated at home, with the same consistently great taste. The problem was keeping coffee fresh; once a package was open and exposed to oxygen, it deteriorates over time. Favre developed and patented the concept of individually portioned Nespresso pods to ensure unwavering quality every time, and coffee connoisseurs have never looked back. Having George Clooney as a spokesperson didn’t hurt, either. Over time, Nespresso has constantly sought to push the caffeine boundary with innovative products that keep its loyal customers piqued.

Nespresso’s latest collaboration is with Austrian quality glass manufacturer Riedel. It coincides with the launch of the company’s first vintage coffee, the Limited Edition Selection Vintage 2014 Grand Cru. Made from 100 percent Arabica beans harvested in 2014, they were subsequently stored in its Columbian warehouse situated at an altitude of 3,700 metres above sea level. Ageing the beans give them a more mellow flavour, with softer fruit notes. Just like fine wine, it is meant to be enjoyed in a vessel that will bring out its distinctive qualities.

“To celebrate this launch, we partnered with master glassmakers at Riedel with the aim of crafting the most advanced tasting vessel to maximise the Nespresso Grand Cru sensory experience,” explains Roger Staeheli, Nespresso S.A.’s country manager for Hong Kong and Macau. “We also called upon ECAL’s (Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne) director Alexis Georgeacopoulos, and ECAL instructor Tomas Kral, to rework the ergonomics of the Riedel glass to enhance the aromas and flavours of Nespresso Grand Crus. The glasses are made in the German Bavarian forest—a region famous for its Bohemian glass craftsmanship tradition.”

For more than 250 years, Riedel has been producing exceptional quality stemware tailored to bring out different qualities in grapes. While many wine enthusiasts use a larger, rounder bowl for red wine and smaller, more tapered bowl for white, Riedel develops its bowls’ shapes according to the characteristics of varietals such as chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon. Shiraz drinkers can opt to buy only Shiraz glasses, to maximise their enjoyment. Similarly, the Nespresso x Riedel Reveal Espresso glasses bring out the best aspects of its coffee.

Staeheli confessed that Nespresso worked with 16 sommeliers to test the stemware. “The transparency of the glasses holds a delightful vision of coffee,” he notes. “The aromas are specifically directed onto your palate to satiate your nose; your sense of touch is heightened through the elegance of the crystal; and your ears awaken to the resonance of this enduring, quality material. Its shape has been specifically crafted to unveil the delectable aromas of our Espresso Grand Crus—the proportion of the bowl size to stem forces the liquid onto your palate at just the right angle. In addition, they have a shorter stem and a thicker base for convenient use with Nespresso coffee machines. The glasses have also been adapted for use with hot beverages. They allow the meticulously aged Limited Edition Selection Vintage 2014 Grand Cru to express its balanced aromas and smooth texture, maximising the sensorial pleasure for an exquisite gourmet coffee moment.”

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