Nespresso Emporium Location: G-030 Emporium Melbourne Melburnians will be delighted with news of the arrival of the brand new Melbourne Nespresso Boutique, which has just opened its doors in the exclusive Emporium precinct. The world-class venue is a stunning space, occupying 230 square metres and containing the largest of Nespresso’s coffee rooms in Australia. To celebrate its opening, TFS joined Nespresso and Torstar Sydney for an intimate first look at the new boutique. Upon entering, we were treated to a tasting of two limited edition coffees, the Cauca and the Santander. The beans for each coffee are grown in opposite geographical regions of Columbia, being South-West and North-East respectively, leading to markedly different flavours in each coffee. The Cauca is a softer style coffee with an elegant body highlighted with a hint of greenness, whilst the Santander is much more robust in flavour, with nuances of toast and cereal. Our tour began with an introduction to the coffee tasting bar, the second in Australia and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The tasting bar is in similar fashion to a wine tasting bar, allowing customers to come in and taste any of the coffees in the Nespresso range. The bar is well-staffed with knowledgeable personnel who can assist in describing the flavours of each coffee being tasted, as well as finding a suitable match to each customer’s palate, much akin to a coffee-sommelier – tasting notes are also provided for each coffee; outstanding! Customers are able to taste ristretto-sized servings if they wish to try a broader range of products without getting ‘drunk’ on caffeine. We noted that Nespresso have branded their coffee range as Grand Crus, evoking comparisons to first-class European wine. This is apt given they aim to provide boutique, high-quality coffee that can be enjoyed at home. We were informed that Nespresso source the top 2 % of beans by quality from select coffee plantations around the world, further highlighting their commitment to a high-quality product. The store also features a unique capsule installation, the product of the Jumbana Group, a leading indigenous design company. It’s a stunning addition to the boutique, with all proceeds going to Indi Kindi, a Jumbana project. Proceeding down the stairs, we were given a demonstration of the self-selection room, which is designed for club members to purchase their favoured coffee in an impressive 3 minutes. Customers can select their coffee from constantly replenished walls of capsules, place it in a bag and take it to a self-service check out that uses state of the art scanning technology, which determines the bags contents based on weight and barcode. The system appears to be accurate and very easy to use – very cool indeed. For those who are scared of technology or who prefer a friendly face, there are 6 manned point-of-sale terminals, which, added to the 5 self-service terminals, allows a speedy purchase for those with a short lunch break. The store also contains an easy drop off bin to recycle empty cartridges, and a pick up point for customers who wish to collect their orders at a self-nominated time. Overall the store has a very art-deco and contemporary feel that is equally well-designed for those in a rush and those that are keen to browse at a leisurely pace. After our tour, we were treated to a lunch at Vue de Monde, hosted by Shannon Bennett and his team. Shannon Bennett has a long history with Nespresso as one of their ambassadors. Upon our arrival, we were provided with 3 different kinds of hors d’oeuvre; a truffled marshmallow, an apple and macadamia puree in a gelatinous pocket, and smoked eel topped with white chocolate and caviar. All three were divine, embodying a perfect precision on balance between richness and savoury elements. Our entrée was served shortly after, consisting of duck egg, sunflower-shaped pear, truffle puree, tempura saltbush (similar in flavour to mint) and thin crostini. Although expected from a restaurant of such stature, the elegant presentation of the entrée still drew a harmonious ‘wow!” from the guests. Upon further dissection of our meal, cutting into the duck egg led to a gentle oozing out of its yolk, making it exceptionally easy to coat over all the delicious garnishes that adorned the plate. In well-timed fashion, the main of Spanish mackerel, potato crepe and coffee jus (or ‘fish and chips’ as described by the head chef) was served. Sourced from the Eastern coast of Queensland, the mackerel is prepared using the Ikejime method (that’s one to Wikipedia, I’ll spare you the details). Yet another impressive dish, with perfectly cooked fish and another beautifully balanced sauce accompaniment. The potato crepes, whilst very fresh and clean in flavour, were a little out of place in the dish. Dessert was a Couverture ganache-filled doughnut, cooked on a Japanese donut-maker and lightly fried prior to serving, and a pleasantly deceptive lamington filled with mousse and jam with a thin musk stick leaf. Both desserts were delectable and wonderfully (but not overly) rich. Special mention must go to the mousse lamington, which disappeared off the serving plate in seconds (bar one that I scored as a take-away for E, who could not attend – lucky her). It should be noted that a number of these dishes appear on the degustation menu at Vue de Monde, making it well worth a visit if you have some solid money tucked away for a special occasion. An absolutely stellar event, brought to a spectacular close with a smooth dose of macchiato, coupled with the best view of Melbourne’s city skyline. What a treat, and truly reflective of the class and excellence of the Nespresso brand. Drop by the Nespresso Emporium boutique to pick up a box of your favourite brew, or let yourself be guided towards a new taste by one of the staff members at Australia’s largest tasting room. Whatever the occasion, the boutique promises access to consistently world-class coffee, prepared within the comfort of your own home.
The Food Society dined as a guest of Nespresso, Torstar Communications and Vue de Monde.
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