New York is a city that knows no boundaries, a city that many call home. Hipsters throw parties in deserted Brooklyn warehouses, the richest people in the world use Barnes & Noble as a personal library, and last year even an otter took over prime real estate in the Bronx River. Recently, the Upper East Side of Manhattan became another home of sorts for high quality espresso machines, as Nespresso chose that location to open its only coffee bar in the nation. After all, there's no better place for a coffee bar than in a city that never sleeps!
Known as the Nespresso Boutique Bar, it resembles a hip nightclub. Customers come in and select their Nespresso beverage off of a menu similar to a wine list. If the drink wins you over then and there, you can purchase a Nespresso machine for your home such as the Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima EN680.M online or right at the bar. This machine, like other Nespresso machines, sets itself apart from the competition thanks to the Nespresso coffee capsule brewing system, which protects and stores your coffee for the freshest brew. Stainless steel housing, an automated milk system that simultaneously dispenses espresso and milk, easy programming for your drink; it all centers around a capsule brewing system that is like none other. Grab yourself a double shot of espresso, because we're headed to the Big Apple.
"The true New Yorker believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding." - John Updike
Coffee, for the Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima EN680 owner, is not a thing of stale beans, messy, expensive grinders and uneven tamping. Instead, it comes packaged in individual capsules, each brightly colored and labeled with its flavor before being carefully boxed and shipped to your door. These hermetically sealed capsules hold ground, measured, and tamped espresso in a dozen different blends. This untraditional method of storage results in untraditional brewing - you open up the lever on top of the teardrop shaped coffee dispenser, put the capsule in, and close the lever. If you want an espresso, press the button with the small cup, and if you want a lungo or a long shot, press the button with the large cup.
The milk system is as creative and innovative as the freshly sealed capsules. It attaches on to the front of the machine and dispenses directly into your cup. After filling it with up to 25 oz of fresh, cold milk, you can also adjust a froth regulator on the milk system, so your cappuccino or latte macchiato is as wet or dry as you want it. Press either the cappuccino button or the latte button, and your milk is dispensed into your cup at the same time that your espresso is dispensed out of the teardrop shaped coffee dispenser.
It shines like the top of the Chrysler Building ...
The Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima EN680 is housed in stainless steel, so we're not kidding when we say it really does shine like the top of the Chrysler Building. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the teardrop shaped coffee dispenser in the center of the machine. This is where, as they say, the magic happens. On top of this teardrop is a lever that opens the top of the dispenser to reveal an opening for the capsule. Closing the lever pierces the capsule from both the top and bottom, allowing water to flow through and brewing to begin, as well as disposes of the spent capsule into an internal dump box once brewing is complete.
Your cup sits below the dispenser on a cup tray. If you're using a tall glass for a latte macchiato or espresso lungo, push the drip tray in to give the cup more room. Espresso tastes best when its temperature remains stable, so it's better to brew more closely to the dispenser - this way, less heat is lost when the coffee is being dispensed.
To the right of the dispenser are six beverage buttons. The left column of buttons is for cappuccino, latte macchiato, and hot water, while the right column of buttons is for espresso, espresso lungo, and standby. The on/off switch is located in the back of the machine. These buttons each have an icon, so you can remember which is which. Each backlit button illuminates when the machine is ready to dispense that drink.
And the water's free
Believe it or not, New York City has clean, great tasting tap water, and the Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima 680.M has a great way to bring it to you. To the left of the coffee dispenser is a panel with a hot water nozzle for immediate hot water when you press the hot water button. This hot water is convenient for making soup, brewing a café americano, or - if you're on a macrobiotic diet - preparing some hot water with lemon. For those of us who love our indulgences, such as a milk-based drink, the hot water nozzle slides out, and you can replace it with the milk system for a cappuccino or a latte. When the hot water nozzle is inserted, the hot water dispensing button is backlit, and when the milk system is inserted instead, the cappuccino and latte buttons light up.
Cleaning the milk system on the Lattissima 680.M is relatively painless - you can even leave the milk in the container while cleaning takes place. Each time you use the Lattissima's milk system, you should clean the pipes of the milk container to remove any residue. Just place a container under the milk spout, and press and hold the rinsing button. The cappuccino and latte buttons will blink for about twelve seconds, and when they stop, rinsing is complete. Now that the milk system is clean, you can remove the 25 oz milk container and place it into the refrigerator, making storage simple and keeping your milk fresh and cold for the next round of drinks.
Understanding the Big Apple
Navigating the subway system is no easy task. Some subways have numbers, others letters; some split, and others even end up in the same place as the Long Island Railroad. But programming the Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima 680.M for different volume drinks is nothing like figuring out the subway. It's infinitely simpler. To change the volume of your espresso drinks from .65 to 6.5 oz, place a capsule in the teardrop dispenser as you would normally, then press and hold the button of the drink you want to adjust. Once you have your desired volume, release the button. Remember how all the buttons are backlit? The button will blink three times to let you know that the new volume has been set. Adjusting the quantity of hot water from 1.7 to 10 oz, or milk from 1 to 6.7 oz, works the same way. Press the button of the beverage you wish to adjust, and release it when you have your desired volume. If you want to reset the volumes to factory settings, press the standby button for five seconds. The beverage buttons (espresso, espresso lungo, cappuccino, and latte) will blink three times, showing that they've been reset.
Cleans up as well as Times Square
Times Square used to be full of seedy shops and theatres, frequented by drug dealers, pimps, and general ne'er do well-ers. Now it's cleaned up and become a mecca for MTV teenyboppers and their younger, FAO Schwartz bound siblings. Let's just say that the Delonghi Nespresso Lattissima 680.M cleans up just as well in Times Square, without Rudy Giuliani's help. Part of the reason it's so easy to clean is thanks to its capsule system. Used capsules are deposited to a dump box inside the machine, so you don't have to worry about stray grinds. You'll know when the box is filled because you'll be unable to close the lever to brew. A drip tray level indicator rises when the drip tray fills, so you know to empty and rinse it out.
The removable water reservoir holds 40 oz, perfect for large crowds. When it runs low, the beverage buttons will flash on and off for five seconds to alert you. The reservoir isn't dishwasher safe, so you'll have to wash it by hand to ensure the freshest tasting espresso. Descaling, a process that removes buildup in your brewing components, will be necessary about once every 3-4 months depending on the hardness of your water. It only takes about 20 minutes, and extends your machine's life.
If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere!
So if you can't make it to the Nespresso Bar on Madison Avenue, I recommend creating your own Nespresso coffee bar at home or in the office. Pop on some Sinatra, give your hands a good wash (remember, you took the subway!) and sit back to enjoy a great drink on your new Nespresso machine. It'll be a trip that you won't forget.
Nespresso Boutique Bar
761 Madison Ave.
Between 65th and 66th St.
Take the 6 Lexington Avenue Local and exit at 68th Street Hunter College/Lexington Avenue. Walk 2 blocks West to Madison Ave., then make a left and walk downtown about another 2 blocks.
Open Monday through Friday, 8:00 - 8:00
Open Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 - 7:00
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