9 easy coffee drinks to make with your Nespresso machine

You’re craving a coffee drink, but don’t necessarily feel like an espresso. So you head over to your Nespresso pod machine and realise it only has two setting: short and long. Not one to be defeated by a kitchen robot, you get creative. Or rather, we’ve gotten creative. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the coffee drinks you can make with your Nespresso pod machine. All you need is a little imagination and some good Italian coffee.

So grab your Italian Nespresso capsules and follow us as we travel the globe for the best and easiest coffee drinks you can make with nothing more than your Nespresso machine at home. Whether you feel like something sweet or prefer your coffee with a hit of something boozy, this is the guide for you.

1. THE AMERICANO

It has a bad rap, but the Americano is a great way to make a great espresso go further. So instead of knocking it back in one slurp, you can savour it without having to add any milk.

coffee cocktails
2. THE YUANYANG

It’s the age old request: Coffee or tea? But why choose, when you can have a yuanyang? The drink comes from the Chinese word for mandarin ducks, a symbol of conjugal love in Chinese culture.

easy coffee drinks
3. THE TRIPLO

Double espressos are for wimps. This very American concept takes the classic Italian espresso and triples it because three’s a crowd in everything except coffee.

coffee drinks
4. THE CAFFE MELANGE

Such an elegant name for what is basically coffee and cream. The name is all French, but this sweet delight actually hails from Switzerland and Austria, where it a cafe favourite.

coffee drinks recipes
5. THE CARAJILLO

Thought to have been created by the Spanish when they invaded Cuba, the carajillo was a sophisticated shot of liquid courage that’s packed with all the flair you’d expect from Latin America.

popular types coffee
6. THE COLD BREW

It’s the coffee of the moment and it’s damn easy to make. Just crack open a pod, pour it in a jug with cold water and leave to soak overnight. The next morning you’ll have iced coffee that actually tastes like coffee.

list different types of coffee
7. THE DIRTY CHAI

A trip to India via Italy. The dirty chai is a chai latte’s smack-talking street cousin. It packs a punch and the espresso is a great complement to the spicy notes of cardamom and cloves.

how to make different types of coffee
8. THE EISKAFFEE

There’s spiders and then there’s the German coffee spider known as Eiskaffee. This one is strictly for the adults with enough sugar and caffeine to keep you awake into next week.

coffee types chart
9. THE MACCHIATO

When it Rome, add cacao and frothed milk to your espresso. The macchiato is the coffee drink your hipster friends order when they’re too cool for a cappuccino.

types of coffee

A guide to Italy’s regions through coffee

Coffee come to Italy in a roundabout way. In 1683, Vienna was liberated from the Ottomans with a lot of help from the Republic of Vienna. When they fled, the Ottomans abandoned about 500 bags of coffee. Coffee found its way first into Venice and then spread like wildfire throughout the rest of the country.

We all know about the espresso, but Italy is more than a one trick pony. You can travel the country’s 20 regions and try a different coffee delicacy in each one. In Venice, coffee tends to be well-rounded and aromatic, with notes of an oriental vanilla fragrance. In Milan, it’s light, delicate and fine, designed to drunken quickly before heading into the office.

This is our homage to Italy’s lesser known coffee specialities and the cities and regions they’re famous for.

 

 

Naples

We’re starting at the foot of the country in Naples for one very special reason. Naples is the home of the espresso as we know it. Intense, dark, persistent and short, the Neapolitan form of the espresso is known locally as tazzulella ‘e cafè. It’s a shock to the system, so it’ll always be served with a glass of water on the side.

Naples is also home to Italy’s sweetest, if far less common, tradition. The ‘caffè sospeso’. It’s where you buy two coffees, but only drink one, leaving the other for a stranger to drink for free!

Where to order a coffee:

You really can’t go past the Caffè Gambrinus, Naples’ oldest coffeehouse and homage to Art Nouveau’s Belle Epoque. Order a rum babà alongside your coffee for the complete Neapolitan experience.

What else to see:

  • The main piazza and its spectacular Royal Palace
  • The gulf of Naples from the Castel dell’Ovo at Porto Santa Lucia
  • The Renaissance and Baroque paintings of the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte

Sicily

Sicily is hot, exotic and intoxicating… and so is its signature coffee. The caffè d’u parrinu is an Arabic-inspired coffee flavoured with cloves, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Uniquely for the region, it’s often served cold with whipped cream to help you get through those Arabian summers by the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Where to order a coffee:

Caffè Sicilia in Ragusa was voted Sicily’s best bar for 2017. The family-owned coffeehouse has been churning out the island’s best brews alongside creamy ricotta cannoli for more than 30 years.

What else to see:

  • The Salt Flats in Trapani, where you will still see salt being made in the traditional way.
  • The Temple of Concord in Agrigento
  • The Town of Noto, a Unesco World Heritage site thanks to its exemplary Baroque Architecture

Rome

The Eternal City and capital, Rome is the place to go for every coffee under the sun from an Americano to Cappuccino, but the Romans like theirs simple and understated. The macchiato is a cornerstone of Italian coffee culture, the meeting place between an espresso and cappuccino and the local’s cheeky little excuse to drink a milk-laced coffee after 11am.

A macchiato is rich, dark and enticingly creamy with just enough milk foam to sweeten the brew and stop you from reaching for that sugar bowl.

Where to order a coffee:

The ridiculously tiny and ludicrously lit Sant’Eustachio is generally considered by the locals as Rome’s best bar. They have a long standing and rigorously guarded secret brew that’s called the gran caffe. 

What else to see:

  • The Pantheon
  • The Borghese Gardens
  • The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, an excellent example of Fascist architecture

Le Marche

We’ve tackled the main Italian cities, so now we’re going native with a lesser known corner of Eastern Italy, Le Marche. Famous for shoemaking, the region dips its toes in the Adriatic Sea. It’s a different slice of Italy with a very different coffee culture. The caffè anisette is a fragrant aniseed-flavoured espresso. The aniseed is incredibly warming, making it perfect for a winter’s morning.

Where to order a coffee:

Moldavia Dal 1920 has been churning out coffees since, well, 1920. Here they do it with flourish and a profiterole on the side.

What else to see:

  • The impressive Roman site of Urbisaglia provides free tours of its frescoes, theatre and amphitheatre
  • Beautiful coastline and beaches at the foot of Mount Conero
  • The bustling and perfectly preserved medieval town of Sarnano, named one of the most beautiful in Italy

Trentino

High up in the North, Trentino is cold and snowy. Here the sentiment is very Austrian. In fact, the locals speak a mean German, which is probably why they opt for a ‘cappuccino Viennese’ over an espresso almost every time. Order one of these and you’ll be served a delicious frothy coffee with chocolate and cinnamon. Perfect for a break on the slopes

Where to order a coffee:

La Chicchera in Mori isn’t just Trentino’s best coffeehouse, it’s one of Italy’s. The owners are former Italian coffee champions, so you know they make a mean brew to serve alongside their homemade brioche.

What else to see:

  • Toblino Castle, charming castle on an island in the middle of a lake
  • Trento’s Piazza Duomo
  • Peio’s hot springs

Can’t get to Italy right this minute? Order a couple of boxes of our Italian Nespresso compatible pods to tide you over and experiment making these regional delicacies in your Aussie kitchen!

Shop now!

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Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her: Coffee Lovers Edition

Love is in the air and it smells like Italian coffee! We at L’Emporio have put together our favourite gifts for the coffee loving lady in your life. Whether she’s your one and only, your blend loving BFF or that barista who just gets you – choose one or a few and consider yourself the perfect Valentine.

Deluxe Italian coffee pack

130 pods, all our Italian coffees, so she can have a cup and think of you every morning, afternoon and night for at least the next three weeks… depending on how just much she loves coffee!

$55, lemporio.com.au

Travel mug

Because sometimes (okay almost all the time), she’s in too much of a hurry to stop for coffee. Now she can think of you every time she’s getting from A to B, coffee in hand.

$17, cottonon.com.au

Donation to UN women

When you empower a woman, whole communities benefit. When women earn an income and have a seat at decision-making tables, they create more peaceful societies and more productive economies. UN Women leads the largest movement to accelerate gender equality and women’s empowerment in nearly 100 countries around the world. So this Valentine’s Day, make a donation in the name of your thoughtful girl to make the lives of women better everywhere.

from $48, unwomen.org.au

Mini milk frother

The perfect gift for the girl who loves coffee, but only with perfectly frothed milk! Cappuccino has never been so stylish.

$149, myer.com.au

French bonbons

Forget about the heart shaped samplers or baci chocolates, traditional French bonbons de chocolat are petite, refined and delicieux. Who said Italians and French can’t get along? In fact, there’s nothing better than coffee except for coffee and a champagne bonbon… or three.

$22, labellemiette.com.au

I love you more than coffee (almost) card

Show your coffee heroes that you care with one hell of a declaration (whether it’s true or not) from our friends at La La Land.

$7, lalalandshop.com.au

Caribbean coffee candle

Why just stop at just drinking coffee? It’s breakfast next to bed with this coffee scented candle from Little Finch & Co. Serve it up with a cup of espresso each morning for the true meaning of synergy.

$31, littlefinchcandleco.com.au

Budding up to a Gimoka barista

It’s 2017 and we’re grumbling our way back to work after the holidays. Well, not all of us. Alessandro from Gimoka’s home cafe on Lake Como and is pretty chuffed about his job. Making coffee for beautiful women all day ain’t that bad, he says. We caught up with him on our recent trip to Italy and chatted not about the ladies, but about the coffee culture in Italy and the perfect espresso. Here’s what he had to say.

Alessandro, you’ve been working at Gimoka’s Como café for almost 4 years, tell us, is the Italian love of coffee a stereotype or do the locals really obsess over their cup of Jo?

Coffee is quintessentially Italian. In America, there is a huge push for flavoured coffees, for beans that taste like chocolate and almonds and strawberries, but in Italy, the emphasis is still on an espresso that is made well and well, tastes like coffee.

What do you mean, tastes like coffee?

The perfect Italian coffee is hot, bitter and short. The flavour notes are subtle and accent the coffee rather than hide the flavour of the beans. If I want a coffee that tastes like chocolate, I’ll eat a piece of chocolate with my espresso. I don’t need to combine the two with artificial flavourings and sweeteners.

We’re a little biased, but we don’t think the perfect espresso necessarily needs to be made by a barista like yourself. What do the Italians think?

There are some terrible baristas out there, I’m not one of them (lol), so I agree. You can have terrible coffee at a bar and you can have terrible coffee at home. It’s all about the products you’re using and how you go about making your coffee. Italians don’t exclusively drink espressos at the local bar. They know how to make a good espresso at home.

Now Alessandro, a few barista tips for making that perfect espresso at home? 

Ah, well it’s not all about the machine. You don’t need to go out and buy a really expensive machine. Whether you’re using pods or beans, it’s about understanding your machine’s capabilities and following a few general rules. Always let your machine heat up, never use a cold glass, don’t pull too much coffee and remember to tilt the glass as it pours out for the perfect cream.

You work at Gimoka, but you can still be honest with us. How do Italians feel about coffee pods? 

Italians have embraced them almost more than anywhere else in the world. They’re a convenient way to get a consistently good coffee. Italians drink 3-4 coffees a day, so they know what a good coffee tastes like. They hold their coffee brands to the highest standard and companies like Gimoka know that. They’re not going to sell them a substandard product. They’re going to make pods that deliver on an authentically good Italian espresso, otherwise they would have gone out of business years ago.

Favourite Gimoka coffee?

The one everyone at the café always asks for, Gimoka’s Intenso. It might be the red packaging, but it’s the local favourite. I like how intense it is (hence the name Intenso). It packs a real punch. It’ll wake you up with its richness and bitterness. It’s a medium roast, so it’s dark, but you don’t get those almost burnt notes that turn some people off a traditional dark roast. It holds its own when you add a drop of milk or when making a cappuccino, which is nice. I don’t like watered down coffee.

So you drink cappuccinos? 

Sure! Most Italians have them for breakfast, although I make a few in the afternoon here at the café too and I’ve never yelled at someone for ordering one after 11am. Milk isn’t coffee’s enemy. A cappuccino can be as delicious as an espresso, especially if you’re not a heavy hitting coffee drinker and some Italians aren’t. I still wouldn’t add sugar though. Italians never add sugar to their coffees.

Ever been to Australia?

No, but I would love to go. Australians sometime stop by the café and they say places like Sydney and Melbourne have amazing cafés. I’d love to try the Aussie take on coffee. See whether it shapes up to ours!

You can visit Alessandro at Gimoka’s in-house café on Lake Como. 

 

 

Christmas coffee cocktail recipe: Caffè Siciliano

This week’s coffee cocktail is another Italian classic. It lives and breathes the ’50s. Basically, if we could marry this cocktail, we would. It’s that sophisticated and smooth and graceful.

The Caffè Siciliano is named after the place that invented it. It’s an after dinner cocktail, but it has none of the sweetness you’d expect. A combination of amaro (the go to Italian herbal liqueur), Grand Marnier and sugar syrup, it’s bitter, but refreshing. Kind of like a Christmas martini. You serve it with a orange draped on the side and channel your inner Mad Men.

We’re using Gran Caffe Garibaldi’s Gusto Top blend for this one. It’s our high-end coffee, so you know it goes down a treat here. You want the coffee to stand up to the liqueurs, which is why we’re using the cold brew technique. It preserves the coffee’s aroma better than a hot espresso that’s been chilled to room temperature. You can get our cold brew recipe here.

 

shop our Gran Caffe Garibaldi Gusto Top Coffee

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Christmas coffee cocktail video recipe: The B-52

We’re kicking off the Christmas season and the countdown to the end of 2016 (finally) with a retro coffee cocktail – the B-52!

A favourite on the ’70s club scene, the B-52 was invented by Peter Fich, a head bartender at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. He named all his new drinks after his favourite bands, albums and songs. This drink was, of course, named after the band, the B-52s!

There are plenty of different versions. We’re using coffee liquor, Irish creme whisky and Grand Marnier. As for the perfect layers. The trick is to pour your liquors over the back of a dessert spoon and into your shot glass.

Three different liquors, no ice – what could possibly go wrong?

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Win one of these $100 Italian Christmas hampers

 We all love Christmas hampers, right? Well to celebrate our first L’Emporio Christmas, we’re giving you the chance to win this $100 food hamper of imported Italian products. All you need to do is order between now and December 20. It doesn’t matter how much you spend or what you buy, you will automatically go into the running to win. This Christmas food hamper contains all the classic Italian Christmas treats, so you can bring a little dolce vita to your table this festive season.

Our gourmet Christmas hampers contain:

– A box of amaretti cookies by artisan Tuscan bakers, Corsini

– 2 boxes of our premium Gran Caffè Garibaldi espresso

– 2 hand-painted ceramic espresso cups

– A packet of organic porcini mushrooms, picked & dried in Tuscany

– A jar of gianduia, a sweet chocolate & hazelnut spread invented in Turin during Napoléon’s reign

– A bottle of white truffle oil

– A traditional Tuscan panforte cake flavoured with figs and walnuts

– A hand-crafted tea towel, designed in Siena

How to: Caffe Shakerato video recipe

It might still be freezing cold in most of the country (Melbourne), but we’re starting summer anyway, Italian style. When the weather heats up, Caffe Shakerato is the drink of the season. It’s a cinch to make – all you need is ice cubes, cold espresso coffee and sugar syrup (2:1 sugar water ratio)

Since its invention in the 1960s, Caffe Shakerato has been a bar favourite in Italy, where 40°C heat is no excuse to skip your daily caffeine fix.

So grab a mason jar, call over some friends, add a shot of Baileys or vanilla liquor and get those summer parties started.

We’re using Gimoka’s Deciso blend for this one. Its dark roast and bitter cacao notes provide the perfect balance to the sweet sugar syrup.

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How to make an Italian espresso at home video recipe

A true Italian espresso is short, naturally sweet and easy to brew. And you don’t need an expensive barista-approved coffee machine to make it at home.

The first espresso was brewed in Turin, Italy, at the end of the 19th century, but it wasn’t until Gaggia released their Gilda machine in the 1940s that Italians started making espresso at home.

Nowadays, most Italians use a pod machine to make their espresso not because they’re in a hurry – coffee is still a ritual in Italy – but because it promises a great espresso time after time without barista training. When you’re looking for a short shot of coffee flavour that best accentuates the notes of the beans, you can’t go past an espresso.

To brew an authentic espresso, you will need:

POD MACHINE

ITALIAN-MADE ESPRESSO PODS

A SMALL DOUBLE BARRELED SHOT GLASS

The trick to the perfect cappuccino

Myth: Cappuccino’s silky magic is beyond the grasp of home baristas.  It’s just too delicate of a dance, best left to the cafe.

Nonsense, the perfect Italian cappuccino is a cinch. All you need is a little practise and some great Italian coffee…

cappuccino

Said great Italian coffee: We’re using Gimoka’s Deciso. A decisive and intense coffee, it can stand up to all that milk, ensuring you won’t be drinking a watered down mess, while its woody aroma with hints of bitter cacao is just what you want in a cappuccino.

cappuccino

The ratio: The perfect Italian cappuccino is 25ml espresso and 85ml fresh whole milk. Yep, sorry dieters, it has to be whole milk or you won’t get that great cafe froth.

The recipe:

  • Pour cold milk into your electric milk frother, about a third full and get frothing
  • Once it’s has finished, tap the base of the frothing jug firmly on the countertop to compress the foam
  • Prepare your Gimoka Deciso pod espresso in a large cup
  • Pour the foamed milk directly into the cup, first aiming for the centre, then continuing in a circular motion out toward the rim
  • Dust with bitter cacao