By Patrick Avenell
Nespresso, the world leader in closed capsule or ‘pod’ coffee, has unveiled its newest machines for the Australian market, the Maestria and Gran Maestria.
Traditionally famous for not being a traditional coffee system, with one-touch operation and perfect measurements of coffee in each capsule (known in Nespressoland as ‘Grands Crus’), the Maestria range represents a bold new frontier for Nespresso, and its manufacturing partner De’Longhi, with the introduction of several manual coffee machine features.
The most noticeable new feature of the Maestria machine is the steam wand to prepare milk. Nespresso machines have normally used a dedicated, in-built unit to prepare milk automatically, such as in the Lattissima+, or an accessory called the Aeroccino.
Preparing milk is one of the hallmark features of manual, or solo traditional, coffee machines. Suppliers of manual coffee machines, such as Breville and Sunbeam, often cite milk preparation as one of the hallmark features of being a home barista. Nespresso is now moving in on that category.
“A steam wand on the side uses optimised air intake technology to prepare light, frothy milk with a creamy texture,” said a spokesperson. “For the first time, Nespresso customers will be able to master the art of milk froth to perfection, just like a true barista.”
Also in the user’s hands is pour volume, with dials on both Maestria machines allowing for customisation of cup lengths for both espresso and lungo pours.
The Gran Maestria machine does not have the steam wand, with milk prepared using the integrated Aeroccino4 milk frother. An upgrade from the previous model, the Aeroccino4 can prepare four types of milk: cold and velvety, warm, warm and stiff froth, and velvety froth. Also built into the Gran Maestria is an automatic cup warmer.
Both the Maestria (RRP $749) and the Gran Maestria (RRP $899) have full aluminium bodies, pivoting cup support and fast heat-up times. Both have a 1.4-litre water reservoir.
The Maestria range’s form factor evokes 1950s Italian styling, such as those seen in De’Longhi’s Icona small appliance range. A Nespresso Australia insider told Appliance Retailer that the company was specifically looking to create an instantly recognisable, iconic design for its first machine releases of 2012.
For more on what Nespresso is up to, and for a full wrap on the coffee machine category, check out our dedicated feature in the March issue of Appliance Retailer magazine.
Take a look at the two machines below and tell us what you think in the comments box.
Nespresso Gran Maestria: notice the cup warmer on the left and the new Aeroccino4 on the right.
Nespresso Maestria: the steam wand allows users to prepare milk in a similar way to a barista.