Perfect mornings rarely get served to us on a silver platter. Often it takes work, or many different elements coming together. Like this one special morning affair ANCX recently got invited to: the launch of Nespresso’s revolutionary Vertuo line of machines and coffee capsules.
From the VIPs alone, we knew things were going to be tasteful and top-notch: the always elegant David Celdran of Executive Class hosted the proceedings, and beauty queen and global influencer Pia Wurtzbach lent star power to an otherwise relaxed morning. But what really made us thank the heavens we decided to rise and shine and drive to Makati that day was the food prepared by one of Manila’s top chefs, the always exciting and innovative Josh Boutwood.
We are Boutwood fans here at ANCX. We love his food at Helm, we were at The Test Kitchen in Rockwell almost every week during the holidays, and we’re no strangers at Ember, which was the chosen venue for the Vertuo launch. We like getting surprised by his new flavor offerings, and we were treated to surprise after surprise that day at his Greenbelt 3 HQ.
Everything on Chef Josh’s menu was light and delicate, and so thoughtfully matched with a Nespresso flavor—from the head cheese terrine paired with the full-bodied Altisso, to the pan-seared Chilean sea bass paired with sweet Melozio, to the dessert plate that involved a crème brûlée, Dulce de leche, basil meringue and a delightfully robust and creamy Double Espresso Dolce.
Boutwood didn’t give us the expected thematic coffee-flavored dishes. Instead, he let his food shine, and then let the Nespresso varieties have their moment on our palates, while also highlighting how the food and the brews complemented each other. “We created dishes that were meant not to outshine the coffee or vice versa,” the chef said, “instead we crafted plates that would elevate the coffee experience by adding a missing tasting note or amplifying one that was present.”
As a sort of counterpart to Boutwood, Nespresso Coffee Ambassador JR Abril was on hand to guide the attendees around the Vertuo’s features as well as the brewing styles one can try with it, and the variety of flavors available. Particularly impressive is the machine’s one-touch system that, well, magically chooses just the right brewing settings for whatever capsule you put in.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a taste of coffee—blame the issues of old age—so when we decided to allow ourselves a few sips here and there, we were reintroduced in a glorious way to this most wonderful of day-openers. We often throw suspicious glances at people who make so much fuss about not getting their coffee fix first thing in the morning, but if coffee was this good we completely understand the obsession. Everything we tasted were flavors unafraid to assert themselves, with a naturally creamy quality that usually makes for a tasty, deeply satisfying brew. We particularly liked the tall cool drink JR Abril prepared originally for David, made refreshing with raspberry and an orange slice.
Nespresso makes good in its promise to raise the “at-home coffee game to café levels” with the intuitive quality and one-touch system of the Vertuo line. One easily gets intimidated by highly modern contraptions that come in sleek packages and none of the usual instructive labels on its buttons—which is what this machine is. Like you would be needing coffee while trying to figure out how to make coffee.
But as soon as you get over the initial feeling of intimidation and you’ve skimmed through the manual, making your first cup of Vertuo joe with this sleek new system is as easy as a click of a button. Which is fundamentally how this sleek, no-nonsense machine works. Slide to open, drop a capsule, and press for yum!
A perfect morning is not always easy to accomplish but it seems Nespresso has found a way to inch us closer to often having one (it helps if you have P16,500, of course, the price of the machine). “We’re particularly excited about [Vertuo],” says Patrick Pesengco, Managing Director of Novateur Coffee Concepts Inc., distributor of all things Nespresso in the Philippines. “The actual device is so intuitive and sleek, but we also feel that the range is a step in the right direction in terms of coffee appreciation, especially with the expanded range of roasts and flavors. This will definitely be a welcome addition in homes across the Philippines.”
[The Nespresso Vertuo is now in the Philippines. Just go to their e-commerce page, or visit a Nespresso boutique store, pop-up, or certified machine retailer in Metro Manila and Cebu.]