There is something exquisite about sitting down with your favourite mug/cup and your favourite coffee. How do you like yours? Americano in a tall elegant mug or possibly a latte in a local pottery mug. Drinking fine coffee in your favourite cup/mug is a fine art no matter what time of day. It’s also a time to take stock, rethink or possibly veg while you drink your favourite drink. I have a Nespresso* machine which is great but got slightly fed up having to order the cartridges online in bulk. I was invited by Carte Noire to preview their new coffee cartridges. They have recently launched compatible cartridges available in leading supermarkets that will remove the financial pain of ordering in bulk. However, it really depends what rocks your boat. Sometimes it’s easier ordering in bulk but its really useful to know you can buy compatible cartridges in smaller numbers.
My tester is someone whose coffee rituals are legendary. No matter what is happening in his world he stops religiously for coffee twice a day. Sometimes at leading independents in the City and sometimes the well-used Nespresso machine at work. I agreed to review the cartridges as I know many people who have been desperate to buy smaller batches. They are available in 4 different strengths: No3, No5, No7 and No9 in ascending strength. We did a blind testing 4 identical cups (different colours) and he had quite a lot to say about them.
No3 was mild and for someone who likes their coffee mild this is the one for you.
N05 was stronger and smelt of old fashioned grocers who still grind their coffee to order like Monmouth Coffee Company. This was definitely the most attractive smell and we were all excited at the prospect of the taste based on this lovely just ground smell that is hard to recreate.
No7 stronger still and had a stronger depth and lasting taste that the first two didn’t have.
No9 very strong, possibly too strong for our seasoned taster.
Verdict: No5 and N07 came out joint top based on taste, aroma and much discussion about how he was feeling at any particular time. Would he buy them? Yes. They were easy to use and for a quick fix they did the job. However, we do feel really loyal to Nespresso and although he would feel guilty it would mean the Carte Noire Cartridges would become a guilty pleasure rather than forsaking the original cartridges. The packaging design is smart but I would question the use of so much packaging. The boxes could be smaller and each cartridge is individually wrapped which is a lot of plastic. With increasing concern about plastics in the environment it might be worth revisiting after the launch. He enjoyed them with some leftover cakes from a Wolseley and Fortnum’s Afternoon Tea the day before.
Disclaimer: I was sent cartridges to review by Carte Noire. The opinions above are from my discerning tester who has years of experience trying and savouring a whole range of coffees and has a lot of experience of Cafe Culture in Central London. This is a sponsored post and all opinions are honest based on sampling mid-march 2014.
This post is an entry in the Foodies100 Espresso Collective Challenge, sponsored by Carte Noire. Each box of Carte Noire Espresso capsules contain 10 single servings and are available in supermarkets at an RRP of £2.79 and are available in four intensities. To find out more about the new Carte Noire Collection Espresso click here
*Nespresso® is a registered trademark of a third party without any link with Mondelez International group. Compatible with all Nespresso®* machines bought before July 1, 2013. After that date, compatible with most Nespresso®* machines bought. For additional information regarding compatibility, please see UK: www.CARTENOIRE.co.uk/compatibility