Now that I am slightly steaming (see previous post to explain the connection between mood and posting anything here), I will return to a realisation I arrived at about a week ago now.
I have, frequently, and will continue to do so, just as frequently, sworn at, been sarcastic about or even sardonic towards, excess packaging. Safety concerns have dictated occasionally ridiculous levels of foil or shrink-wrap security around medications and standard food items, but there are times when even that seems to go too far (foil seal on a bottle of two-stroke oil that already has a sealing, child-proof cap on it???), and this is without even going into individually wrapped snack packs, cheese slices and those single-serves of nurofen, guarana and berocca that you can buy at service stations now (for fuck's sake people, every car needs a proper first aid kit!)
Now I admit to some hypocrisy in this - I use a razor that takes replacement heads with four blades each - but I have found the one thing that pushes me over the edge from sarcasm into abuse.
Fuck with coffee, and you are bound to get me riled up. I still criticise my friends for drinking instant coffee in my house, and they've been doing it for four years now. But Nespresso takes the idea of throwaway packaging to a ridiculous extreme.
What it is (and I'm not even going to provide a link for this) is an espresso system that uses an otherwise standard high-pressure espresso coffee machine and (this is the good bit) individual little cups of grounds. In a normal espresso, you dump a spoonful of grounds (spoons are provided with every machine, plunger, or set of steak knives - I have about five floating around my kitchen now) in the bowl, tamp it down (optional, and I welcome all rational arguments about why it shouldn't be), and attach it to the machine. Afterwards, knock the grounds out into a bin, rinse the basket under hot water, and it's ready for the next one. Or storage. Use hot enough water and you don't even need to wash the bloody thing bescause all the oils that spoil badly made coffee will be get rinsed off.
But this is, apparently, too dirty. It is too messy. It is too complicated. So instead you buy a box of individual packets, pop it in, draw your coffee, and then you can just take the packet out. Some machines will even eject it forcefully into a little bin so that you don't have to touch it.
What a colossal wank. You could a.) buy ground coffee, measure it to your precise requirements, shift between single-shot and double-shot seamlessly, play around with grind coarseness and roasts, and enjoy the effort that goes into making a brew that, in all likelihood, forms a key part of your day or b.) Pay someone else to measure grounds into little cups, pay for the packaging, pay for the gross inefficiencies of space that is required here, find the storage space in your kitchen, be unable to moderate the strength of the cup and be restricted by who stocks it and what roasts they deign to offer.
The fact that Krups was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon I see as even more evidence that this is coffee for those who don't care about coffee but want to be seen to be drinking it. Nespresso is the Hyundai Coupe of coffee. And if you should be so unwise as to visit the nespresso website, your ears will be assaulted by a foul elevator-music background track with, it seems, no way to turn it off. They're the AOL of coffee, as well.
But wait, there's more! While walking through our local supermarket the other day, I discovered... Little individually wrapped nespresso-style cups for stovetop machines. Who do I have to kill, to make the madness stop?