I am not here to advocate for pod-based coffee. There are reasons to avoid coffee pods, and reasons to embrace them. I’ve got no skin in the game; you make the call. All I am here to do is relay the message that no sort of present I’ve ever given has been more joyfully received than the Nespresso machines I’ve gifted over the years.
When my parents moved into a new house several years ago, I went all-in on a coffee-making setup for their new crib: fancy beans FedEx-ed right to the house each month, a high-end grinder, a Bodum French press, the works. I think they used it, at most, three times over the course of a year. They just couldn’t muster up much enthusiasm for grinding and brewing carefully sourced, just-mailed coffee every morning. Fair enough.
So for Christmas I said fuck it and got them a Nespresso machine because all you have to do is put a pod in and hit a button and boom: a cute little cup full of surprisingly decent, if not exactly mind-blowing, espresso. My parents quickly became obsessed. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was all they could talk about for a while. They debated their favorite pods — the dark-grey ones, probably — and went through like five cups each, per day. Mom even figured out Nestlé’s not-exactly-intuitive online ordering system to ensure a steady stream of colored coffee pods would be delivered to their home. Soon, another Christmas rolled around and in the ultimate demonstration that my gift was a hit, they gave someone a Nespresso machine.
I doubt something like a Keurig would have elicited the same response. Other machines make coffee. Nespressos make espresso, which is not something that most people even think to make at home, so getting a machine doesn’t automatically disrupt anyone’s usual coffee routine. The espresso is there if you want a little something extra. (It helps that the machines are also pretty small, and nicely designed, so they don’t feel like they’re taking over your countertop.) I use mine probably once a week, at most, but would be bummed if I had to get rid of it for some reason. And if that ever did happen — God forbid — hopefully a family member would think to get me a new one once Christmas rolled around.
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