We have a Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine. Well, technically I have it: Kendall bought it for me for my birthday. And it was a good gift because I do enjoy having an espresso from it from time to time. However, I could have made a nice espresso with an Nespresso Original coffee machine. But unlike the Original coffee machines, the Vertuo coffee machines can handle 5 different sizes of capsules, from a small 1.35 oz Espresso capsule all the way up to a 14 oz Alto XL capsule, and that means that Kendall can use it too since, while she will have an espresso from time to time, she generally prefers a regular-sized cup of coffee.
Now, when you have one of these machines, well, you gotta buy pods. And that's what brings me to post. Kendall and I were fortunate enough to be able to go on a trip to Europe recently and we brought back one particular souvenir I want to talk about today: 12 boxes of Nespresso VertuoLine coffee pods. You should do this too if you're a Nespresso machine owner and here's why: the pods are vastly less expensive in Europe. I have absolutely no idea why this is the case. Does Nestlé just have it out for Americans? Does the US charge a huge import tariff on coffee? As I said, I have no idea. And further, I don't really care because, while the reason behind this pricing discrepancy might be interesting, it doesn't really matter; all that really matters is that the pods, at least the VertuoLine pods (I'll leave it to you to do your own research if you're an Original coffee machine owner), are in excess of 35% less in Europe at the time of this writing (the exact price fluctuates with the exchange rate of course). 35+%?!? I told you the pods were vastly less expensive in Europe. It's just crazy.
A cool side benefit to buying your Nespresso pods in Europe: every time you drink one at home, it will serve as a reminder of your European trip. So rather than spending your money on some souvenir you don't even really need or want and that you'll just stick somewhere and never use when you get home, spend your money--and less of it at that--on something you were going to buy anyway, that you'll regularly use, and that will remind you of your trip. I think they call that a win-win-win. That's a pretty great side benefit.
Now, here's what you should know when it comes to bringing the coffee pods home to the US with you: as long as they're for personal use, you're good to go. However, in many countries, coffee pods are considered powders which are limited in carry-on baggage, so you'll need to check them if you're buying a good quantity of them like we did. So plan your luggage strategy accordingly! I researched the permissibility of bringing coffee into the US before buying the pods, but the powder situation caught us by surprise when we tried to check in at the airport; fortunately, we were able to go move things around to get the pods checked in a small roll-aboard bag we'd planned to carry on the plane with us.
A note here about waste: you're free to comment about the fact that coffee machines that use pods generate more container waste, at least at the time of usage, than traditional coffee preparation methods. But know that I already get it. And I care. But I'm still making the choice to use machines that utilize pods. The reason is that we don't consume a lot of coffee in our home: Kendall consistently has 1 pod per day and occasionally 2 while I have only about 2 pods per week. And so at that kind of consumption, the convenience of the pods is significant, yet the waste of the pods--not to mention the cost of the pods (pods are definitely expensive on a per-cup basis!)--is not significant. And while, sure, I can buy the opinion that the whole Nespresso pod recycling program is more of a PR move than anything else on the part of the company, I nevertheless do participate in it, for what that's worth.
How's that for a first blog post in years? ;)