Haute Event: Nespresso Comes to South Beach…Coffee Connoisseurs Get Ready

I just returned from the French Riviera, and every time I visited a friend at home, the first thing they offered me was a Nespresso espresso. Now I understand the fascination, and all I can say is why did it take them so long to hit the American Riviera?

Nespresso Growth

It all started in 1986 with a simple yet revolutionary idea to enable anyone to conveniently create a cup of espresso like those made by skilled baristas with exquisite crema, tantalizing aroma, and full-bodied taste. Nestle conceived the Nespresso Capsule in 1982 and thus spearheaded the concept of portioned premium coffee with convenience to the consumer. Since then, Nespresso has established itself as a pioneer in the premium coffee market. Headquartered in Paudex, Switzerland with more than 4,500 employees, Nespresso sells products in more than 50 countries with a retail network of more than 190 boutiques in key cities around the world. It has maintained an average annual growth rate of 30 percent since 2000, quite an accomplishment in the context of the recent global economic crisis. Adding George Clooney as their brand Ambassador in 2006 didn’t hurt either. Who wouldn’t want to sip Nespresso with George?

This year Nespresso will build more than 30 new boutiques including ones in NYC, Munich, Capetown, Shanghai, and Miami, which hit the Nespresso map in May.

Nespresso Hallmarks of Success

Technology, taste, and style are hallmarks of Nespresso. They have elevated coffee drinking to that of fine wine, complete with a wide variety of Grand Crus each offering a unique aromatic note (from roasted to woody, buttery, fruity and citrus) and have trained coffee sommeliers to do coffee pairings.  They also introduce two rare Grands Crus per year as limited editions. Nespresso sources the beans from the top one percent of the world’s highest quality green coffee crops and all of their coffees are packaged in perfectly portioned capsules to ensure absolute freshness.

A key to Nespresso’s success is their business model they call the Nespresso TrilogyPillar 1 of the Trilogy is offering perfectly portioned Grand Cru coffees.  Pillar 2 is supplying smart, stylish coffee machines complete with patented extraction and brewing system to produce consistently perfect coffee.  Pillar 3 is the personalized customer service including the Nespresso Club, 24/7 customer service and their website with ordering possible in seven different languages. Products are delivered to consumers within 24 hours of ordering.

Nespresso Style and Substance

Additionally, Nespresso offers an extensive line of accessories from elegant and refined white porcelain tasting sets to sumptuous sweets including special Belgian chocolates to create the ultimate coffee experience. With Nespresso, there are no paper cups, but fine china as part of the brand personality of luxury and style.  They have a long record of commitment to award-winning innovative design.  Nespresso created limited edition CitiZdot models honoring Paris and New York with urban lifestyle, drawing upon the worlds of art, fashion and graphic design.  For Paris, they reflected on the Eiffel Tower and for New York, the yellow taxi cab and shining skyscrapers.  The Lattissima model with full metallic housing has the one-touch functionality

Nespresso is also a good citizen of the planet offering sustainable development.  They have a sustainability program including a 2003 initiative with its AAA Sustainable Quality Coffee Program in partnership with the leading environmental NGO Rainforest Alliance.  In 2009, Nespresso expanded its efforts with Ecolaboration, a concerted program for its overall operations from coffee to capsules to machines to help reduce their carbon footprint for the future.

Nespresso Miami Boutique Bar Grand Opening

At the opening of the Miami boutique, French architect, Francis Krempp told us about his design for the 3,900 square foot store which features vibrant colors and signature neon along with smooth dark woods, modern metals, and chic panels of glass. There is a barista bar, lounge, machine wall, collection gallery and unique, colorful three-story capsule wall. Here customers can taste the 16 Grand Cru coffees, test machines and select accessories and purchase the coffee capsules in-store.

The night of the grand opening, Nespresso rocked Miami with a great indoor/outdoor party.  There was the traditional ribbon cutting as well as singing sensation, Charice who performed. We enjoyed champagne and Nespresso Grand Cru pairings by Sommelier/Chef, Stephen Asprinio of “Top Chef” and culinary creations by other local celebrity chefs. The honchos of Nespresso were on hand for some speeches while the who’s who of South Beach strutted their stuff along the entrance. Nespresso girls showcased the Grand Cru cases of colorful capsules each sporting one of the various colors. Adding cream to the coffee affair were the polo players participating in the Miami Beach Polo Cup including the ever handsome Nacho Figueras. Great food, drink, and company under the stars with perfectly portioned coffee. Now, that’s perfection!

Bravo, Nespresso! Welcome to South Beach!

To view more photos from the Nespresso store opening, visit Haute Living’s Event Gallery.

Nespresso is located at 1111 Lincoln Rd in Miami Beach.