Capsules for that perfect 'cuppa'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 August, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 August, 1997, 12:00am

Italians invented espresso but the Swiss have refined cafe society's favourite pick-me-up and are now introducing their new product into Hong Kong offices or homes.

Nespresso's hi-tech secret is to seal freshly roasted, top quality beans in an aluminium capsule.

A precise portion of freshly roasted and ground coffee was hermetically sealed in each capsule, said Nespresso coffee specialist Vivien Kam.

Nespresso is brewed in a coffee machine retailing at $3,980, which has been specially designed for the capsules.

Simple but sophisticated, it controls all the required elements to brew a great espresso.

The concept has just been launched at the cafe- style Nespresso Club in On Lan Street, Central, which sells the coffee makers.

Staff at the club help customers select from seven brands of espresso which suits them best.

'Customers automatically become members of the club with the purchase of our Nespresso-System,' Ms Kam said.

'The club concept is convenient because customers can order coffee capsules on the telephone and we deliver to their homes.' Though new on the market, she said the ultimate espresso was already proving popular.

'We are promoting the system for both offices and homes,' Ms Kam said.

At $43 for a packet of 10 (or $4.30 each), Nespresso capsules do not come cheap but they are nevertheless Nestle's fastest growing new product.

First introduced in Switzerland 10 years ago, the concept has since received support all over Europe. 'It's even popular in Italy and France,' she said.