As you’re reading this, I am once again sitting in Milan.
This time it’s for Milan Fashion Week, but a few months ago I was sitting in
this same exact cafe enjoying a coffee and learning everything I needed to know
about this hot drink, in preparation for an experience that would change my
life and my tastebuds forever.
At that time, I was introduced to the coffee experts from Nespresso – Karsten Ranitzsch, Head of Coffee
and Alexis Rodriguez, Head of Coffee Development – these are the people who
create the coffee experience that each and every Nespresso devotee enjoys on a
daily basis. They travel around the world looking for the planet’s best coffee
beans, seek out inspiration for flavors in some of the most dynamic cities and,
at the end of the day, have hundreds of thousands of customers to please with
their creations. It’s not an easy job, but it’s one they take on with elegance
and grace, not to mention a serious helping of charisma. With this passion
behind them, and the emotions of one of the world’s most beautiful cities in
the forefront of their minds, the latest Limited Edition coffee from Nespressocalled Tribute to Milano.
While I was in Milan, Nespresso challenged me to experience
and take in the coffee culture in order to truly understand what inspires the
creation of coffee for the brand. Our very first stop was in a place that was
totally unexpected and wonderfully surprising. Did you know that Wes Anderson
has designed a coffee shop with Prada in Milan? It’s called Bar Luce and it’s
at the Fondazione Prada. It’s a place that is truly magical, and a wonderful
location to start conversations about the creation of coffee – and, in
particular, the fruity aromas associated with the Nespresso Tribute to Milano
coffee. The colours, sounds, smells and conversation all set the journey of
discovery off on just the right foot. I was instantly eager to learn more.
Our next stop was at 10 Corso Como, which is located in a
very important part of the city, where one can clearly see a new Milan meeting
a city of old. There is a change happening in this place, where old and new are
working to meet in the middle to keep the landscape both traditional but also
contemporary. The battle is played out in real time in this area of Milan,
right on the doorstep of 10 Corso Como, where even the store itself is a part
of the mix. 10 Corso Como is a beautiful old building, overflowing inside with
modern concepts from the world’s most beautiful designers. This sort of change
is clearly what motivated the coffee creators in attempting to give the Tribute
to Milano capsule a real dynamic flavour – something that could reflect a city
that is always reinventing itself, but is still steeped in tradition.
While both Bar Luce and 10 Corso Como were landmark visits
in explaining the complexity of the coffee I would learn to love and adore, it
was truly the general atmosphere of Milan that sold me on the identity of a
taste creation. Walking the streets of Milan, one truly never knows what will
be discovered. And this is what I spent most of my time in Milan doing – simply
walking and taking it all in. There is emotion in every individual you encounter
here, and you’re never really sure which emotion you’ll be met with. I imagine
this inspired the fruity and sweet cereal notes in the Tribute to Milano coffee
– unexpected notes, but something that works in perfect harmony for daily
But the real emotion of the city, while greatly prevalent in
the people, is found up, down and all around you, from a complicated newsstand
to a beautiful sunset. In fact, I had captured both of these on camera to show
the beauty, and complexity, of this metropolitan city.
How exactly Nespresso managed to capture the city of Milan
in a cup of coffee will always truly be a mystery to me. Sure, they managed to
explain the technical bits, but in reality it was a creation that came from
heart, soul and the knowledge of a complex and beautiful place on earth – one
which I am admiring now as I sit and watch the busy streets fill with even more
people, looking for a space at a coffee bar to share an espresso with friends
When I leave, I’ll return home to London and I will, as
cheesy at it sounds, once again fill my Nespresso machine with the Tribute to
Milano capsule and sip from a cup which reminds me, from start to finish, of a
place that is truly one of a kind – just like the coffee created in its name.
The saddest thing of all for me is the fact that this is a limited edition
coffee. Nespresso – if I may – can I suggest this gets added to the lineup of
regular coffees? It’s too good to ever say goodbye.
Written in collaboration with Nespresso.