Thursday, August 29, 2013

All New 2014 Kia Cadenza

So here's a little known fact about me: I love to drive.  It may be little known as I never talk about it, and since I'm a true city dweller, I no longer own a car, but it's true, put me behind the drivers seat and I am happy as a clam.  I'll drive for hours, blasting tunes, singing at the top of my lungs, watching the world zip past.  I love it.  There are days where I literally crave a road trip, and on those occasions, I arrange for a Zipcar and cruise on out of town.  The beauty of Zipcar, beyond of course giving me a car to drive, is that I get to choose from different cars to try!  One day I'll be green and get a hybrid, another day I jazz it up and sit in the lap of luxury in an Audi.  It all depends on my mood, I like to view them as mini test drives.  So where am I going with this?   This past weekend I was invited to test drive the brand new 2014 Kia Cadenza, and have dinner at No. 9 Park.  Can you guess how fast I responded yes?

Lets talk about the car first shall we?  The Cadenza is a brand new model to the
Kia line up.  It isn't one of their other models redesigned, or updated, it's brand new, from scratch.  This is a car that they sought out the best design team for.  They wanted a new look, one of elegance and luxury.  They wanted style and grace.  They wanted a smooth ride, a quiet surrounding, expert technology, and they wanted options.  The Cadenza is their brain child.  

293 Horsepower, standard leather seats, an internal entertainment hard drive able to hold over 200,000 songs, safety features up the wahoo and even side mirrors that stand at attention when they see you coming?  This is a car designed to drive.  Of course, this car isn't just fun to drive- it's safe.  Those long car trips where you throw on cruise control?  If you get too close to the person in front of you the front end installed radar automatically applies the brakes for you- saving you from an "at the wheel too long" error.  But that's not all.  The new Cadenza is also watching out for cars entering your blind spots - every one's got 'em, helping you park, and an adaptive front lighting system that automatically adjusts to your speed and your surroundings.  

The all new Kia Cadenza is a luxury car in every aspect of the word, aside from one big one- the price.  Starting at $35,000 this has all the features of your top end models with a far lower price tag.  If you're in the market for a new car, definitely head to Kia to check this one out, and then head on over to No 9 Park to celebrate your new investment!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nespresso: Delivering Quality in Every Machine

I've been fortunate to be able to work closely with Nespresso over the past few months.  Ive had the opportunity to try out their different coffees, delve into their company, their processes, and, their machines.  The Nespresso collection of machines are all incredibly unique and yet they are all incredibly similar.  This is the piece of Nespresso that has won me over more than anything else- their dedication to quality.

The Nespresso line of machines range in style and price.  Each one has unique features in their design that differ them from each other, however, no matter what price point you look at, and what features you elect to have, the inner workings of every Nespresso machine are the same.  Every machine is equipped to heat water to the perfect espresso temperature in 60 seconds or less.  Every machine has 19 bars of pressure that push the coffee through its system at the exact right speed to deliver a piping hot cup of espresso with that wonderful crema on top.  So no matter what machine you buy from Nespresso, each one will deliver the perfect cup- time and time again without variations based on price.

So what are the variations out there?  Nespresso has varied their machines to fit any style of home, from cramped city apartments (a demographic I am all too familiar with) to kitchens with ample counter space.  Their smallest machine, the Pixie rings in at just 4 inches across and 9 inches in height, while their largest, the Gran Maestria is just over 12 inches across and 12 inches tall.  So what is included to make these different?  There are machines that will produce a simple and consistent cup of espresso or lungo each time and that is their simple purpose.  Then there are machines that will steam milk all in the machine, ones that have a milk steaming wand to be used at the clients discretion, ones that have cup warmers and built in aeroccino frothers.  There is a beautifully designed and expertly engineered machine for every person, and every budget.

I've had the opportunity to check out some other brands as well, and I have to say, I haven't found another line of machines that combine precision into every machine and not just their top of the line pieces.  Nespresso guarantees that every machine at every level will deliver the same perfect cup- and honestly I'm not sure we can ask for more than that.  

The only real decision that we're faced with then, is which of their coffees is our favorite.  I'm struggling with that one....

Monday, August 26, 2013

The America's Cup, with Nespresso as the Official Coffee

Photo courtesy of Nespresso
The America's Cup....what a race, what an experience.   Teams from the world over, trained in using their natural talents and leveraging the power of the wind and water, compete with each other in 72' catamarans in high speed races to capture the cup.  The races began in 1851, and pre date our modern Olympics, making this the oldest trophy up for grabs internationally.  2013 finds us in our 34th cup, which mathematically might cause some confusion.  See the America's Cup is one of the most fascinating trophies to attain.

In most sports, the rules are set by a governing force.  Take the MLB- - ruled
over by the commissioner of baseball, this organization sets the rules for the leagues which are divided into American and National.  They set the dates for the matches, the schedules, etc.  However the leaders of the American and National leagues then set the rules for their groups of teams.  The Designated Hitter position is a good example of how these vary.  However, the America's Cup is ruled entirely differently.  The winner of the previous race determines the rules for the next one.  The dates, the location, even the boats they'll use.  The American team, sponsored by Oracle, won the 2010 race in Spain.  They determined that the next location would be in San Francisco, CA, in 2013, and that their boat of choice would be the incredibly fast, and much more technical AC72.  This new boat uses a smaller 11 person crew, and is powered by a wing sail of approximately 37 meters.  

Frederic Levy, President, Nespresso USA; Stephen Barclay, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority; and Patrice Bula, Chairman of Nespresso S.A., with the America’s Cup at the Nespresso San Francisco Boutique Opening.  Photo courtesy of Nespresso
Now, you might be wondering why I'm giving you a small lesson in sailing, when you all know I'm food obsessed.  My friends at Nespresso, the incredible coffee purveyors I've been waxing on about for over a year, sponsor the United Emirates team, as well as the official coffee of the America's Cup.  

Your 2013 Nespresso Blogger Ambassadors!
So what's the connection?  Quality.  The America's Cup symbolizes true team work, excellence in technology and striving for the best.   These are the same values that are a part of every cup of Nespresso coffee.  The team work of coffee bean growers, the sorters, the roasters, the tasters...every effort from every person goes into making the perfect cup of coffee, just as every effort from every athlete, strategist to grinder, pulls together to push forward and win the race.  

The final races of the America's Cup kick off September 7, 2013 and they will focus on the defending champion the Oracle Team USA, and the winner of the Louis Vuitton cup, the races of which are on going in San Francisco right now.  I was able to attend two races last week, where the Nespresso Team New Zealand took a commanding lead.  These will be races to watch!

Editor's Note:  Team New Zealand DID IT!  They are in for the official America's Cup races against Team USA!  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nespresso's Redesigned Boutique Opens!



Exciting news all!  Boston is now blessed with one of the truly unique and wonderful Nespresso Boutique with a cafe!  Now, in their same original space on Newbury Street, patrons can try out their machines, taste test a coffee, and also enjoy a full lunch or breakfast treats, all pair able with some pretty incredible coffee drinks!  I had the opportunity to visit Nespresso's SoHo location which houses a similar cafe and fell in love with their sandwiches, and their coffee dessert style drinks- amazing.  Definitely get down there and check it out!

Press release below: 

REDESIGNED Nespresso BOUTIQUE OPENS IN BOSTON’S BEAUTIFUL BACK BAY NEIGHBORHOOD

Enhanced Retail Space on Newbury Street Continues to Bring

The Ultimate Coffee Experience to Boston
New York, NY – August 8, 2013 – Nespresso, the worldwide pioneer and reference in premium, portioned coffee, announces the redesign of its Boston Flagship Boutique. The contemporary 2,400 square foot space is located in Boston’s chic Back Bay neighborhood, regarded for its 19th century urban architecture, fashionable shopping and culturally significant landmarks like Copley Square and the Boston Public Library.  Located at 7 Newbury Street, the Boston Flagship Boutique is just footsteps from Boston Common and the Public Gardens.

“We are thrilled to offer an enhanced premium coffee experience to Boston residents and visitors with our newly redesigned Boutique,” said Frederic Levy, President, Nespresso USA. “The Boutique will offer visitors a chance to connect with the brand in a uniquely sensorial way, and is exemplary of Nespresso’s commitment to the highest-quality coffee, products, and customer service. We look forward to sharing our deep coffee expertise and unique lifestyle offerings with the city of Boston.”

The Boston Flagship Boutique will offer customers a relaxing, premium experience in the newly designed, state-of-the-art, contemporary surroundings.  Customers can taste the brand’s Grand Cru coffees, experience Nespresso’s smart and easy to use machines and enjoy unmatched customer service from specially trained Nespresso Baristas.

Nespresso is creating a new coffee culture in the U.S. by delivering the highest-quality coffee sourced from the top 1-2% of the world’s coffee crops, and offering a variety of premium portioned Grand Cru coffees that meet a complete range of consumer tastes.  At the Boston Boutique, customers can sip and savor delicious hot and iced espresso beverages such as Espresso Macchiato, Moka Latte, Iced Cappuccino, and Iced Caff├ęs, among other specialty premium drinks. 

Additionally, the Boutique will now offer a light menu of savory and sweet selections designed to complement their coffee offerings.  Breakfast pastries and baked baguettes, with an assortment of artisanal jams, will be served, while savory quiches and seasonal soups, will delight gourmet customers throughout the day.

Guests visiting the Boutique can familiarize themselves with the complete range of Nespresso’s sleek and stylish machines, enabling coffee connoisseurs to bring the ultimate coffee experience into the comfort of their own home.  The brand’s selection of award-winning and technologically-advanced machines manage all the elements needed to deliver the perfect cup of coffee, cup after cup, with the touch of a button.  Additionally, each machine in the Nespresso range allows for fresh milk options – whether built into the design, as with the stylish Lattissima Plus, or accompanied by the Aeroccino Plus milk frother – creating a luscious topping of foam for the perfect cappuccino or latte. And, as a Nespresso Club Member, consumers will realize unmatched customer service online, in-store and via phone 24 hours a day.

The Boston Boutique redesign is the latest indication of the brands continued domestic growth and its commitment to expanding its U.S. presence. Nespresso pioneered the global premium portioned coffee concept over 25 years ago when it introduced its range of smartly-designed and convenient single-serve espresso machines to European consumers. The Boston Boutique is one of five Nespresso Boutiques in the U.S., in addition to locations in New York City, Miami, and San Francisco.

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