I love George Clooney, I wouldn't notice if any film he starred in got stuck in the spockets and just showed a still life. Even when he was stooped and bloated in Syriana he was gorgeous. Even when he had a full-grown quiff in Rosanne he was scrummy.
So, I love coffee and I love George, and I'm probably not alone in that. The marketing people certainly did their research when they launched their campaign for the faff-free Nespresso coffee-maker, even if it looked like a fancy pencil sharpener, with its neat little multi-coloured pods that wouldn't look out of place in a chocolate box. And therein lies the quandry. Why would I want to swap my trusty-old Gaggia with its hissing, gurgling, splashing and spurting for a machine that takes a little pre-filled pod of coffee without any fuss, even if George is giving his personal recommendation? I actually like opening the coffee tin, spooning out the fine grains (oh for a decent grinder then I'd grind my own beans), tamping it down and running the water through for just the right amount of time – or not -, savouring the aroma and then drinking.
There is something just too neat about the Nepresso branding, it seems to sanitise coffee. Then I entered the World of Nespresso, a boutique store, where every visitor is greeted by George's smiling face, the walls are stacked high with the coloured boxes of Nespresso pods and everything is very expensive indeed. We stepped inside the Lausanne store, and I immediately had that feeling of acute embarassment I always get when I enter a designer store wearing my not-just-jeans, M-and-S-jeans, that embarassment of lack of riches to finance this kind of lifestyle. If you don't want coffee or cups or sugar on sticks, there's Nespresso chocolates. And if you can't afford any of that but would like a long-lasting coffee experience, there's coffee candles, a snip at 60CHFs. We left empty-handed. If it comes to choosing between George and his Nepresso and our Gaggia, it's the Gaggia. I wonder if he'd like to try one of our coffees next time he's in the neighbourhood?