At-home espresso machine producer Nespresso has decided to usher in fall with the permanent addition of two new intense blends to its range of Grand Cru coffees: Kazaar and Dharkan. In the wake of adding the once-limited flavors Vanilio, Ciocattino and Caramelito, and the new expression Linzio Lungo to its permanent roster this year, it seems Nespresso is intent on providing customers with a significantly expanded menu of selections. The capsules went on sale at boutiques and on-line August 26, 2013.
The two new coffee capsules take Nespresso’s regular menu options to a new level of intensity (reflecting the depth of the roast, not necessarily a coffee’s caffeine content). When the limited edition Gran Cru “Napoli” debuted earlier this year, it redefined Nespresso’s intensity scale (1 – 10), by cranking the knob “Spinal Tap” style to 11. Now we have two new flavors that push the envelope once again: Dharkan (11) and Kazaar (12). Despite having names that sound somewhat Klingon, the capsules definitely reflect Earthly delights. The NY Drinks Examiner received samples of the new coffees to taste:
Dharkan: A blend of 100% Arabica beans from Latin America and Asia, the coffee boasts a lovely rich, light caramel colored crema. According to information from the company, the toasted cereal notes on the palate reflect long roasts at low temperatures. Complex aromatics feature strong roasted notes of vanilla, pine, toasted caramel, papaya. On the mouth it is big, dark and smooth. The coffee is intense, but with less of a bite than you might expect, with well-balanced acids. A smooth, round mouthfeel fills the palate with a long, astringent/herbal finish. We get notes of toffee, bourbon, and cream. Nespresso says you’ll also find “hints of bitter cocoa powder.” It works best as either a small Ristretto or regular Espresso serving, and blends beautifully with cream or frothed milk.
Kazaar: Coming in at an intensity level of 12 (!), this is a rich, serious coffee. It has been previously released as a limited edition, first in 2010 and then 2012, and the company says it added the coffee to its permanent selection in response to customer demand. A blend of two Robusta beans and a separately roasted South American Arabica, it boasts an intense, camel-toffee crema. On the nose you’ll find deep, sensual notes of oak, coffee and musk. Sipping it exposes a creamy, full-bodied mouth with low to medium acids and almost no bite. The woody finish is not overly long lasting, but with a mild lingering note at the back of the palate and a medium weight on the mid-palate. Notes of bitter chocolate, forest earth, and a slight hint of ripe banana. The company also suggests you’ll find pepper, nutmeg and cloves. Neither the aromatics nor the palate is as complex as the Dharkan, but it is beautifully elusive. In addition to working nicely as the recommended bold Ristretto serving, it also blends terrifically with frothed milk or Irish cream liqueurs. We are planning on trying it in an Irish Coffee this fall.
Nespresso is currently sponsoring The 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco, the finals taking place beginning September 7th. The company is also scheduled to release expansion models of its new Nespresso U line of machines this September. And of course, keep an eye out for limited edition holiday capsule offerings in the coming months.
Kazaar and Dharkan Grand Cru coffees are available now in Nespresso flagship boutiques and in-shop locations, as well as on-line. The coffee is available in sleeves of 10 capsules, each sleeve selling for $7. This post was created in connection with my appointment as a Nespresso Club Blogger. Author is not financially compensated for the position, nor is required to post any specific information, opinions or reviews. Author receives advance samples of new product for review and access to news and information about Nespresso products, events and spokespeople. Feel free to follow my Tumblr feed at MyNespressoFix.tumblr.com
Dharkan Moka Latte
- 1 Capsule Dharkan (Espresso 1.5 oz)
- 3 oz Hot Milk
- 1 oz Fresh Cold Milk
- 1.5 oz Bittersweet Chocolate Powder
Place chocolate powder at the bottom of a cappucino cup. Prepare an Espresso serving of Dharkan, and pour directly onto the chocolate powder. Stir well. Pour hot milk into the cup. Froth the cold milk and gently layer on top of the cup. Dust with a sprinkling of cocoa powder.
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FTC Disclaimer: The author sometimes receives product samples for review, which carry no cash value and cannot be re-sold, and sometimes attends press events such as lunches or cocktail parties, designed to promote a given product. The author is not paid by any alcohol manufacturer, retailer or distributor, or provided compensation apart from revenue from an assigning publishing company for editorial publication. Opinions are the author’s own. By the way, you should be 21 or older to read this page. Author received one sleeve each of Nespresso Dharkan and Kazaar capsules as samples for review purposes, in his capacity as an Official Nespresso Club Blogger for 2013.