Tonight we went to the opening of the Nespresso “boutique” on Lambton Quay, because frankly, we’d go to the opening of envelopes if they involved Louis Roederer champagne(1) (although a number of people we know turned down the invitation, sent us links to a Buzzfeed article about disposable pods and then commissioned haikus) and it was an interesting night.
The wine, the coffee cocktails which we couldn’t drink more than one of because caffeine after midday, though we did note they were more booze-tasting than your typical espresso cocktail normally tastes, the scented candles in the gift bag and the catering by The Larder were all spectacular. Good work by the PR people. The room was an interesting mix of people. Chefs including TAWA winner Martin Bosley and talking man Rex Morgan were there (and we got tweets from Taylors and La Boca Loca about how they couldn’t make it). Taika Waititi was there, and we were told it was because he’d made an artwork out of the capsules. Chris Parkin from the Museum Hotel was there – I think they have Nespresso machines in all their suites. There were some guys wearing shirts covered in logos who we figured were from the money boat. Warren Maxwell from Trinity Roots/The Little Bushmen was there, and was quite possibly the coolest person ever. He just closed his eyes and sang while the beautiful people ignored him except to Instagram a shot of him playing at the end. In fact, he smiled very devilishly before he broke out into ‘Home, Land & Sea’. Oh man, that voice, that song, what a treat.
John Key showed up flanked by Men In Suits And Ear Pieces, and in his speech, he compared himself to George Clooney. It’s true, they are pretty similar in how they both really care about international aid, except for John Key. He mentioned how in his house, which you know how much it cost thanks to the NZ Herald, he’d had an expensive espresso machine plumbed in, but it didn’t work. Meanwhile his “mid priced” Nespresso machine always works perfectly, so much so that he’d bought one for his daughter who lives in Paris. We tried to look up how much the machines run for, but the Flash crashed our slow laptop. We did find a brand new moneyboat version on Trademe for !~$700 though with a RRP of $900. We also tried to do a cost per cup analysis, but you had to have a login to order pods, and we didn’t feel like signing up. You can buy a case to hold your pods (not the pods themselves) for $65 on Trademe though. The New Zealand Herald has an article about costs as well.
We mentioned articles expressing concern about the environmental impact of Nespresso (while we continue to buy our coffees in takeaway cups anyway), but the boutique had a whole wall dedicated to talking about their environmental commitment. Nespresso boutiques will recycle your pods for you AND sell you a $35 rubbish bin to store them in as well!
For those of you who have a Nespresso machine, like the person on Twitter who has been very upset with us for not knowing the exact opening date of the shop, you should probably note that there is not a whole lot of parking right outside the door of the boutique (there is a bus stop right there but that may not be of interest), though there is parking at the nearby TSB arena for only $12 an hour, which will accommodate your SUV nicely if you decide to make the trek in from Churton Park. For us, the shop is very prettily designed, much like a MAC counter, and it IS just like the George Clooney ads, and the staff were all very friendly, but much like our confusion when Starbucks opened, we just don’t understand why it could be a thing in Wellington.
1 In 2011, Nestlé was listed No. 1 in the Fortune Global 500 as the world’s most profitable corporation according to Wikipedia.