Gourmet learning at the Nespresso Academy

Following Paris, on April 6th, my favourite coffee brand opened its first learning centre in North America, right here in Montreal. That day, along with other journalists, I spent the afternoon learning how coffee is made, how to taste it (even at its green stage) and how to appreciate it paired with pastries. It was a gastronomic experience quite unlike any I’d experienced before. If you’re as into Nespresso as I am, you might enjoy following my day at the Academy!Our first workshop was with Nespresso Coffee Ambassador, Hans who took us through a cupping session. We sat around a round table with sinks as Hans had us smell the beans and then taste the coffee made from the pre-roasted green beans from three different countries. The cupping method is a bit like wine-tasting, where you ascertain the different aromas you find by sipping or slurping a freshly brewed coffee.After that, we were treated to a blind taste test of four different Nespresso coffees with world-renowned sommelier (from Montreal) Élyse Lambert. Élyse walked us through the process and asked us to try and determine which coffees were decaf and which weren’t. As a reward, we were served macarons from Point G with the new Ristretto Decaffeinato. I like my coffee strong, so I was happy to discover that Nespresso had created a decaf version of one of my favourite grand crus.Nespresso’s new space is a great venue for in-depth staff training as well as the perfect spot to host industry and media for events and new product launches. I was happy to get a real taste of all that goes on behind the scenes at Nespresso to create an exceptional coffee experience at home.In March, Nespresso also hosted an atelier and dinner as part of the Montreal en Lumière festival. The public could attend by purchasing tickets through the festival’s website. I was invited to the media dinner on March 8th and it was an outstanding gourmet event. We started with a champagne and Nespresso pairing workshop with Élyse Lambert and then were treated to a 5-course meal (incorporating Nespresso coffee) prepared by Joseph Viola, a top chef from Lyon, France (the city of honour during the festival) and not one, but two desserts by famous pastry chefs from Lyon and Montreal’s Sofitel. It was such a memorable meal and experience that I hope Nespresso will host another event like this in Montreal soon!To learn more about the Nespresso Academy visit the website here.

This article is sponsored by Nespresso, opinions are my own.

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Photos: © JF Galipeau et Carrie MacPherson