At a recent Nespresso pop-up boutique at New York’s Grand Central Station, coffee connoisseurs, editors, and curious bystanders alike were invited to discover their perfect Grand Cru through interactive installations that made a coffee match based on a series of personality and taste questions. At one event held in the boutique, we had the chance to catch up with Project Runway star Tim Gunn, who is also an avid Nespresso fan, ambassador, and the evening’s host. Below, we chat coffee, style, and the Tim Gunn approach to holiday entertaining.
Photos Courtesy of Nespresso
JustLuxe: Tell us your favorite Nespresso flavor.
Tim Gunn: Dulsão! It was already my favorite, but I was pretty happy that I took this digital quiz a few times and three out of four times, that popped up as the right brew for me.
JL: As the digital quiz was somewhat a mixture of a personality and a taste test, what do you think your answer reveals about you?
TG: [reading off his Nespresso pamphlet] I guess it says that I’m sweet and smoky. I’ll take that. [laughs]
JL: That sounds fitting! Tell us a little more about why you love Nespresso and how you’re involved with the brand.
TG: I’m doing all that I can to spread the word in North America, because we’re the one part of the Western world where Nespresso isn’t in everyone’s vocabulary and I’m determined to change that! I am such a fan of Nespresso — the design team is so talented, it’s a beautiful machine, and the coffee is so good that I can’t even drink anything else because it just tastes weak!
JL: In New York City, coffee has almost become this thing that people drink just to get through the day. What kind of advice do you have for people to bring more enjoyment into the coffee experience?
TG: Well, I think most of us are multitasking — we’re having our coffee, we’re checking our email, we’re on the computer writing things at the same time, or commuting or chatting with our coworkers — I think it’s good to have a bit of quiet time and really savor our coffee. I like to step away from all my gadgets and technology, and have a meditative calming moment. I do it in the morning: I get up, I make my bed, I go into the kitchen, I make one Nespresso, have it, look at the paper — just the headlines — go back upstairs, go shower and shave, and go back downstairs and have another Nespresso, and then I get dressed. For me it’s a whole ritual in the morning.
JL: How many cups of Nespresso do you end up having a day?
TG: Maybe five — but they’re all before noon.
JL: So with the holidays coming up so quickly, what tips do you have for those that are planning on entertaining this year?
TG: I always say, make it as easy for yourself as possible. I always advise that hosts serve one specialty cocktail — it’s easy enough to do but adds something really interesting and fun to the experience. Then just have red and white wine and beer. And keep your snacks simple! People are there for the company, not for a tasting.
JL: Did you have a chance to try the specialty cocktail made with Nespresso tonight? It’s amazing!
TG: I did — yes, isn’t it great? There’s actually a ton of cocktails you can make with Nespresso in it so it’s a great and unique way to incorporate coffee into evening entertaining.
JL: And what about on the fashion side of things? Any tips people should keep in mind when people are dressing for holiday parties this year?
TG: Make it fun! Holiday parties are the one time of the year when you can do it with a little bit of a wink — if you’re inclined to experiment, I think the holidays are the time to do it. I’m not saying to turn into a circus clown, but be festive. And by festive I mean more along the lines of Kate Spade, not holiday branded sweaters, which I advise against. If you’re inclined to wear a basic black dress — my hats off to you — but dress it up with some bold accessories.
If you're ready to take Tim's entertaining advice, you may want to incorporate Nespresso into your next party! We scored the recipe for the Bohème, a festive cocktail for any time of day that incorporates refreshing cherry and red berry with a smooth, elegant coffee flavor.
Prepare a Nespresso Vivalto Lungo Grand Cru in a 110ml cup.
Pour into a large jug filled with ice cubes and add grenadine syrup, Bombay Sapphire gin, cherry brandy, red port, and red grape juice. Stir mixture well with a cocktail spoon for 20 seconds
Add pieces of natural pineapple, mango, cherries, and strawberry slices. Top up with Schwepps tonic water and stir again gently.
Service in a low glass with ice, accompanied with pieces of fruit from the same selection used for the jug.