Nespresso? At the Fat Duck?
I was shocked to find out that The Fat Duck, regularly voted one of the world's top restuarants, has sold out its coffee operation to Nespresso (see here and here). It's not that I think Nespresso (the pod coffee system owned by Nescafe) is evil or particularly bad. But according to the coffee geeks I've spoken to, it just isn't terribly good. And for a restaurant like the Fat Duck, you'd expect them to be perfectionist about everything. Including the coffee.
From the Nespresso website:
"A coffee that appeals to the greatest chefs
Heston Blumenthal, chef of the renowned English Michelin-3-star restaurant "The Fat Duck", succumbed to the exceptional quality of Nespresso coffees, which - in his opinion - are meant to be tasted like great wines: first with the eyes, then with the nose and finally with the mouth."
So why have 18 of the world's top 50 restaurants (or thereabouts) opted for Nespresso and their exclusive coffee supplier? It may be because of the convenience of these systems for a busy restuarant (this I'd understand for a less exalted establishment), but isn't it more likely to be because Nespresso have specifically targeted these top restaurants, and are rumoured to pay a fee for this exclusivity. [Note added later: since I posted this, a PR company working for Nespresso have denied that there is any payment for exclusivity at restaurants using Nespresso.]
I think it's a nutty decision.