Caffeine High: We Try Three Flavors Inspired by Three Different Countries

Anticipation is a gift. Especially when it involves new flavours.

We are all governed by some strong ideas about the sort of things that will make us high and happy. We think that to achieve satisfaction, the pleasures should be simple, rare, and reliable. In today’s fast-paced age where instant coffee is often made in polystyrene cups, the sight of a Nespresso machine dispensing an espresso with the correct beans to water ratio and temperature can be oddly enjoyable.  

“My daily Nespresso coffee, an unexpected shaft of sunlight through the window on a winter’s day, my bargain Missoni sunglasses,” said Sophie Kinsella, English author and novelist, when asked what makes her happy.

Nespresso’s World Exploration Espresso Selection 5-Sleeves Pack is uncomplicated and reliable, decked in black with distinctive patterns on each coffee pod range and three coffee flavors. There’s a tingle of excitement and happiness as we assess these new flavors this month: Rio De Janeiro, Paris, and Istanbul. 

Rio De Janeiro

Something about the palm prints matches this rich caffeine.

Rio de Janeiro is a seaside city in Brazil, famed for its Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. It explains why Nespresso’s Rio de Janeiro coffee pods have prints of palm leaves on them. We popped the coffee pod in the Nespresso machine and waited. A rich aroma emitted as the machine squeezed out the caffeine with a creamy and lightly frothy consistency. There’s a pleasantly rich aroma in the air. We took a taste test: it was amicably bitter, rich, and velvety with hints of walnut sandalwood and tasty herbal notes. 

So this lot is 100% Brazilian Arabica beans. They’re a blend of coffees from the Cerrado district in Brazil, the Espirito Santo, and Minas Gerais. These are Brazil’s finest growing regions with great processing methods and variety. The Santo beans are roasted separately to preserve their herbal notes. In contrast, the beans from other regions are roasted in a dark roasting mode but for a much longer time to enhance body and intensity.

It’s the kind of flavor that would pair well with freshly made papaya pie on a Sunday get-together with family and friends.


A creaminess in the caffeine that goes well with conversations.

Maybe you will wait for the weekend to catch up with your friends at the cafe. Or perhaps you’re just someone who frequents cafes. In any event, you will feel drawn to the bold black and white prints Nespresso’s World Exploration Paris range, a design and flavor homage to Parisian fashion, architecture, and cuisine.

This coffee flavor is delicately bitter yet has rich citrus and cereal taste, making for a terrific café experience. It has a light bitterness, notes of cereal biscuits, the pleasant acidity of orange, and hints of citrus. 

Drink it the way they do in Paris: black or with a dash of warm milk, like coffee and chocolate. Or bring in a bit of Malaysia, and pair it with fluffy buttery roti canai for that enjoyable mid-afternoon treat.  


So thick, so velvety: it can wake sleeping giants.

Another coffee flavor that deviates from its traditional black and bitter predecessors, Istanbul is well-designed coffee pod that boasts fruity and almond notes, with an intensity guaranteed to get you that caffeine high.  

The flavor is almost as kaleidoscopic as the Islamic geometric patterns on its packaging. A complex espresso with a touch of acidity and, an almond finish, hints of sweetness.

It’s a drink so dark and velvety, you’d swear it was a Turkish coffee in liquid form. The Ethiopian Arabica and Indian Robusta used in this blend do more than just paying homage to the city at the ancient coffee trade routes; they add earthy depth to this medium-roast brew.

The Istanbul-inspired caffeine powerhouse a punch and is excellent for when you are craving a decadent breakfast like nasi lemak. When you pair the two together, you can be sure you will remain alert, even after indulging at breakfast.  

Shiuh Wei


Shiuh Wei spent her childhood playing in an orchard and roaming the streets of Kuala Lumpur in equal measure. She has an incurable wanderlust, a heartfelt passion for fresh produce, herbs and an enthusiasm for home-cooked food made with love. Being a vegetarian for almost two decades now, she enjoys an intimate connection with plants, vegetables and fruits, which keeps her inspired and nourished in her quest to get to learn from Malaysia's best cooks and find lost cultural practices.

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