He’s known in confectionary circles as the “Picasso of Pastry,” and it’s a fitting title for Pierre Hermé. Like the other artist, Hermé is an interdisciplinary creative who paints and sculpts in a style that can only be described as his own. His chosen mediums? Pastry, chocolate – and now, coffee.
Hermé has brought his pastry-making expertise and passion for developing taste and flavour combinations to the art of the brew, with bold and delicious blends being the result. Coffee is a drink characterized (and judged on) its complex flavour profiles, so developing a coffee collection for the most discerning of palates is an undertaking well-suited to Hermé’s skill set.
In his new collaboration with Nespresso, Hermé’s touch is evident—from the jewel-like packaging to the bold black single origin coffee from Colombia, the Infiniment Espresso. The Arabica beans, which express an impressive depth of flavour, are sourced from the region of Tolima, Columbia, where the farmers who work with Nespresso prioritize sustainability. In addition to the perfect bold structure of the Infiniment Espresso (no doubt a result of how Hermé collaborated with Nespresso master roasters for these decadent co-creations) there are also two flavoured coffees: delicate and aromatic Infiniment Gourmand Saveur Noisette and the smooth and alluring Ifiniment Fruité Saveur Framboise. All three coffees are unmistakably Hermé, and have been developed for the most discriminating tastes – epicures will delight in the both the aroma and flavours of all three coffees.
Historically, nowhere has Hermé’s ability to showcase his unlimited creativity and method of expression been more pronounced than in the macaron. The Infiniment Macarons, in particular the Infinitely Hazelnut Praline, Infinitely Chocolate Paineiras and his Isfahan macarons, are staples. The flavour harmonies of the Isfahan macarons are typically Hermé: surprising, unfamiliar flavour combinations and totally addictive. Subtly sweet rose cream is balanced by intensely fruity raspberry and highlighted with lychee’s floral notes. This is the inspiration for Infiniment Fruité Saveur Raspberry. “When I make Infiniment Fruité,” Pierre Hermé says, “I like to let the coffee rest for a few minutes to allow the flavour to bloom.”
While you may have to be in Europe to experience Pierre Hermé Infiniment Macarons, you can enjoy all three of his Nespresso Infiniment Gourmet Coffees – Infinitely Gourmet Hazelnut Flavour, Infinitely Double Espresso and Infinitely Fruity Raspberry Flavour – right here in Canada. Nespresso’s covetable holiday advent calendar is an ode to the pastry master: it includes samples of the Pierre Hermé collection along with a surprise treat. Of course, a Pierre Hermé collection without confections wouldn’t be, well, a Pierre Hermé collection. Enter his 70% dark chocolate squares. They work in tandem with the coffees, and are meant to be enjoyed post-sip.
Well on his way to becoming the patron saint of pastry chefs, Pierre Hermé’s career spans decades of innovation. Starting as an apprentice in Paris at age 14 for Gaston Lenôtre, widely considered the father of modern pastry, he went on to become an early pioneer of using both sweet and savoury flavours in desserts. He’s often been credited as revolutionizing the standards of style in pastry, with the acclaimed Michelin Guide referring to him as an “Architect of Taste.”
It’s certainly not his first time crafting caffeinated beverages (his glam boutiques and cafes from Paris to Tokyo have long served carefully curated drinks) but the partnership with Nespresso represents the next stage in Hermé’s ascent to household name status, not just in Europe and Asia, but around the world. This Nespresso | Pierre Hermé collection is a clear message from the architect of taste: now is the season of giving, and he has gifts to share.