Friday, June 15, 2012

hello, coffee... it's you again.

In between some crazy deadlines, I've been thinking about this concept of actualization vs. ambition (see here and here). I've studied and written a little bit about self-actualization before (thanks, Maslow) and it's always been something that interests me. More on that later...

In the meantime... Yes, crazy deadlines. I'm actually working through fatigue right now and feeling like crap, to be quite honest. But I thought I'd stop in here for a bit. This blog has become my respite, for my own sanity.

I used to drink a LOT of coffee. I can remember a time when I could drink it 3-4 times a day. And then it became once a day. Then one day, it was like I woke up and didn't want to drink it anymore. Strange. So for a few years, all I drank (caffeine-wise), was black (Earl Grey, from here) or green tea (my favorite "Sunburst," also from here).

And then over the winter, I started craving coffee. But for me it had to be espresso or with espresso, not regular coffee. Not to be picky, but hey, we like things the way we like them, right?

A. and I went to Chicago the week of Thanksgiving last year (I needed to renew my passport at the Philippine consulate, so we made a short holiday out of it), and as expected, it was COLD. We went to a brunch place and ordered cappuccinos, and they were served in real cups and saucers - which seems to be a luxury nowadays in the world of to-go paper cups. There was something comforting about sitting down to a steaming cup of good espresso and frothy, foamy milk (whole milk, please! If I'm having a cappuccino, I'm going to have a darned good cappuccino.).

Check out that foam! Cappuccino in EATT, Chicago. Sorry for the poor lighting.

After that, I would go get a cappuccino maybe once a month. And then it became once a week... and then I'm realizing, I want it even more often than that now. Thanks to said crazy deadlines.

So. I don't want this to become an expensive habit. Meaning I really should make it at home. I only have a regular coffee maker (which hardly gets any use now). I want my espresso jolt.

I remember back home, we had a pretty fancy espresso maker. It even had a built-in attachment to steam and froth milk. After a few uses, it broke. Then we had the stovetop espresso maker, and it lasted a long time. I remember we also had an antique coffee grinder (as in with the handle you rotate to grind coffee!). Grinding coffee became a ritual.

I've been hearing a lot about these automatic espresso machines...

image source

But I tend to be wary of those coffee-in-single-serve-pods. I didn't like their flavor. Admittedly, I haven't tried this brand though.

And these machines are gosh-darn expensive! Definitely beyond our budget right now, especially after all the traveling we did recently. And as compact as this seems to be, it still takes up some precious countertop real estate in our tiny kitchen.

So I've been eyeing this little guy:

image source

Compact, and for a fraction of the price. Almost a no-brainer.

Thoughts on espresso makers, anyone?

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Dianne Khu said...

Mia! I just started making espressos. And I agree that espresso makers are wayyy too expensive, but I did find one that was on sale and had good reviews, though it was an old model -->,0&layer=comp&op_sharpen=0&resMode=sharp2&op_usm=0.7,1.0,0.5,0&fmt=jpeg
It works fine for me, but recently I bought a $50 espresso maker as a gift and it works just the same! You can find it in JCPenny - the brand is Cooks. I don't use pods. I grind my own coffee or I use the ground ones. Starbucks' dark roast line is the best. I honestly could not distinguish what a good espresso is vs. a bad one. As long as it's rich, dark, and fresh, I am in love. :-)

Mia said...

Hi Dianne, thanks for the recommendation! Must check these out.

Yes, I used to grind my own coffee too... the coffee in the pods just doesn't taste right to me...

I like it dark too! But not over-roasted. :)

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