My Coffee Journey
I love coffee. If I didn’t have to be careful about how much I drank (too much bothers my stomach), I would drink it all day.
I first started drinking coffee with my Mom. She made me Cafe au lait, which to my Mom meant 1/2 coffee, 1/2 hot milk. I was 12 or 13. I loved it. I probably continued to drink it like that until I went to college. During college, I don’t remember any memorable experiences with coffee.
When I first started working full-time ( after college and marriage), I remember drinking coffee all the time at my work place because everyone else did and it was readily accessible. That’s when I discovered that it bothered my stomach. When I made coffee in our apartment I used a Farberware Percolator given to me by my Mom because that is what she used. I used that for a long time.
When we finally got our own house and sometime after we had children, I couldn’t get the Farberware to make coffee strong enough.(Ah, you say, the aftermath of children, or maybe my taste buds changed) I would use enormous amounts of canned ground coffee just to get some flavor. My mother bought me a French Press. ( I still use the Farberware for parties, I have a 12-cup too, comes in handy. ) That was heaven for a long time. I even brought it with me on a Girl Scout Camping trip (the other 2 leaders loooved me!). I used ground coffee at first, going from Maxwell House to Medaglia D Oro Espresso.
Then I switched to grinding my own coffee beans with a Krupps Coffee Grinder using Green Mountain Coffee Beans. That was yummy for a while, until it started tasting bitter. I read that a blade grinder just keeps on regrinding the beans and makes inconsistent sizes which can result in bitterness. A Burr Grinder does not have this issue, so I bought one of those (they are not cheap, let me tell you, had to justify THAT one). And I switched to buying Peets. I had to send away for the beans, no local Peets store and the supermarkets weren’t selling it yet. I ended up as a regular customer with a shipping program/schedule. For a long time I was happy.
Then I went to Italy. I visited my daughter who was there for a study abroad college program. The hotel that we stayed at (my daughter stayed with me too) provided breakfast as part of the package. We decided to have cappuccino, in the traditional Italian way, instead of American coffee. They had this incredible machine and each cup was made individually by our waiter. Well, my daughter and I were hooked. It was the best coffee we had ever tasted. We were tainted. Nothing was going to taste the same. And we tried. Everytime we were together we would try a cappuccino at some restaurant or coffee place. But then we would look at each other, “I wish we were back in Italy”.
For a long time we dreamed of that cappuccino and reminisced how delicious it was.
Last year, I visited my daughter in Boston and we decided to go to the Copley Place Mall and of course we stopped in at Williams Sonoma, our favorite store. (lots of kitchen stuff to dream about owning) A woman was there representing Nespresso and was making espresso for the customers in their new machine, the Pixie. At first I just passed by, it looked like a pod machine, yuk, the coffee is weak in those. But I turned around and said, What the heck, let’s give it a try! We saw her make it, looked easy, and then saw the crema on top! Wow, I didn’t know a pod machine could do that! Well, after tasting, my daughter and I were transported back to Italy. I was so excited, got all the literature and talked about it with my daughter for the next hour. But it was very expensive and extremely difficult in my mind to justify buying it for myself.
So I did nothing. My daughter asked me in one of our phone conversation, When are you going to buy that machine??? I told her I was having a hard time justifying putting out that kind of money. She sighed.
A month went by, our Birthday’s were coming up. (my daughter and I celebrate the same day) In the mail I get a lovely card from my daughter and a gift certificate to Williams and Sonoma with a note: Please go buy that yummy espresso machine! I buy the ‘machine’ and have been extremely happy every morning with my delicious cappuccino (my daughter has since bought one herself.)
My husband and son are now on board with the Pixie. My husband was a devoted tea drinker for many years. Then he started going to Starbucks and now drinks our Pixie espresso/cappuccino (a more consistent cup of Joe). I tell him he has gone over to the dark side!!
But I don’t know if the journey has ended. My daughter and I keep eyeing the bigger espresso makers on the Nespresso website with a built-in milk frother (our Pixie comes with a separate milk frother, the only annoying thing) so maybe, someday……..