Splutter chugga chugga gaaarrrgle chugga pssssss

I did it! I resurrected an espresso machine over the weekend. Tasty coffee is within my grasp and involves an intriguing, and nearly ritualistic, procedure. It’s labour intensive to make espresso, but worth it.

When I moved into the flat over a year ago, the machine was put under the kitchen sink, tucked behind the laundry detergent and virtually forgotten. Coffee needed to be quick and plentiful in those early days. With two hungry brains to feed full of stimulants, automatic drip machine brew was the norm and the occasional, robust cafetiere-steeped cup of bliss crossed our lips. To tell you the truth, I think we got lazy. The coffee became standard. Common. Everyday stuff.

Now I can say, after having made nearly 10 cups of coffee using the fancy contraption, that decadent brew is not just the reward for a walk to the town centre, nor is it hopelessly difficult to achieve in the home. One cup at a time I’m earning my stripes and enjoying the espresso for what it should be: a pause in the day for something a little special. A reason to kick back and sip, rather than absently grabbing and sucking down a mug of average stuff with caffeine.

I think I’m falling in love with this noisy, temperamental machine.

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3 thoughts on “Splutter chugga chugga gaaarrrgle chugga pssssss”

  1. I got an espresso machine for Christmas – I love it. It’s a DeLonghi Metropolis, which is the retro looking one, and it makes great coffee.

    Tips I have for good coffee:

    Don’t have more than one pack of coffee on the go at a time, and keep it in a sealed tin. It goes stale relatively quickly. I may buy a grinder in the future.

    Clean out the machine after every use. Don’t just tap the coffee grinds holder, wash it out, seperate it and rinse with hot water. Leaving it in the machine for about 5 mins makes the grinds fall out a bit easier when you do empty it.

    Don’t expect coffee made at 7am and put into a Thermos flask to be as good as it originally was by 3pm. Fresh is best.

    Get a milk thermometer and a small metal jug. Milk is best warmed to just under 70¬¨‚àûC. Coffee is best pumped at 100¬¨‚àûC, and the Steam for frothing should be 150¬¨‚àûC. Don’t try to froth too much milk at a time.

    Buy decent coffee. Illy is the best I have found, but is pretty expensive, at around $80/kg. Try a few different ones, until you find one that is good enough for you.

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  3. Thanks Matt!
    The little machine we have is doing pretty well and I attribute that equally to my patience and my diligent cleaning of it after every use.

    I’m known for being able to drink coffee, cold and old, half a day after it was brewed, but given the choice, I’ll take it fresh! 😉

    I do want one of those little steel milk jugs… a thermometer would be helpful too as the milk frothing bit is my most pitiful skill.

    I have a sensitive tummy to coffee so I typically have to stick with organic stuff, but I am on the lookout for a bean to be specifically purchased for the espresso machine. I’ll let you know my findings! Thanks for all your input! 🙂

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