Thursday, October 06, 2005

Coffee Loves Crevices:

I have one of these simple, inexpensive Italian coffeemakers. I put it away when I got rather snobby about coffee, but recently I took it out and used it a few times. Like the very expensive espresso machines, it forces steam through grounds to make coffee. The water starts in the bottom. The coffee grounds go into a basket in the middle. You set it on the stove and boil the water. Steam passes upwards and collects in the top as coffee. Then it starts to boil and ruin its taste unless you’re really on the ball. But if you catch the coffee as soon as it rises to the top, you’ve got decent espresso.

In one way, this appliance did better than my more expensive espresso machine. I’ve been flavoring my coffee (as I grind it) with cardamom pods or anise seeds. This little coffeemaker brings out the aroma of the seeds wonderfully, a great drinking pleasure. But then it’s time to clean the pot.

You may know this already: ANY kind of coffeemaker works better if it’s really clean. Old bits of coffee degrade the flavor. And coffee collects EVERYWHERE when you make it. If you clicked on the URL above, you may have noticed the octagonal shape. Well that shape produces many crevices and hard to reach surfaces, and coffee collects in them all. It’s a tough, tough, clean, and I think I’ll be happy to go back to my more cleanable expensive espresso machine.

You know what? Those things don’t have to be octagonal. I’ll keep looking, but I want this gadget to be round and inexpensive.

Edited to add: Surprise, this coffee-maker was made hard-to-clean on purpose. read about it here.

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