Thursday, January 24, 2008

Espresso Squeeze:

I've been brainwashed by the search for the perfect cup of coffee. I am not a participant in this search, but I read about it all the time. I have an expensive espresso coffee maker. It's expensive by my standards, but purists would laugh at how little I've spent on my hardware. I believe I make espresso that's better than any Starbuck, better than most coffee houses can make. That's good enough for me.

But yesterday, reading about $11,000 and $20,000 devices that brew a truly, truly, amazingly, remarkably, perfectly fine cup, I realized that I had to get this brainwashy idea of coffee perfection out of my head. I acted on my perception, and now I can recommend to you a truly practical way to use your espresso maker. If anything, my coffee-making is now influenced by the Gongfu method of tea-making.

First, use your espresso maker to make your cup of coffee. Enjoy it. If it pleases you, that's perfection. But note: espresso coffee generally has less caffeine than regularly brewed coffee. Not enough perhaps, to face the day. But never fear! You can empty the little basket, pour in fresh grounds, and start over, can't you?

No! Stop! This is where we make our mistake!

After you've made that first cup, there's lots of caffeine left in the used grounds. Run some more steam through for cup #2. And cup #3. And maybe even cup #4. Give up when the “brewed” liquid hardly looks brown. We're not trying for taste now! We'll probably mix this stuff with milk, sugar, honey, anything to cover the weak taste. But there's CAFFEINE in there! We paid for it, we packed it into our espresso maker, and we deserve to push it right into our eager bodies.

I'm a little wired right now, but that's all right. My caffeine will last me through the day.

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