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Archive for the ‘things I’m NOT addicted to’ Category

This whole world of espresso is much more complicated than I thought it could be.  I almost wish I was still naïve and using my crappy $30 Mr. Coffee steam “espresso” maker, but I can’t go back in time and make the frother not break so here I am.

When my frother on my 3 year old Mr. Coffee finally crapped out I went straight to Craigslist.  I found a Krups Gusto espresso machine, paid $25, went home with a smile on my face.  My smile quickly faded into a pissed off frown when I realized the guy only gave me the filter for a single shot of espresso (I’m used to having 4 every morning).  Mr. Craigslist seller never bothered to search his kitchen drawers for me either so I never got relief from a 2 shot filter.

To make it worse the machine was crap.  Within about 10 seconds the espresso started coming out clear.  Where’s the crema I ask?  Hell, what is crema?  I didn’t even know there was such a thing, or rather that it was called “crema.”  Crema is the foaming, frothy stuff that’s supposed to be on the top of your shot of espresso if it is brewed correctly; I obviously never received this from Mr. Coffee (or Signor Gusto).

So, after weeks of meticulously searching Craigslist, Overstock.com, every store on the planet that sells espresso machines, and Ebay I finally ordered an espresso machine.  I wanted a better one than the simple lil’ steamer I had for so long but being an unemployed college student at the moment kinda puts a damper on the ole checkbook.  I now own a Breville Café Roma espresso machine, which I procured for about $50 plus shipping from Ebay.  The machine originally retailed for over $200 so I’m ok with how much I paid for it.  What I’m not ok with is the annoying thumping sound the pump makes when you turn the frother on, but the internet tells me (and it has to be true as the internet never lies) that the thumping sound is normal… oh well.

What sucks now is that I realized I’m not using the right grind of coffee to make espresso with, which has a dire impact on the quality of espresso that is produced.  Burr coffee grinders, I am told (again from the internet), are the way to go (not blade ones).  Burr coffee grinders are evidently in high demand as they are priced higher than most low – medium end espresso machines.  **sigh**

Maybe at the end of my coffee rainbow I’ll be able to get a job as a barista somewhere as I’ll actually have “experience” other than being a logistics director and post payment auditor (which I would assume means absolutely squat to the folks at Starbucks).  I know, I’m bassackwards.  Who says to themselves, “I want to quit my fluffy salaried job to make coffee, and get paid beans (ha) to do so.”

10/14/09 Update: My advice to those of you in the espresso machine market, do NOT buy one of these suckers unless you have endless amounts of patience.  Espresso ground coffee, yeah it won’t go through the portafilter on this.  In fact, I typically have to mix different grinds of coffee to get anything out of it at all.  And today I just spent over half an hour fighting with the little buggard because my filter is clogged.  Nothing will come out of it.  Nothing.  Not even water by its lonesome.  I’ve read similar stories for the higher end Breville as well.  Pain in the ass!

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I hate, hate, hate being late for things, anything at all.  If there’s a specific time I’m supposed to be somewhere, I’m there 20 minutes early (at minimum).  This typically results in me sitting around waiting on people all the time.

Well, along side this penchant for punctuality is also an innate fear that I won’t be able to do things I need or want to do, like get into the classes I want to take next term.  Next term is Summer by the way.  That by itself should be enough to calm my fears as there’s far less people taking summer classes then every other term.  Alas, it was not.

Secondly, the classes I want to take are 3.5 hours long, 4 days a week, starting at 8 am.  Now who in their right mind would do such a thing to themselves, especially during summer?!?!  But there’s more…

The classes I’m taking are Italian language classes.  [This is where I should realize that Italian is not a highly sought after language for college education]  But no.  I did not meander.  I got up 30 minutes early.  Arrived early at the bus stop so I wouldn’t miss the bus.  Rushed up to my class room.  Impatiently awaited my computer to boot.  Registered so quickly you’d have thought I was superman.  And voila, I have a spot in my Italian classes.  I actually have the only spot currently taken in the classes because normal people aren’t stress fiends like myself and took into consideration all the aforementioned indicators that the class would not fill up by 8:03 AM.

Someday I’ll learn how to relax. =)

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Reefs, I still love you!  I’m hoping there is just a breaking in period associated with these Chacos as I’ve heard so many good things about them.  However, my feet currently have at least 6 blister like abrasions on them at the moment and I’m not entirely happy about that.

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I’ve been faithful to my Reefs for about 8 years.  Never have I strayed to another flip flop.  But a chance encounter left me wanting for another, and I failed in my attempt to resist temptation.

I am now the proud new owner of a pair of Chaco Flips!!!  They have arch support!  What more could a girl ask for??!?!!?!  I am, thus, retiring my black Reefs; it was fun while it lasted. =)

Please forgive my unpainted toes — I’m lazy.

feet

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Yes, I realize it’s missing the nostalgic charm of the age-old container called glass, but it’s pretty damn tasty and should not be shunned merely because it’s in a bag, inside of a box.  Not only is this a more eco-friendly design, it’s a ton cheaper and also very convenient as you don’t have to worry about drinking the entire bottle before it goes bad (which for some of us is not much of a problem anyway, oh well).  While consumption of such a product may result in people making fun of you because you have “wine on tap” I dare say it’s worth a shot.  Here in Portland you can find it for roughly $15 a box, which is equivilent to 4 sparkling glass bottles.  I’ve tried almost all of their wines (a lush might you say) and have not been disappointed yet.  The chardonnay is good for drinking OR cooking should the need arise.  And while the word “hardy” may render your mind incapable of thinking beyond beef stew or a hardware shop, your taste buds won’t follow its lead.

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I start looking forward to my coffee the day before, when I’m getting ready for bed.  This seems peculiar to most people, and I myself even thought it strange at first, but now I’m accustomed to my earnestness for it every night.  Not that I’m addicted or anything, though it sure sounds as though I am…  I find a certain comfort in coffee.  It’s warm, rich, creamy.   Never gets mad at me or tells me I did something wrong.  It’s always there when I need to get away and peruse my thoughts.  And it goes great with a rainy Saturday afternoon.  I have this crappy little $30 Mr. Coffee espresso maker I bought from Target like 3 years ago.  It gets the job done but I can never really figure out why the lattes I get at coffee shops are so damn frothy.  My little guy evidently can’t quite get my soy milk that thick for whatever reason.  Perhaps it’s because I threw out the rubber ring that holds the frothing tube onto the steaming nozzle…. oops.  I told myself once I quit my real job and started college I would get a job at a coffee shop, mainly so I could learn the right way to make coffee.  That’s something you don’t hear from many people; I’d like to quit my nice paying job to sling coffee.  Money’s over rated.  I hope to own a coffee shop one of these days, most likely after college since my bank account is currently only moving in one direction, and it’s the wrong one at that.  But coffee….  I think I could give up wine before I gave up coffee, and I really, really like my wine.  You can curl up on the couch on a rainy day with wine, but that does have a tendency to lead to you dancing in the rain, which in turn may end in sniffles.

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