Thursday, May 18, 2006

Coffee Unhappiness

Ruined by a Good Espresso Experience

Late last month I visited my best friend, who had purchased a quality burr coffee grinder and a home espresso machine. I have no idea what models they were. All I know is that it was a marvelous experience to have a superb capuccino in the morning or espresso at any time.

So now I am on a mission to transform my coffee-making at home. The Bodum French press I am using is OK, but I don't have the technique dialed in quite yet. But even more than that, I need to have fresh-roasted beans, grind them properly, and probably replace the Bodum, probably with a Chemex for "regular" coffee and to take to work in the Gott, and a pot to make moka. Bialetti is the name in what are called "moka pots". No, it's not espresso, but a true, high quality espresso machine is outside my means at this time. And despite its eccentricies, I would gravitate to La Pavoni, if for no other reason than its sheer beauty and its heritage. The "problem" with La Pavoni is that it is finicky. Using it is a real art, requiring training and practice. I would want hands-on mentoring, and finding that in my small city might be a challenge. And they're not cheap, though they're not the most costly either.

In addition, the Bialetti Brikka 2-cup, which is what I have decided to acquire, is not distributed into this country, so I am trying to find a vendor who can ship to me. The 2-cup is reported to be better than the 4-cup due to the volume of the boil pot, so I won't bother with the easily available 4-cup model. And the 2-cup is on indefinite backorder ... grrrrr. My goal is to have it in place by June 16, when the aforementioned best friend visits here, but it looks like the chances of that are slim.

So for now I will visit the local roasters and select a roaster that is reliable and quality-oriented; I'm planning on purchasing beans as often as twice a week to insure freshness. Eventually I will get a proper grinder, but there's some stick-handling with the household minister of finance to be done first.

Ciao, baby.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Six Years In

After six years of Shrub's absolutely brialliant reign his "wooden" opponent of the 2000 election is looking not only better, (as I always knew him to be) but a helluva lot funnier.

The world is now less secure, the middle east is more fragile, North America is no less dependent on fossil fuel, global warming as a result of fossil fuel dependence, is not only becoming more evident but also more intractable due to the Bush administration's ostrich strategy. The debt load for future generations increases minute-by-minute, political discourse is no longer true discourse, and the politics of sleaze and corruption rules. Thanks a lot fundamentalist right wing. We will not allow you to prevail.