Monday, January 4, 2010

The best coffee-related $2 I've ever spent.

I used to post about coffee a lot (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 -- tea too -- and there are more). Lately I've been on a macchiato kick, and on the weekdays Phoenix (linked first back there) has been pretty much satisfying my cravings. I say pretty much because I wish they'd use better milk, as in milk from happier cows. Still, while their roast isn't my favorite in town, the shots are pulled well and the milk is nicely steamed, so my complaints are somewhat minor.

But that just takes care of the weekdays. After a quick trip to Ikea, now my weekends are under control. First it's worth mentioning that I've always wanted an espresso machine. But, with my Maserati tastes and Fiat budget, plus the learning curve of really pulling good shots, it's just not going to happen. A compromise machine (i.e. full auto) isn't for me, so for the time being I outsource my espresso making and typically use a moka pot at home. But when I'm feeling a dairy addition, sometimes simply warmed milk is not enough. Enter the Swedes.

I'm not normally a big fan of the Scandinavian retailer, but it has its moments. So in addition to building a pretty sweet library type thing, I wound up with a perfectly serviceable milk frother. For $2! Good froth, and good foam, if that's what you're into. $2! Almost too good to be true, especially when paired with the moka pot and some decent coffee.

So that concludes the busy, nearly post-free holiday season.

See that? It's The CFT making some of this gravlax. Came out pretty good with some sockeye. The place is kind of a mess. We're working on that.

And while the gravlax was coming together some vegan cookies were being whipped up.

Those were pretty good. For vegan cookies.


Adam said...

1. Happy Holidays Tomato

2. Where's the recipe for the vegan cookies or will that be the next post?

3. Nice metal wire shelving; that stuff is invaluable.

The CFT said...

Hey Adam. Happy Holidays to you.

No recipe--the cookies were made by visitors. Sorry. If I can get it I'll post it, but it's not likely.

Ah, wire shelving. I like it. The S.O. not so much. She moving in, and sadly the shelves may be moving to the basement. The sacrifices we make . . . .

Steve said...

Hey Tomato,
We have one of those devices, although we haven't used it much. As far as shelving goes perhaps some of the wooden ones that used to be available from Williams and Sonoma would be more pleasing to the S/O.

The CFT said...

Thanks for the tip Steve. We'll see. This may be a project that requires long walks on Larchmere.

Maybe it's just cause it's a new toy, but I'm loving the frother. It beats running out in the snow.

stefan said...

after years of laying our krupps espresso machine to rest, we picked up a mr. coffee on sale @ target for $29.00. it's everything you'd expect a 29.00 espresso machine to be, but surprisingly serviceable. decent amount of crema as long as you shut it down once it forms, and you can even eek out a little more with a quick flick on/off.

steamer turns hartzlers whole milk into frothy joy in no time. time will tell how long for the world it is, but 29 bucks...come on.

we've been running turkish ground medium roast beans though our filter machine for years. produces a nice, full bodied cup that has mostly held my espresso cravings at bay. problem is i drink about 9 cups a day, hence us revisiting the espresso machine.

i've got a bialetti at work for emergencies, but rarely have decent, fresh stuff to put in it.

The CFT said...

Sound like a good setup Stefan. If I had an espresso machine at home I think I'd get out of control with it.