Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My new toy

Merry Christmas to me!
Yes, I'm expecting, so don't be alarmed.  Right now I'm only doing Decaf.  And, that's enough for me, really.  The little jolt left in there plus the bit of sugar and milk is just enough to get me going.  It doesn't really take much.

After 7 years of working at Starbucks.  Opening 2 markets and being a manager for 2 stores, you'd think that I deserve such a gift, right?  Of course, Stephen laughed as I read the directions.
Yes, I know how to work a machine and I know how to pull espresso.  But every machine is different, right?  So, I wanted to see how the machine worked first.  Pretty simple, really.

I pulled my first shot and thought it tasted great.  Now, shots are weird.  They can be bitter, sweet, nasty even.  And I have to admit most of the time, it was more on the nasty side.  But, I did work there long enough to be there when the professional machine guys came in and would re-calibrate everything (note I'm talking about the old machines Starbucks used where you pulled the shot yourself.  no push buttons.) and I even got to taste the first pulled shot.  Yum!  Caramelly sweet and melt in your mouth amazing.  You truly wouldn't hear me say that about espresso, but it was.  Now, this shot wasn't bitter.  Wasn't super sweet.  But, it was there and it was smooth.  Good enough for me.  I know I've got a bit more playing to do, but it ain't gonna happen in 10 minutes, so I moved onto the milk.

This is my only problem with this machine (which is a Delonghi, by the way).  The wand is a bit short and doesn't move too much.  I have no idea what type of pitcher I'll settle on because not much will fit under there and there is a line they don't want you to cross so it can't be too deep either.  The drip tray does come off but there are bars and things that stick out so you can't even rest it on the counter.  Hmmm..  I'm on this..  Milk frothed great and it really tasted good as well.  Got to get my temp up but I'll work on that too.  I think I pull it too early because there is nowhere to set the "pitcher" I'm currently using and blah blah blah, same problem I mentioned earlier.

Overall, I love this.  Coffee tastes great.  I'm not this big fancy coffee snob.  I want it to be smooth and sweet.  That's truly all I'm asking for.  It looks nice on my counter and works great.  It's not too loud.  If you're looking at espresso machines, look to invest some money.  Don't buy super cheap ones that are steam driven.  Steam driven means you have to wait for the steam to heat before using it.  This means, you have to pull a shot and wait for a total heat up again.  This one is pump driven.  It takes a few minutes to heat up (it says 15 but I think it's quicker).  Then, when you push steam, it takes it a minute to be ready.  But, you'd wait longer if it wasn't pump driven.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I'll definitely need this in the future.  Peppermint mochas are on me!  Come on by!


  1. Alright! Shop talk!

    Glad you're enjoying the espresso, and that you're getting your technique down. My Starbucks experience only taught me what good shots SHOULD be like, but by then the machines were full auto, so I didn't develop any actual espresso technique 'til I got my own machine. I'm getting pretty consistent results these days, but I still miss occasionally. Still drink the mistakes - it teaches you not to make them. :)

  2. Ha! Monkey bars!! That is what we call 'em. It does take a bit though because the type of coffee matters, your machine matters. I'm with you. If it doesn't taste bitter (or salty as I say), then I'm good. The point is to not be hit in the face by it. Should be smooth and sweet. And yes, I used to make folks steam the milk wrong (aka how everyone steams it) and taste it. Yuck!!!! They pretty much hated me but the hope was they wouldn't cheat on the milk. It becomes so sweet when steamed right!


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