Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Daily Indulgence

My folks were both dyed-in-the-wool coffee drinkers. "No cream or sugar, thank you, I'll take it strong and black." When my brother and I turned coffee drinking age, Mom and Dad started to question if we'd both been switched at the hospital after birth because neither of us liked coffee.

Years later, enter into the picture my husband who loves coffee. I'm sure he was set on his wayward path by his aunt who started putting a blop of coffee in his milk when he was about four. If he weren't concerned about the health risks of over-caffeinating himself, he would be one of those people who would have a mug of java in his hand all day long. But he's sensible and limits himself to one, maybe two cups in the morning and now and then another one in the afternoon as a pick-me-up. (Good boy!)

When he and I married, I tried drinking coffee in the morning with him because, let's face it, it does smell wonderful, but I never really cared for the taste even doctored with cream and sugar.

Then several years ago with the advent of gourmet coffee shops and specialty coffee drinks, I discovered lattes. Oh my. Now that I liked! Even in our little burg of a town, someone opened a coffee shop, and I found myself inventing excuses to go into town to get a latte. (Bad turn of events.)

My husband quickly decided (rational thinker that he is) it would be far more economical to purchase an espresso machine for our home so I could have my daily latte without driving unnecessary miles and spending obscene amounts of money on my newly acquired habit.

So I picked out a very simple machine, about the least expensive one on the market that was still well rated. Various people told me not to waste the money on such a rinky-dink espresso maker. Even the manufacturer said that a machine in that price range ($99.00) shouldn't be expected to last more than a year.

Sorry, I didn't want to make any more of an investment than that. How much would I actually use it? I didn't know. But it was easy to figure out that the little machine would pay for itself in a matter of months (assuming I did use it) so I went ahead and blew a hundred bucks on it.

Did I like and use it? I LOVED it and made myself a latte every morning to start the day. How long did that machine last? One year and two weeks. Sent it back to the company hoping it could be fixed. It couldn't. (Or so they said. How would I know?) But I was hooked by then, so I bought another identical machine.

Unfortunately, that one didn't function at all. Wouldn't work. Period. I don't know what was wrong with it (damaged in shipping?), but I sent it back and received a replacement. To date, that one has lasted over four years. Yup, that's right. FOUR YEARS! So even if it were to conk out on me tomorrow, I'd say I've gotten more than my money's worth out of it. And then some.

Nearly every morning, I make myself a latte to start the day.

I add flavored syrup to the milk before frothing it, but only 1/2 an ounce rather than the full ounce (too sweet!) you get in coffee shops.

Ooooh, look at all the luscious foam!

Wonderful coffee aroma but no bitterness . . . just smooooth, creamy flavor, comin' right up.

Slurp, slurp. I'm starting to salivate now . . . I can't wait any longer.

Cheers! (Ahhh, it's the little things in life.)


Jenyfer Matthews said...

It's the little things all right :)

I'm not a coffee drinker either - much prefer tea. The only way I like coffee is with chocolate syrup in it, preferably iced! A tea bag is a whole lot less fuss.

Jennifer Jo said...

Your husband was one smart, and very kind, man to encourage your addiction.

I don't have an espresso machine, but I use an aeropress---25 bucks, from Amazon. It makes a concentrated, non-bitter coffee that I then mix, half and half, with hot milk. I do this twice a day. I live for my coffee hours.

Erin said...

Well, this post certainly hits home! You are going to gasp when I tell you this, but at one point in my life I was going to a coffee shop twice daily for my espresso fix. I bought the 399.00 Breville machine 7 years ago, and that thing has pulled at least 15 shots a day for 7 years now! At one point at the 2 year mark, I had it stop working (the cord connection). I called them and not only did FedEx show up at my door to take it free of charge, a brand new machine showed up a day later! They had it shipped as soon as I called, without having even received mine back yet, now that's customer service! It produces such wonderful shots, with over an inch of crema on top of every one, they haven't even changed the design of the machine in all this time, I saw it last week although now it retails for 599! It is obscene the amount of espresso I drink in a day, upwards of 15 shots. But coffee? no thanks! I drink my lattes iced always, even in winter! I have such a bad addiction that while pregnant I made an appointment with my doc just to discuss it! To my surprise she gave me the go ahead for up to 3 latte's a day, and said stay away from the coffee, which actually has more caffeine. Of course, my fertility doc is pretty progressive, even having me drink 2 shot glasses of Guinness a day for the iron - apparently that or 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses are the most readily absorbed forms of iron on the planet. (I obviously went for the easier to swallow option!) So, I let the good times roll with my lattes & Guinness :)

kate said...

That sure looks good!!

I hear you about coffee. I don't like it either. Actually, I can't drink it because my intestines can't handle it. (I threw up all three times I tried coffee.)

But.... I can drink cappuccino, which I discovered when I spent a semester in Italy in college. Unfortunately, I could not recreate that cappuccino here.

I happily drink tea!

beth said...

That looks like a wonderful coffee break! My cup is filled with instant coffee and I have to have french vanilla or coconut cream creamer!!
And yes, it is the little things in life...I say it all the time.;)

MaineCelt said...

I grew up near Seattle in the midst of warring coffee empires, so I know a fair amount about it, but I hardly ever drink it because it puts me to sleep! Still, I think the picture of you, all bright-eyed behind that mug, is one of the cutest, most smile-inducing things I've seen in a while. Thanks for a fun post!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Jen - You sound like an iced mocha drinker. I like those, too!

Hi, JJ - Let's hear it for moms' coffee hours! I'll drink to that.

Hey, Erin - Well, now I know how you get so much done!! You're completely zinged out on espresso! Seriously, I do know that espresso is supposed to be much better for you than regularly brewed coffee . . . less caffeine and acids.

Hi, Kate - Considering coffee is regularly used for enemas, you know it's got to have some effect on our intestines!

Oh, Beth - No wonder you have to use fancy creamer! Instant coffee? You deserve better than that!

MaineCelt - Coffee puts you to sleep!!? You must have one funny metabolism, girl! But I have to say caffeine has never had any effect on me whatsoever. Quite the contrary with my husband. It goes straight into his bloodstream and can really pick him up. If he drinks coffee after 3 PM, it will keep him from falling asleep that night.

Weavin' Wicker Woman said...

Love your post about the latte coffee, makes me want to dig ours out of hibernation and actually USE it again! Thanks for the post, from one Northeastern Minnesotan to another! I'm over by Cook, Orr and Lake Vermilion though, where are you?

The Wicker Woman-Cathryn Peters

Penny said...

Love mocha lattes .. hot or iced!

We have a core group of coworkers at my library that faithfully order our caffeine fix every Thursday morning. It is delivered to us all hot and delish.

Most of us drink our caffeine fix throughout the week but Thursdays are our "special" treat.

robbie said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Mama Pea said...

Hi, Cathryn - Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. What an artisan you are! Please keep on keeping those "old" crafts alive. We'd all be so much happier, content, blah-blah-blah if we practiced and kept alive those wonderful, old skills/arts that can only be done by human hand.

We're in the northern-most corner of the state.

Hey, Penny - Dontcha just love that Thursday morning tradition? It's things like that that make life memorable and share the warm fuzzies.

Hi, Lucy - Welcome and thanks for commenting. Hope to hear from you again.

Claire said...

Now that is just a cruel post for a pregnant lady to read!!!!!

Erin said...

I agree about having no effect - I drink espresso up until about 8 pm and have never had an issue falling asleep. Also, regular coffee wrecks my best friend's system up horribly, even a half a cup, but an espresso drink and she's fine, must be the acids

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Claire - But look at the wonderful "reward" you get for doing without for a few months! (Well, okay several months.) :o)

RuthieJ said...

I think that last photo looks like a great new profile pic for you Mama Pea!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Ruthie - I have thought of the very same thing! Out with the kettle head, in with the strung out on caffeine!