Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stove Top Espresso the Second Time Around

My tastes have changed in the last year.  I crave salt and strong flavor (think goat cheese) over sweets.  Most of the time, I don't really care about food.  I mean, I'm thankful for it and try to eat wisely, but it's not the highlight of my day, even when I'm cooking it for my family, unless I get hit with a peculiar craving.   I'm not a food snob.  I just don't really want much of anything; anything, that is, except the perfect cup of cappuccino.

 It started when we celebrated my husband's 40th birthday at an Italian restaurant and I had chicken with all sorts of goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes.  When I was too stuffed for dessert, I ordered a plain jane cappuccino.  Look, I realize this is an old news kind of drink.  Espresso drinks ceased to be cool for me ten years ago, and I never thought I'd want another cappuccino after tasting one at McDonald's (why did I do that?)  But, I don't know, it was so earthy and good that night.

Anyway, I'll get to the point by saying everything I tasted in the month between that birthday dinner and buying an $8 Bialetti knock off at Ross was cardboard.

In years past we have burned through Bialettis, Mr Coffees, and a Francis Francis (it was so beautiful) but over time I quit enjoying the taste and went back to my coffee roots.  It doesn't help that my husband has a "More is more!" attitude and makes/cooks everything ever stronger as the years go by.  I realize its really nice of him to do this and that's probably why I drank cappuccinos for a couple of years after I ceased to enjoy them.


But this time around I googled how to use the knock off espresso maker so I wouldn't get that metallic taste.  (I know, I google everything.  I even dream about googling.)

First, I vowed to always take it all the way apart and clean after every use.  This may curb my caffeine habit, but so be it.  Then, I ground the beans for 16 seconds or so, intermittently, so they wouldn't burn.  I filled the coffee basket, but didn't tamp.  I kept the heat on medium and pulled the pot as soon as the espresso began gurgling up, so it wouldn't burn.

With just a touch of sugar it was perfection.  I felt like I could finally rest on the inside after a month of appetite soul- searching.

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