At the risk of losing the respect of all my coffee-connoisseur friends, I’m about to do a full monty on the history of coffee-drinking in our house. Despite our self-anointed foodie status, we are nothing, if not plebeian, when it comes to our coffee consumption. We frequent Starbuck’s more often than Peet’s, we buy pre-ground coffee, not whole beans, and the ultimate embarrassing fact – when our kids were born, my husband and I started drinking instant coffee in the morning as a way to cut out every second we could of our own prep time to be able to feed our kids ourselves before we left for work. To this day, we only make fresh coffee on the weekends.
Revealing this family secret has risked my relationship with many dear friends including my long time food-writing friend in Southern California, who actually roasts her own coffee beans at home. I’m not sure she will ever look at me the same, knowing that I have been drinking Folger’s crystals with vanilla-flavored coffee creamer for almost 15 years, Monday through Friday.
In an attempt to move on from this stagnant, tasteless part of our life, my husband splurged on one of the new pod-based espresso machines this week – the Nespresso Citiz (www.nespresso.com). So why not just use our trusty Krups 12-cup timed coffee maker? Is this purchase just an example of luxurious laziness or in Silicon Valley’s fast-paced lifestyle, is it a justifiable modern-day necessity? So I went straight to the source of the purchase and asked him. His answer: a compromise between laziness and a desire for good quality espresso style coffees. He’s not the type to stop at Peet’s or Starbucks on the way to work and he’s not the plan-ahead type who will set up the timer on the coffee machine the night before. He needs instant gratification. Throw the pod in, press the button, and tasty espresso appears.
And so far, we have not been disappointed. We’re still figuring out what all the colorful pods represent and we haven’t yet done side-by-side taste tests with alternative machines or professional machines but what we’ve made so far tasted pretty darn yummy. And because he chose the machine with the frother, which is based on induction technology and works very quickly, we are starting to get creative with the froth – including using it to make cold or hot chocolates for the kids.
My only complaint so far is the documentation that comes with the machine. For a machine whose major selling point is simplicity, why do they provide a whole binder of information and a separate instruction booklet? Why not make the documentation as compact and simple as the machine is?
As for my personal take on the laziness vs. necessity question — the purchase is a little bit of both which, in my opinion, is what quality of life is all about. To enjoy a glass of OMG! Yummy homemade cappuccino while preparing lunches and breakfasts bleary-eyed at 6AM before entering the painful morning commute is worth every penny and all the embarrassment I have earned by telling this story.