Passion or Obsession?
As my family and friends already know, my daily caffeine intake has become more than the casual ritual of brewing a pot of coffee. What led to this obsession to pull a shot and steam the milk to create, at least in my mind, an unsurpassed cappuccino? Part of it, I think, has been the cafe creme I've had in Paris. I can't seem to drink enough of them when there. Of course, I've always attributed much of that great taste to the high fat content in French milk. To get that same taste at home, I will drink a Cafe Breve occasionally (made with half & half instead of milk). I also think the reason coffee is so good in Paris is, well, you're in Paris! But then the quandary, what to do when back home in the states? I've brewed freshly-ground coffee from local roasters, purchased European brands, used a press-pot and a stove-top, all with acceptable results. But what I always dreamed of having in my kitchen was a big, shiny, Italian espresso machine. I finally realized that dream when I purchased a Pasquini Livia this year and after struggling 10 months to brew that perfect espresso without my own grinder, I finally broke down and bought a Pasquini MOKA. Having done that, all I can say is - don't think you can get along with someone else grinding the beans for you. Invest in that grinder! Then practice, practice, practice! The variables in brewing an exceptional espresso are many, but it eventually comes together and, most of the time, you'll be rewarded with a cappuccino that makes you feel like you're in Paris!
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