Travel and coffee are so interrelated, for me at least, that I cannot help but to point out that today is National Espresso Day.
If you are a regular reader of Live and Let’s Fly, you know that I love coffee. But I love espresso in particular. Wherever I am in the world, one of the joys of my morning routine is seeking out great espresso.
Today, November 23rd, is National Espresso Day. What a prefect Saturday for a nice cup of coffee.
What’s the difference between espresso and just plain coffee? According to professional baristas, it doesn’t really matter what kind of bean you use, or how it’s roasted — it’s all in the way the beans are brewed. Forcing pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans produces a concentrated brew with its signature delicate foam. This foam, or crema, to use its proper name, contains concentrated sugars and oils from the beans, adding a light sweetness that helps balance out the bitterness.
I’m spending the weekend in Santa Barbara with my family. Yesterday afternoon, we stopped at a little café in Santa Paula, CA called Rabalais’ Bistro.
As I write this, I am enjoying my morning coffee on the terrace of the soon-to-be-beautiful Hyatt Centric.
This afternoon, I’ll be on the hunt for good coffee in downtown Santa Barbara. I know that Peet’s is there, the only national coffee chain I enjoy, but I’ll be looking for something more local.
Happy National Espresso Day!
(H/T: Shelli, my fellow So. Cal. blogger and coffee aficionado)
This is my dream espresso machine https://rocket-espresso.com/r-58.html
Wow, I love those! How much?
Expensive 🙁 $3k for that model but they have less expensive ones. It is basically the type of professional machine you see at coffee shops but with a size that you can have at home. Well worth it if you want the real deal.
I’m so tempted!
Check it here. They have a good video where they review the machine. They also review their other models. It is fantastic.
Sorry here is the link: https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/rocket-dual-boiler-r58-espresso-machine
I have a simple method to not only find great coffee in town but to get an idea about the neighborhoods; I search for best cafes with the best flat white.
If they know flat white, they are most likely pretty good at the specialty coffees and espresso in general (this is getting a bit more difficult nowadays though..)
And if the area has such a cafes, there was must be enough customer base as well and this is should be interesting area to check out.
Sorry. Here is the link: https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/rocket-dual-boiler-r58-espresso-machine
Does the steam volatilize the caffeine? When you see Italians and Brazilians knocking back espresso’s after dinner but still sleeping normally, I wonder.
Coffee is a great pleasure. Maybe I drink too much ( 12 espresso shots per day , ie double shot as ‘ Long Black’/ Americano, 3 in the morning over 90 minutes, 2 late afternoon in lieu of cocktails, 1 late evening). Probably many people in Europe consume that much, or more.
Those milky drinks are a good way to introduce children to coffee: cappuccino and latte, etc. The coffee snobs get a bit precious when adults drink them…but, as in everything, personal taste is indisputable.
Matthew, could you tell us what coffee/espresso equipment you have at home? I am looking for an espresso machine for Christmas and given your expertise I would be very interested to know what you are using.
I just can’t buy one of those Netspresso’s. Who knows how old that coffee is and I suspect it is not as good as freshly ground, hand tamped espresso beans. Plus, my biggest concern is the waste created by the pods. Those could easily be eaten by an animal and I am not sure I believe they are actually recycles. That said, Netspresso is a brilliant marketing campaign and has raised the interest in Espresso in the US.
There are 3 main issues with pod machines : 1. Cost. Although extremely cheap to buy ( often below the cost of manufacture), that is because they lock you in to expensive pod purchases ( and generally restrict the compatibility of machines to pods). 2 Environmental: as you suggest. 3 Taste. While they are *OK*, a superior taste is had from better machines, including automatic ones.
I opted for automatic machines, largely because I was prepared to trade an ever so slightly lesser taste for convenience.
I have 3 : Miele ( 6 years, built-in), Jura ( 4 years, free standing in home office), Saeco ( in a secondary residence).
They cost far more than I would usually spend on any small appliance, but I don’t regret the purchases. But it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to get a good machine, reliable with good taste and ease of function.
Agree with your comments and that is why I shared my dream machine on my post above. However, I could still not convince my wife I “need” a $3k machine to make my espresso at home. I am the only coffee drinker in my house so for now I have a top of the line Nespresso machine that does the trick. But I will keep working on my dream machine. 🙂
@Paulo and @ Santastico – thanks for your comments. Very helpful. I do wonder what Matthew uses. He too seems to be a connoisseur.