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Starbucks lattes taste bitter and burnt. It’s a flavor to which I’ve become accustomed. That doesn’t make it good; it makes it familiar. But I’ve had magical coffee moments when I leave the Fourbucks coffee clutch for milkier pastures. Many years ago, I took a film class at the artsy movie theater near Lincoln Center, where once a month, we’d screen a film before it was released to the public, and the director or writer or actors would hold court after the viewing, taking questions from the audience. Just before the viewing started, however, the concession stand would offer up “free” (the class fees covered the costs) mini bagels with cream cheese and Lavazza coffee drinks. Sometimes I enjoyed the coffee more than the movie.
Photo taken from a month where I scrapbooked daily (obviously coffee was involved)
When Phil was recovering from his emergency heart surgery–that is, at a time when you question your own time on this earth, you’re apt to live for the moment, intimate with it’s value. He decided on a whim to purchase a Jura Impressa automatic coffee center. What I loved about the machine was the ability to make both espresso and coffee, pouring in fresh whole beans, a built-in grinder for every single cup, fresh! Plus there was the milk frothing vs just foam. Though we did need to tamp our own and toss the grounds, etc. But overall, we used it daily and enjoyed the ability to offer flavored coffee to guests, or run decaf while others enjoyed lattes and cappuccinos. Then, ironically, already in A-fib, Phil’s heart got pissier still and began to go into V-tach also. Caffeine is a big no, we learned. So, in sympathy, I think, I quit coffee, too. Since we seldom used it anymore, Phil sold the Jura Magic Machine, and when I’ve wanted an occasional fix, I’ve opted for my local Fourbucks. HOWEVER…
The times they are a’changin’. With my hormones and metabolism and weight and whine, I think it serves everyone to bring coffee back. I am not cranky without it. I’m immobile. I have zero desire to leave my cozy bed (I’m in it now, writing this, after all). And come snow days where a quick pop into the cafe isn’t an option, I’ve been relying on Starbucks Via, and while that might satisfy coffee sippers, to me, it’s brown water. I’ve decided that I don’t like coffee the way I adore espresso and milk. Though a self-assertive coffee with moxie might work. The point is, I’m now on the hunt, looking for a home caffeine solution.
My father has a Keurig K-cup single serve machine, and they love it for its convenience and the variety of flavors from hot chocolate to Chai lattes, but they say, “It’s fine in a fix, but it’s not the best cup of coffee you’ll ever have.” They have the accessory that allows you to use your own coffee, but it makes little difference. And it doesn’t do espresso, so that’s likely out.
I liked the idea of the Starbucks machines, but they don’t use real fresh milk. I’ve read that this gives an odd flavor to the beverage, keeping it from tasting the same as it does at your actual Starbucks shop. I like that it does teas and coffee in addition to espresso drinks, though.
Remember how much I loved my Lavazza at the movies? Keurig has a new home machine that works exclusively with Lavazza. The Keurig Rivo is a contender. But I hear the taste doesn’t compare to Nespresso.
I was going to go with the Nespresso Citiz & Milk (it’s basically an espresso only machine with an Aeroccino on the side. My problem with the Aeroccino is that I’ve heard it doesn’t allow for much milk. It’s small, and you can’t go over that fill line. Plus, if I’m making all that loverly creamy milk, I want to get my latte art on big time. And I don’t see much art coming from the Aeroccino.
I welcome recommendations. Basically, I think I’m dead set on having a single serve machine with the pods or capsules. Perhaps I buy a milk frother from another brand, so I may use more milk, enough for designs?