If there's one thing I want the world to know about me it's that I love coffee. It's been a passion of mine for years -- the constant goal to achieve the perfect cup has, for a very long time, been pursued and thoroughly sought out. I think about coffee all the time. The simple smell of a classic roast can set a wild animal loose inside of me. The way it makes me feel, think and move are all intoxicating. I'm just plain ol' addicted, people.
There's hundreds of other things I don't want people to know about me, but out of all the weird and creepy things I say and do, this one is pretty acceptable. Because no one needs to know I really like the way chalk feels.
I'm not sure when I became so interested in coffee, but I know it was definitely at an earlier age. Maybe I was around fourteen or fifteen, so it's not that young. But movies have always painted coffee as the go-to morning ritual, the first thing you must do after rolling out of bed. It looked so calming and relaxing, I couldn't help wonder what miracle liquid was being consumed. It looked and felt like hot chocolate, too, so, naturally, we were off to a pretty good start.
Growing up, my mom drank a lot of coffee, as well as my older sister, but I vaguely remember my older brother, Jimmy, drinking coffee, too. Which pretty much sealed the deal.
Older brother > everyone else.
So I had to do what I had to do. I had to emulate the best, evolve into a higher lifeform and totally load my weak and frail body with heart pumping caffeine. People on television and film drank coffee. The people around me drank coffee. I had to have it. IT WOULD BE MINE.
Old Memory Alert:
In high school, I really dug indie comics. Anything about depressed and gloomy loners was great reading, but one series in particular, though, really hit home and made me do stupid things.
It was called Too Much Coffee Man. I kinda stumbled into it when I found a few copies at a used bookstore, took them home and got hooked.
In accordance to my reading agenda, it was sorta depressing and maybe just a teensy bit gloomy. Not really sure. Because even back then I didn't really understand what I was reading, but I'll try to sum it up -- it was about a chubby dude in spandex with a coffee cup for a head. Lots of sarcasm and dry humor with what I assume to be a hopped up superhero based around coffee, but I'm not sure why I read it or what I found entertaining in it. A lot of it seemed abstract and artsy, but if it did anything well, it was to make me want hot coffee. The comic transformed me into a maniac craving this unique brown water. I needed it and I needed it bad.
So, one night I decided to steal my mom's coffee maker, set it up in my room and had at it. I shoveled in spoonfuls of grounded up Folgers, pressed "on" and never looked back. Of course, it was disgusting. I listened to music, read comics and did not go to bed at fucking all. Although everyone else in my age group were dry humping and smoking pot at the park, I learned the power behind coffee during this strange teenage experience. I learned to vaguely comprehend the bewitchment of caffeine. I also learned that, because of this late night undertaking, I truly did not have any friends. At all.
I really did stay up all night, thoughh, completely wired and plugged in. It was pointless and absurd, but it was, like, really awesome.
So here I am today! Time has passed and I've become more mature in my quest for coffee. I've been around the block a few times so I know what's good and I know what I want. Example:
A fantasy of mine is to own one of those massive contraptions that pump out the grandest cup of brew one could ever imagine possible, usually reserved for classy coffee joints and Italian playboys. You know those ones? High end, completely immaculate and destined to create a solid cup of coffee every single time. I'm looking and pining for the kind of beautiful appliance that's the size of a gumball machine and costs over five thousand dollars.
Well, fuck if that's ever going to happen.
In the past, I've tried different versions of Mr. Coffee coffee makers, French presses from all over the Internet and anything that's inexpensive and will easily replicate the silky smooth flavors of an overpriced tower of chrome and steel. So...
I found this:
First off, "this" is that thing above, a Bialetti Mukka Glass Stovetop Cappuccino Maker. I found it online and thought it looked like a direct route to my Happy Place. The name is Italian based, the reviews are favorable and "mukka" sounds playful and fun. Actually, a bunch of reviews complain that the entire product has a high tendency to blow up all over your kitchen, but that's neither here nor there. Because I already spent a hundred bucks on the damn thing.
With all the negative feedback behind us, this looks pretty fancy, like a cross between a teapot and a lantern you'd bring on a camping trip.
It comes in three pieces, which is just the right amount of assembly for me to not be on the edge of tears every time I had to wash it. You add water to the black thing, espresso in the middle thing and a bunch of milk in the glass thing. Through my travels, I suggest you use good espresso beans. I'm unable to point you in any sort of direction in acquiring these great and powerful beans, for I simply use the ones that come in a really shiny can. This technique works for me on so many levels.
I'm not sure how the Bialetti Mukka Glass Stovetop Cappuccino Maker actually works, but you set it up on the stove to heat up, hit that switch in the center and in under a few minutes, the sounds of loud popping and sucking noises hit the air. It's all quite dramatic, and completely unnerving after literally just reading product reviews of "watch out it blows up in your kitchen."
Within a flash, you've got cappuccino! The milk is flooded by cooked up espresso, topped off with a small helping of foam, all in one flick of the switch. Truthfully, now that I think about it, it's more of a latte, but it tastes good and I didn't do a lot of work. Also, to create the perfect balance of taste and flavor, I've been experimenting with using half-and-half versus whole milk, which has done nothing to further my desperate research and everything to make me fart like a motherfucker. At least me bones be strong.
Besides the foam not being that foamy, I suppose my only complaint it that it only makes a single cup, and even then, it's the smallest version of any cup I've ever seen. Yeah, I know it's meant to be sipped from those cute little espresso cups (and a quick Wikipedia check reveals that cappuccino, or "Capuchin," literally means "small cap," ha!) but I'm too used to pots of coffee and mugs bigger than my head. I can always get used to smaller portions and practicing moderation, but then again, I can always starve to death. You'd like that, wouldn't you?
Anyway, check it out. If you like cappuccinos that aren't, like, the best in the world but are still pretty damn good, then the Bialetti Mukka Glass Stovetop Cappucinno Maker is for you. Affordable and easy, you can't go wrong.
Well, unless you used decaf.
Seriously, never use decaf.