Coffee : it works for me

When the pandemic hit Australia a few months ago, and I began working full-time from home, I still went out most days to buy a take-away coffee. Generally I have one coffee every day, and I thought it was a good thing to support local businesses. It was also nice to get out of the house, and to have a bit of a chat with those in the coffee shops.

But as the coffee shops began to close, and as they stopped accepting “keep cups”, I found the need to start looking around for other options. As one shop closed, I went to another, and then another still.

After a while the shops, began to re-open. Wonderfully, as I returned to one of my local coffee shops after their closure, they remembered they “owed” me a couple of coffees I’d ordered through their app in the gap between leaving my house, and arriving at their newly closed premises. “James, James, we owe you a couple of coffees”, they said to me when I walked in their store.

But by then, I’d begun to make my own coffee at home.

Though I toyed with the idea of buying one of those expensive coffee machines, the cost (sometimes hundreds of dollars), and the endless need to clean those machines made me reassess something from my past. Many years ago, I lived with an Italian guy, and he introduced me to a stovetop coffee maker. As I remembered, the coffee was pretty good, and it was quick and easy to make.

Stovetop coffee is THE BEST! This cost $30 at David Jones.

After that, I watched a few Youtube videos, and I read a few tips along the way about the best way to make coffee using one of these. There were some good tips, such as not letting the coffee get to a stage where it “boiled over”. I now have two: a smaller one and a larger one. Most days, I’ll use the larger one. A couple of minutes later and the coffee is ready.

Mostly I’d been heating milk to add to my coffee. But then last week, I read a suggestion about making “frothy milk” in a blender/whisker machine. It works to a treat. I froth the milk, and then heat it in the microwave, before adding the milk to the espresso.

The awesome thing about the Mini Whizz (about $60 from K-Mart) is you can also grind beans.

And of course, you need to buy good beans!

Though I’m sure there are snobs around the place who’ll suggest I return to one of my local coffee shops and get “the real experience”, I’m really happy with the quick and easy solution I’ve discovered for my daily coffee addiction.

4 Replies to “Coffee : it works for me”

  1. Must admit I have given up on coffee shops I love chai latte and they are a hit or a miss when you buy them discovered Woolworths own brand of sachets and really enjoy them less than 40 cents a cup and one satisfies me

  2. The stovetop percolators do work a treat, James, but it’s the ambiance of the café I miss the most. The atmospheric ‘flavour’ of my favourite coffeeshops in Melbourne—which is as particular as the way they make a brew—is what completes the perfect caffeine injection.

    I miss going to ‘my office’ in Centre place each morning and putting the right fuel in the writing tank. To my eternal shame, I too have had to go the much-maligned takeaway route (who on earth wants to drink coffee out of a paper cup with one of those dinky, useless lids?!), retiring quick-smart to the lockdown cell to write. I’ve probably been more productive, but it’s not as pleasant, either flavour- or ambiance-wise.

    1. It’s obviously been much more difficult for you in Melbourne than it’s been here in Sydney (fingers crossed). Though restaurants and cafes have remained open, it’s still several months since I’ve sat in a cafe and enjoyed a coffee, while thinking about the world around me.

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