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.
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.
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.