Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Essential tools for a happy life...

As you know, I am obsessed with the perfect coffee. It isn't just the beans, the grind, the milk and the throthing that is important. One of the most critical parts to blending that sweet nectar is the temperature.

Often overlooked, it is vital to ensure that not only is the brew itself at the right temp, but that the cup itself is pre-heated. Most modern machines have a wee dial that ensures that the actual espresso is delivered at the right temp but this is no good unless the cup is not cold. I recommend nice thick stainless steel cups as these heat up nicely and hold their temperature well. The new machines have a warming tray but I find a short blast of steam does the trick.

Secondly, the temperature of the milk is just as important. It is no good getting the coffee at the right level and then adding boiling hot or luke warm milk. Some are experts at measuring the temperature through the jug but not I. Me? I use this clever little gadget, pictured above, that clips to the jug and has a shaded band when the milk is at between 60-70 degrees c (that's 140 to 160 degrees F for old school). This ensures that you get the perfect blend of hot coffee and hot milk which can be immediately gulped with no fear of scolding. $20 at The Home Store and worth every penny.

It's all in the details....


  1. You can come and play with our machine anytime you fancy.

  2. Neat! Alan and I would dearly love for it to reside on our office floor. Would it fit in the lift?

  3. Nup. Doesn't in fact seem to be budging from our backyard.

  4. We tried to work out how many cups you'd have to sell to make a net $100k. Needless to say, it was a lot unless you steal the beans.....