I have a new device. No, not that device. Or that one. No, this is a Nespresso Aerocinno. I saw one at a friend's house on a trip to Los Angeles last winter. This thing is amazing. Usually I'm content to take my espresso or coffee straight, but every once in a while I want some foam and froth.
I have managed to steam and froth milk with various steam-shooting attachments on espresso machines over the years, but it was usually a big mess, and the results were mixed. And try as I might, I could never get soy milk to froth at all, which was sad for my wife, who doesn't use dairy but likes a decaf cappucino every now and then.
So my family gave me one of these for my birthday last month.
It's a revelation. It purrs quietly. It whisks up some hot (or cold) foam in a matter of seconds. It is easy to clean up. And it works fine with soy milk.
I'm drinking a fine soy cap right now, listening to a Pandora station on my new iToy and writing this post.
Mmm, creamy and foamy.
The iPad can't do that!
But I have another problem. I've run out of coffee. And that takes me to this week's selection -- the last drop is going down the hatch.
Coffee Monserrate, Huila, Columbia
Roasted March 14 by Café Grumpy in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Purchased March 16 at Grumpy's Chelsea location, 224 W. 20th St., between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
Description "Hazelnut aroma, butterscotch sweetness, smooth body and ripe red apple brightness. Caturra & Typica. Washed, sun-dried. Producer: Grupo Asociativo Productores del Nuevo Milenio"
In the cup This is a perfectly fine but ultimately undistinguished coffee in my mind, but I'll admit to being a little distracted this week. I've had it at home in the Jura and at work in the Aeropress (it is better than the previous selection for that). I've never been a big Hazelnut fan, associating it with the worst sort of break-room or gas-station coffee. This is nothing like that flavored stuff. It is just a hint. The butterscotch sweetness and smooth mouthfeel saves the whole thing. And of course, much of the time I have been drowning it in foam and milk, so I can't really be trusted to give it a fair assessment. I do love the Aerocinno.
One note: A small amount of milk is enough to make foam for a few drinks, so it's good to have company when you use it. I will have to experiment before I learn to draw little pictures in the cup the way pro baristas do.
So I just made this cappuccino and a decaf latte for my wife (using the Novo decaf -- sure, we have plenty of that left). We're listening to Pandora's iPad app play a Phish song ("Contact") while I blog this (on my MacBook Air -- I don't see the tablet working for my workflow even on this simple blog, which still requires simple picture uploads and easy typing, but I'll discuss the iPad's limitations in a future post).
I guess I'll have to tear myself away from my new toy(s) and ride my bike to get some more beans today.