I have a bit of a problem. Well I have two problems.
I have what people might consider an addiction to espresso coffee (first problem). There are few things I find better on this planet. I have studied the art of pulling a fine espresso extensively, and I’ve been on a quest to perfect this. Part of this is my nature as a scientist; the other part is my nature as an addict and one who enjoys it. After acquiring a decent pump driven machine, I’ve experimented with all different roasts and grinds, different tampers, etc. With my equipment, I was a decent barista.
A few weeks ago, my Dehlonghi espresso maker decided to stop pumping efficiently (second problem). I have taken all measures short of sending it out to be serviced to fix the device. I tried passivating with a dilute vinegar solution; I tried flushing pure water through the whole system; I even tried cleaning the portafilter and all individual parts with a toothbrush (of course, a dedicated toothbrush). No help. I’m pretty sure the machine is dead.
I have been toying with the idea of buying a new espresso maker. Part of me wants to get something just a little better than the $90 pump model I have. The other part of me wants to be really ridiculous and go all out:
Here’s the model I really want! (it’s $50 less on amazon.com)
$2500 is a lot of money. I do comprehend this. It’s just so awesome. Imagine having a miniature model of the espresso maker they use at countless Starbucks locations around the world.
Now I know people are going to get riled up that I linked to Starbucks and that I am idolizing Starbucks coffee. Before anyone chimes in about this, let’s look at facts (well, my opinions, but widely accepted as facts). Starbucks drip brewed coffee is terrible. Starbucks espresso roast is mediocre at best. Any beverage made with Starbucks espresso roast is awesome, mainly because mixing mediocre espresso shots with delicious flavorings and milk erases any wrong. Starbucks mixed drinks are not cheap.
That said, their machine with a decent bean, say an Illy Medium Roast or a Mauro Classico, would undoubtedly produce an incredible espresso shot. I guess I’ll just have to dream for now.