SOS: Coffee Help Needed

After years of using both the Keurig and Nepresso, I made a big, expensive, mind boggling switch to a fancy espresso machine. I’ve had my eye on this one for about two years. I saved my Christmas money, my birthday money and added to the stash since March. It felt pretty darn good to click “order” on the machine last week, and then I anxious awaited its arrival.

Here is my Breville Barista Touch looking mighty fine in the kitchen.

How it started….

After unpacking this beaut on Friday, I was excited to get to work. I had to call Honey in the kitchen at least 436 times. I can’t figure out how to put water in. I can’t figure out how to lock in the portafilter. etc. After about an hour, I had brewed my first, absolutely gorgeous looking cappuccino. Honey walked in right about that time and, as a reward for his helpfulness, I offered it to him. I sat back and smiled, awaiting to see the look of pleasure on his face from his first sip. Wellllll….. his nose scrunched up and I think he is kidding. He runs towards the sink and I think he’s taking this charade too far. He spits out an entire mouth full of coffee grinds and we both collapse in a fit of hysterics. So, I didn’t turn into a barista in an hour, apparently. :-)

How it’s going…

After going through an ENTIRE bag of coffee beans in 6 days, I had made a LOT of bad coffee. It looks good and is working well and I’ve got the mechanics of the machine sorted out. In that time, I also figured out that I like coffee with flavor and creamer and stuff like that. I do not like whipped cream and things like chocolate and caramel drizzle. My usual Starbucks drinks are vanilla lattes (hot or iced) and toffeenut lattes (hot or iced).

My absolute favorite I’ve made at home so far has been a honey lavender iced latte (linked below). It’s AMAZING and turned out perfectly the first time, and all 5 times since.

Funny story…. Honey and I are so sick of drinking my coffee creations that Whit walked in the room right as I finished up my first iced honey lavender latte. He’s never had coffee but I offered it up anyway, splitting it between two glasses. He said it tasted a bit bitter, but that he liked it. I imagine he did, as the entire glass was sucked down in about 2 minutes. About an hour later we were at a friend’s house for dinner. He was LITERALLY talking 90 miles a minute. I’ve never seen him talk so much and so fast. This is the kid who can go an entire day without saying much more than one sentence. I saw my friend’s eyes glaze over and just started hysterically laughing at how one half cup of coffee had changed him. So, while I haven’t made a ton of good coffee, I’ve got two great memories of trying. :-)

In a pinch, I made my own vanilla simple syrup yesterday and that vastly improved today’s coffee. I started with just a half recipe to make sure I’d like it. Bring 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Off the heat, stir in 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract. Cool.

Now, I am on the hunt for simple, delicious tips on what milk to use, any syrups you make at home that are delicious, etc. I’d love a hot beverage “recipe” for fall. I’ve reached the end of the internet looking for recipes. I don’t know that I need a recipe, per se. I just need to know the good ingredients and tools of the trade. Send help, wise coffee drinkers of the internet!

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5 thoughts on “SOS: Coffee Help Needed

  1. Look into “Jura” machines. They make the best coffee and they are easy to use. It uses fresh beans to make both coffee and espresso.

  2. I too like a simple cup of coffee (minus drizzles etc.). Honestly, I do like all the fun extras but once I start I won’t be able to stop. I have always been a plain black coffee girl (I too have a fancy machine but I don’t love the taste of plain black coffee from it) so back to a Keirg I go for a cup of coffee. I have enjoyed a touch of the Trader Joe’s brand Vanilla Coconut/Almond creamer. I give it a bit of a froth and sprinkle a touch of cinnamon (or cinn/sugar mix) and it does provide a “fancy” afternoon pick-me-up. The creamer is not sweet (or thick) at all (like the traditional flavored creamers) but just enough of a hint of flavor. Grab one next time you are at T Joe’s and experiment with it. :)

  3. Chobani has a new (at least to me) creamer that I have started buying to replace my usual Whole Foods brand creamer. It comes in multiple flavors so you can switch it up.

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