For my 40th Birthday, my wife Marie and her family, got together and spoiled me rotten by getting me an espresso machine – The Isomac “Maverick”, a coffee grinder and other assorted paraphernalia*.
It’s a piece of work, and I’ll tell you why:
Firstly- it produces an espresso on par, or better than most cafés. I’m no barista, but I do know my espresso. This stuff is goooood.
Secondly - it looks the part. It LOOKS like a machine, and I like that. It shines and sparkles in the corner of the kitchen, begging to be used, it whirrs and hisses and spurts. The grinder grinds loudly, producing the fine grinds that give off that inviting, alluring, seductive aroma of… well… freshly ground Arabica.
Oddly enough, it somehow reminds me of my old ’73 Mini. I think it’s the straightforwardness of it. It even has the same number of switches, no electronic display, nothing aside from what you really need to do the job. It’s made of metal, and it looks like it. It’s honest. Like the Mini, you have to wait for it. It requires patience both to get started, and to learn how to get that cup of espresso just the way you like it. Both require a bit of ritual – priming the choke, pumping the gas, and saying, “Please, please start!” to the Mini /and switching on the Maverick, letting off some steam, waiting for the green light to go off – and then you’re good to go. Now comes the rumble of the 1000cc engine, and the grinding of the espresso beans. Lovely.
It’s also a pleasure you earn – espresso and driving the Mini. The amount of preparation and clean up is disproportionate to the time you actually enjoy the thing – but the amount of enjoyment is enough to make you forget about the effort you put in.
It’s a messy affair, making espresso – the coffee grains end up everywhere – but it’s worth it. I drink less coffee during the day now, the coffee tastes better. Since espresso is less acidic, it’s also better for my innerds.
I miss my Mini, but now I have my Maverick!
*DreamFarm’s Grindenstein Knock Box, Motta Wooden Handle Tamper (58 mm), and cups from d’Ancap