Thursday, February 5, 2015

Coffee Break

Most of the posts on this blog are about hard work: demolition, construction, the endless joys of bashing yourself in the fingers with a hammer. But Brett and I have both had hard weeks. He's been working crazy hours. I got snowed in during a work trip to Chicago, and was pretty sure I was going to be stuck there until July.

So while we will get some work done on the house this weekend, our first job is going to be relaxing.

Here's how we relax at Chez Barbakoff:

We live in Seattle. What did you expect?

Yep, a really good cuppa fancy-schmancy coffee. We love long, lazy mornings, capped off with listening to Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me while sipping a latte. But since we're far too lazy and cheap to go out, we learned to make amazing lattes at home. And you don't even need to shell out for one of those professional-quality espresso machines, complete with foamers, steamers, and other alien-tentacle-esque appendages.

Here's the secret.

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.

This lovely creature is a Bialetti Moka Express 6-cup Stovetop Espresso Maker. It costs a whopping 30 bucks, and will make you espresso for the rest of your life. Just fill the bottom reservoir with cold water and the strainer with your favorite fresh-ground coffee beans. Screw it all back together and stick it on the stovetop.

Magic espresso fountain!

Then heat up some milk - about 7oz for every 3oz of espresso. Stovetop or microwave is fine. Just make sure to use a container or pot that's a lot bigger than the volume of milk. Because when the milk is hot ... the frothing begins! This is how you get that really luxurious foam top.

Try not to get overexcited.

We're using a little hand-held frother here. You can get one for $3 at Ikea, or under 10 dollars at a kitchen store. Just plunge it into the milk, and expect to splatter your kitchen a few times until you get the hang of it.

If you want a mocha or a flavor, add some syrup to the bottom of your mug. Then add the coffee and the milk, and top with foam.


If you really want to be an annoying hipster like me, attempt some latte art.

Mine looks nothing like this. I just drizzle some chocolate syrup.

And if you want to know what pure happiness looks like, let your dog lick the milk foam residue.
Happy sipping!

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