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Coffee Coffee Coffee Coffee Coffee Coffee !!!!!!!I have a bean-to-cup machine at home, so it provides freshly ground coffee and and excellent crema. It'll make lattes, macchiatas, espressos...you name it. I've also gone through the testing phase for the right bean, and whilst it's an individuals choice, there is certainly some common ground. (ahaha). I use a bean that provides a full aroma, full (but not overly strong) flavour and a nice "bite". It's well rounded and, well, it's just gorgeous!The machine was expensive (€800), BUT, calculating the cost of buying coffee over a year, and the non-cost personal benefit, it pays for itself within a year. It is my absolute tip top favourite toy, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. But, I guess that I can't tell you what it is on here? Or the bean? I can PM anyone who wants to know.........
When he opened his shop, I got a real education in the art of making a good espresso. We all sat around making shots and tasting them, varying the type of coffee, the amount of ground coffee and the pressure that you pack the grounds. My conclusion at the end was that you need good coffee to start with, freshly ground for each cup, and surprisingly, how much difference packing the grind made. Too much packing and you get burnt tasting coffee, too little and the water goes through too quickly, not forming the "crema" that gives espresso its sweetness. Around 30 lbs of pressure seem to work best for his machine and coffee.
Tea Tea Tea Tea Tea Tea Tea Tea !!!!!Don't get a small pot - get a big one that has perhaps a 2l volume. IMO this makes for a better brewing process. Also, there are some pots that have a small hole at the end of the spout which stops that "tea-drip" which is useful. I have to use T-bags that are sent by post to me, since the only tea I can get here is flavoured stuff, like strawberry. I'm shuddering even just thinking about that.....Loose leaf teas are the best, and use BOILING (not boiled) water, preferably filtered.