See those bags under my eyes? This is what I look like in the morning before I've had coffee.
Cathy recently sent me a little contraption that's often called a stovetop espresso maker. What it makes isn't actually true espresso, just good strong coffee brewed under a similar method of steam pressure. It's also referred to as a percolator and moka pot. I first saw one in the apartment I rented in Berlin and Simone, my landlady-roommate, had to show me how to use it. I'm sure Simone did an excellent job of explaining what to do in her thoroughly prim way, right before she lectured me on how I was drying the dishes all wrong and closing my bedroom door too loudly, but that didn't keep me from almost blowing up her kitchen one morning.
I don't know what I did wrong that morning but I'm guessing it involved the pressure valve thingy on the base of the pot. I have a habit of doing stupid shit around critical people. I'm very competent unless I think you are watching me closely and dying to tell me how you'd do it. Oh and by the way, if you want the bedroom door to be more quiet, don't hang big reindeer-style jingle bells on it.
Wow! I've been holding a grudge. Anyway, coffee.
I tiptoed around the moka pot from Cathy for several days, probably due to my memory of cleaning grinds off the wall next to the stove in Germany. I also remembered the pot being noisy, gurgling, steaming, whistling, which added to my apprehension. When I finally got up the nerve last week, I made two separate cups - cups which brewed silently as it turns out - and immediately threw them away because the instructions said the first cups would taste like aluminum.
I read those instructions maybe twenty-five times. I dissected the diagram of parts and identified everything. I considered taking it all apart until Matthew stepped in and suggested I was over-thinking. Huh! The third cup that I brewed, I drank. It was delicious. I drank it with half & half in a sweet little ceramic mug from Minnesota and while it may or may not have changed my relationship with coffee as Cathy claimed it would, mainly because I already have a great relationship with heinously strong coffee, it is definitely a choice way to start a day.