Coffee at home. What a novel idea! Not. Sadly, for me it was. I knew how expensive espresso machines were and I kept using that as an excuse to not own one. Yet, when I looked at my bank statement every month and realized how much I was forking over at local coffee shops, I knew that in a few short months, the machine and accessories would come close to the same cost. It was time to take the leap, once and for all.
Growing up, my parents were early adopters of at-home espresso machines. In the late 80s, at least in Portland, they weren’t common at all but my mom just happened to be a gourmet food buyer and had some connections (I think their original Gaggia is still buried in my dad’s shed somewhere!) but their at-home routine never rubbed off on me.
I never liked espresso, or coffee at all for that matter. Maybe that’s because the first time I had the chance to drink coffee as a legit adult was at my suburban office job where I’d spend my summer breaks from college in the accounting department, catching up their very lax filing (the worst!). The coffee maker was in the warehouse and I’d watch my coworkers, 30 years my senior, chain-smoking and guzzling their black coffee every morning. It had that terrible burnt smell and as you can imagine, was so unappealing.
Things slowly shifted for me at my first agency job. When you have a delivery of fresh Stumptown beans every week and often work late into the night, coffee quickly becomes your new best friend, whether you really like it or not. Over time, I got used to the taste. And walking to coffee shops with friends became a nice social activity and an excuse to take a break from the computer. Still, I was aware that I was racking up a small fortune with every swipe of my debit card. It’s only mildly funny when you log into your checking account and realize that half of the expenses can be attributed to coffee shops.
Over the holidays, I started researching espresso machines and landed on the DeLonghi KMix ones. I’ve been around cheaply made, mostly plastic machines and they never held up for more than a year of regular use. I am a fan of saving up and buying what you want in the first place and being really satisfied versus buying something cheaper and then pining away, wishing you’d bought your first choice…and then getting it down the road anyway.
The Delonghi model I settled on had solid reviews overall (realistically, I don’t think any espresso machine under a grand has perfect reviews — crazy but true) and came in a selection of appealingly bold colors. Joey loves making espresso (I got really lucky in the dude department!) so I put him in charge and surprisingly, I actually like his coffee better than almost all the shops around town.
We keep Torani vanilla syrup on hand and usually pick up a bag of pre-ground beans at Trader Joe’s that easily lasts us two weeks. I like either skim or vanilla soy milk in my coffee and really, the whole process couldn’t be simpler.
These are a few of my favorite things in our little setup: 1. Avril Paint Chip Table Runner in blue or green (mine is sold out), 2. Torani Vanilla Syrup, 3. Saturday Morning Mug in Windowpane, 4. Saturday Morning Mug in Yellow, 5. DeLonghi Espresso Maker, 6. KRUPS Frothing Pitcher, 7. Stainless Steel Coffee Mug Holder and 8. Crate & Barrel Espresso Cups (sadly out of stock!).
I still love the social aspect of going out for coffee but overall, I’ve cut those trips down to less than half. That’s not only a huge savings but it’s good for the environment (coffee cups mugs versus to-go cups). I’d like to continue to make a conscious effort to cut back on going out for coffee and two months in, we’re still using the machine nearly every day. So far, so good!
I want to know, do you make coffee at home?