I never drank coffee in college. I was never into hot beverages or coffee specifically. I used to say that even know I didn’t eat very well I didn’t smoke, drink very much, or drink coffee. I’m not sure if it was the flavor or just hot liquid that turned me off to coffee. By the time I was out of college I didn’t mind that I wasn’t drinking it since I knew it could be back for you. I figured I had enough things wrong with my diet that I didn’t need to add anything else to it that was not good.
The history of me and coffee I think started on a flight from New York to Los Angeles while working at Datastream. I got an upgrade to business elite on the Delta flight I was taking and the flight attendant convinced me to try and Irish coffee. It might have been several years after that before I had my next cup.
Starting around my early 30s when I decided to get serious about dating I would have cappuccino here and there after dinner with dessert. I remember one dessert place in Little Italy that I found with friends that was good. I would always get some sort of dessert and a cappuccino. It was nice. That segued into going back to the same place sometimes with a date. That in turn evolved into having a cappuccino here and there after dinner.
It wasn’t until I started working at Thomson Reuters that I started drinking coffee a little more regularly however not all the time. By that time around late 2008 I knew I liked the cappuccino. I would sweeten it up a little and the milk sugar mixed with the coffee was pretty good for me. I wasn’t that into regular drip coffee. That’s why I was intrigued when the coffee machine at the office was in had cappuccino. What I knew at the time but didn’t care was it really wasn’t a true cappuccino. It was espresso roast coffee with a peppered milk and water combination that was sort of a cappuccino. For me a coffee newbie was perfect. At that time didn’t go to the office all the time and work remote for at least part of my week. When I would go to the time square office I would treat myself with the Flavia cappuccino. I remember distinctly the first time I had 2 cups in a row. I was in a long meeting and thought the extra caffeine would help. I was amazed at crazy I felt after the 2nd cup. I didn’t understand how people did that regularly. To this day I rarely have 2 cups in a row.
My coffee habit evolved further when I started dating someone who thought it would be fun to get me to drink more of it. That was her take on the situation. The reality was by simply regularly dating somebody I hadn’t done in a while I had more opportunity to be out and have more coffee. After we stopped eating however I still like the idea of a cup more frequently than I previously had. One of the people I work with at the time had mentioned they had a Flavian machine at their house and that it was pretty decent. I didn’t need anything fancy and its research. I found that could indeed by personal machine for around $100. I decided to go with the Flavia instead of a Kurig because Flavia offered the cappuccino pouches. It was at this point that I started drinking at least one cup a day on most workdays. At the time the Flavia machine was a easy low-cost option for me.
It wasn’t until I met MC in the summer of 2010 that I started learning and getting schooled in what good coffee is. Back then to me good coffee was Starbucks. MC is not a fan of Starbucks. I’m still okay with it however grown to learn that there’s much better options out there if you know where to look. When MC eventually so my apartment she rightfully scorned my Flavia machine and called it hot brown water. Let’s face it looking back she was right. We moved in together or around that time we decided to go and get an Nespresso machine. MC knew I liked cappuccinos and thought if I wanted to have cappuccinos we should do it right. I had been researching machines on my own and when she encouraged me to look for a better one I decided to take the plunge. We opted for an Nespresso machine without the milk frothing option. We bought a separate milk frothing device from Nespresso. I figured if something went wrong with one of the pieces of the multifunction device (IE espresso machine or milk frother) the other half would be useless. I have not been a fan of all-in-one devices in a while. The price was comparable to get the two devices versus the all-in-one. With the milk frothing device and true espresso machine I was able to experience much better cappuccinos at home cheaper than going to the store. The cost is still high per unit however it was cheaper than my other options at the time.
For years I enjoyed that espresso machine. When I was losing weight I would have a skim cappuccino almost as a snack substitute since it’s only 80 cal. I found that when I was losing weight I actually started drinking more coffee. It wasn’t a surprise that I was doing that. It was almost deliberate knowing that it could offset my hunger a little. I was still only having about 2 cups a day.
At some point I was concerned about the total cost of owning the Nespresso machine. Each pod is around $.65-$.80. If I do double shots once or twice a day it adds up. I had researched alternative espresso machines and didn’t want to deal with the expensive costs associated. I stumbled across the old-school European idea of the mocha pot. I picked up a small one on Amazon for about $25. I was able to use the same Lavazza or Illy coffee that MC used in her drink coffee since she always buys espresso roast. The mocha pot coffee was not quite the same as espresso but it was pretty potent and I like it. The problem with the mocha pot is its pain in the butt to clean.
At this point with my espresso machine and new mocha pot we had four different coffee delivery mechanisms in our house. In addition to those two MC has her ceramic filter she uses for making old-school drip coffee with a teakettle. That is what she uses when she’s just make coffee for herself or one or two people. We also have a full-size 12 cup coffee maker for drip coffee that we keep in a closet for when we have company.
After I lost weight and was able to eat more calories in a day I was less concerned about staying full. At that point cappuccino was counterproductive since I didn’t need the 80 cal of milk. It was around then that someone at work who was also relative, sore on the subject suggested I try Americano’s. I didn’t realize that the flavor profile of the Americano was that much different than drip coffee. I decided to try it out and was surprised that I actually liked it. Over a few months I slowly moved from having cappuccinos most of the time to having Americanos with some cappuccinos here and there. At home I would boil hot water with her teakettle and poured into a double shot of espresso I would make with the Nespresso machine. It was a good solution although it was $1.25 per cup.
At this point I was curious about coffee alternatives for the house that were not drip coffee. By now I’d have drip coffee here and there when I couldn’t get an espresso-based drink. There were plenty of times before then when I simply would not have coffee if I couldn’t get an Americana or cappuccino. As I started drinking more coffee if they didn’t have an espresso-based drink I would just “suck it up” and have drip coffee. I still wasn’t a big fan of it however I was curious what alternatives I had two espressos or Americanos. Talking to friends and researching lead me to want to try a French press. It was relatively low-cost and from what I read relatively high quality coffee. I bought one on Amazon for under $30. The hardest part for me was finding coffee I wanted to get that was ground course for French presses. I ended up going to Gregory’s coffee where I get my daily mid-day work coffee and picked up a pound and had them grind it for me. I was very impressed by how the French press coffee came out at home. On the weekends that’s what I make today. I’ve been continuing to buy the Gregory’s coffee since I like it. The other day I picked up some Café grumpy ground coffee to try. The sales lady was very helpful for me to find the right flavor I like. More recently I’ve been going to grumpy’s this summer for my coffee. Nothing wrong with Gregory’s however I like the cold brew at grumpy’s better even though it’s a little bit further of a walk for me. The French press turns out to be the fifth coffee delivery mechanism I own at home.
Last summer were the summer before that high had tried cold brewed iced coffee. For someone they never drank coffee a lot 10 years ago cold brew is literally an eye-opening experience. Wow it is potent. I liked it however it was strong and rough on my stomach. This summer I realized that was I think due to the Gregory’s coffee specifically. The Starbucks cold brew or the grumpy’s cold brew work much better for me. I afternoon coffee break at work now consists of going to get cold brew since it’s so hot out. I’ve evolved from Flavia cappuccino in the morning to and Americana in the morning with a decaf Americano or a cold brew in the afternoon. I’ve had friends talk about brewing the cold brew at home. at the time of the discussions with them I wasn’t as interested. A few weeks ago I came across an article mentioning that sale on a cold brewing pitcher on Amazon. I researched it and it turned out to be one of the top two best-selling. For the price I figured to give it a try. It came this weekend while we were away at my sister-in-law’s. At the time of this writing but likely not by the time this gets posted I haven’t used it yet. Hopeful it’s not that much of a hassle to clean.
The cold brew making pitcher now makes six separate coffee preparation devices I have in my house. If six sounds excessive you are most likely correct. On a day-to-day basis I only use two of them. MC uses one other one. The coffee maker is only for company and we use it a few times a year however when we do use it it’s invaluable so it’s not something it’s going away. I don’t use the mocha pop often because it’s cumbersome to clean. I like the coffee but it’s not worth the effort. Was also very cheap to get so unlikely I’m going to get rid of it since it doesn’t take up much space. I do use the Nespresso machine several times a week however not usually for morning coffee on the weekends. I’m curious to see if I’ll actually use the cold blue pitcher however I have a feeling it might be very useful for summer months.
One interesting thing that I noticed was as much as I like a cappuccino I find that one of the most basic coffee preparation methods the French press is one of my go to options. I thought of that since I’m reminded of the most basic form of shaving options also seem to be the best. And am loving my new old-school mechanical keyboard. So even though I like high tech stuff I’m fascinated that for some things I’m drawn to old school stuff.
There you have it high 10 to 12 year evolution from not having any coffee to my twice a day fix. Nowadays I do try to have decaf in the afternoon except for when I’m doing colder since let’s face it half the point of cold brew coffee is the caffeine.