Saturday, March 12, 2011

How NOT to Make Espresso

After commenting on Facebook that I was "contemplating a mug of espresso", I decided to act...

For most people who choose to make the warm beverage of choice, it is usually not a life threatening act.  In my case...  Well just judge for yourself.

It started when I was broken out of the Disco Cave.  I have been listening to all morning on the noise canceling headphones.   Just loud enough to drown out the background noise that is not canceled by the headphones, it makes for a very productive mindset.  Basically it's just good enough that I can't hear people in the house speaking at a normal volume from 10 feet away.  

I had been searching all morning through the job boards for Project Management and Senior positions in the Broward County Florida area and it gets tiresome.   300 pages on a Saturday, 160 every other day.  I decided I needed some of the brown life giving fluid that so enamored itself to me years ago.

Yes, Espresso.

Getting out of the big green chair, I grabbed all the equipment and laid it out on the counter.  I have a can of unopened decaf Cafe Bustelo, my own roasted Hawaiian estate grown coffee, Hazelnut simple syrup, saccharine packets, and some optional leftover from Valentine's Day Whipped Cream. 

Going into the kitchen means that of course, everyone in the house follows.  Kevin got out there and said "I see it's time to make Waffles".  After a quick back and forth, we got the mix that we bought on the clearance rack at GFS, laid out 5 eggs and 1 cup of home churned butter.  The dog decided to come in and look at us with a slight tilt to her head that is leftover from the stroke. 

As I'm looking at her and back to the burners that were warming, I realized that the non stick skillet should not be on the burners since if the thing is scorched, it will kill the parrot.  Bending down, I wrench open the cabinet under the burners and set the skillet on top of the "mulch" that has grown from the collection of baking sheets and pots and pans.   Closing the cabinet, I manage to give blood to the art by scraping my elbow on the little metal doo-dad that holds the door closed too tightly.  While all of this is happening, the skillet falls on my right foot.

At this point, Kevin takes pity on me, and the skillet out of my hand and puts them on the other side of the cabinet, safely.

Step over to the sink and away from the metal mulch and begin to prep the espresso as the burner warms...

I have to open the can of Cafe Bustelo, so reaching into the Idiot Drawer to get the can opener, I'm showing that the world is not built for a man who is 6'4" and built like a baseball player... I stick my hand on a fork that is in the drawer.   To add injury to insult to injury, I manage to stick my hand on the lid of the coffee can as I toss it into the recycling.

Yes, I can see that it will be an interesting morning...

Luckily I manage to scoop out two scoops of Decaf Cafe Bustelo into the Espresso Maker and three scoops of my Hawaiian home roasted coffee to top it off without further injury.  Screwing the water and coffee chamber onto the rest of the maker, it goes onto the now glowing red hot stove. 

Believe it or not, I didn't burn myself!  


The espresso went on without a hitch, but espresso is always made by forcing live steam and boiling hot water under pressure through grounds.   There is a fair amount of steam, bubbling, and aroma that is released into the house.  Toward the end, the maker will sputter and spit out some hot lava of espresso at you so you should make sure that the lid is securely down over the coffee vessel.

I didn't.

Yours truly had to watch.  Oooh Shiny Things.  Brown Coffee syrup! 

It was then that I decided to take a closer look.   If you see me later and notice a small red dot on my right cheek just under the eye, it was at this point that I acquired it as well as a spray of coffee.  211 degrees by my guess.

Cursing at my own confusion, I walked over to the sink and poured the steaming beverage over the Sweet N Low, thus steaming off the rest of my right arm in the process.  Luckily it wasn't a burn, merely a major annoyance...

Ahh Art...

Yeah Drama is an Art Form, isn't it?

Swirling in the big 16 ounce mug, there was 12 ounces more or less of espresso.  I added to it some Hazelnut Syrup, creamer to lighten it, then a nice layer of Whipped Cream to the top and walked it over to the desk. 

After the doorbell rang and I managed to answer it after running through the house pulling up my pants... I had a short talk with Lisa about her impending salmon dinner.  I was able to get back to my big green chair and start on the cooled espresso.

The warm laptop was placed on my lap, and Diva Disco went back on my head with a familiar classic that I remember from the 1970s...

Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive...

Good espresso ...

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