Category Archives: Coffee lover interest articles

Small Espresso Machine for the Home

Breville Duo Temp Espresso Machine

“Where is that Small Espresso Machine that I Will Love?”

"Where is that small espresso machine that I will love...and will fit neatly on my kitchen counter space?"
“Where is that small espresso machine that I will love…and will fit neatly on my kitchen counter space?”

Small Espresso Machine for the Home

Ever found yourself looking over the display of home espresso machines on-line and wondered if the one you like would fit your limited counter space?

Or maybe starting with evaluating a small espresso machine is just the way to go from the very beginning.

Let’s take a look at a selection that should answer the question and give you a wonderful espresso machine that will make those really great coffee drinks you are looking forward to!

 

Jura Ena One Touch – Updated

This  Jura super-automatic machine is a great favorite and a top seller anyway!

Its compact size is just one extra plus!

This machine has a height-adjustable dual spout, cappuccino / coffee (75 – 125 mm / 3 and 5 inch); The Jura ENA 9 One Touch has an Aroma Boost feature for extra coffee kick owners love!
The Jura ENA 9 offers 6 different products at the touch of a button.  It is a little smaller and compact in size measuring  just 23.8 cm (9.4 inches wide; 14.2 x 17.5)
The exterior has a nice double coat of metallic-look glossy silver lacquer which will look appealing on your counter top.
The machine has a programmable amount of water plus adjustable coffee strength, also a favorite feature.

The Jura ENA 9 One Touch  has an adjustable, conical burr grinder built into the machine.
Also included is a Thermoblock heating system with a high performance 15-bar pump, and an integrated rinsing, cleaning and descaling program.
This delightful home espresso machine produces a latte macchiato and cappuccino at the touch of a button.
It also has fine foam technology!

According to a customer review posted on Amazon, one owner of this machine commented, “As for the froth, it has to be seen to be believed.    It’s truly amazing . . . feather light and fine.”

On the Jura Ena 9 One Touch the cleaning is also fully automatic.  It monitors what drinks you’ve been having and periodically (or on shutdown) applies the corresponding self cleaning mode all ready for you.  This is a thinking machine!  It can also be done manually with one click.  For example, any time milk frothing is used, just replace the milk source with water and press C-Clean.  It cleans both the Sialastic hose and rinses the milk nozzle.  Too good to be true . . . and all in a compact size

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Jura Ena 15116 Micro Espresso Machine – One Touch

Here is the latest version of the Jura Ena One touch Espressio Machine.  No need to be an expert. You can prepare 6 professional quality drinks including coffee, espresso, cappuccino and latte styles all with one touch of a button. Customers love this machine. One reviewer said it was like having their own “Coffee Barista Robot.”

Buy the latest updated Jura 15116 Ena Micro 90 Espresso Machine on Amazon here

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The Breville BES870XL Espresso Machine – Barista Express

This Barista Express model is not only one of the most popular mid range priced espresso machines out there, but it is compact in size as well.  Measuring 13.2 x 12.5 x 15.8 high it is a good fit for most any kitchen counter space.

Many owners reported that the Breville BES870XL Espresso Machine was easy to use and made the very best lattes, espressos, and cappuccinos even exceeding their expectations.

This popular machine includes an integrated burr grinder which limits the time between grinding and extraction of the espresso to just seconds.  This helps create the very best fresh in creation of your espresso shot.

Owners can also select the grind settings they desire from fine to coarse (From 1-16) . Also adjustable is the amount of fresh grounds that goes into the filter basket and can have a filter size button to indicate whether a single shot or double-wall filter basket is being used.

Included in the box, there are 4 filter baskets: 2 double-wall pressurized filters (for 1 and 2 shots) that help take that the guess-work out of your tamping which is ideal for people new to using an espresso machine.

The Breville Barista Express comes with a 54 mm tamper with magnetic storage that easy to remove when you need to use the tamper.  It also comes with a 54 mm portafilter in study stainless steel which compared to a commercial sized 58 mm portafilter is a very nice feature.  It also has commercial style spouts.  Because the grounds are relatively dry after brewing, emptying the portafilter of the spent grounds  is very easy and simple.

Found at the back of the machine is a 2 liter removable water tank with water filter. This means you can easily use the water from the sink to fill your water tank either at the sink or at the machine. This keeps things neat.

Some of the features strongly appreciated about this Breville Barista Express model is that it is made of stainless steel and that it has no components that feel flimsy but is quite sturdy and made to last.  The unit also has a built in PID for easy use.  PID stands for Proportional-Integral-Derivative.  This feature usually comes with only higher end espresso machine models.  It is important in order to make consistently great espresso shots.

There is also an infusion gauge that lets the user know when you need to adjust the grind, the tamp or the amount coffee.  The unit comes with a milk pitcher when you first  open the box, according to buyers.

Owners also love the built-in grinder which has an adjustable control feature for the grinds.  Steaming and foaming milk is a snap with the Breville Express steam wand which is great and easy to use and easy to clean later.  When using the steam wand, owners report that it only takes 30 seconds to come up to steam temperature.

This machine produces really great espressos, lattes and other milk-based coffee drinks!  Owners say that the customer service for the Breville BES8780XL Barista Express is very good!

Click here to buy this product on Amazon:

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Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel, Medium

Breville Duo Temp Espresso Machine

ALSO AN ABBREVIATED SIZED ESPRESSO MACHINE, The Breville Duo Temp Pro lets you create great tasting specialty coffee at home. This espresso machine ensures balanced flavors from even extraction using low pressure pre-fusion, managing sweetness, acidity and bitterness for the perfect cup every time
PRECISE ESPRESSO EXTRACTION: Low pressure pre-infusion helps ensure all the flavors are drawn out evenly during the extraction for balanced tasting espresso
WATER TEMPERATURE: The 1600W Thermocoil–Integrated stainless steel water path precisely controls water temperature on your unit.
MANUAL MICROFOAM MILK TEXTURING: A strong high power 1600W element delivers nore tha sufficient steam to create microfoam that enhances flavor and makes it poissible for you to produce latte art at home
AUTOMATIC PURGE: The Duo-Temp Pro Espresso Machine automatically purges the heat system after steaming, ensuring your next espresso is extracted at the right temperature . . .an important and unique feature.

COMMENTS FROM HAPPY CUSTOMERS:

“Some folks complain about the noise when the machine is warming up or about the small amount of hot water that comes out before the steam is rocking out of the wand to froth your milk. You can put a cup to the side to catch the water first. I have found that the very small amount of water does not affect the frothing at all.”

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“If you like a simple no mess way to make your espresso, you will love this machine.”

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“Easy learning curve.”

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“love hosting with this machine..so easy.”

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In terms of TASTE, the Duo Temp Pro performs great once you dial it in. Again, this requires a decent grinder (such as Sette 270/Rancilio Rocky), fresh coffee, technique, etc. When I get everything just right my lattes taste better than many at coffee shops.”

READ MORE REVIEWS ON THIS PRODUCT AT AMAZON.COM

Purchase your Breville BES810BSS on Amazon now here:

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Rancilio HSD-SILVIA Espresso Machine

Rancilio Silvia HSD Espresso Machine

Also on our “Small Espresso Machine list.” Measurements are: 11.4 x 13.4 inches.

Coffee connoisseurs who have been making espresso at home for years rave over this machine!  The joy of professional quality in a espresso machine is now available for the home.  The reliability of the Rancho Silvia machine seems impeccable according to the reviews. On that same note, it has also been said that this machine is a bit finicky and it takes some practice to get the procedure down smoothly. The “finicky” part seems to revolve around the fine grind that this machine requires.

People who love this model machine say the secret is to buy a very good Burr grinder. The recommendation is the Rancilio HSD – ROC-SS or Rocky Espresso Coffee grinder with doser chamber. Rancilio also makes a specialized tamper that also helps you get it right.
One happy owner commented on Amazon that she got tired of buying the cheaper off brand machines for around $250. that just die right away. She had been making espresso at home for about 25 years and stepped up to the Rancilio Silvia, and could not be happier. She discovered superior coffee and espresso!  The owner said it was very well made, “Almost bullet proof!” this owner said. “I’ve had my machine for over five years and it’s still running like new.”

The very flexible steam wand offers complete range of motion and the professional steaming knob precisely controls steaming pressure for the user.
But owners of the Rancilio Silvia caution that the amazing and wonderful results that you will grow to love will not occur with this machine right out of the box. It takes time and investment and a little extra practice.

Click here to buy the Rancilio Silvia HSD Espresso Machine on Amazon:

According to most owners of the Rancilio Silvia the first thing is to purchase is a Burr Coffee grinder that is made for this machine. Rancilio makes two different kinds:

The Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder 

Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Burr Grinder
Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Burr Grinder

This 50mm commercial grade Coffee grinder has grinding burrs that
grind the beans directly into porta filter for simple operation. According  to an Amazon review, a purchaser said that he “Never regretted the purchase . . . delivers consistent quality!”

Click here to buy this product on Amazon:

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The Rancilio HSD – ROC SS Rocky Espresso coffee grinder with Doser Chamber

Rancilio burr grinder with doser
Rancilio burr grinder with doser

This machine also has the 50mm commercial grade grinding burrs. The doser chamber for professional style dosing of espresso into the porta filter is an extra feature the other machine doesn’t have.  This machine has a  Powerful 166-watt direct drive quiet operation motor to keep down the noise.
Also this grinder has a tinted hopper with a 0.65lb capacity.   The ROC SS Rocky model has a simple variable grinder adjustment control. All machines are tested prior packaging which might leave a small trace of coffee residue.

Get the ideal burr grinder for the Rancilio Silvia machine. Click here to buy this product on Amazon

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Conclusion for the Rancilio HSD-Silvia Espresso Machine:

The Rancilio HSD-SYLVIA gets high marks with consumers who appreciate fine espresso!

The Rancilio HSD-SILVIA classifies itself in our small espresso machine category. The owners commented in various ways that if you want really great espresso, and a reliable machine, Rancilio Silvia is the way to go. They say you will have to take time and a little extra investment to get the technique down, but you will be glad you did!

Click here to buy the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine with Iron frame and Stainless Steel Body on Amazon:

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Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

Gaggia 14101 Classic Espresso Machine

This machine qualifies for our small espresso machine list. Measuring

14 1/4 x 8 x 9 1/2 inches it is definitely a compact machine.

The Gaggia 14101 Classis is a coffee/espresso machine with a 72-ounce removable water reservoir.  It also has stainless-steel housing, brass portafilters and a grouphead for temperature stability.
The 17-1/2-bar pump with high-voltage boiler in a very nice feature. It also has  hot-water dispenser and frothing wand.
A single and double-shot stainless-steel filter basket, tamper, and measuring scoop is included when you buy.

Buyers can refer to the product videos, Quickstart Guide and the User Manual for any issues they might have.

Purchasers left comments in Amazon reviews such as, “Outstanding espresso machine, we love it.”
“Top notch espresso with a beautiful crema time and time again.”
“Easy operation, easy cleaning, quick process.”
“Well built, stainless steel all around.”
“A really good value for the money.”

Click here to buy this product on Amazon:

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Since the Gaggia 14101 Classic Pro is Unavaiable Consider Buying the Similar Model the Gaggia R19380 Classic Pro Express

Gaggia R19380/46 Classic Pro Espresso

Gaggia R19380/46 Classic pro Espresso machine

This espresso also machine qualifies for “small espresso machine for your home.” This machine measures a convenient 9.5 x 14.2 inches

This espresso machine comes in attractive brushed stainless steel.
This unit has a Commercial three-way solenoid valve. Capacity water tank – 2,1 liter.

Also, you will appreciate the Commercial-style 58mm chrome-plated brass portability and brew group with a commercial steam wand.
The Gaggia R19380/46 Classic pro-Espresso has easy-to-use rocker switch controls. Order today!

Buy the Gaggia R19380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine on Amazon now

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De’Longhi ECAM 22110 SB Compact

This De’Longhi ECAM home espresso machine has the same features of the De’Longhi full size automatic machine but is much more compact. Product dimensions are 15 x 11 x 14 inches.
You can conveniently use tap water with the built-in water filtration system that comes with the De’Longhi ECAM.
The aroma button time-releases the water flow to saturate coffee grounds a little bit at a time to extract a fuller flavor.
This machine easily prepares latte and cappuccino with the patented cappuccino system. The frothier It mixes steam and milk to create a rich, creamy froth for perfect drinks every time
The De’Longhi ECAM saves up to 77-percent energy with energy-saving switch on this style machine.

Not only did this couple love their De’Longhi ECAM espresso machine, but they had a very good definition for a super-automatic espresso machine for their Amazon review:
“For those really ignorant like us: Super Automatic means you fill the bean bin and the water bin once every so often, and then it’s ready to go. When you want a drink – you turn it on and press a button – single espresso, double espresso, single lungo, or double lungo. Then you watch as it makes a bunch of interesting noises then fills your cup with beautiful, steaming hot frothy coffee. Then you drink it. “

You’ve gotta love it!

Buyers can use  De’Longhi’s specialized call center for help in setting up and maintaining your machine at 866-528-8323 (LatteBest)

Click here to buy this product on Amazon:

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Philips Saeco HD8745/57 Chrome Expresso Machine, X-Small, Silver

Once again, another entry in our Small Espresso Machine category:

Owners seem to love both the size and the quality of the espresso. Here’s a review  from a person who purchased this machine on Amazon:

“Really impressive with the machine. It is just the right size and price I want. I use it for espresso only, and it does a really good job for me. I can fit a mug underneath, which is way better than expected. This is the cheapest one I can find from Saeco, and the only thing I don’t really appreciate is too many plastic made parts. The machine I got is made in Romania, I hope this means comparatively higher quality.”

Other features include:

This machine has a reallly great milk frothing steam wand.
•Brews coffee without burnt taste thanks to 100% ceramic grinders
• Has a memo function and adjustable grinders allow you to save and brew according to your personal preference each time
• Easy cleaning and maintenance

Click here to buy this product on Amazon:

 

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De’Longhi EC680 Dedica 15 Bar Pump Espresso Machine

 Delonghi EC680M DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine, Stainless Steel                               

Here’s another wonderful discovery in the world of small espresso machines!  The dimensions are 13″ D x 5.9″W x 13″ H.  The Delonghi Dedica is a wonderful and elegant looking machine for your countertop!  The Owners say in Amazon reviews that  besides the wonderfully attractive low price, it makes really great espresso!

The De’Longhi EC680 Dedica has very solid construction with a narrow footprint at the base and a beautiful design.
This espresso machine will accept either loose ground coffee or ESE coffee pods
The De’Longhi EC680 Dedica ships  with three different size cups to insert in portafilter which is a single dose, double dose. or  ESE pod size.
The De’Longhi EC680 produces a very nice layer of crema when proper steps are followed in brewing.  The water level is also visible in the reservoir. Owners of this machine say that there is relatively easy clean up after brewing.
The pump on this machine delivers the necessary 15 Bar pressure for best extraction.  The extraction time is also programmable.
There are three settings for water temperature and water hardness to review.

The boiler on the De’Longhi Dedica is pre-configured to produce water that is exactly 190F, and the pump is hard-wired for 15 BAR,  both of which are perfect for espresso. This machine also has a pre-configured “ideal” brew/pull timing, but it still allows you to customize your pull times by simply holding down the buttons. This way you can pull Ristrettos or Longos if you wish to.

Looking over the reviews on this machine many of the owners were overall very happy, and thought it was an excellent product for the price!

However, some did have problems with the machine, and had to contact customer service, or ship back. I will mention this: on reviews concerning any home espresso machines when you see some extremely happy customers and some who had problems with the very same style machine, remember that espresso machines are often hand assembled and have a number of moving parts.  Some machines may just be put together better than others. If you get a “lemon,” look into sending it back for another machine as soon as possible so you can be one of the happy customers, such as this one who said:

This espresso maker has far exceeded my expectations.”

Click here to buy this product on Amazon:

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Small Espresso Machine “La Italia”

La Pavoni EPG – 8 Europiccola 8 cup Lever Style Espresso Machine, Chrome

Many of the Italian espresso machines do fall in the small espresso machine category.  They are often tall and slender, and small at the base. You may wish to explore my article “Italian Espresso Machines” here on this site for even more choices.

The LaPavoni EPG – 8 Europiccola 8 cup home espresso machine measures 11 by 7 by 12 inches.  It also has a 1-year warranty. It’s ideal for making high quality coffee specialty drinks at home.
This machine comes with sturdy all-steel construction under heavy chrome plating.  In the box it comes with tamper, screen, screen holder, measuring ladle and cappuccino attachment.  There is also included an instructional video for getting started
The LaPavoni has a manual Lever.  If you want fill control over your coffee, owners of this machine say this is the way to go.
A great feature is that it has more than enough steam pressure/volume to steam 12oz+ of milk.
This Italian style machine is mostly all metal and solidly constructed.
The heat comes up very nicely, fast, or in about five minutes with a full tank. The head also comes up to the right temperature quickly.
It has a visible water level, and easy to clean drip tray.  People who purchased the machine mentioned that they like the easy screw-off levers that are easily replaceable and customizable.

Click here to buy this product on Amazon:

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Once again for more choices on small espresso machines, “Italia, “go  here:

Conclusion:

The manufacturers of home espresso machines have definitely kept in mind that many people are looking for a smaller model to fit easily onto their kitchen countertop.  They are actually many choices.  Many of the best have been listed right here . . . so find your favorite, and buy now!


Breville BES810BSS Due Temp

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Which Nespresso Machine is Right for You?

Cappuccino coffee...one of the favorite specialty coffee drinks!

Cappuccino coffee…one of the favorite specialty coffee drinks made with a Nespresso machine!

“Which Nespresso Machine Shall I Buy?”

Nespresso Citiz C111 Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Plus Milk Frothier, Chrome

 

Which Nespresso machine makes cappuccinos and lattes?”

Here we go . . . this one does!

This Nespresso machine includes an Aeroccino Plus milk frothier, rapid one touch preparation of hot or cold milk froth for Cappuccino, Latte and Iced Cappuccino
Owners notice an easy insertion and ejection of the coffee capsules.  This model of Nespresso  holds 10 used capsules. It also has a removable 34-ounce water tank. This is for use with Nespresso coffee capsules only.
The Nespresso Citiz is a good example of compact brewing unit technology.  Fast preheating time is 25 seconds. This machine has a 19 Bar high pressure pump. The automatic power turns off off after 9 minutes of inactivity
This machine also has an automatic and programmable coffee volume quantity (Espresso and Lungo). Items sold separately valued at $348.
The flexible pivoting tray accommodates tall recipe glasses!

Buy the Nespresso Citiz C111 Espresso Maker on Amazon:

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Which Nespresso Machine Should I buy?

Here are a few questions posted on Amazon reviews from people considering owning a Nespresso machine or who already own one:

Question:  Can you also make just plain coffee with this model?

Answer: No. If you want one that makes coffee and espresso look at the Nespresso Vertuoline machines.

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Freshest beans? Is Home Coffee Roasting for You?

The Importance of Fresh Coffee Beans . . .

Is Home Coffee Roasting for You?

Green and brown decaf unroasted and black roasted coffee beans as background.

Green beans will make the transformation to freshly roasted coffee beans in our cup!

 

Ah, if you are a coffee lover there is nothing like fresh coffee beans in your cup!
Since the critical top priority in making a full and flavorful cup of coffee is in the freshness of the beans, let’s get to the bottom of it.  You can sometimes find a source of freshly roasted beans close by your home through various coffee stores or specialty shops, or possibly through mail subscription, or you can decide to roast the green coffee beans at home yourself.  More about home coffee roasting later.
When you look around the local grocery store where you shop you probably assume that the beans on the shelf are fresh, but this often just not the case.

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Best Home Coffee Bean Roasters

So why do people do home coffee roasting?

Freshly roasted coffee . . . there's nothing like it.

Freshly roasted coffee . . . there’s nothing like it.

I watch people on-line passionately stirring those green coffee beans in a frying pan on their stoves at home, patiently waiting for those precious “cracks” to signal the first sign that their roast is about done.  The first crack finally makes a loud pop or a crack sound like a branch breaking. Then here is comes, the second crack that sounds like rice krispies . . . ah, now it’s  time to pull it off and cool it in a colander, and eyeball that perfect medium roast.

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Discovery of Coffee and a Little History

They say that the discovery of coffee had to do with a herd of goats!

They say that the discovery of coffee had to do with a herd of goats!

The Discovery of Coffee–Truth or Legend?

By Kathie FitzPatrick

The colorful and interesting story of the discovery of coffee goes back centuries to the country of Ethiopia. At that time ancient coffee forests grew in the wild upon the lush hills of the Ethiopian plateaus. It was around 850 A.D.

One day a young goatherd named Kaldi seemed to be managing his goats in the usual way on a normal sunny afternoon.  He noticed that his goats wandered off into some colorful looking bushes with red berries on them.  Not thinking too much about it he went along with his normal duties.

After awhile he called out to his goats to move on. Normally they responded, and even knew their names when he called them.  But not this time.  Kaldi went up the hill to check further on how his goats were doing.  When he came upon them he found his goats to be acting very strangely.  There were leaping up in the air kicking and even butting heads with each other. They seemed to be acting in a wild and strange way.

“What has become of my goats?  Are they bewitched?” Kaldi wondered. They were very interested in staying in that one spot, and grazing on the bushes there.  Kaldi could not seem to herd his goats to come with him back to the normal pasture.  He finally had to give up on them, and leave them in that location for the night.

When he came back the next day they were still grazing in the same location, and acting the same way, jumping, leaping  and dashing around with unusual energy. I guess we might say today that they were acting “super-caffeinated.”  The goats did not seem to sleep hardly at all.

Kaldi went over to the bushes with the red berries and picked a few.  He held them in the palms of his hands up to his eyes and studied them.  What was different about these bushes with the red berries, he wondered?

Kaldi couldn’t resist trying them himself. 

You guessed it. He got to feeling pretty high and pretty weird right away.

Kaldi took the berries to an Abbot at a nearby monastery, and told him about what happened to his goats.  Upon studying Kaldi, the Monks though perhaps it was him  that was acting bewitched!

“Those berries are of the devil!” the Abbot exclaimed, as he threw the beans into the fire.  The aroma of roasting beans quickly filled the room. The pleasant coffee aroma could hardly be ignored.

Later, the Abbot tried boiling hot water and adding the berries to make a drink.  The result was that the Abbot an the rest of the Monks hardly slept at all that night after drinking the mixture.  He decided that it was good to use the drink to keep him awake during long hours of evening prayer. . . or to awake in the early morning for his prayer and duties around the monastery.  He soon told the other monks about it.  As you can imagine word of such a good thing spread very quickly!

Although this story is sometimes referred to as a “legend,” it sounds like the truth to me!  Here is another version if this story you might enjoy!  Click on the link  above to view it from the www.gocoffeego.com  site.

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She Met Him in an Espresso Café

When the Love Bean Meets the Espresso Bean . . .

It was a lovely Saturday morning, with blue skies and white puffy clouds in the sky their area seemed to be so well known for.  The sun peeked demurely from behind the clouds as if nature was hinting there could be the appearance of rain later that day.  For the moment it was still warm and pleasant and she shed her coat to fully enjoy the sunshine.
On her way to complete a few morning errands Judy decided to pull in and enjoy her favorite espresso café.  She could make her favorite coffee at home but she decided that today she wanted the warmth socialization of her local espresso café.  It was the hub of the town and she hardly ever walked in that she didn’t run into a friend she hadn’t seen for a while sometime before she left there. This time she had more of a mission than just the usual latte.  Judy knew her favorite café that always had espresso machines on display for sale was having a few special bargains on their product she was anxious to explore.  She was tired of always finding excuses to drop by her sister’s apartment to enjoy espresso coffee there. It was time to buy her own machine. But the cost . . . well it had always been an issue.
Judy was a thirty-something single professional with light blond hair and bright blue eyes that automatically twinkled at the very thought of espresso coffee. Today her dressy office look caved into skinny jeans, high heel sandals and a bright sky blue casual silk top. She walked in the café. The rich aroma of the coffee beans was the first thing she noticed. It was pleasantly intoxicating. The first thing she did was her usual greeting to Joseph, the head Barista at the Café.   He was a very handsome man about 40 with bright brown eyes, who was also the Manager there.  

“Hi Joseph! “

“Hey Judy . . . How’s it going for ya? Can I start your favorite drink?”

“Just wait a few minutes, okay?  I’m going to do a little shopping.”

The next thing was that she was immediately drawn to the variety of espresso machines on display in the back of the store.
The first espresso machine she noticed was a very sharp looking Jura Z9 Super Automatic Espresso machine with it sleek black lines and elegant design. She looked over the product description placed next to it.
“Hmmm . . . this is one of those ‘one touch’ does it all for you’ machines from Switzerland,” she commented softly to herself.  “Wow, sheer luxury. Not sure I could do that one anywhere near soon. It’ll be on my future ‘wish list.’”  Judy scanned over the display further.  The next one her eyes landed on was the Jura ENA 5 Super Automatic. “Now here is a Super-Automatic espresso machine. Very nice looking, too. “Gentle touch panel . . . easy to operate,” she read. “Oh this one is very compact in size . . . doesn’t take up much counter space.” Judy noted.
“What else do we have here?”  Judy studied the style stylish lines of the Jura Impressa C65.  “Now that’s an impressive looking espresso machine.  I might be showing off a bit if I bought that one!”    Judy went down the line studying the machines and product descriptions. “Here’s a De’Longhi ECAM.  MY girlfriend has one of these and just loves it!  Hmm, it has Its own water filtration system.  Now that’s convenient.  Judy couldn’t help noticing the price tags. We’ll these are all a little spendy for me right now.  My sis’ has a Gaggia Classic . . . now that’s more like it!”
Judy studied the machines carefully.  There were several rows of them.  “No, I want something different than what my sister has,” Judy murmured softly.  Then she saw it. “Here’s a Philips Saeco Minuto Super Automatic Espresso Machine.  Judy read further. “No burnt coffee thanks to the 100 percent ceramic grinders.”  The price wasn’t too bad.  “Ah, look here is one that is for sale that is refurbished for a couple hundred dollars less!’  Judy put a mental note on that one.  She continued her research.  “Now here is a Breville Barista Express.  I’ve heard plenty of good reports on that one. Made in Italy too.  It is a little less money. Not too sure, though. . .”
Meanwhile outside on the side walk by the café lawn and rose garden, a handsome young stranger happened to glance in through the glass in Judy’s direction.  He decided that Judy was exceptionally attractive. Ian had not actually planned to stop by the café until a little later, but perhaps he would make an exception!
“All this espresso machine shopping has me worn out. I need an iced mocha  . . 3 shots!”  Judy stepped over to the bar and ordered her iced mocha from Joseph. Meanwhile, Ian cleverly picked a budding red rose, and tucked it in inside his coat. Then he stepped gingerly into the store.  Judy had a few sales brochures in her hand and took a seat at a table near the outside area.  Ian pretended to be interested in the espresso machine display. He decided he could use that to possibly introduce himself to this very attractive girl he had just spotted. He just thought she seemed extra beautiful and had that extra something, life and bounce that he loved to see in a woman.
Or is it just the coffee?” he mused to himself.  Ian looked over the espresso machines and pretended to be interested. After getting his coffee and a glass of water, he picked up a few sales brochures, and started over in her direction, hidden rose and all.  His heart was beating a little fast as he approached her table.  Judy looked up and smiled at him. He almost lost it right there.
“Excuse me . . . I saw you looking over the espresso machines.  I would really appreciate your opinion,” he blurted out, a little awkwardly. Judy looked up again, cocking a suspicious eyebrow in his direction.  “I need to make a decision on one fairly soon . . . mine broke down,” he lied. “May I join you?”  At this Judy just gave him a blank look.  He was a stranger, but he seemed fairly decent, she reasoned.  Then Ian pulled out the read rose and put it in his water glass and sat it in front of her.  Judy just laughed delightfully when she saw it.  It startled her a little and she had to gather her composure so the coffee didn’t come spurting out her nose.  Joseph, the head Barista couldn’t help but notice. He shook his head, and washed cups.   She grabbed a napkin in front of her.

“Oh let me help you,” said Ian grabbing an extra napkin.
“Sure,” Judy said.  Feeling a little embarrassed.  “Have a seat.  Very nice rose. Where did that come from?”
“Just outside her here,” he blushed.  “I saw you shopping for an espresso machine.  So what do you think?”
“Oh, I don’t know. There are quite a few to choose from. So what’s your name?”
“Ian . . . what’s yours?”
“Judy.”
I was just planning on coming by here anyway.  I was always stopping by my sister Marge’s place for espresso on her day off. I decided it was time to buy my own. “
“Really. That sounds like a good idea. What kind of espresso machine does your sister have?”
It’s a Gaggia Classic.  She’s had it about a year. She really likes it,” Judy smiled. Her eyes were twinkling again now but for new reasons.  Ian’s eyes were bright and inviting. It was becoming apparent that this was becoming more than just a matter of which espresso machine was the best.  “I’m tending toward buying a Saeco Minuto Super-Automatic Machine. I like those one-touch-does-it-for-you machines.  They even have a refurbished one here for $200. Less. I might go for that one.”
“I saw that one.  It’s still a little spendy.  Why don’t you just buy a brand new Breville Barista Express?  They run between five and six hundred dollars?”
“Maybe,” Judy replied a bit coyly.  “But isn’t that a Semi-Automatic machine?”
“They say it’s very much like a Super-Automatic machine. It has many if the same features,” replied Ian, holding up the brochure.  “That’s the one I would buy.”
“Then why don’t you?”
“I think I will, as a matter of fact.”
“I’ll stick to the Philips Saeco Minuto. I think I’m sold on that one,” Judy stated with the  sound of commitment in her voice.
Then she shifted the conversation. “So do you live around here?  Tell me about yourself.”
“Yes, I do . . . but I’m originally from California.”
“Are you? So am I!  What part?”  Judy was really getting into knowing more about Ian.  After a few cups of coffee and another espresso for Judy . . . then a light lunch at the café . . . Judy and Ian were becoming rather well acquainted with each other’s history. By now Ian had removed his overcoat and had become quite comfortable.
“Well, I must say you are a very delightful girl!” Ian beamed.  I can’t just leave it here at this coffee bar. I like you very much,”  he admitted, his eyes shining happily.
“I like you too,” Judy smiled.”  The she got an impish thought. “But how will we ever know which espresso machine is best . . . the Saeco Minuto or the Breville Barista Express?”
Ian thought for a minute.  “You buy the Philips Saeco and I’ll buy the Breville and we’ll just have to try them out?”
“But how will we do that?” Judy asked with curiosity.
“We’ll just buy them and try them out at home.”
“We will?”
“Yeah . . . your place or mine?”
At this point the conversation had gone way beyond espresso machines.  By the end of the afternoon they had each bought their favorite espresso machine, and happily exchanged phone numbers.
Ten months later there was a wedding.  In their new home they had both the Saeco Minuto and the Breville Barista Express in the same kitchen warmly regarded as “his” and “hers.”  They never did figure out which one they loved better.  There came a point where it didn’t seem important any more.  Both espresso machines made excellent coffee . . . and what they really knew was that they loved each other best of all!

* * * *

More here on the selection of espresso machines discussed in this story and where to buy on Amazon.

They knw they were becoming more interested in more than espresso coffee machines.

They knew they were becoming interested in much more than just espresso coffee machines.