I am a coffee junkie. I love the stuff. I need it so.
A drop didn’t pass my lips until I was 19, and living in Nice. I discovered pretty early on that, socially, I would be a little inept without a cup in my hand in a local café. That was where everyone met when the sun was cruelly hot on a mid July afternoon.
At first I found it too bitter, but hot chocolates at 35 deg C was not a sustainable habit, and it started to feel silly, so I embraced the cappuccino and quickly developed an obsession. An obsession that spiralled out of control when I was at university drinking way too many cups of awful tecoffee (termed so as the tea tasted of coffee and the coffee of tea) and getting the jitters.
Over the years I have developed somewhat of a balance, but have always feared having a coffee machine at home. I am a little faddish you see, and had visions of never leaving the house and bouncing around my kitchen fuelled by coffee, never doing any work and never again seeing another human soul.
But then, I started working from home, writing and cooking full time over a year ago. That is a lot of time solo, and while I enjoy my own company, it is sometimes too much. Way too much. I missed popping out to the local cafés with colleagues. I even missed those essential chats over the kettle over that thing or someone that was crushing your head that day. Yes, crushing your head, I really don’t miss my job that much. Camaraderie and a monthly pay cheque though? Those were nice.
So, I stomp around Soho now meeting friends as often as I can for lunch or coffee, a drink or dinner, writing in spurts in between as I go. I needed a solution for home though, to power me through morning writeathons and cook offs, so, I thought to hell with it, took the plunge and got a coffee machine.
My photographer for my book, Georgia, had a Gaggia Classic at her house where we shot all of the food photos for Comfort and Spice. It powered me through an intense 3 day shoot with little sleep and a lot of work, and the coffee was really good. Smooth, creamy and rich. Some weeks later, ago I was invited to coffee school near Bologna at Gaggia, how could I say no? I loved the Gaggia classic then too and learned a lot about making coffee, a little about latte art (hearts & ferns, even a bear for the top of your coffee), and that I had a need for a Gaggia Classic.
Now I have one at home, and I am developing what I hope is a responsible relationship. I do gaze at it fondly. Sometimes I avoid its eye. But every morning it gives me a delicious cup of rich, creamy, dark espresso that I top fondly with thick steamed milk. Then I can write, cook or bounce off on my merry way to whatever my day has in store for me.
If you love coffee, as I do, treat yourself. You won’t regret it. Next stop for me is a better grinder. After all, what is a good coffee machine without one?
Ps. right now it is almost half price on Amazon, at a bargainous £175: Gaggia Classic RI8161 Coffee Machine. Perfect for the coffee lover in your life for Xmas too.