Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pulling Coffee

I like shiny

I like learning weird little skills. The past year has been pretty good for that. I've dabbled in joinery, learned the basics of how to clean and oil a watch, and now I'm learning to pull an espresso. Don't get me wrong, I still love moka, but I like espresso too and have been curious about learning to make it for a long time.

Since I enjoy the process of doing things as much as the result and often more so, I chose the most basic espresso machine of them all. For about a week now, I'm the proud owner of an Europiccola, a manual piston lever machine by La Pavoni. The design hasn't changed much since it was first introduced in 1961. Perhaps the most significant change is the introduction of a pressurestat that maintains water temperature and pressure in the boiler with less fuss than the pressure valve and double power switch of the older models. It's quite refreshing to encounter a household appliance these days that assumes you're a responsible adult. There are all kinds of ways you can burn or scald yourself or spray steam and coffee grounds all over your kitchen with it, if you don't follow the instructions.