Like many of the products that we love and enjoy, red wine, dark chocolate, coffee too has weaved in and out of the “it’s good for you or not” cycle. Right now it is, which is great considering it is the world’s most valuable commodity exported to the United States and other developed countries.
The coffee craze is growing and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. And like with craft beers, everyone seems to be getting in on the locally produced brands. Panther Coffee is one of the popular brands here in South Florida.
I was slow to join the world of coffee drinking nirvana. But I started by purchasing ground coffee brands from the local grocery store and brewing them in my drip coffee maker. By chance I purchased some coffee beans, which I ground up in our small electric spice grinder and was blown away by the difference in taste, which was so much livelier, smoother and tastier.
There was no going back to pre-ground after that. This led me to my first attempt at a more gourmet coffee experience with the purchase of a French Press. I seem to remember that the French don’t leave for work at 7am, which allows them the time to really enjoy that whole experience. Like many things in life that we haven’t grown up accustomed to and take more time, like the French Press, they become dust collectors that just take up space in our cupboards. I’m sure mine is in there somewhere.
My next graduation to a better coffee experience happened when my wife and I traveled to Italy in 2015. Though I speak Italian fluently, I never asked the locals why their coffee tasted so damn good. It wasn’t just the taste, it was the color, the light foaminess on the top of every cup, the texture and the punch. The coffee was strong, but not in that make your face cringe bitter way that is only remedied with lots of cream and sugar. It was perfect.
This was another, no going back moment. So when we got off the plane back home, we just left our luggage at the airport and had the Uber driver take us straight to Williams-Sonoma where we invested the cost of another ticket to Italy on a Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine in silver. I’m joking about the luggage thing.
There are many quality coffee makers and one would assume that since all things “Made in Italy’ are exquisite we would have gone with an Italian espresso machine, but our research led us to the Australian Breville and we are beyond happy. We did, however, go with ‘illy’ coffee at first which is part Italian and part Hungarian it appears. Not sure how that happens. But as Fort Lauderdale finally started catching up with the rest of the cool places in the world and opened more and more nice cafes, we now brew a locally roasted bean from Switchbox Coffee Roasters. We learned that coffee has a shelf life and that fresher is better, so we just buy as needed.
Our home coffee experience has gotten so good that we rarely go out for coffee and no longer need to venture to Europe to have a perfect cup. It is one of the joys of life that we have found is worth refining. Enhance Your World!