Monday 19 April 2010
FOODIE THINGS I LOVE #1: THE GAGGIA TITANIUM
I love my Gaggia Titanium. It makes a super espresso in seconds with the push of a button. “From Bean to Cup”, it grinds, doses and brews a very good espresso with a nice crema. It does everything but wash my cups (it is capable of heating them though!)
When I purchased my Titanium from Espressotec in Richmond a few months ago, I was not an avid coffee drinker. Sure, I stopped by the Starbucks once in a while, but my drink of choice is green tea (loose leaf!) and even when I did stop by Starbucks, I often ordered green tea. Weird. I know. When I do order coffee, it is often a short non-fat latte and I don’t take sugar with it.
In Vancouver, so much of walking into a local coffee shop is a social thing, “meet you at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?” Often it is a local watering hole—albeit caffeinated…or a convenient and non-committing place for a first date. In fact, I frequent Starbucks for the sole purpose of socializing; meeting long-lost friends from high school and chatting with colleagues after work. I stop by and use the hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards I receive each Christmas (great teacher gift! thanks!) from my students and buy my daughters banana bread after a pleasant day at the playground, hot chocolate after trick-or-treating, or a special cupcake or cookie if someone is having a bad day. So keep the Starbucks gift cards coming—I won’t be giving up my visits there! Will I be drinking their coffee though? Hell no. Not with my new superautomatic espresso machine!
For the first couple of months, all I drank were cappuccinos. If I had the energy, I would have made you a little video and showed you how easy it is. Of course, you can see I’m quite lazy and like the convenience of pushing one button…so that’s not going to happen soon. It was so convenient, that I had about 2 cappuccinos a day for a while. I soon started to gain some weight and couldn’t figure out why. Then I started to break out. I realized that I was drinking way more milk than I usually do and not only does it add calories & fat, it made me break out! Well, I still drink green tea throughout the day at work, but I now have one espresso or Americano in the morning before leaving for work and on the weekends I have another one in the afternoon. I switched to drinking espressos, machiattos and Americanos—or in this case the setting called “large coffee” which is essentially one shot of espresso with hot water. The machine doses the appropriate hot water so I don’t have to fiddle. My acne ended. My weight stopped climbing. Isn’t that great?
It’s so easy! You place your cup under the dispenser of the machine, press a button (in this case I wanted a single shot with hot water so I pressed “large coffee”) and wait a for a couple of minutes. Maybe it isn’t even 2 minutes. I haven’t timed it. It’s fast though.
Done. Notice the crema? You can still see it even if you have an Americano. The espresso beans I use are either locally roasted (Cafe Artigiano’s Private Reserve Espresso) or Illy brand medium or dark roast espresso beans. The technician warned me not to use particularly oily beans as they may gum up the machine. So that leaves out Starbucks espresso beans. Starbucks beans are often burnt tasting. I used to think Starbucks was okay. Now, I don’t even want to drink the stuff. I’m spoiled. You’ll get a way better tasting coffee making it at home!
It’s a thing I love.