Coffee coffee coffee

De'Longhi Dedica Coffee making at our place has just levelled up!  We’ve just acquired a De’Longhi “Decida” espresso machine.  This is a nice little machine that’s got the neat feature of accepting either regular ground coffee or standard ESE coffee pods (more on that later).

It’s a handy size for a small kitchen, it’s simple to use, it looks nice, and so far I’m really happy with the coffee it puts out.  If you’re in the market for a small “real” coffee machine and you’re in NZ, Harvey Norman have them on sale for NZ$227 at the moment, which I think is a bit of a bargain (RRP is ~NZ$400).

A minor design point that I liked – when the drip tray is full, the red plastic bit floats up and it sticks it’s tongue out at you :p.

Drip tray empty :)

Drip tray empty 🙂

Drip try full :p

Drip try full :p

 

Coffee & Razor Blades

Previously we had a Lavazza “A Modo Mio” pod-based machine, which was handy, but it’s starting to show its age, and the facts that (a) it was purely pod based, and (b) you can’t buy those pods in NZ (so we were mail-ordering them from Australia or the UK) made for a rather environmentally un-friendly cup of coffee.

Delicious dripsI wasn’t aware of the ESE standard (yay, open standards!) before researching this purchase, but I’m really glad to see it exists, since (a) you’re not locked into only the machine’s manufacturer’s range of coffee and (b) it offers consumers a way out of the “razor and blades” business model for coffee pods.  The most egregious example I’ve seen of this for coffee being the “Lavazza Blue” range – you get the machine for free, but the pods are about 2x the normal going rate!

PS, apologies that it’s been so long since I last posted.

Fizzy Coffee

I bought my wife a Sodastream for Christmas, and when I saw it sitting on the counter next to our pod coffee machine (a Lavazza A Modo Mio), I had an idea

So this morning I gave the concept of fizzy coffee a go.

Experiment

I’d initially thought about putting soda-water through the coffee machine but I thought there’s a reasonable chance that this could destroy the machine and possibly my marriage, so I’ve gone for the less exciting approach of mixing the drinks after production.

I used tap water with maximum gasification (4 burps from the sodastream), and one shot (~100ml) of coffee made with an “Intensamente” pod (the red-top ones), which are described as follows:

Full-flavoured, rich and well rounded.

The magic of this great blend captures all of your senses in a moment of complete excellence. Great body, well rounded and a richness of roasted aromas produces an exceptionally full flavoured coffee. It is an authentic blend for savouring all the intensity of a Café Bar experience.

Due to impatience I started with hot coffee, pouring it into an equal volume of soda water in a tall glass.

First of all this produced a mess – a massive head of brown foam, plus a fair bit of coffee on the counter-top since our espresso cups aren’t really designed for pouring.

With a bit of stirring the bubbles cleared and I was able to pour in the rest of the coffee and top it up with soda water, so probably ending up at a ratio of water to coffee of ~1.5:1.

A bit more stirring and it looked like this:

So, what does it taste like?

Not great to be honest – the very strong soda taste overwhelms the coffee flavour.
Also as evident from the amount of foam it’s lost most of it’s fizz.
And the frothy head has a slight weird-brown-foam-on-the-beach association to me.
And it’s luke-warm.

Overall not completely undrinkable, but not nice, 1 out of 5.

I think part of the problem here was that I used hot coffee. Warming the soda-water will have reduced the solubility of CO2, leaving the result un-fizzy and producing the massive head in the process. Yeah, science.

I did think that this might happen beforehand, which is why I went for maximum fizziness in the water, but the side-effect of this is the overwhelming soda-water flavour, which kills the coffee.

If I try this again, I’ll use cold coffee, as suggested, and less fizzy soda-water.