Entertaining with espresso.

I can't say that I entertain very frequently, but when I do, L'Anna (my espresso machine) quickly grabs everyone's attention.  People like shiny things and L'Anna is especially chromed out.  These days, it's also very different to walk into someone's home and see an appliance that is not at least half computer.  The sheer elegance and rustic simplicity of a semi-automatic machine seems like an anomaly these days (imagine if I were to bust out a super ornate Elektra lever... even L'Anna is at least a quarter computer).

When guests ask for an espresso or milk-based drink, L'Anna goes from being a centerpiece to theatre.  What is routine for me, is just absolutely enthralling to folks that are used to the push of a button producing their caramel macchiato.  No one quite understands why the grinder is so big and why it makes such a big whirring noise, but they're interested.  They ask why I let so much water out of the group head before actually making an espresso, or why I spend so much time spreading and tamping the grinds in the portafilter.  Thankfully, if I get a perfect pour, they all just shut up and enjoy the sensory overload of an amber fountain. 

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