What a Week!

It's been a heck of a week here at Chez Chamie. The roommate landed in the hospital last Tuesday when he woke up in the morning with no sensation in his lower leg. Turned out that the stent from an earlier bypass had fractured, and he spent eight hours in the OR as they worked to replace/repair/save his leg. He's still in the hospital, but things are looking much better. Meanwhile, I've had one of my busiest work weeks in months -- a work week that included making lots and lots of coffee-flavored goodies while I tested recipes for a project. I barely had time to make coffee to drink, I was so busy making coffee to cook with! This morning is the first time I've taken a breather and I found this European George Clooney ad for Nespresso that brightened my morning nicely, so I thought I'd share it up for others to enjoy, too.

Nespresso may be the only single-serve coffee machine that I haven't tried, so I can't comment on it or the quality of the coffee it makes, though a couple of other ROASTe bloggers have written about them (here and here). I own two other single serve brewers -- a Keurig B70 and a CBTL Contata. The Keurigoffers one major advantage -- variety. It's quick, easy and convenient, and lets me make a whole bunch of different coffees without having to buy a whole bag of beans that will sit here and go stale because, honestly, I may just want that particular coffee once a week or so. It's also, as I noted in an earlier blog post, easy for my roommate to operate -- an important point, since he has very little hand dexterity or strength after a stroke. 

The CBTL Contata, on the other hand, is a lovely thing. It's hard for me to judge how well it makes coffee as compared to the Keurig, though, because I can't do a comparison of the same coffee in each machine. CBTL chose the Caffitaly capsule system for its machines. If you live in Europe, Caffitaly is pretty cool because it's essentially open source and you've got lots of variety. Here in the U.S., as far as I can tell, there is one company that packages coffee in Caffitaly-compatible capsules -- Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The coffee is awesome -- but the selection is seriously limited. Last time I checked, you had the choice of four brewed coffees, four espresso roasts and a couple of teas -- all CBTL offerings, and pretty much only available through Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I've been pondering placing an international order through Amazon from one of the many European companies that have other brands and roasts of coffee available.

Of course, this week the single cup brewers are on hiatus since I have no K-cups or CBTL capsules around. Instead, I've been enjoying my latest ROASTe coffees, a Sumatra Lake Lintong from Mr. Espresso and Espresso Gianna from Unique Coffee Roasters. If I can squeeze in the time to write them, I'll post a few flavor notes on both of them. For now, let me highly recommend the Lake Lintong to anyone who likes strong, full-bodied, exotic coffees. It's beautifully smooth and rich with a tang of cedar that lifts it out of the usual mellowness of Pacific Rim coffees. I'm just having the first cup of the Cafe Gianna as I write. Very chocolate-y with a nutty finish that I haven't quite put my finger on yet.

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