Trying to develop my skill for espresso-making began with the same journey and desire to make the perfect Café Latte. I’ve always ordered the same thing: A classic Caramel Latte, and I’m quite sure that’s what I’ll always order until I am a little old woman. Well, we all know how outrageously expensive those types of specialty drinks can be – So you can relate to the fact that it quickly became my mission to make them on my own just as good as those from my favorite coffee-houses so that I wouldn’t need or WANT to order them elsewhere again. However, I was just as quickly discouraged to discover that a “real” Café Latte uses 2-4oz of TRUE espresso (meaning that a latte made by any brewing method other than a 9bar-or-better espresso machine is actually a “faux latte”). Using regular ol’ coffee will always result in a weaker concoction, and even though the Aeropress and Moka pot produce a coffee-concentrate very similar to espresso, the methods are still quite different and the results are not true to the modern terminology of “Espresso”.
…Espresso must be “forced” through ground coffee so quickly, that the oils do not have a chance to separate and be “left behind”, in a manner of speaking. Due to this type of extraction, crema (a caramel-colored foam) is formed at the top of the coffee, which is considered to be “sweet” whereas the “bloom” from a Frenchpress or Aeropress extraction is often bitter.
Anyway, I’ll save the rest of that bit of coffee-porn for a future post more on the specifics of espresso-making, my point here is – I’ve been aching to buy an espresso machine for a quite some time. I’ve bought cheap ones over time in hopes to get off easy, you know, from Walmart or whatever… but there’s really no point unless you want to drop about $700 for a LOW END machine. Just forget it. My dream-machine is over $2000, which made my husband pee his pants where he stood on the kitchen floor. Not really. But seriously. Ok, so NEW plan: Go back to settling with my present favorite coffee brewers and enjoy a good “faux” latte.
THEN… as if God took mercy upon me in my despair, I came across the Mypressi. I didn’t pay it much attention at first, with it’s low-end-level price tag ($149-$170) and very small size, it didn’t present itself as something of high gesture… compared to the other machines I’d been lusting over. So I wrote it off and continued to lust. But I just kept encountering it, again and again, and ended up stalking the reviews out of curiosity. Strange, the reviews were… good. VERY good. But this thing runs on N20 cartridges to create the 9bars necessary to create espresso, which could potentially be inconvenient, and when I came across a few negative reviews I was discouraged yet again.
I decided to look into what other cheap(er) options I might have, and landed on the Le’Lit Pl041 with a PID (temperature control device), only to be let down with a price-total still too unaffordable for us… but unable to settle on anything of lesser, I kept looking into various options. I know, I’m such a determined ninny. Well, tough-luck Ms. Ninny, when you’re broke you’re broke. So… In the end, I did go with the risky decision in purchasing a Mypressi machine, in hopes that it met up with the positive reviews rather than the few bad ones… and that it wouldn’t be too inconvenient. So, THIS is a video documenting an experimental shot:
It’s a very simple device. Pre-heat the the water well. Grind, and tamp your coffee, assemble and pull the trigger. I can make a latte within a couple minutes and 90% of that is just waiting for the water to heat up. Cartridges make 4 double shots or 8 single, making them cost anywhere from 10-20 cents apiece depending on where you purchase them. After the vid, of course I “deluded” the shot with milk and caramel, made the best darn latte I’ve ever had. The verdict? I’m in love.
…BTW, The crema did not properly form due to the grind being a little too coarse, but I can promise you that is was still delicious.