MOKA COFFEE POT LOVE

It all began on a beautiful weekend morning…

My logic tells me to first post about the Monday through Friday coffee pot, the French press; but love is not logical. Weekends now have an added reason why I just can’t wait for each one to come around!

Bialetti Moka Express Coffee Pot

The Bialetti moka pot was intimidating. My first attempt some time ago was an epic fail. The second time it was ever used was recently, soon after my son became our coffee making boss. That second attempt was another epic fail. But this time, my coffee partner and I decided to figure out what went wrong and learned.

Among the reasons for the past fails was fine pre-ground coffee. Bustelo is a good coffee brand. I have used it for stove top brewing for years. It yields a good and strong cup of coffee. But when my son and I used it and tried to drink our first brew made in the moka pot, we were unpleasantly surprised. He said, mom, this is like trying to drink motor oil. My laughter exploded out of me. We shared our failure and we laughed heartily about it.

Delicious coffee.

We ordered a package of Bustelo whole beans because not available around here. By the time the following weekend rolled around, our order had arrived and we were ready and eager to try again.

In the meantime, we did watch a couple of pros make coffee in the moka pot and followed what they did. Here is the video, https://youtu.be/rpyBYuu-wJI

 The result was so amazing…wait…my emotions are getting the best of me now. *Breathe* *Phew* Ok. I’m good now. The memories of that first sip from the moka pot rushed into my mind at overwhelming speed.

We had an unbelievable cup of espresso each in the comfort of our own home. Well, I believe I don’t ever need to get on another roller coaster ride ever again! A cup of Bustelo espresso made with freshly ground coffee beans in the comfort of my home, in the company of my coffee barista, who has the most interesting inquisitive mind about life, is all the thrill I need.

Although summer months coming and amusement parks about to open. I might just have to ride at least one to make sure.

Bonus, we just got gifted a two-pound bag of Bustelo whole coffee beans by a dear friend, further encouraging our coffee obsession. Thanks, dear friend! My son and I feel the coffee love.

COFFEE MAKING TOOLS

Based on observing my coffee making hero, my son.

My son is a physics student and loves math. What that means to coffee making: he is precise, meticulous, and loves to make adjustments to test and improve.

We do have photos of him when he was little with goggles on. 😁

It is possible he achieves the best results because he approaches coffee making like a lab experiment. He weighs the amount of coffee beans he will use. He has specific grinding settings for each the French press and the moka pot. He also considers the roast in the amount, grind setting and brewing time.

At some point I will have to write all these things down. He keeps all the notes in his head. Just how in the world did I birth this coffee making Einstein?

Heihox hand coffee grinder, I bought on Amazon.

We first had a coffee grinder that had a ceramic burr, but this one with the stainless steel is the best! He tried an electric one but did not like it because it did not allow him control of the exact desired grind. Such a nerd! 😊

I will not do a product review here or even a step-by-step how-to description. There are countless posts and videos that do that very well. All I want to contribute is this: it’s awesome! And I love it! And you should get it. If you want to.

Here’s a good review on it. https://blog.nordquist.org/2020/06/09/heihox-manual-coffee-grinder/

I would add that my son uses a toothbrush to brush any left over grind off the burr at the end of each use before storing away. And he does achieve a good fine grind for espresso on weekends by setting it at anywhere between 6 and 9.

Happy coffee making!

Legacy

Coffee blood runs through my veins. 🤎

I’m my son’s happy coffee customer. Monday through Friday he makes French pressed coffee. On the weekends, he treats us to moka pot espresso. So now I’m scheming to sabotage any attempt he ever makes to leave home. Can you blame me? I don’t want to lose my personal barista!

I may need help.

But I know I need to prepare. So, I have been learning his tricks of the trade. I’m a little confused. He now has been teaching me how to make coffee? Que barbaridad!

Nevertheless, I am the one who taught him to love coffee. And not just any coffee. Good Latin kick your eyes wide open in the morning coffee. I have given him a legacy and we have shared some memorable breakfasts together. Coffee and I will forever be inseparable memories to my son.

Photo by Igor Haritanovich on Pexels.com

Of all things that I would want to be a legacy to my family, why coffee? It seems insignificant, unproductive, even shallow. Love of coffee is part of me, my culture, my homeland, my family, my memories of my great-grandmother. It’s not just about the coffee; it’s about an integral part of me.

It’s also not my only legacy. My daughter loves to cook with some of my Caribbean kitchen hacks, like sofrito and adobo.

Any time I think of one of my kids and how they do something the way I do it, I feel like a little piece of me lives on in them. It’s a sweet thought.

On my next coffee post, I will share some of my son’s coffee making secrets. Sshhh don’t tell him…

A Coffee Buddy

My Hispanic roots are settled in the Caribbean, but I live in the states. My love for coffee was not only not shared in my home; my love for Latin coffee would always interfere with my appreciation of anyone’s American coffee water. Yes, I said that. Sorry friends and in-laws.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

One day, my high school sophomore son began drinking my coffee. Suddenly I had a coffee buddy, a coffee traveling companion!

Up to this point I had been content with making coffee in a coffee maker. However made, my Hispanic pre-ground coffee was a heavenly elixir, every morning!

Somewhere along the way, I decided to ditch the coffee maker (you have all watched and heard the guácala stories about coffee makers, so I’ll spare details) and went back to my real back-in-the-day-growing-up-in-Puerto Rico roots! Coffee making on the stove-top, real brewing, way more satisfying. Honestly, it’s not that much more work than setting up the coffee maker to do it for you. Just get up…I don’t know about 5 minutes earlier and multitask with your breakfast making.

Then I began desiring to expand my coffee horizons. One day I was shopping and found a French press coffee pot. Another day I was shopping and found a moka coffee pot. Yes, they sat in the closet for some time because I always wanted to first research how they worked and never had time.

This is my idea of a genie lamp. It produces my wish every single morning without fail. 😊

Guess who finally got his hands on these amazing coffee tools and ran with them. My now college freshman. To be young and have loads of free time again! He watched YouTube videos and read about coffee making in these special pots that had been collecting dust in my closet.

In the coffee treasury, I mean the closet, he also found a coffee grinder. I had forgotten about that one. And he also figured out how to use it. I happily got a package of whole coffee beans. At first, I got a cheap brand at the store because I didn’t know if this was a phase. Sometimes children play with a new toy and quickly get bored with it.

He was soon demanding better quality coffee beans. And so was I. Caribbean Latin quality coffee beans were soon in our pantry by the pounds.

Hang in there. This could be the love of coffee never ending story…

Intro to Cafethology

Welcome to my Cafetology series.

Once my son was my coffee guinea pig and now, I am his coffee guinea pig. And we are both ok with that.

It all started when my parents gave me my first taste of coffee…in my baby bottle. I’m just kidding. Although I have heard of Hispanic families who do start them young.

I had my first cup of coffee in my growing up in Puerto Rico days. I was about 10 or 11 years old. I would walk right up to my great-grandmother’s house for multiple visits a week. I didn’t necessarily care for the taste of coffee then, I much preferred chocolate milk.

But then, years later, I had kids. Yeah…coffee became crucial to my survival. I could have written a “Hello” song before Adele and it would have been about coffee, and it would have been a number 1 hit in coffee shops all over America and the world. I missed that calling. Although, I would not trade it for the daughter/wife/mom/sister/friend calling of my lifetime.

What was special about having an occasional cup of coffee at my great-grandmother’s house, sitting in her kitchen, was the homemade latte with freshly squeezed cow’s milk. Naturally foamy at the top, no frothing tool needed. The only other time I tasted coffee like that was a few years ago when a friend of mine who owned and ran an organic food store sold me a quart of fresh raw cow’s milk. Oh my… (eyes closed) it took me back to my childhood.

To be continued…

Lifeline

Our town green.

My family and I have been tied up in some big life changes that have involved hands-on work and no time for much else. But today, after a long time, I went for a walk with my son. Finally as things have begun to wind down in this big life project, I feel like I emerged from a cave.

Our town, even in this cold weather, still has a heartbeat. There are still people who smile at you. Even when wearing a mask you can tell they’re smiling. (And there are still those who don’t smile at you, but those were always around. I ignored them before and ignore them now). There are still people who say hello as they pass you by. That is comforting.

Open and welcoming.

After our walk, my son and I stopped at one of my favorite local coffee shops and ordered lunch to go. As always, I felt the welcome and I felt the family business vibe that gives you that sense of familiarity, like you just walked into your aunt’s house and she’s ready to feed you until you burst.

Sometimes you read something that sticks with you for life. I have been doing bookkeeping for decades. Since I was a baby (stop trying to do my age math). And I remember the moment I read this one thing, like it’s frozen in time and engraved in my brain. I was opening the office mail and this one bill had these words stamped on it “Pay me, so I can pay them, so they can pay him, so he can pay you.” Even though that was just a vendor’s fun way of saying, please submit your past due payment, these words stuck in my mind and made me think back then (when I was a baby), that this is a natural cycle of life.

I accomplished more than a walk and satisfied more than just hunger when we stopped at our local coffee shop. I satisfied the need to make my small contribution to the local economy by supporting our neighbors.

Random. I don’t know where. Just a visual of connection. 😄

We are intertwined in this vine and we all get our sustenance through the life of that vine. And in today’s technological world, this phenomenon crosses borders and oceans. “Treat others as you would want others to treat you,” no matter how they actually treat you. Why? Because someone has to set the example and keep the lifeline alive.

Hope is a Heartbeat

There is a saying in Spanish that goes, hope is the last thing to die. This saying has always reminded me of the mom who waits a lifetime for a son or a daughter to be delivered from the grip of drugs. She hopes to her last breath. Or the parents who sit by the bedside of a sick child to the end, waiting and hoping.

Horror!

It is a brutal reality that we are living an era of chaos. It is also a reality humanity has been here before, multiple times. It does not mean that this time around is not significant. It always is. It is always significant when it claims lives, when it wreaks havoc in ordinary day to day life, when it disrupts the rhythm of sowing and reaping to sustain life.

Babies! Also known as pups.

I was thinking and reflecting on this fleeting summer. Mid-June or so I found my aloe plant was not doing well. I did a little searching to find out if there was hope for my plant and what to do to bring it around. To my surprise, there was hope. There was still life in the plant. .

After reading several web pages and watching a couple of videos, I went to work. By mid July, it was vibrant and healthy again.

Sweet.

A few weeks ago I noticed something. Not only did I manage to bring my plant back around, my aloe did something I had never seen it do in the over 15 years that I have it. It grew babies!

I happily harvested those babies, replanted them in small pots and gifted them away.

My aloe reminded me there is always hope. Hope is a heartbeat.

The Odd Tuesday

It all starts with me opening my eyes and wanting to bury my head into my pillow and wishing the clock would rewind. Ha! And then reality sinks in and I get up.

But what was different about the start of today, a morning like I have not seen in a long time, I had to wake up my son. He is an early riser. He gets up before I’m ready to stick my foot out of the warm blanket. It is possibly because we are starting to get cool weather.

I walked into his room and just looked at him sleeping. He is 14 and I don’t think I remember seeing him sleeping like that for about 6-7 years now because he always beats me out of bed.

Well this morning, time slowed down. I watched him, his breathing, his peacefulness. I took in the view that doesn’t show any indication of the fact he is in the spectrum. Just a beautiful 14 year old sleeping like a teenager. 😍

Well, I could not stay there forever. We have a schedule to stay on, virtual school to get to and the blissful moment had to end. So I kissed his arm, pressing gently. And he began to open his eyes. He frowned a little. Then he looked up at me and said, I was sleeping. And I thought to myself, yeah kid, that’s what you’ve been doing to me for years now. 😂

And the Tuesday grind begins…

It’s gonna be that kind of week…

You know you had a good weekend when you find yourself at the end of Sunday and you want to scream, noooooooo!

That’s when I know in the morning, especially that first day of the work/school week I’m going to need me a Monday size coffee. No matter, Monday will come and go. Then Tuesday. Then Wednesday and eventually I’m back at Sunday night again and I want to go to bed early but I just want to do that one more thing before I go to bed. And one more thing. And, wait, one last thing. So Monday morning comes and Monday size coffee will have to do again.

When Monday morning arrives…

America runs on coffee is accurate, definitely true of me. And I run on Spanish finely ground coffee. Someone once told me, you people make coffee you can paint the walls with. Haha! True. I will not deny that. I will own that one to the end of my days. We don’t just make coffee. We make a mean cup of coffee and we make coffee that is going to get us through the day and every single day through the week. And we accomplish things while running on our Spanish coffee. I am working on the right brew that will make me leap over buildings. 😉

Here’s to a good start of the week for everyone! Get your fuel and go! ☕

Is there a “thing” that you do to propel you on that first day of the week, the dreaded Monday?

Growth Happens

I am sorry I have been MIA here. We have been busy with so many things, and wearing so many different hats.

But hey check this out, we are seeing much fruit for our hard work. Literally.

This cluster of tomatoes is pretty cool. So beautiful. We have already eaten some and they are delicious. We also have had some of our peppers.

This crazy guy was just harvested today. Mr. Zucchini, thank you so much for coming into existence and being sustenance for our bodies! Thank you Creator for the amazing work of your hands!

When I think about the tiny seeds these huge plants have grown from and the abundance of the fruit they are producing, I can’t help but stand in awe. How could I not be amazed at the beauty of the miracle of life? Sometimes my husband and I were freaked at how some of our veggie plants seemed to do some significant growing overnight.

Sorry, already ate these. 😁

I try not to cry, but same thing comes to mind when I look at pictures and videos of my babies back in their early beginnings and even what seemed at the time like a slow progression of their growth.

10 years ago, my special needs child was in preschool.. Time flies.

Today, as I look back I feel like I blinked and missed most of it. But I know I didn’t miss it. I was there all along. Even when they were in school, I showed up to drop them off, pick them up and hear their stories.

I was definitely there. ❤