The Tale of El Salvador Los Luchadores & Pumpkin the Donut
It was a dark and misty morning. The sun lay slumbering behind the horizon. All normal people remained in bed. I stumbled over to Nord's Bakery, bleary-eyed and half dead. I needed a hard-hitting shot of donut, and I needed it fast. The tinny clang of the bell announced my arrival. I was greeted by the always cheery staff. "Mhpshdlhuyh," I replied. I held up four fingers and pointed to the donuts I wanted. One twist, one cherry filled, one glazed, and, ah yes, Nord's latest crowning achievement (reaching almost to the beloved status of tastiness set by the Baconater)... the Pumpkin Spice Donut! I stumbled out the door groping for the handle... oh, that's right- pull, not push. I made it back out the door, somehow still awake. I was one of the lucky ones. I pushed forward, not taking my eyes off the objective. The "open" sign for Sunergos Coffee shone like a lighthouse beacon through a Nor'east Gale. I stumbled toward it.
Once inside, I was able somehow to manage a bleary snatching of beans after which I threw something thin and plastic at the barista. He gave something back. I hope it was my card. Either way, I drove to work and began grinding the beans on my Skerton. The smell cleared my senses slightly. I sniffed some more. My mouth began to salivate. I realized somehow I had parked the car and was now in my office. The water finished boiling. I quickly prepped my aeropress, stirred, and pressed. My head was clearing by the second. I finished the press and waited a few minutes for it to cool.
The world held its breath. The sun peaked over the trees to get a view. I took a sip.
The smooth, sweet taste of El Salvador Los Luchadores filled my palate. I dared to take a bite of the pumpkin donut and another sip. My mouth imploded. My tongue could not hold the flavor of the almost buttery, currant-y taste of the El Salvador with the spicy, pumpkin taste of the donut. Thoughts of Bill Murray and fried chicken flooded my mind as I snarfed the rest of the donut down while sipping the coffee. I finished the donut and slowly savored the rest of the Salvador while going about my work. The sun finally dared to rise above the horizon (staying safely in the clouds, however), sensing that the coast was now clear. Life was good in the Prima Office.
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For most companies it's hard to find motivation for pushing out new products if you find yourself on top already. This is not, however, the case with La Marzocco. The Italian based espresso machine manufacturer continues to push the envelop when it comes to innovations in espresso machine technology. The newest line from La Marzocco continues their progression in the specific areas of temperature stability and pressure profiling. We've discussed the Strada Electronic Paddle version in detail in our Strada EP blog post and listing for the 2 Group Strada EP. The Strada Mechanical Paddle employs technology similar to the Mechanical Paddles on other La Marzocco models but with a few new features including individual pressure gauges, digital PID control, and dedicated group boilers.
Hario Skerton grinder is handy for manual home and travel grinding, it can also be slightly more cumbersome for an extended road trip where only a small amount of grinding will be done (for a more detailed comparison of the two grinders, check out this blog post: Hario Skerton vs. Mini Mill). For those trips (or homes) where a minimal amount of grinding is needed, the Hario Mini Mill Slim is the perfect grinding solution. The Mini Mill employs adjustable conical ceramic burrs for grinding any of the wide range of grinds employed in today’s coffee market. It can effortlessly handle 24 grams of anything from fine espresso to a coarse French Press setting. Because of its lightweight (0.5 lbs) and sleek plastic body, the Mini Mill easily fits into small carrying bags and suitcases without adding a lot of extra weight. This, in conjunction with the Aerobie AeroPress coffee maker, has the propensity to make excellent coffee anywhere hot water and fresh beans are available.
The Hario Mini Mill is a traveling coffee enthusiast’s dream come true.... and with its ability to grind to the fine quality needed for espresso, it can be paired with a hand-held travel espresso maker such as the mypressi TWIST (and an excellent choice of beans) to achieve a quality rivaling the product found in many high-end espresso machines. Whether the need is grinding beans for a french press, Aeropress, or mypressi, the Mini Mill Slim is the perfect travel solution.
$449.00The Baratza Vario looks much like Baratza's other offerings (i.e., the Encore, Virtuoso, and Preciso) in regard to silhouette, footprint, and general design. Those who've used them extensively, however, know that there's far more than mere nomenclature that separates the Vario from its brethren. Practically speaking, it has shown to give a consistently uniform and desirable grind for the full grind spectrum, all the way from espresso to press pot, something no other non-commercial grinder currently out on the market can boast. It is a highly efficient machine, wasting very little in the way of coffee grounds, but it shines in its ability to produce excellent espresso, shot after shot after shot, a feature aided by the three timed dosing presets it allows the user to store and recall at the push of a button.