Last February I shared a three-part series detailing my experiments with at-home coffee making… without using a standard Mr. Coffee. If you missed them, make sure to check out my tips and tricks for a French Press, Mokapot, and Pour-Over!
Have you heard of Nespresso? It’s a capsule-based espresso system. Their commercials here in the US feature Penelope Cruz, but internationally George Clooney is their spokesman.
(Bonus points if you recognized “Nora” from How I Met Your Mother)
I have a quick epilogue to add to my coffee conversation! My kitchen has a new little addition to it. I sell Nespresso machines at work and well… you can see, I’ve sold myself on it!
Espresso is a different animal than coffee is: its flavor comes from water forced through a tightly packed shot at a high temperature and high pressure. That’s why the flavor is so intense and most espresso shots are only 1 to 2 ounces. When you order a latte at Starbucks, it’s normally two small shots added to steamed milk. Think–you’re really paying $3+ for four ounces of coffee!
Nothing against grabbing a latte out with friends–I love meeting up at a coffee shop with people. It’s grabbing a quick latte every day before work that becomes a big-time money suck. Enter Nespresso: the machines heat up in no time and the flavor options they have available are really delicious… and for 60 cents a shot–it’s much faster and cheaper than going through the Starbucks drive through on the daily.
When I have a lot of time in the morning, or a lot of writing to do and want a massive carafe of coffee that will last for hours, I still default to “normal” style coffee made in my French Press (which I’m getting better and better at making!) When time is of the essence and I want a yummy caffeine fix, my routine is this: prepare my cup with a small spoonful of sugar. I run the capsule through my Nespresso and then finish the cup off with milk. This process takes roughy two minutes–120 seconds!
I’m not getting paid or perked by Nespresso to write this post–Just sharing the technology that’s out there with you all in case you hadn’t heard of these machines and were suffering from paying too much for specialty coffee drinks every day.
Summer is here, and with it Wedding Season. My sister’s getting married, and a flock of couples on my Facebook feed have just gotten engaged! I decided to draw on my knowledge and experience of registering and helping others register to share a few tips.
In-store vs. online
I always, always, always, recommend registering in-store first. It’s hard to know what a product is really like until you see it in person. Take the time to hold the flatware in your hand, hold up the towels with an accent color–picture how these items will be in real life. Feel the bedding and make sure it’s soft enough–or does it seem cheap? There’s nothing worse than receiving a registry item that falls apart less than six months later. What a waste of your time and your friends’ money! That said, it’s very convenient to add more items online as those you registered for get discontinued or if the date approaches and many items have already been purchased, especially if you have seen the items in-person ahead of time.
Fill the Home
If you’ve lived on your own for a while, there is a good chance you have enough “stuff” to fill up a house. Use this opportunity to fill in the gaps–to replace the ratty towels you used for 4 years in college, or the toaster that still technically works, but you suspect will cause an electrical fire any day now, for example. Register for a few nicer pieces of cookware, to replace the $5 skillet you got from IKEA a while ago. If you’re just starting out, this is a good time to get the basics. Registering at somewhere like Target is great for someone who needs everything, just know that many items will wear out much more quickly than their higher-end counterparts, and it will be up to you to replace things. (Example: I am approaching the 3-year mark and have begun replacing the cookware I received from my Target registry, as it is wearing out).
If you’re getting married at an early age and have a whole home to fill, it’s tempting to register for quantity over quality. However, there are gift-givers who truly want to give you an item that will last forever. Don’t be afraid to include a few “forever” items in your registry… for some people, fine china (around $150 per place setting) is still a priority. For others, a high-end juicer or Vitamix ($650) is something they would use daily as part of a healthy lifestyle. Remember that it’s common for people to pitch in together to get a big-ticket item! Don’t worry about looking greedy–just mix in a few high-end items with a majority of things at an accessible price-point. Remember, this is a big life event and many people want their gift to reflect that.
Sometimes it’s hard to talk about registries without feeling greedy or like you’re a part of the Wedding Industrial Complex. I want to remind you that people will attend your wedding and most will feel led to bring a gift. This is because they love you and want to celebrate the milestone with you! Take all “wedding registry must-have” lists with a grain of salt and register for what you will actually use. If you don’t bake much, don’t feel pressured to add a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer just because all the kitchens in magazines have one. Be true to yourself!
Your turn: Anything to add? Leave a comment!