Monday, 8 July 2013

Coffee, coffee everywhere!

Meet my new baby, I haven't christened her yet
Hi! As followers of my Twitter (@TheMamasHipBlog) and Instagram may be aware, I'm back into a coffee/caffeine cycle, and loving it! After a very "clean" few months where I detoxed, felt healthier than I have in ages, and lost a couple of inches off my ass (nice side-effect) I'm now waking up needing a cup of coffee to kick-start me for the day.
I feel groggy until the first caffeine hit, then I almost feel it zinging through my veins, energising me, getting me up and out of the house, to parks, the library, wherever. There is a dip of energy of course, a few hours later, and sugar and salt cravings, and I'm buying Cherry Coke whenever we "just happen" to pass the shop that stocks it.
If money was no object I'd be in Starbucks every day, getting my caramel latte / frappucino with whipped cream. But unfortunately my purse can think of better ways to spend more than 4 euro, so my Starbucks habit is a once-a-month treat if even.

Enter my new baby!
In researching this series for my blog, I happened on this machine by De Longhi. I love their retro design, and we've an 8 year old toaster by De Longhi - still going strong, so I know these are built to last.
The folks at Power City provided me with this machine to make my coffees, and I have to say it's a dream. It's the De Longhi ECO 310 BK (Find a similar on their website here). It has a 15-bar pump, which is apparently a great pressure, and ensures strong steaming when you're frothing your milk (oo-er, matron!) I am a technophobe, and had to make the first few drinks with the manual in hand, but it's so simple, really a matter of pressing one button and twisting the knob on top for the steam (ooh!). Filling the coffee filter is easy, and I love the little cup-warmer on top. This is slick and funky on my counter; I could imagine it in the Jetson's kitchen.

The trickiest part is not making a second coffee, I'm strictly limiting myself to one a day, as I don't want this to get out of hand. I could easily drink two or three, and then I'd be awake until 4am, having palpitations and causing general havoc in my house.

So the coffee I've been using is a lovely Costa espresso ground coffee, provided by Costa for this review. I love the little scoop in the tin, it's exactly the right amount for the filter, which I only discovered after a few dopey too-full-not-filtering-properly coffees. I've had lattes, cappucini (the pedant in me says this is the correct term), iced coffee and I tasted an espresso. Not for me the espresso. I need sugar and milk, and lots of it. I'm experimenting with making my own syrups, so far I've made caramel and vanilla, and the scary thing is how much syrup I'm pouring into each coffee, I dread to think of the equivalent in spoonfuls of sugar. I'm going to make a concerted effort to reduce my sugar:coffee ratio, and I'm fully intending to use soy milk in the future as a healthier option. But not just yet.

Espresso anxiously awaiting the foamed milk
So the caffeine is thundering through me, focusing my brain, alerting my body, getting my adrenaline going, and generally helping this tired mama get through the days. I have been cleaning (shock, horror!) and tidying (even more shock, horror!) and not sitting still too much, so I thank the caffeine for the gleaming worktops. I love making coffees for guests now, it's a far-cry from a scoop of aul' instant in a mug!

My first cappucino. I was not happy with the large bubbles. I am a perfectionist. I want solid froth you can stand a spoon up in. 
Are you a fellow-caffeine addict? Do have rules you have to stick to (ie. not after 1pm) like me, to keep it in check? I'm a little bemused at how quickly I've become addicted to my daily coffee. But I'm loving it. And I look forward to it every morning. How do you drink yours?
Nee x

Power City and Costa provided me with the goods for this review but all opinions are my own.


  1. As regards the syrups: I don't bother with them. I use essences. (You know those little bottles you buy to add to baking, etc.? Like vanilla essence.) I'm currently loving almond in my coffee - delicious. They're quite cheap; here in Australia they cost about $1 or so, and will do 6-12 cups of coffee(depending on how big my cup is). They're not sweet, but definitely flavourful, and then you can add as much or as little sugar/sweetener as you choose :)

  2. Im so jealous! Can I come over for coffee ;) I can only have one though anymore and i get palpitations! x

  3. I love my coffee strong, with poured Cream. Aldi do a lovely Italian ground coffee and it is really good. That is my morning fix, two mugs and I'm ready for the day....


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