Thursday, November 27, 2008

I love it a latte, part II

The object: a 1980's Olympia Cremina lever espresso machine. It's brown and chrome and a beautifully simple machine.

This latest segment of my latte obsession is taking place deep in the Absaroka mountains of Southwestern Montana. We are staying with some friends in a cabin at the literal end of the road along the West Boulder River. Our goal on this trip, is to eat constantly - with a Thanksgiving theme - and to occasionally do some work on the guest home where we are camped.

We brought a ridiculous amount of food and equipment with us. Prior to departure, I was assured that the cabin owner had some sort of espresso machine - some sort of machine it is. Google Olympia Cremina and you'll get the idea. It's minimalist - with no arrows, icons, words or instructions. Thank goodness we have Internet access at the cabin, or I would have been pumping out tepid and sad small bitter shots of near-espresso.

After a few hits on YouTube I was off and "pulling." The shots are getting a bit better - there is actually a bit of crema and the temperature is decent. Unfortunately, my modern - and user friendly - Cuisinart pump-driven machine is going to feel like driving a really nice late model Camry after driving around the Tuscan countryside in a 1968 Alfa Romeo.

I have had plenty of coffee for now and the Cremina and I are going to take a break. Turkey and all the usual goodness awaits after a day of staring at the mountains and occasionally messing with the dinner bits.

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