Wake up and smell the… what *is* this?

One of the gifts I should have mentioned on my birthday was a sumptuous, shiny espresso machine (thank you, Karel) in fire engine red with chrome fittings. It’s a fantastic piece of engineering, precision tooled, and amazing to look at too. Trouble is, it kind if draws attention to the absurdity of the whole process. I mean, forcing water through beans, then frothing up the reduced-fat lactate of a bovine I’ve never met, and topping it off with a dusting of a different type of beans-and-milk, all through this red, metallic hunk of hardware. Who the hell dreamt this up?

I guess the Chinese have had their tea ceremony for centuries. They drink weirder things in the rainforests. And don’t get me started on how bizarre smoking tobacco is. But I guess all of these things are ceremonies. Coffee is in our culture. I mean, imagine how much harder it would be to entice someone upstairs if you couldn’t invite them in for coffee.


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