Drinks Food

Why I Love My Espresso Machine with Recipes

It's 5am.  My alarm goes off, but I have already been awake for a little while just lying in bed enjoying the silence of the early morning.  No other time of day is this quiet and peaceful.  I reach over and hit the off button on my phone before the ringing wakes Gavin, who has likely snuck into bed next to me sometime during the night.  After rising from the warmth of the blankets, the very first thing I do is head to my new espresso machine in the kitchen.

It’s 5am.  My alarm goes off, but I have already been awake for a little while just lying in bed enjoying the silence of the early morning.  No other time of day is this quiet and peaceful.

I reach over and hit the off button on my phone before the ringing wakes Gavin, who has likely snuck into bed next to me sometime during the night.  After a gentle snuggle, I rise from the warmth of the blankets.  The very first thing I do is head to my new espresso machine in the kitchen.

I finally bought one about two months ago after realizing I spend about $75.00 a month at Starbucks.  I quickly decided that rather than throwing that money away I could buy an inexpensive espresso machine for $100 and put the money I save in my Hawaii Savings account.  An extra $50-$75 a month would get us to Hawaii much faster.

I take out a large wide mug and fill it about 2/3 of the way with Light Vanilla Protein Soy Milk and gently warm it with the milk steamer.  After the milk has thickened and warmed to about 140 degrees, I carefully measure out the espresso ground coffee and press it down into the metal filter.  I use a tamper to press the coffee down attempting to eliminate as much air between the grains as possible.

I stir about 1/4 teaspoon of flavored syrup into the warmed milk before placing the mug under the espresso filter.  When I turn the dial it rumbles to life and a rich brown liquid begins pouring from the filter.  It only takes about 15-20 seconds before the brown starts to lighten and the top of the cup begins to fill with a layer of creamy soft espresso foam.  I read online that each double shot should take about 25 seconds to pull so I usually just count to 25 and turn the machine off then.  The foam that starts to form about halfway through is my favorite part.  It’s the most decadent treat.

I spend the next 45 minutes on the couch thoroughly enjoying child-free quiet time with my perfect latte and a few inspirational YouTube videos or my journal.

A few months ago I tried making these drinks using strong coffee from my coffee maker, but it didn’t come close to what I got at Starbucks.  So I asked a coworker, who had worked at Starbucks, and he told me espresso was the key to getting the right taste.  That pretty much decided it for me.  I was about to upgrade my coffee pot.  As I always do when I need a new kitchen appliance, I headed to Amazon to read reviews.

After quite a bit of research, I bought a Hamilton Beach 40792 Espresso & Cappuccino Maker which wasn’t too expensive and had good reviews on Amazon.  People said the taste was really authentic and it was easy to use.  I would have to agree.  I have been very happy and am looking forward to all the iced drinks I’ll be able to make this Summer. Its already paid for itself more than twice with all the frappuccinos and lattes I have been making.  I can even make a perfect Iced Soy Caramel Macchiato with this thing.

Hot Coffeehouse Latte

  • 1 cup of Vanilla plant or nut milk, warmed and frothed
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp of flavored syrup (My favorites are Torani Peppermint and Torani Salted Caramel)
  • 2 shots of espresso
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. Add two shots of espresso to a mug.
  2. Slowly pour in the warm milk, holding back the foam with a butter knife.
  3. Pour the foam onto the top of the mug and top with whipped cream.
  4. You can also reverse the order you put in the coffee and milk.  Just depends on your preference!

Iced Caramel Macchiato

  1. Fill a glass with ice, add the syrup, then add the cold plant milk.
  2. Top with two shots of espresso.  Stir and enjoy!

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