05 October 2007

I fear my coffeepot.

This week I’ve been setting up my new apartment, particularly the kitchen. Here you see one of the things I wanted most: a Bialetti espressomaker, nicknamed “Brikka” and special because it has something that other pots do not, namely a clever little valve that coaxes the luscious creamy foam (schiuma) out of the coffee. This foam sets the professionally-brewed cup of espresso apart from that made by the amateur barista in the home kitchen. Imagine how much I wanted to own this thing!

Well… I believe I have invited a demon into my home. “Diavolo Brikka” is torturous to take apart, impossible to clean, then very tricky to fill and seal up properly. Place it on the flame and it begins to make noises that are only heard deep in the bowels of the Inferno. It puffs. It hisses. It spits boiling water at me. It whooshes out bursts of scalding steam. It whistles and growls, then emits a low-pitched, bloodcurdling squeal. It threatens to blow up right in my face. I wonder if I should call an exorcist, or just turn off the fire and run…

And just at that moment the magical valve whispers a little sigh, then bubbles up and dribbles out the most intense, black-as-the-Devil espresso, ringed with – just as promised – a lovely, caramel-colored halo of fragrant, creamy foam. It is absolute perfection.

I greedily drink it up, grateful that I won’t face the demon again for 24 more hours.