Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Meet our kitchen dynamic duo: Silvia, on the left, and Rocky, on the right. They both make our day begin! (They were named by their manufacturer, Rancilio, not us. We do refer to them by name though.)
I have introduced them to many of my coffee drinking friends, and my duo have always left a very good impression.
We purchased Silvia, the espresso maker, from Wholelattelove 6 years ago to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary*.
It sells now for $595.00. That seems steep for a frugal gal like me, but when you consider the small Krups or Braun type machines are around $100 and they don't last or make a great cup, this price is not so bad. Plus, remember what my mother taught me: skimp on what doesn't matter so you can splurge on the important.
Same with the grinder. Rocky has replaceable burrs. We have had Rocky for 4 or 5 years (another anniversary gift to ourselves.) So far--so good. Again, the Braun grinder we got from Linen's and Things for around $80, did not hold up. Rocky sells now for $320. Since you can replace the grinding burrs, it potentially can be kept going for years.
Both are considered professional quality. I have found that when you use something a lot, it is best to buy very good quality tools. They perform better and produce a superior product.
Good coffee is a ritual in our household. We don't go out for coffee**, lattes, or espresso. Instead, we use really good coffee beans--Alterra--and make our own espresso at home.
People think nothing of going out for a $3 specialty coffee every day for both a husband and wife, which adds up to $2,190 / year for one cup a day each. Even factoring in the grinder and espresso maker (total price divided by 6 yrs) along with the coffee (65# a year), doing it ourselves costs us $706 a year for many cups a day each! We "save" $1,484 a year. Our home brew is still cheaper than just going out for one regular cup of coffee each at a Caribou or Starbuck's saving $681 a year.
The Rancilio company was very good about getting me a replacement gasket for Silvia. (That was the diagnosis from my trip to Alterra last year.) Rancilio ended up sending me a gasket for free. I call that good service!
Wholelattelove is a great place to look for coffee related items. They have lots of customer reviews to read, which can be helpful. (Mine are in there somewhere.)
If you love good coffee--espresso in particular--consider doing it yourself.
I am not affiliated with Rancilio or Alterra in any way.
*We had originally purchased a Capresso fully automatic espresso maker to celebrate our 25th anniversary. It was fascinating and fun to use, but it produced a very inferior cup of espresso: not nearly hot enough, not strong enough, not enough crema. In addition, the water and bean chamber were very small as was the dump container. It was automatic, but it seemed it always wanted something. That got returned and we did more research. Our son, the master of online product research, found the Rancilio company. It seemed to be just what we were looking for--a home version of a professional machine.
I will caution you though, you MUST use either RO or distilled water. Using Brookfield's hard water will ruin any espresso maker. Even the professional demineralizer coffee maker treatments can't eliminate the build up.
**I do go out for coffee with a friend from time to time, but this is purely for social reasons.
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Links:Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, Mark Levin , Vicki Mckenna