Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gadget Obsession: In Search of the Perfect Cup of Espresso?

Several years ago I worked for a software startup that was founded by a couple of academics from Italy. While the company failed after three trying years, I did develop a taste for espresso, which the founders seemed to imbibe at a prodigious rate. The CEO, in particular, seemed to have a double shot of espresso permanently affixed to his hand throughout the day.

So what does this have to do with the world of mobility. Not much really.

But as a mobile/consumer electronics gadget geek, I wonder if others like me are afflicted with the need to have the latest and greatest items in different areas of their life too (and i don't mean upgrading the wife and kids :-) ). For example, I like running gadgets, such as my Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS personal training device. However, I'm not really into cars or power tools, although one of my friends just got a jackhammer, which is way cool.

Back to the espresso theme, my current pride and joy in the kitchen is my Gaggia espresso maker. It's nowhere near top of the line, but it makes a decent espresso drink and I no longer have to schlep to Starbucks and spend $3-4 a day to get my caffeine fix.

I now go to Peet's Coffee every 7-10 days to pick up a quarter pound of freshly ground espresso at $3 a pop. Most of the time this arrangement works out fine when they grind it right, and at home I can produce a nice double shot espresso with a decent amount of crema.

But I have this ongoing lingering doubt that it's not enough. If I only had my own burr grinder then maybe I could be making an even better cup of espresso. I could then purchase freshly roasted espresso beans and grind on demand in search of producing the perfect cup of espresso with a nice head of crema. Mmmm.

So what's stopping me? Only about $285 worth of reasons. I guess my gadget obsession has transcended mobile devices, consumer electronics and gaming and moved to the kitchen. Why should I settle for a $100 or even $200 grinder, when I can get the highly rated Rancilio Rocky Doserless Coffee Grinder for only $285.

I could even spend more if I wanted, but that's the device I have set my sights on. So far I'm waffling and just can't pull the trigger to make the purchase. I mean $285 for a mobile or electronic device is no big deal, but for a coffee grinder?

I'll just have to make do and keep on going to Peet's to get my ground espresso until I can convince myself to take the grinder plunge...