Almost a year ago, I posted about my main method of making coffee.  And thanks to an excellent Christmas gift from my sister, I now have a way of making espresso*-based drinks!

Yeah!  She had no idea how long I had been coveting one of these, which makes the gift even more perfect!

Y'all know what it is, right? Of course you do!  It's a Bialetti, aka a moka pot! And it came with funky cups and saucers, based on some vintage Bialetti ads.

I love this dude. He reminds me of Inspector Clouseau. (Are you now humming the theme to the Pink Panther**? You should be.  It is now the theme song for coffee making in my house.)

The water goes in the bottom chamber, and when heated, goes up through the coffee grounds in the basket.

The coffee then goes through a filter and up the tube into the upper chamber.

And hey presto - espresso!

I can now have a cafe latte every day, without breaking the bank.  Just heat the milk in the microwave while the coffee is perking away - easy!  And quick - the entire process takes next to no time at all.

Sis also got me a this for my birthday***:

Which has the innards of a french press, but is made by Cadbury's and came with hot chocolate, leading me to believe it's meant to be a  "chocolatiere", aka fancy-schmancy hot chocolate maker.  I'll try my hot chocolate mix in it, but I think it will find more use as a french press. And as my old french press broke a while ago, it is also a perfect gift! 

Thanks sis!  Wanna come over for coffee?

*yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's not "true" espresso, but it's as close as I'm going to get, as I refuse to waste money on a cheap espresso maker, and I don't have the money to waste on a real one!

**which was written by Henry Mancini. Who also wrote Moon River.  Thanks, Dad, for filling my head with useless facts!

***Oddly enough, my brother got me some excellent coffee for my birthday, and gift certificates for Starbucks for Christmas.  I think my love for coffee hasn't escaped my family's notice :)

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