On this, the 10th day of the 12 Days of Randonneurmas, I want to talk about my evolution as a coffee drinker.
Last year my stomach started getting irritated by drip coffee. I knew why. I was drinking too much coffee.
I still wanted that coffee buzz, though, and found all was well if I drank espresso. Hooray! Every day was like being in France at Paris-Brest-Paris, riding my bike and stopping in quaint cafes. Just like TDR co-founder Jon, shown here on Day Four at PBP last year.
Sort of. My espresso habit led to daily outings to our favorite coffee joints, M.E. Swings in downtown D.C. and and Peregrine Espresso at Eastern Market. But it also led to the Big S places (Sheetz and S**bucks), Caribou and other ho-hum chain places. That routine got expensive and finally I asked MG for a home espresso maker for Christmas last year.
Being the great wife that she is, MG got me the real-deal Italian Gaggia Classic manual machine — upon the recommendation of one of our randonneur friends.
I still go to Swings and Peregine fairly regularly to soak up the cafe atmosphere. Yet I also find it so convenient to be able to make a little cup or two right here at home, just the way I like it — strong and with no wait in line!
A quality espresso machine is not inexpensive — good ones start at about the cost of a Surly Long Haul Trucker frameset. And one has to source fresh beans and get a good burr grinder, such as a Capresso Infinity.
But what goes better with cycling than great espresso? Actually, what would be better than espresso and then going for a ride on your Surly Long Haul Trucker? But I digress.
I was first urged to drink espresso by some racer cyclists who said it let them enjoy coffee without having to take so many nature breaks. That makes sense, not that I need a reason better than the deliciousness of a fine espresso.
Does your cyclist love espresso drinks and would they go through the trouble to brew at home? If the answer is yes and yes, you’ll be a huge hit with this or some other fine espresso machine under the tree.
Tomorrow: standing out in the night.