Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Breakfast. This espresso maker. The creaminess of the coffee it produces.

Addiction interests me. I spent years working for and physically beside an addict (opioid painkillers) who was perpetually running after the wagon from which he had dropped. That was a crash course in what drug dependence can do, and what it looks like. I have had other brushes with the affliction, in close relationships and friendships, and know that is has far less to do with willpower than it does DNA and environment. I keep a sharp eye out for it in myself, but am relatively free of the most damaging of urges. But this coffee. That's a weak spot. I feel quite miserable if I can't have a good cup of coffee in the morning. I loathe drip coffee, no matter how good the beans (or how good Coop made it look and sound in Twin Peaks - there's another addiction). And it makes me jittery, where espresso does not. When we go camping, a stovetop espresso maker goes camping, too.

Because one needs to be a happy camper.


What? You don't play with toys when you have breakfast?

That bunny needs a cab!

So...what are your guilty little secrets? Big or small. Wack me upside the head.


  1. I share in your addiction, however, I must admit that I can't drink espresso in the morning because it makes me too jittery. But I must have at least one good cup or else I am unpleasant and sleepy all day. My problem is that I grew up on the coffee that one gets in any good diner in NYC in the 70's way before there was the concept of "half caf" or "grande", etc. My coffee usually came in a paper cup with a plastic lid accompanying a bagel with a schmear. That was my normal breakfast and life was good.

    Then Starbucks, etc. moved in and simple coffee became a production. On top of that, I moved to the suburbs where the water is different. And that makes a huge difference in the coffee.

    So I make do with the local brew or make my own to carry in my car (which one must have in suburbia). Or, rely on my sister who still lives on the lower east side to pick up coffee beans from Russ & Daughters as a house gift when she visits.

  2. My addiction is not food-related (I just eat what is put in front of me, I just really don't care one way or the other). But I have to have reading materials at all times.

    When I was younger, I'd peruse the phone directory when I ran out of books and magazines to read. Backs of cereal boxes were also fair game, right down to ingredients and calorie counts. I would sit at the family dining table with a book in my lap sneaking peeks at it until it was forcibly taken away by a parent who wanted me to participate in family dinner conversations.

    Fast forward to today and I am in hog heaven with my B&N Nooks. I carry around the Simple Touch in my totebag and read the Nook Color at home. I generally have two or three books going at once (both Nooks sync to the other), magazines, newspapers, anything that has type on it. Web access on the color lets me search for things that spark my interest while reading. currently I'm reading Sanora Babb's "Whose Names are Unknown" whom I found out about while reading Tim Egan's "The Worst Hard Times". Last count I have 107 books on the Nooks which doesn't include the large number which have already been read.

    I could be very happy as a hermit (with birding binoculars) as long as I have Internet access . . .

  3. Addictions...I have a few. I've given up most of the "bad" ones. I live with the same exact coffee maker and have my morning ritual. When I was a kid growing up in Williamsburg my abuelita made Bustelo and strained it through this thing that looked like an old dirty sock. I was allowed a cup of hot milk with a taste of that coffee and an obscene amount of sugar mixed in. She also made me a drink called malta, a spoon of sugar, a raw egg and sweet beer or when she didn't have the beer, orange juice. Another guilty pleasure. Reading beautiful food blogs such as yours.

  4. Strawberries and yogurt, turmeric chai (made with rooibos chai tea and almond milk), and lettuce-wrapped anything.

    'Kaika is addicted to chicken.


  5. Living through other's blogs. This is what happens when your commute is two hours each way. Yeah Sure-kill expressway (a Philly thing.)

  6. Marie, I have this same coffee maker and have had trouble getting the "recipe" just right. Either too weak or too strong. What are the proportions you use for the perfect cup? Oh and my number one addiction has got to be seed catalogs. Just can't help myself when they begin to come in around January. I can't resist and always order way more than I could ever plant! Wonder if you can relate. Yours is the first blog I check each day. Love it!!!

    1. I think the pots are fickle. We have had 'bad' pots, which never make good coffee.

      But to answer the question, I pack the coffee holder part very tightly, in layers, tamping each one down with the back of a spoon. Fill pot with cold water to about a 1/4 inch below the steam vent. Heat on full blast and take off heat as soon as that first slow, creamy trickle has ended. There's often a final copious eruption of muddy coffee after that - we don't like that.

      We have our coffee ground weekly, to fine espresso grind, or we use Lavazza, Bustelo, and, occasionaly, Illy.

  7. No real addictions, thankfully.
    I drink Goya drip coffee every a.m., but espresso the rest of the day and after dinner, which never makes me jittery.
    and I don't eat breakfast......more like brunch at 11 am, eggs always. I guess I'm addicted? or just a creature of habit! (wish I were addicted to exercise!).

  8. How funny you should post this now - I'm trying to give up caffeine, at least for awhile. For the last three days I've only had one cup of coffee in the morning. Starting tomorrow, I won't even have that. We'll see how long this lasts.....

  9. I use the same coffee maker and Illy coffee (Moka grind). I detest anything sweet in my coffee except whole milk or cream. Most mornings, it's espresso and a cup of whole milk heated then frothed with my french press until peaks begin to form.
    Nothing else makes me smile in the morning more than wrapping my hands around a cup cappuccino. I've two other weaknesses, one day each weekend is 'Jammie Day' meaning I wear my PJ's ALL morning, drink coffee, read blogs (your's is at the top of the list!) write in my own blog, search through the blogs my favorite bloggers read, etc, etc ... Round 11am I shower, make another cuppa, put it in my travel mug and head to the thrift stores, farmers market, used book store, etc. It's MY day totally, and a guilty pleasure! What's life without treating yourself to it? My second addiction is my husbands smile ... it ROCKS my world!

  10. I have serial food addictions, which I think of as love affairs. Most recent addictions (passions) are smoked whitefish salad and Bergers cookies (Wikipedia has a nice entry about them). I'm not totally at peace unless I have some of each in my kitchen at all times. I can find whitefish salad at many local places, but the Bergers cookies must be hunted down. I buy them in bulk and freeze some just to be sure I don't run out. I can order them online if need be. Things were bad back in the days when I was addicted to Diet Cranberry-Raspberry Snapple. I would drive from store to store looking for them, at a point in my life when I could ill afford the time it took. A sign of an addiction for sure! Ah coffee.....Currently French press coffee is my morning and evening routine -- all morning and all evening and I sleep like a baby. I know that for billions of people food is fuel and they are grateful for whatever they can find to eat. But I know people who, despite having the time and resources to eat what they want, simply don't care about food; my heart breaks for them.

  11. urgh drip coffee! a crime! i tend towards profound coffee addiction. then it drops off somewhat, and slowly returns into a calming beautiful morning ritual.


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