Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ugly Americano

Meet the Francis Francis X8. Sexy, no?
Even the name is the pinnacle of gay futurism.
About a year ago I was shopping around for an espresso machine. Don't get me wrong, I've always liked my coffee like I like my men: strong, bitter, and simple to order in english. That was until a Starbucks opened in my office building.

I'd been introduced to Americano-style coffee on my first trip to Europe. When the Dutch waiter brought my order of coffee in a doll-sized tea party cup, I balked. I was used to fisting the handle of my coffee mugs, pinkie and all. What in the hell was I supposed to do this this? Snort it?

I naively asked the waiter if they had any "normal" coffee. He rolled his eyes and returned with the same shot of espresso in a cup of scalding hot water. I rolled my eyes then tasted the best cup of coffee I ever had in my life. Yes I was high. Real high. But that cup of coffee still sticks with me.

Now after having had access to a ubiquitous supply of Starbucks Americano, I can't go back to that break-room swill that drips forlornly from a calcified machine which looks like it's never been cleaned. I just can't. That, and I'm turned off by the implied office hazing to be inflicted on the poor bastard who drinks the last cup without brewing another pot. (I find those passive-aggressive signs posted in every break room very patronizing. They make me feel like PowerPointing my own rebuttal: "Thank you for reminding me that my mother doesn't work here. Oh how I miss her. Why, God? WHY??")

So last year when I saw this sleek coffee machine subsidized by Illy's monthly coffee delivery service, I decided to give it a try. Sure, it's not exactly cheap. But at 75 cents a cup, it's fiscally closer to Folgers than Starbucks. And I enjoy the peace of mind of never having to worry about waking up to find I've run out of coffee. It just shows up on my doorstep. A year later and I'm still very happy with it.

And as far as the taste of home-brewed coffee goes, it comes closest to reliving that first cup of Americano in Amsterdam. I was so fucking high.


  1. I cannot deny that Francis Francis X8 has a certain something about himself.

  2. It is oh so sleek and pretty. Can you hear me oohing and aahing?

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