I like my coffee strong enough to make my eyes open wide with a hit of caffeine.
It's also got to have that delicious rich coffee aroma and not too much bitterness.
My ideal? Creamy with chocolate top notes and a nice thick crema.
While I'm also the type that needs a coffee when she needs a coffee, I have deliberately not learned how to use the espresso machine on the pantry bench. I figure I know how to use every other appliance and tool in my house and do so with regularity for those I love. They can make coffees for me in return - fair exchange.
But what to do when I'm the only person home and a coffee is just what I need? I'm not enough of a coffee snob to go without because I can't have a cappuccino from the corner cafe. Enter Nescafé's Dolce Gusto, a cute little machine that arrived as an early Christmas present direct from Nestle.
It sits on the bench taking very little room and is very easy to operate once you get the hang of it. Yes, reading the instructions does help. I can almost do it in my sleep now...
The coffee isn't the same as what I'd get if I hopped in my car and headed out for a cappuccino at a local cafe, but it's quick and convenient. It's also very easy to keep clean as there's none of the dreaded coffee grinds that has K2 moaning in the kitchen when he makes an espresso.
There's a 15-bar pressure pump - similar to the pressure used in cafes- which produces a cafe-style taste with a crema layer and frothy milk for around 50 cents a cup for an espresso. I prefer the Americano pods which I make as a long black and then just add milk. It's equal, if not better to a plunger coffee and aces in the clean up comparison.
It also makes hot chocolate but the weather in December has meant we are not really up for that at the moment. Come winter I think this will be a top fave.
I've just been online to order some skinny cappuccino pods, iced cappuccino pods and iced peach tea pods. Yes, the same machine makes cold drinks as well! I haven't been able to try this function as I don't have the right pods yet.
I found the on line ordering process a little frustrating but now I know how to drive it, the next time will be easier. They say delivery only takes four working days which will be a test at this time of year :) You can also buy the pods at Coles and Woolworths although I haven't been able to find them at my local store.
The Nescafé Dolce Gusto machine is available from major retailers and online in four manual and automatic styles with a recommended retail price ranging from $149 to $349.
For more information visit www.dolce-gusto.com.au
Bottom line: good coffee for the home without the time and mess of an espresso machine
Best tip: don't compare this to a cafe coffee, just enjoy the freedom of having a coffee when ever you want.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was gifted the Nescafé's Dolce Machine.These views are the personal views of Ed+bK and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nestlé.