20 of ’20: #5. My Nespresso Machine

This is my second annual “Best Of” series of year-end posts. Some, I assume, will be brief. Some longer. All, varying degrees of serious. I’ll try my best not to use the words or phrases “unprecedented,” “new normal,” or “unpresidented”, but I can’t make any promises.


I tried for years to replicate the way you can get just a regular, black cup of coffee in Europe. The foam that wasn’t quite like the thin layer of crema found in espresso, but more crema-like than milk foam, always alluded me. I assumed if I used the right beans for my French Press, or discovered the perfect heat and brewing time for my Italian Moka Pot, then I could reach the magic that I experience at Werner Cafe or Karlova Kohv in Tartu. It’s not fancy, but neither is it Folger’s.

Then I remembered: George Clooney. Years ago he was in commercials for some fancy-schmancey coffee machine that I assumed was people like him, married to a brilliant, beautiful, lawyer and human rights advocate. But this summer I found a deal, half off, and splurged. The pods are far more expensive than making regular, at-home coffee, but far less expensive than purchasing a cup from any reputable coffee shop, which is what I had a habit of doing.

I never imagined a physical item could bring me this much joy, and could occupy a place so high on a best of list. All I can say is that sometimes I’ll go to bed early just because of how excited I am to wake up the next morning and hear the slush and slur of compressed air crashing through a spinning pod, releasing such rich, caffeinated goodness.

My Morning Routine

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