A completely unsolicited product endorsement
(and my first GIVEAWAY!)

December 4, 2009 · 23 comments

frother

A few years ago, I had a friend who loved Starbucks Mochas so very much that, while pregnant with twins, she drank so many of them that it was deemed a financially sound decision to invest in a $700 espresso machine. That, if she paid SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS for an espresso machine, it would pay for itself in the money she no longer gave to her local Starbucks. That, my friends, is a lot of mochas.

I did respect her research, and desire to go all-out and get a really good machine. And, yes, I’m not so naive as to think there aren’t people for whom that’s a mere drop in the bucket for what they might dish out for good in-house macchiatos. I’m just not one of those people. In my head, $2500 should get you something you can drive to Starbucks.

Around the same time my friend made her investment, I paid $10 for a once-used-wedding-gift Krups espresso machine from my friend Liz at her garage sale. It actually made a really nice cappuccino, in my unprofessional opinion, and we used it occasionally for about a year. Then one fateful night this microscopic little part from the end of the milk frothing wand fell down the sink drain. And of course, the engineers made it so this atom-sized metal thing was absolutely necessary for frothing the milk. And, of course again, the replacement part would cost me $10, plus shipping. Being the cheap frugal person that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to buy the replacement part, since it would cost more than the machine. So I did what any level-headed person would do: with a note attached, admitting the machine’s cappuccino-making defect, I sold it at my garage sale for $5.

Last winter, another friend in Athens came to my house one morning equipped with chai tea, whole milk, and a hand-held battery-powered milk frother. She made delicious cups of milky chai for us, and the touch of frothed milk made it seem extra indulgent. She went on, and on, about how much she loved her milk frother. She even had two kinds, both gifts, and shared with me her thoughts on the best one. It was this particular one that I happened to see online the last time I ordered some vitamins and toiletries from my favorite online store for these things. A little early Christmas present to myself, I thought, as I swiftly added one to my shopping cart before I had too much time to think about it.

It came in the mail about a month ago, and I stuck it in my pantry — no time to experiment. But the past few days, with my current longings for rich hot drinks and those delightful yen/yang flavors of peppermint and chocolate, the frother came to mind. Especially after reading this account from Carrie at Deliciously Organic — a homemade, better-for-you Peppermint Mocha. Deep, gutteral utterings were forthcoming, and my mouth was watering. Must. Make. Mocha.

I did it just like she says — even using the Teeccino instead of coffee, since I need to stay away from caffeine in the afternoons. The only thing I added was FROTHED! MILK!  And — the best part — the frother not only does that awesome cappuccino thing to your milk, but it also WHIPS your CREAM. And I only had to dirty a large pyrex measuring cup and my little handheld Aerolatte.

Seriously, this thing could be my Prozac, and get me through the cold winter afternoons straight ’til April.

I love it so much, I’m giving one away. One that I’m purchasing with my very own moneys. And shipping straight from the cheapest best online source to the winner’s front door (or alternate address if you’re afraid for me to know where you really live).

So, like these things usually work, all you have to do is leave a comment. I want to hear your favorite coffee-drink memory — you know, the one where coffee came closest to saving your life. No, really — you can just leave any comment. But just one. I’ll have one of my special helpers pick a name, at random, from the five or ten of you that respond between now and December 9th (Wednesday), and you, too, could be all frothy for the holidays. In a G-rated way.

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{ 22 comments }

CK December 4, 2009 at 10:35 am

ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me!

my favorite coffee-drink memory doesn’t have anything to do with frothed milk, though. back in high school, a friend and i wandered into what became my favorite coffeeshop (and the standard by which i now judge all others). it was Earth Day, and we had just been to a concert in the park, and it was one of those thrift-store-decorated places, all grungy and eclectic but supremely comfortable. the quintessential, 90s-era, Reality Bites sort of coffeeshop, you know. and i ordered the best iced coffee i’d ever tasted. they sure don’t make ’em like that anymore.

Rebecca Martin December 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm

I’m in!

A coffee-related memory, a favorite one? Hmmm . . . It would appear that coffee, coffee drinks, and tea are such a constant part of my life that it’s difficult to disentangle one specific memory from what seems like a decade and a half of drinking hot drinks nearly non-stop.

Oh! – but I do remember my first coffee-drink experience: my best-high-school-friend Marie and I were bored one day in Marietta, Georgia as only 16-year-olds in an enormously plastic, boring suburb can be, and her mom said she’d take us out for cappuccinos. Cappuccino! We’d never tasted it. So she drove us to a near-by strip-mall with a new coffee shop in it (a new idea for Marietta at that 1993-ish, pre-Starbucks-in-Atlanta time) and bought us cappuccinos and left us alone for awhile, and Marie and I put sugar in them and sat on the two bar stools that were the only seats in the shop and felt like grownups.

Kelli Magee December 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Wow! Thinking back, I have so many coffee related memories, it’s hard to pin down just one, but…When I first started dating my husband, he took me over to his Atlanta-area hometown to meet some of his friends. Several of these friends had just opened a coffee shop, so naturally, this is where we met up with them. The owner of the shop made me the biggest, most gorgeous, amazing tasting mocha I had ever had, but the thing I remember the most was that, upon putting the drink down on the table in front of me, he said, “So, you’re the next Mrs. B. Magee, huh?” I’m terrible with witty come-backs, so I just sat there, mouth agape, thinking, “I just started dating him, how am I supposed to know?”

All worked out in the end, though. And, bonus, it was a tasty mocha.

Liz Wiley December 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Ok, I want it.
Let’s see. I hated coffee until maybe 6 years ago? In my teenage years I worked at a specialty store that sold it, and I grew to love the smells, but I couldn’t stomach the taste. In fact, a lot of Brett’s and my earliest dates included stops at coffee spots where he’d try to doctor up a cup in such a way that I might be able to enjoy it. Later, after we’d been married awhile, we were going to visit his brother in Seattle and I knew I had to like coffee before we arrived. So I got serious. Now I drink it every morning. My favorite recent coffee memory would involve an overnight getaway Brett and I took to some remote area of Ohio. We stopped into a local coffee shop to spend some rainy morning hours. After I’d paid for my coffee, I asked the cashier where their “doctoring station” was. They looked at me like I was a complete moron, and Brett thought it was the funniest thing ever.

J. Michmerhuizen December 4, 2009 at 3:00 pm

WELL….Let’s see. I worked at Strabucks for 6 years, and I want to try out the fancy frother so I can compare it with the machines we used at work!

K. Baird December 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I have enjoyed reading these accounts but sorry, I want to win it too. Here are a few coffee memories from around the world :)
After my freshman year in college I studied abroad in Costa Rica. In one of my classes we would take field trips to areas around San Jose. One day we went to a coffee plantation and were able to go through the whole process of how coffee was made. You could purchase coffee after the tour and sample as many chocolate covered coffee beans as you want. I had a few too many beans but stocked up on coffee. From that point on I was a little to snobby for the Folder’s my parents drank. When you taste the real thing it is hard to go back.
How I became a black coffee drinker: Summer after Junior year of college I was in Kenya. We were served wonderful Kenyan coffee but the creamer was fresh goats milk. Now I probably wouldn’t be grossed out by that now but at the time the curdling milk was too much. So, I started drinking it black and haven’t looked back.
(though in Italy this summer we loved cappucinos- which is why it would be fun to have your tool and try it out.)

meagan long December 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Living in a large communist country in asia for the last 2.5 years, there are many indulgences which I’ve learned to either go without or (better yet) make myself with available resources.
Not the least of these were holiday inspired lattes so easily-available in the U.S. Thankfully the local (45 minutes by bus from my home) starbucks which I visit 2-3x/month will have one holiday latte a year (this year toffee nut lattes abound) but pumpkin spice lattes apparently aren’t marketable to the 30 million asians in my city, as it’s never made the cut.
This Thanksgiving I spent the day with two out-of-town friends at my boyfriend’s house, 2 of us preparing pies for a bigger feast to be shared with more friends later in the day. As I had leftover filling for my pumpkin pie, my only-drinks-french-press-coffee-loving boyfriend said, “hey! what if I steam some milk make a press of coffee and we make pumpkin pie lattes?” I proudly thought- this is why I ADORE him!
He whipped up mid-afternoon thanksgiving day pumpkin pie lattes and it was next to heaven as I hadn’t had one in almost 3 years! I realized I have known what it is to be in need and what it is to be in want (in more serious ways than this, too), and my gratitude overflowed.

Mariana W. December 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Coffee and I go way back. I’m talking the single-digit years. Growing up in a Cuban family, you learn certain things from an early age: Castro is evil, pork is good, and the only good coffee comes from an espresso pot. My very first coffee memory takes me back to 1984, standing in my Abuela’s kitchen, holding a tiny little teacup of cafe con leche. My family was already sitting around the table, enjoying their coffee, and she decided to include me this time. It made me feel so grown up!

I wish I could say it was love at first sip, but I pretty much hated it. Thankfully, I came around and can now join my family for a nice cup of coffee around the kitchen table.

CK December 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Oooo, I know I’m not allowed to post twice but I just had to reply to Mariana — Cuban-style cafe con leche is probably my favorite coffee drink ever. Well, at least the kind sold by those little vendors on the streets of Miami. Visited a friend there about 10 years ago and fell in love with the city pretty much because of that cafe con leche.

katy December 4, 2009 at 9:27 pm

How fun! I’m really getting to hear coffee stories!
It’s making me wonder if the first draw for most people, to coffee, is feeling grown up in some way. Also important seems to be a tempering of the harshness with lots of cream and sugar (Mariana, my earliest memories of the drink are being served “kid coffee” from my grandmother, where she put a tiny shot of coffee in a demitasse cup and filled it up with milk and sugar).
There are those of us, like K., who can end up drinking it black. I wish I was that woman; maybe a trip to Kenya is in order?
The real question is, if I comment on my own post, am I included in the drawing?

Angie @ Just Like The Number December 5, 2009 at 8:34 am

I’ve been drinking coffee for a looooong time. My mom is Spanish and started us early with cups of cafe con leche in the morning – more leche than cafe, with lots of sugar. Mmmmm. One of my favorite coffee memories has to do with Cuban coffee as well. I tagged along on a business trip to Miami with my husband a few years ago. He sat in meetings all day while I explored the city. One morning I found myself in a little Cuban bakery and did my best to order coffee and a pastry. I tried my best Spanish, but the words I had for cafe con leche weren’t matching up to the words they were throwing back at me as suggestions. I gave up and just let them fix me something. I don’t know what it was, and I’ll never be able to order it again, but it was the best little cup of coffee I’ve ever had – bold, milky, foamy and sweet.

Dad December 5, 2009 at 9:41 am

Well Katy, my first experience with coffee was the same as yours and from the same lady, my mom. When Sis and I were single digit ages, Mom would serve us the half and half on Saturday mornings in probably the same cups she served you girls. We certainly felt much older being allowed an adult only drink. I believe you are aware that I now drink my coffee black and wonder why anyone would ruin a good cup of coffee with sugar and cream. Mom would roll over!

Laura B December 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm

OMG! I would love this frother! I, too, am a mocha addict. And it IS expensive. Sheesh. If I thought a little frother gadget would light up my mocha-addicted life, I’d have to have one!

Really am liking your blog, btw.

mmmm thick, frothy milky yumminess.

Ann Quinn December 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I don’t drink coffee, but I like Cafix. My kids love coffee, or some semblance of it, and when my sister comes to visit she froths milk with them and it’s a big production and I’d love to give this to them!

Christine O. Taylor December 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I’m glad I decided to visit your blog today and got to enjoy everyone’s musings. You have so many readers! I don’t need to be in the drawing because I gave up daily coffee (and caffeine) in 2006. I still indulge sometimes. My memories that spring to mind are not coffee related. Perhaps because my dad microwaved a mug of water and made himself instant Folgers every morning. Sometimes I found the Folgers in the microwave instead of the cabinet above it.

First I thought of my youthful Christmas tradition of driving my younger sisters around the Ross Barnett Reservoir area to see Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. We went in my Chevrolet Citation and preschool age M would ride in the hatchback trunk, sticking her feet on the back window and rolling around giggling. Young teenage K would sit up front with me. We always brought hot chocolate to drink and my cars were always so ancient that they didn’t have cup holders. One year when I stopped to gas up, I removed my lidded hot chocolate from my lap and placed it on the floor by K’s seat. And forgot about it. Somehow she did too. A few turns later, her new green Chucks were covered in hot chocolate. She still brings this up sometimes, more than twenty years later. Whoops.

Secondly I thought of having high tea with my grandmother when I lived in Dublin as a four-year-old. I mostly had warm milk with a shot of tea and I’m sure too many lumps of sugar, but it was in a real tea cup and tasted fabulous with the chocolate biscuits.

Katie @ cozydelicious December 6, 2009 at 9:09 pm

OK, my favorite coffee drinking memory is going to sound odd. Because, you see, it happened when I was studying abroad in Toulouse. French coffee is lovely – both in its morning cafe au lait form and the afternoon espresso version. But the thing is… well, even with all of that wonderful French stuff, after six months, I was DYING for an Americanized latte. In a to-go cup. With a lid. See, this was in the days before Starbucks took Europe, and a mocha latte was certainly no where to be found in Southern France. By this time I also had such a craving for peanut butter that I had made it by hand with a morter and pestal, and had so desperately wanted a bagel that I attepted that too (total failure). Anyway, when a few American friends and I took a weekend trip to Paris, we were in the Marais when we noticed a woman with a paper to-go cup. This is something you don’t see often in France, so we stopped here there on the street and asked where she had found coffee to go. This kind, patient woman gave us directions and three minutes later we were sipping free lattes at the grand opening of a Seattle-style coffee house! Heaven.

Martha Bisharat December 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Dear Katy,

First off, I love your writing style! Very lively and inspiring! I am Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS’s mom and I read your comment on her Monday quote post today, which then led me to your blog, and hence, your GIVEAWAY.

Please add my name to your prize giveaway. I have always loved coffee. Three of my four children (but not Wardeh who worked at the local insurance agent) worked all their high school years and college summers at the local coffee roaster/retail store so we always had an abundance of fresh beans, though I tried to be conservative about drinking it.

We love the Mid-Eastern strong coffee also, which you cannot multi-task when making because of its frothing as it comes to a boil. One day, as a newly-wed, I was trying to impress my aunt-in-law with my “skills” at successful coffee-making. I turned my back as it was coming to a boil (to multi-task!) when it suddenly frothed all over the stove. In haste I tried to catch it and my hand bumped the handle, tipping the WHOLE pot (it’s a mini pot with long handle) of coffee cascading down the side of my stove. I was so stunned that then I froze. So much for impressing a new aunt-in-law!! I sure learned that day: NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE POT AND KEEP STIRRING! AND WHAT-A-MESS IF YOU DO SCREW UP!

Anyway, count me in. I enjoyed your readerships’ entries! Thank you!

Martha Bisharat

Sarah Thom December 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Man, it’s hard to think of a favorite coffee-memory, since I’ve been drinking coffee since I came out of my mother’s womb. (Sidenote: I am proof that coffee does not stunt your growth…or, it does, and I was meant to be 6’5″)

I guess my favorite coffee-saved-my-life moment was when I found our current coffee maker. Nate and I had been salivating over a beautiful Capresso machine, with a grinder attached right to the maker, dumping the grounds right into the maker immediately before it begins to brew. AHH, we thought, we have found our machine….or so we thought, before noticing the $300 price tag. We talked about it for over a year, and then I happened upon it one day in TJMaxx, of all places. For $70!!! It has made us MANY awesome cups of coffee. And your frother would only help it make even better drinks! :)

nan December 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm

hey– i bought some of your placemats at a liz yard sale. i wonder if it was the same one! i still use them!

coffee memory, hmmm…. matt and i had most of our important conversations about our relationship at waffle house: where we decided to start dating, decided to get married, and alot of conversations in between. we had alot of coffee. it was cheap and free refills. i’m sure it wasn’t anything compared to your mocha, but it helped me secure the last name siple!

Breanne December 8, 2009 at 12:08 pm

I’ve looked at those frother things a hundred times, I think. (Okay, maybve not a hundred times. Maybe ten times.) I love all things coffee but have never had a home-made coffee anything except, well, coffee with half-and-half. I’d love to try a frother!

I just turned 18 a few weeks ago, and my wonderful grandparents bought me a new coffee-maker. But I still live at home. With my parents. And their coffee-maker works just fine. That’s just how much I love coffee!

Breanne December 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Sorry, I’m not trying to enter twice.. but I forgot to say that I had my first cup of “coffee” (the kid kind) when I was about two years old. My older brother is handicapped, and when I was a year old, my mom had my little sister. Neither of them were much for conversation, so my mom and I would sit and drink coffee and “chat” while my dad was at work. I think she was lonely for some conversation! :)

Kelly December 9, 2009 at 10:44 am

Am I too late for your giveaway??? Guess what – my battery-powered frother recently bit the dust. So now I am down to just one, and I tell everyone that frothy milk is my chocolate:) I am already looking into this new frother – call me a frothy addict!

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