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.