Kitchen 136

    Published on April 24th, 2006 | by Greg


    Froth and Grind with Capresso

    We’ll be looking at the first step in the coffee-making process later this week with our first look at a home roaster! But today we wanted to explore the second and fourth steps, skipping over the actual brewing since we figure you can handle that part just fine.

    We’ll take the second step, um, first- grinding. We’ve reviewed a grinder before, but we have to confess: we tossed the other one out after a few tries with the Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. Not only does it grind much finer and much more consistently than any other grinder we’ve tried, it also has a wide range of settings. It looks nice, doesn’t take up too much room, and doesn’t heat up the beans during grinding (which would take away some of the flavor). There are a couple of small issues though: it can be a pain to clean, and even removing the beans from the upper holding chamber is quite difficult. But the solid construction and excellent results are worth the price and lack of portability- $139 for the chrome, $90 for the plastic models.

    Onto the last step in making a decent latte, right before drinking it- frothing the milk. Most home users skip this step, because they don’t want to shell out $400 for an espresso machine simply to stream some milk. And until recently, we couldn’t find an alternate solution- the handheld milk “frothers” are pitiful, honestly. Enter… the frothXpess, which aside from its cutting edge name and capitalization, does one thing and does it well. It. Froths. Milk. That’s it, and we understand if $70 seems steep- you can continue shelling out $4 a pop at Starbucks for your lattes or ignore the best part of the whole coffee deal. Because there isn’t another consumer stand alone steamer out there that we could find.

    Which isn’t to say we like it a whole lot. It’s hard to clean, and is finicky about how you position your milk. It’s fairly large, and pretty loud, and can’t even steam a full latte without needing to pause to heat up some more steam. The controls are fairly intuitive and we generally liked the design and the optional (included) milk container, but there were about 8 pieces! Not to mention the difficulty in getting it to work in the first place- we discovered that our unit required us to press firmly on the main valve each time before pressing the button, or it wouldn’t work at all. Finally, it can’t get the milk as hot or as frothy as any professional espresso machine steamer. But, and we can’t stress this enough, it works and it’s the only option out there. So we love it- because coffee without frothed milk is like pizza without cheese- it’s kind of OK, but it just isn’t the same.

    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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