It’s one of my delights in life to sit down for half an hour after dropping the kids off at school, and just collecting my thoughts before getting down to work. Daytime TV is the perfect way to do that, as it doesn’t take much concentration, no offence intended to Phil and Holly of course.
While I’m doing that, I almost always enjoy a coffee, to help blow away the last of the cobwebs that the school run didn’t clear, which is particularly important on days like today when the British weather prevents me from encouraging the moaning kids to walk, and having to take the car instead. I’m a lot more productive after a little exercise, but when the rain comes and denies me, a coffee has to do instead.
Up until a few years ago, I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker, but since then I’ve grown a little secret addiction to my morning coffee hit. Now I think about it, that’s probably down to the school runs too – getting two boys up, fed, teeth cleaned and dressed is no mean feat, especially for a dad. We all know mums are born with a lot more patience, and a secret technique for getting children out the door, but in this house it’s not an option as mum leaves well before us to get to work.
So a couple of weeks ago, I found myself browsing the web on my Kindle (which I highly recommend by the way – their tablets are so easy to use even I can do it!) and started looking at coffee machines. I had no idea just how many there were for sale on the web – Amazon has hundreds. What I did know, though, is that a lot of friends now have machines in their kitchens that do everything, from grinding up the beans right through to the drink landing in the mug. We’re not a particularly gadget obsessed family, but I have been thinking about a decent coffee maker for a while, although not necessarily spending hundreds of pounds.
Eventually, after Amazon bamboozled me with options, I found a great site that broke down their top ten favourite bean-to-cup coffee machines at http://www.beantocupcoffeemachines.net/ which has a really nice way of combining what you get in the box with what customers say about them. Amazon themselves do quite a good job, but I’m always a little bit unsure about whether the people on there are a little bit biased, as a lot of the reviews aren’t labelled ‘Verified’ so I don’t know quite how you’re supposed to know what to believe.
In the end, I came back to Amazon’s top seller, the ESAM4200 from Delonghi, which set me back just under £320. It’s been a great buy, and put through its paces every morning so far since it was delivered. The coffee is a lot better than the instant stuff I was drinking before, although there is a big downside, and that’s whenever I now make an instant coffee I have to overcome the temptation to use the Delonghi, which although is quick, would eat up a good half an hour of my day if I used it for every drink. That probably gives you an idea of how much I get through – too much!