You may call me Muggins. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo time and inspired by Gabriel Allon, I have signed up for another stint of self-flagellation and stress.
I am committed – and I use that word advisedly – to pumping out 50 000 words during the month. The first fifteen days is easy going, but the second half is brutal.
In anticipation, I decided to upgrade my caffeine production.
I’ve come a long way from the humble stovetop moka pot. A brilliant design, but leave it alone a smidgeon too long and your coffee bubbles up and boils to a paste in the chamber. Always a danger when you are under the gun and cranking out a final thousand words.
In the heat of the writing frenzy you smell smoke. Coffee-flavoured smoke. Trust me, rehydrating the residue with a little cold water and swirling it around to produce hot brown liquid is not recommended. Except for American consumers, I guess. I’ve seen what they accept for coffee.
I love my Aeropress. Another brilliant bit of kit. A few bits of plastic and it produces coffee that is almost espresso grade. I must have bought a dozen of them over the years, because the pressure and the hot water degrade the bits to the point where the seals don’t hold the coffee back and it floods up the inside of the tube and makes a mess.
But they are cheap and light and easily replaced. I never leave home without one; the horrors of hotel room coffee see to that. Sorry, but a couple of sachets of Nescafe or a Mister Coffee lurking in a corner is not my idea of the proper way to greet the day.
On that note George Clooney, if he played his cards right, could start my day at a range measured on the molecular level. I’ve had two Nespresso machines and though they do a reasonable cuppa and my latest one makes an auto latte, the cost and clutter of the pods makes me hesitate. I feel that I’m paying for the aluminium or plastic rather than the coffee. Not to mention the advertising.
So. Camp Nanowrimo, and I’ll be needing bucketloads of coffee. Yesterday I went out and bought a fair dinkum espresso machine. A starter-level machine, but it does the job. I buy a bag of beans, whip them through my burr grinder, tamp them into the holder, press the button and viola! Out comes a mug of finest kind go-juice.
Maybe the words won’t be finest kind, but I’ll be buzzing nicely, and that’s what matters, isn’t it?
Image credit: Britni Pepper