Before finding myself in Hong Kong, I was the desk officer for the European Union in the home office. As luck would have it, my country and the European Union were in the midst of negotiations to conclude a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. This gave me an opportunity to go to Brussels four times in the space of 6 months as part of my country’s negotiating team.
Europe afforded me an opportunity to expand my horizons, especially in the culinary aspect. Mussels, foie gras, wines, entrecote and slow food all became things to look forward to. Paris and Amsterdam were only short train rides away, so I also managed to book side trips there as well.
Coffee is a big part of the European lifestyle, and I will never shy away from a good cup of this magic brew. I had an inexpensive drip-style coffeemaker back home, but I noticed that the machine’s end product was lacking in taste and the kick that I have come to expect from my daily drink.
I have no plans of splurging on chains such as Starbucks and Pacific Coffee Company every single day just to get my fix. Buying a kick-ass espresso machine is also out of the question for now.
While I was doing my grocery shopping this morning in preparation for the New Year’s Eve dinner I was going to prepare for my family (pumpkin soup, salmon, rib eye and tiramisu), I stumbled upon the perfect solution to my coffee dilemma.
The Bialetti Moka Express stove-top espresso machine proves that low technology is at par or even superior to the machines that cost thousands of dollars. Invented in 1933, the moka has since sold more than 200 million units and is the typical Italian family’s preferred method in preparing coffee.
Together with a pack of Lavazza Qualitta Oro, the tiramisu was the first recipient of the splendid elixir. From 2011 on, my mornings will never be the same again.
Happy New Year!Mr. Diplomat
As he promised, a year-end write-up from Mr. Diplomat himself…enjoy!