I'm picky about my coffee. It is a required luxury every morning, and so must be enjoyable, and of course, prepared to my own exacting (and not surprisingly pain-in-the-*ss) specifications. Only coffee prepared in an Italian style stove top espresso pot will do. My old one had a worn gasket, causing half the water to leak out at the seam, and the resulting coffee to be incredibly bitter and sludgy. Besides that, it was aluminum, and keeping up with the corrosion inside the water reservoir was a loosing battle. So, feeling flush from recent successes in the Affordable Wardrobe Shop (thank you, customers) I decided an upgrade was in order:
Bialetti like my last one, but this time a four cup model in stainless steel from the "Elegance" line. It's a got a sexier look than the old octagonal number. Better still, the coffee it produces is rich and strong, but with a texture like silk. Worth every bit of $45. It's true, I overpaid. But I bought it at my local Italian shop, where I am officially the oldest customer. 31 years ago, my Nonna brought me in there at the age of 2 1/2, just a few days after they opened, and I still shop there. If you can't understand why I'd gladly pay extra to keep my money in a place like that, I'll never be able to explain it to you.
Cafe Pilon, two bucks a brick at the supermarket, but this pot may require a permanent switch to my old favorite, Lavazza Crema e Gusto. $6.99 per 8.8 oz. brick at the same store. Perhaps a little dear, but it takes more than a week to use this up. I know a lot of people who spend that much on coffee in a day.
A hell of a lot of trouble to go to for one cup of coffee, but remember that coffee is as much about ritual as it is about the drink itself. Making it just how you like it at home, no matter how complicated, is indeed worth every penny.