Francine and I are both keen on decent coffee and coffee at home in Spain is a bit of a thorny topic. Over our set of trips out house-and-dog-sitting, we’ve settled on a pre-packaged ground coffee rejoicing in the name of Bonka Natural (it’s actually Nestle’s) for use in a cafetière for long coffees. It’s nothing like as good as our roaster’s Continenetal blend at home but it does. However, an after lunch/dinner espresso is a trickier problem. We are lucky still to have a coffee roaster chez nous en Angleterre making a proper espresso machine a realistic prospect but the same is not true here. Our friends have solved their Spanish coffee problem with a Dolce Gusto machine.
Now, I have a strong objection in principle to the latest fad for coffee pod machines such as Dolce Gustos or Nespressos. The John Lewis store back at home is utterly littered with the blasted things. I object for two reasons. Firstly, though I am not particularly interested in saving the planet – all we’d be saving it for would be the planet-raping Chinese, after all – I generally dislike waste and there is a stupid amount of packaging waste associated with such machines involving plastic for the coffee pods and cardboard for the boxes of coffee pods. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I object to being locked in to a restricted choice of coffee as dictated by the large company marketers – I much prefer to have freedom of choice and to help keep the small independent coffee roasters in business with, let’s face it, a superior product.
There was, until recently, a third reason for my objection: hitherto my only brush with a Nespresso machine and it’s coffee pods produced what I considered to be indifferent results. Our first few days stating with our Dolce Gusto friends, however, produced what I thought were much more appealing results. Dangerous!
When we were scouting out Moraira to find our Spanish meatball, close to where the offices turned out be was a shop selling electric domestic appliances. In the window was a Dolce Gusto Piccolo machine – it looks more like a penguin than a coffee machine – with a price tag reading all of 29€. As an away from home solution to a decent espresso coffee, this was quite appealing. It proved too appealing; principle was discarded in favour of taste bud satisfaction as today we headed back to Moraira to make Casa Libélule’s first purchase.
Our hearts sank a little when we saw a different window arrangement with no Dolce Gusto machine in evidence. We went in to look around fearing that it was no longer available. Our fears were groundless, we found the machine on a shelf. The helpful German owner/assistant explained that, to get the machine at 29€ we had to buy four boxes of coffee pods, too. Alarm bells rang but again, our fears were groundless and the pods in this shop proved to be no more expensive than those in a supermarket, so all was well. We selected four boxes of various blends to experiment. We were further surprised to find that a fifth box of pods were “thrown in” with the machine for free. We left with a carrier bag of machine and five boxes of coffee pods.
With a boot load of coffee pods and machine, our next port of call was Calpe to investigate a furniture company we’d been told about. JYSK is, I think, a Danish company. We walked in an instantly fell in love with a dining table in their Royal Oak range. It seemed to be solid wood, which makes a nice change these days. The dining chairs were comfortable too. We need to be space-efficient and the display table looked too large but a helpful assistant pointed out that there was a smaller brother. Francine excitedly muttered, “no debate, I want it”. The range also had matching coffee table, TV unit and small 2-door sideboard/cupboard. Furthermore, all these items were on sale but only, our helpful assistant informed us, until Saturday – next week the price goes up to list price. We placed an order for Casa Libélule’s second purchase. We’ll pay the balance and arrange delivery when we return in March.
There goes another grand! 😀 Well, a little more but not very much more. The furniture is flat pack so I’ll have a serious construction job but needs must and we felt as though we’d got quite a bit for little more than a grand.