Great article Chris!
I had never touched the stuff until I was in graduate school.
I spent a year in Italy. Upon arriving in Italy at the "villa" (our home away from home) I awaken the next morning severely jet lagged. I fellow student stated you need a cup of Italian coffee. Ok, I'm game.
So off to the kitchen in search of coffee. My parents were big drinkers of the brew in the AM so I wasn't oblivious, or so I thought. Anyway, I found these cool two piece coffee pots. Big always being better, I grabbed the biggest percolator. I figured out how to load it up with coffee and water and the show was on.
After a few minutes, I had a big mug of the darkest strong coffee that needed copious amounts of sugar. It took me a while but I finished it off.
Shortly thereafter, the "villa" cook arrived. When she discovered I had brewed a pot and drank the entire pot myself she just slapped her cheeks shaking her head.
My jet lag soon dissipated.
I soon found out that the percolator was a Moka Pot designed to brew 10 single shots of espresso!
I got a lot accomplished that day and night and most of the following morning; all without a minute of sleep!
But, I was hooked. I have enjoyed beans from the world over. Perhaps my favorite were from a Yemeni coffee bean shop in Brussels. That was 21 years ago and that 1/2 kilo made a significant impression.
I try to source single origin, fair trade coffee that is unique and rememberable.
I am currently enjoying an espresso blend from Hood River Coffee Roasters (Hood River, OR). I discovered this roaster in 2016 while passing through. I had to take my lab to the vet and the roaster was across the street. What a find.
To pull the perfect shot at home requires a good machine.
I use a Rocket.