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January 2013 Newsletter

Happy new year! I hope that 2013 brings good things for all of us.
My wish for this year is that things will settle down a bit in terms of
our suppliers of green coffees and machines, but I'm not holding my
breath. We were notified in late December that the same Hurricane Sandy
that ravaged the USA east coast had also affected Cuba. Once we've used
up our existing stocks of Cuban coffee, there might be no more for a
year or so.

This news was followed by notification that our shipment of Lelit
machines, due mid January, will be delayed by a couple of weeks. They
are now on the water, so barring accidents they should arrive by the
end of the month.

This month also marks a milestone with the newsletters. We have exactly
10 years worth of newsletters on the website. There are another 6 years
of even older newsletters, but they are no longer online, or at least
not on the website. I was indulging in a bit of nostalgia and re-
reading some of them when I came across one from the late 90's.

I'd been arguing the merits (or otherwise) of the combi espresso
machines I sell with someone from, maybe even Mark Prince,
founder of, himself. They had been saying that combi
machines were always inferior to separate grinders and machines, and I
was arguing that this certainly wasn't true for the Imat Napoletana
machines I sold at that time. The Napoletana was the forerunner of the
current Lelit Combi, of course.

My main arguments were that both the brewing part and the grinder were
of such excellent quality that they a) made superb espresso and b)
would have a long lifespan. I also threw in that they were easy to

Looks like I was totally right, because just before the break we
received an Imat Napoletana we'd sold in 1999 for re-rubbering,
literally changing every gasket and o-ring in the machine. The results
afterwards certainly justify the effort, and our customer will have
many more years of performance to look forwards to.

The date label on the bottom. The shot after we'd replaced every gasket and o-ring in the machine.

We have a good number of even older machines still humming along. My
message now is still the same as my message then; if you want a simple,
compact, clean way to produce a couple of superb espresso drinks in the
morning, without paying huge amounts of money, these machines are the
answer. And given regular maintenance, they last. Speaking of which,
there is a new "Cleaning & Maintenance" article up on the website, .

The January special coffee is the same as the November 2012 special
coffee, but I've changed the description to identify it as the same
coffee that Sweetmarias was selling,

Ethiopian Yirg. Aricha
Grade 1

It's still a strawberry fruit bomb, with immediate berry fruit aroma
and flavour, sweet front palate acidity and a medium body. The finish
is long, with dark chocolate notes in the back palate and a hint of
Angostura bitters in the aftertaste. The last lot sold out in a week,
so it's just as well it's a short month.

Until next month