Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cappuccino Milk Frother

Some day I am going to drop like 5-10K on an uber espresso machine.

As I have little spare coinage these days, that day is a long, long way off.

I currently have a FrancisFrancis !X5. It is ok. It makes espresso fine, but its milk steamer is pretty weak. I'm of course comparing it to what you would find at a proper coffee shop.

As I don't have the coinage now to upgrade to anything that would be significantly better, I went searching for a cheap alternative.

I found something that suits me and the Mrs. (I make the coffee around here) just fine.

It is no frills, but it works better than my crappy X5 steamer and is easy to clean. And it is dirt cheap. You can find them at various places imagine - I don't even remember where I got mine. But it looks like this. Mine looks like the one that is second from the left. The one to the right of it looks good too.


Sarge said...

I can see it now: you're hanging out in the park with little espresso cups, giving the kids a free sample to get them hooked on your product. Just say no!

Bill said...

Try 15K. :)

I'm reading a cool book right now called Founders at Work. It's a series of interviews with founders of companies and one of the stories is about Marimba (remember them?).

The story goes like so: One of the founders originally wanted to buy an expensive espresso machine but the CFO and VC's vetoed it. For various reasons over time the company struggled and lost employees. Morale was tanking and still the founder was vetoed for the machine. When the company hit an absolute low point he secretly bought a $15,000 machine -- it was a beautiful hand-made Italian device. The CFO nearly "had a baby" at the price but it became the cultural center point to the company -- everyone loved it and it boosted morale.


fuzzy said...


wow - ok so it is going to be once my kid(s) get out of college then. Or perhaps I'll make insane coin some day.

I am not a founder of a company, but I (try to) lead a innovation group.

It is just how I am wired in general, but I totally agree with the Marimba founder.

I don't have 15K at work to spend either, BUT if I did I'd spend it on something like that. Whenever we have a tough project, I get a "J's Card" from the cafe across the street and tell the team to keep it behind the counter and give the team all the coffee they can consume.

You'll have to ask them if this helps their morale, but I think it does.

Again, I'm just wired a little bit differently in general, but I have also found that just clever little things like not having a crappy corporate acronym for a team name or a project name give the team / project a little zip.

I'm sure that you can only get limited mileage out of these types of things, but luckily we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work on challenging / exciting things so we aren't short on motivation in general.

Anyway - yay espresso.

Thanks for the comment Bill :)

Bob Lee said...

I totally agree with you, The Francis francis X5 makes crappy steam.. Not bad coffee.
But you choice of a frother is not really the best.. Look for a stove top steamer.. They ROCK.. heats up water for steam on your stove top... like your moca pot.. Lots of pressure, easy to clean.. Works every time. Here has I think the best selection.