I'd imagine it's not quite as addictive as heroin, but espresso might be a close second. Well, maybe not that close because I'm almost certain (and I'm trying to choose my words wisely here) that an espresso addict would never find themselves in a run down hotel "blanking blank" for $10 bucks so they could score a latte.
Having said that it's good stuff. When cooked up in an old school Bialetti espresso maker it's all the better. I have Bob to thank for this new addiction. While over at his house for a CX ride, he showed me how he cooks up his crack in the kitchen. No need for a $200 espresso maker or patronizing a coffee chain that charges almost as much for a grande latte as a whole can of the good stuff.
Bob has some genuine straight out of Italy grandparents (ed. apparently his mother as well) and they confirm that this is the only way to make it. The Bialetti is appealing to a cyclist on a number of levels. It's imported from Italy, made of aluminum (I hear they are working on a new "designed in Italy," made in Taiwan carbon fiber version that will look great but lack soul), and mirrors the simplicity of a bicycle. If using a $200 espresso machine is like driving your car, going to Starbuck's is like riding an expensive subway next to a bunch of laptop toting poseurs.
When I first got the Bialetti I was just going to use it on the weekends, but here it is Thursday and I found myself cooking up an espresso for the drive to work. It's one thing to get fired up for a race, but now I'm burning through the good stuff just to work on Excel spreadsheets. I thought about sprinting around our building, or seeing if anyone in the office wanted to re-enact an ESPN strongman competition with full water cooler jugs, but I pretty much sat there and talked super fast for a few hours.
If you happen to see me in a cheap motel, "blanking blank" for espresso money, with dingy brown teeth and a bad case of the shakes, punch Bob in the "blank" for me. This is all his fault. By the way, this can all be yours for just $19.95. You can go big with a 6 cup version from the local Wegman's, you can go small with the 3 cup version from Amazon.com, or you can wait for Bob's family to go back to Italy on vacation. In my quest for the perfect buzz, I now own both the 3 and 6 cup versions.
Oh well, can't write any more, comin' down.