I am a coffee/espresso drinker -- all day, any time! I spent years in Italy, got hooked on the habit of strolling and stopping at a cafe' for an espresso or two. A cappuccino before noon at home or out starts my day still. (Italians say no cappuccino after noon!...
. I graduated eventually from small home espresso machines (fill the small water tank, screw on the lid tight, make a so-so cup) up to a "prosumer" model (quasi-professional build quality and capacity) from Spain (Expobar brand). No automatic espresso machine for me, thank. I like the manual machine better: Makes excellent espresso, americana, caffe lungo , hot water on demand from the tank for tea or adding hot water for the americano. Commercial grade parts and service when needed down in Albuquerque NM about 50 miles from me. I also scored a used la Pavoni shiny copper and brass pull-lever home machine at a local shop for $90 -- working on restoring it for fun, and it looks classic and great sitting in my kitchen ! As you may know, these big prosumer and commercial machines are NOT inexpensive -- you gotta love drinking good coffee to take the plunge and splurge mucho $$$.
I appreciate baristas even more than ever!
Grinding the coffee beans as you need them is imperative. Fresh ground for each cup, in a Rancilio grinder from Italy! I buy espresso roast and also sample several other roasts and international sources of beans. A friend has brought me some Kona coffee beans as gifts too upon his return from visits to Hawaii. I like dark roast French, Italian roasts, espresso roasts (medium and sort of a reddish look to the ground coffee), but don't really like flavored coffees at all - the piñon coffee of NM isn't to my taste either - nor the flavored stuff Starbucks and others do for the American consumer. Pure coffee, a good brew, and to taste - sugar, cream perhaps, and a smile on my face. And to be out in a quiet cafe' on the sidewalk in pleasant weather or in the evening -- delightful with a cup of coffee to enjoy and watch strollers and scenery, and good waiters attending.