a fun evening and a small caffeine-related victory

Last night Sarah and I carpooled with (read: mooched a ride from) co-workers on a 2-hour road trip down to Augsburg, where my boss lives (yeah, he lives two hours away from Regensburg and commutes twice a week — really!). We did a Winter Grill evening (I like our apartment, but I really wish we could grill stuff whenever we want like they can). It was a great time and a very relaxing evening. Big big thanks are due to my boss and his lovely wife for hosting, and Nadine for driving us, and everyone else for showing up and participating in the merriment.

This morning, after the (relatively) large number of glasses of Kuchlbauer and Schneider Weisse, I needed some caffeine, and I got it in a major way. Backstory: our pals Gerhard and Uschi (whom we met through Dave Coke back in the day) gave us an espresso maker shortly after we moved in here, but we’d never quite gotten it working right. Mariam, being an experienced barista, offered to get our espresso brewing again. Even she had trouble with the machine. But we were using espresso beans which we ground up ourselves, and it kept coming out pretty weak and watery. Mariam gave us a ziploc bag of “real” espresso grounds (quite a bit finer that what our grinder can do), and either that was the secret, or this morning we shook something loose in the machine, because it delivered me a lovely, rich, dark, dainty little cup of high-powered coffee goodness.

Later today we’re planning on a trip to Exil for dinner with Jessica from work (albeit it from Troy) who is in town visiting — maybe Jan and Nadine will join us. We’re always willing to preach the Exil Gospel, and it’s been several weeks since we’ve eaten there. Maybe they’ll welcome us back with a free espresso after dinner — but even if they don’t, we can now welcome ourselves.

Next up: Frothing the milk for cappucinos. Yum.