I’ve got a disturbing array of coffeemaking gear:
From left to right:
- Bialetti Moka – stovetop espresso maker. Great for making powerful hot chocolates in the dead of winter.
- Burr grinder – the best way to get very consistent grinds. The grinders with spinning blades just randomly slice and dice your beans, but burr grinders get all of the pieces exactly the same size. Probably the best $100 I ever spent to improve the quality of my coffee. I linked to a different one since mine’s discontinued.
- French press – produces very flavorful coffee, but it’s a complete pain in the rear to clean. They have to go through the dishwasher after each use. Since it doesn’t have a built-in heating element, I have to microwave water first, and the resulting coffee isn’t as hot as I’d like.
- Krups Moka Brew – the easiest way to brew something that tastes like an Americano, which is an American-style coffee made with espresso and hot water. Pretty easy to clean, produces a lot of coffee at once, and it has a built-in heater. That’s a pro and a con – it means the coffee can taste burnt after it sits on the hot carafe for a few minutes.
- AeroPress atop a Microsoft mug – the AeroPress looks like a gimmick when you first see it, but it produces the very best coffee I’ve ever had outside of a cafe. Nothing else in my arsenal even comes close. Big props to Adam Machanic (Blog – @AdamMachanic) for telling me about this. Fast brew times, absurdly easy to clean, great coffee – but only one cup at a time.
The AeroPress produces by far – by FAR – the best coffee, but when I get up in the morning, I fire up the Krups Moka Brew and make a pot. I sacrifice flavor for ease-of-use, because I need more than one cup and I’m trying to get a lot done in a short amount of time. I need to feed the dog, take her for a walk, check my emails, cook breakfast – okay, well, assemble breakfast, which usually consists of granola and yogurt. I want to brew enough for me to have a couple of cups, plus Erika needs a couple of cups, plus a cup to-go for work.
Every now and then, in the afternoon, I’ll brew a cup of coffee with the Aeropress and savor every sip. The rest of the time, though, I just can’t afford to micromanage my coffee one cup at a time to get it absolutely right.
That’s Why I Love Virtualization, Too
Most of the time, I need to get a database server up and running as easily as possible. I don’t want to completely sacrifice all semblance of security, performance, and manageability, but I don’t have all the time in the world. I can’t usually fine-tune every hardware setting like SAN multipathing, network card load balancing, failover protection with clustering, and so forth. I just need a core set of basic hardware up and running to service the company’s needs.
I deploy a virtual server with a few mouse clicks, and presto, we’re off and running.
If I need high availability, disaster recovery, snapshot backups, or any number of common datacenter features, I just tell my virtualization sysadmin, and they’re handled. Even better, they’re handled exactly the same way across all of the company’s servers, which makes management easier. Don’t get me wrong, I still double-check what they do – like Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”
When I need to wring every last bit of flavor performance out of a SQL Server, then sure, I build a finely crafted physical server for it. But the rest of the time, I use virtualization by default, because it’s gotten good enough.