Second chemotherapy was at 20th January 2020 and we got fully furnished, cheap airbnb room in an apartment with a Nespresso Maker! I didn’t expect anything when we came into the house – it turned out that the owner lived there too and they were kind enough to let us borrow all their furniture and machines, including the coffee maker and the pods (in our case, we just rented the bedroom, not whole unit).

It was like a dream, to be honest. Nespresso Maker is not cheap. The pods are far more expensive than regular grade A coffee beans (in Indonesia) and for specialty coffee lovers, it was a kind of… hit-and-miss deal. Some said it was horrible, but some others really appreciated having one. For me, who is given opportunity to be able to make and taste nespresso for the first time for free, is a blessing.

…I still have to google how to use this machine, though.

So, how to use this Nespresso Essenza Mini? You just put nespresso pod inside the black top thing! It is sized to fit only nespresso pods and not another brand. It is also shaped like the pod itself, so you don’t have to wonder if you put it wrong. Close the tab (pushing the nespresso pod), then pour hot water inside the water tank. You don’t have to fill it full, a hundred mL for just one cup is more than enough. Don’t forget to put a small cup at the rack. Then, to power up, you only need to push whatever button on the top. Push small glass image for small cup – you can see the picture above – or big glass for bigger one. Wait a bit, and your nespresso is done.

It’s simple. So simple that made me gasp in surprise and happiness and awe. It doesn’t take two minutes like Aeropress or three and half minutes for V60. It doesn’t need an extensive clean-up either; just a bit wash, empty the pod bin, and you’re done. But how about its taste? That is the most important question.

I tried India pod and Columbia pod. Honestly, it is better “espresso” than the ones I drank from several coffee shops. In fact, those nespresso are much better than any espresso I’ve drunk! What a pain to write that!! (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

That subjectivity aside, yes, they taste better than espresso that hurt my face – but those are by no means, the better coffee I’ve tasted. They lacked flavors and notes; they are still terrible. I feel like manual brew still wins, or, to lower the standard, the coffee-bag has better taste even though they also lack many notes. I think I can feel something is off in the coffee – like there’s this unique “Nescafe” taste in it. I’m not imagining things. There’s definitely that taste. May be.

For final judgment, in my opinion, nespresso is… amazing. Everything is made simple. You only have to buy assorted pods and put them in the machine in the morning (and you can do that without scales or have to be fully awake. It doesn’t need any concentration either) and you get an okay coffee to wake you up for the day. It’ll have to fight automatic espresso/drip machines, though.

nb: dumping strawberry milk to nespresso coffee is a bad idea. I have regrets.

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I was skeptical when I saw this in Jaya Grocer supermarket. Like – I know there was a thing that was called coffee-in-tea-bag – but could it really gives me delicious coffee? Than the one from coffee shop? *stares deeply to CB&TL chain in the previous post*. And yes. Yes, it did!

It was Robert Timms’ 8 Coffee Bag Royal Special, light-roasted blend. I wasn’t sure about light-roasted blend before, because as far as I’ve drunk in Nobelius coffee shop back in the day, for some coffee beans – even in medium roast – the astringency would really hurt your face. But I bought it nonetheless. It was on discount!

The ground coffee was fine; almost espresso-style fine. I kept one bag for cupping later when I had time. As for the bag, I was surprised – it was finely packaged. It wasn’t like tea-bag where you would expect many pores or satin-like texture. For this coffee bag, it felt like your everyday filter paper – but thinner. It was more elastic than actual paper or filter paper, but not too much like tea bag one. The pores were there, but much smaller but not really dense. It was amazing.

Each bag contains 5gr ground coffee. If you want to pour it to 100ml hot water or 200ml, it’s really up to you – whether you like more flavor or a bit more diluted. I think it’s the benefit of coffee-bags. Can be brought everywhere (mobile), cheap, better coffee than hotel one, and you can change the concentration/ratio anytime. After all, it was immersion style. If you think it’s too strong, you can just add water into it.

As for the taste, it’s good. Not <amazing> but good enough. I like it. There are no complexity in its flavor, but the acidity is perfect. It doesn’t hurt my face. Moreover, it has medium body and the texture is very smooth. It’s definitely better than instant coffee. Tonnes better. I think I’ll try buying another bag later when I go to Malaysia. I have to finish all robustas I’ve bought since November first, though.

EL4JH3RUwAAxQF4This coffee shop chain was located in the Ground Floor, Sunway Medical Centre. It was the first coffee cup I bought during my stay in Malaysia. Because my Papua Wamena I brought from Bandung was already empty in third day, I didn’t have any choice but to buy a cup.

I think I’ve seen one of “Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf” chain in Indonesia. I forget where; but it might be in the Riau airport. I don’t know (if I don’t google its name) if it’s American company or European, but judging by how they use imperial metrics system, it might be American.

So! The price was not that cheap either. It was cheaper than Sbux, obviously, but well – perhaps it was just branding thing. Judging by its menu and shelves full of single-origin coffee bags (I spotted some Guatemalan, Ethiopian, Indonesian coffee), I would say it was the coffee shop I was searching for.

I was tempted to order milk-based drink, but the price was beyond my budget. I couldn’t function without coffee due of stress and tiredness staying in hospital for a week straight, so I picked the cheapest one – which was espresso. I thought it would be really weird if I take out just a shot of espresso in that big take-away cup, so I asked the barista to add another shot. Dopio.

It was… quite a disaster. I thought I would have interesting single-origin espresso that was displayed in the rack, but no. The astringency hurt my face and it was one of the worst espresso I’d drunk. Heck – I haven’t even had any good espresso since forever. The thickness and concentration was okay. The body was fine. The… the taste, however. I struggled to finish this thing. I don’t think I will order any more plain espresso drink from this shop.

I also wonder if I should try their coffee bean bag. But they ain’t cheap either…

I changed the [Date] Coffee #[Number] title to just Coffee Journal for 2020. It’s really been a rough year – perhaps not only for me, but for the world. Since it’s been tough keeping all things bundled up inside but still had to maintain sanity. I couldn’t promise readers I will do my 2019 coffee routine and experiments – since many things have changed in my life in the beginning of this year. I can only promise that I will keep my foul mouth / swearing words to minimum, and be civil.

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This is campus specialty coffee shop Nobelius’ V60 Kerinci Honey I’ve drank before I went to Malaysia last December. I don’t remember the taste, but it’s – as expected – still delicious coffee brewed by my favorite baristas. I remembered I was quite shocked to know that it was 1:10 – unlike my usual attempts (and internet) 1:15 for v60. It produced very beautiful taste and enough concentration, with dense body and taste.

This was my last cup I had from Nobelius.

I was beyond sad. Nobelius IS, by my standard, the only coffee shop that gave me really delicious coffee. It was the first coffee shop, my first “real” coffee, and the one place that made me love it. It was the one that introduced me to specialty coffee, the joy of drinking coffee, the many varieties and – and everything.

I wish it wasn’t the last. May be I’ll order there again when I visit campus’ medical to check my teeth, or to see some dear friends. After all, Nobelius coffee shop is the place full of memories, and their coffee gives me a reason to live.

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I dunno. I’m glad that I started writing again thanks to coffee hobby so this blog isn’t that dead. I’d expected this year would be full of chaos that I am not surprised. But I’m still surprised.

I was slandered, bullied. I’ve bottled up enough rage and stress about what happened in the office for a whole year – people I once respected, now are strangers. I loathed them. I hated everything. I have given up.

This 2020, I will have no resolution or wish or anything but to survive. I do, I do have many wishes. I want to drink delicious coffee. I want to be able to brew Panama Gesha. I want to print a coffee magazine and make money out of things I like. I want to draw comic about coffee. I want to still write fantasy novel. I want to draw my coffee journey and continue writing stories in a form of rpg.

But every time I wish for happy new year, it usually happens the opposite. I fear. I fear everything is out of my control. Depression, stress, and faling mental health have been accompanying me through years, making me hating things that I suppose to like. I don’t want that. I want to keep on being myself, even though none will care.

I don’t know.

Perhaps, my wish is just to survive. To still be me, so when I do not survive, I have no regret.

***

Upon returning from Singapore, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic tumor and he had to be treated in Sunway Medical Centre, Malaysia. His passport was issued a day before departure, in hurry, backdoor style because FCK Indonesian immigration, and I left office without any formal letters (because FCK Indonesian bureaucracy) but a message to few employees.

I had been here for more than a week. It was stressful. Not only because the CTScan result was not good, that there were balls in his liver already and chemotherapy session would be necessary whatever the biopsy result says, but also my future would be set. Family side insisted he would be treated here, in Malaysia, until the final cycle of chemotherapy. He – or we – would not return back home for 6 months, or a year, or whenever it will be.

They sacrificed me to be his accompaniment – it’s always been like this for 30 years – without listening to my stress and pleas, and… even though I perhaps would be happy that I would be free of the people in the office – and resigned, my savings were all spent. ALL spent. for paying hospital’s bills and chemotherapy sessions. I had no money from the start. I had broken my deposits. And I could foresee that I would not have slight bright future. Because of all people at home, I would be the one who had to give up everything.

Which led me to have little control of my own emotion and resurfacing suicidal thoughts.

I wished for a miracle, his recovery, gods give him second chance; I truly do. But I also miss having a good mental health.

I no longer celebrate Christmas (except that is public holiday) but it’s seasons’ greetings and it is time to buy myself a gift I wanted since long ago: AEROPRESS!

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It cost me about 555.000idr, or roughly 40usd thanks to import tax. It’s not cheap. It’s quite expensive for two plastic tubes with a rubber seal, compared to the price of a perfectly angled Japanese plastic cup with hole on the bottom. I don’t doubt it will give me a nice and tasty cup of coffee like what people said (I think almost all coffee aficionados have this stuff), but seeing the thing first-hand made me go…. “eh?”

The structure is rigid and thick but the surface… the mold? It looks quite sloppily made. I don’t doubt the material and its grade (or else it wouldn’t pass USA health and safety bureau). But for an established company who made frisbee(tm) and not just a kickstarter who needs extra money, I think they can do better than this. It’s… it’s below what I’ve expected. Is my standard too high?

Compared to my Hario V60 (plastic): Hario cup is smooth, no scratches, no dents, perfectly cut and hidden mold bridge, and no excess plastic dust[?] glued on its surface. Truly Japanese artistry and perfection. My newly-arrived aeropress has plastic scratches, no dent (or I’ll rage), is dirty, has so many white plastic particles/dust especially inside the plunge and the quality seems… standard. The plastic that wrapped the filter is done sloppily, no aesthetic at all. But I’ll not defend it if many people complaint about it being so mediocre and they start thinking it’s perhaps a fake or made cheaply in China.

It looks so much better after a good rinse and clean though.

and I’m sorry, I have to write status update below. Please don’t click [READ MORE] if you’re not interested on reading it.

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