- Automatic (machines: pushbutton drip, single-serving cartridge, fully automated countertop espresso maker), or
- By hand (stovetop espresso maker, French press)
You’re trading time for the sensory experience… maximizing caffeine efficiency versus savoring the process. I use the automated machine when I’m in a hurry in the morning. Load it up, press the orange “On” button, and come back in five minutes. It’s a “set it and forget it” experience, utterly businesslike.
The Bialetti Moka Express requires more commitment and more attention–unscrewing the pieces, tamping the coffee, filling the water just right, keeping an eye on the stove, taking it off the heat as the water’s boiled to the top, waiting for everything to cool before disassembling for cleaning–but it’s also a lot more fun. It reminds me of spending a summer in Italy, and I can appreciate the timeless industrial design of the octagonal aluminum case while it percs on the stove. It’s an emotional and sensory experience, even if the coffee tastes the same to me. It’s great for the weekend, or a slow morning.
Blogs and other websites can be automated versus handmade, too. My first client website in 1997 was entirely hand-crafted (we tested in Netscape Navigator 3.x versus Internet Explorer 3.x), and a pain to update. Changing a navbar link required editing and re-uploading every page via FTP (unless I used frames… which is another matter entirely). I don’t miss hand-coding the HTML.
Today in 2010, the KarlSakas.com blog runs on the WordPress CMS. If you account for some back-end technical updates, it’s probably 95% automated, and I can focus on communicating. If you’re just getting started, you can use a WordPress.com account, or simpler tools like Tumblr or Posterous to start publishing even faster.
Of course, you always have a third option, outsourcing: hire a web design firm, or head down to Starbucks or the Morning Times for a fresh cup and some “third place” socialization.
How do you take your coffee, or your web design? I’ll be making the semi-automatic skim mocha latte.