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I completed my Saeco Aroma espresso upgrade this week, adding a frothing pitcher, steel tamper, non-pressurized portafilter and the cutest little red knock box from Seattle Coffee Gear.

For the past three days, I have been able to make espressos strong enough to double as paint remover, so it has definitely been worth it. I may have to work on my tamping technique, however. Per Seattle Coffee Gear’s instructional video, I should be using 30 pounds of pressure. So far, I have been pressing down on the tamper while jumping up and down, applying the full 250 pounds of me as pressure. The result is an almost pitch-black brew for the first ounce, dark brown for the second ounce, and the equivalent of the first ounce using the pressurized portafilter for the third ounce.

Vally, Jennie and I may have ulcers by the end of the month, but I’m definitely extracting the full flavour of the coffee now.

The only part I’ve had problems with is the knock box. It is small, red and adorable, but it was definitely not designed for six double shots every day. By the time I am finished making espresso, I’ve also made an incredible mess of splashes and puck pieces all around the knock box.

Next week I’ll try frothing.