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Coffee Afloat

We’ve been trying to cut back on our coffee consumption, we really have. There have been a few too many trips through the Starbucks drive-though lately (and Starbucks for four is totally not in the Budget). We also have a habit of drinking a little too much coffee on the weekends which ends up with Michael and I snarling and sniping at each other for no real reason other than over-caffeinated nerves. We are also thinking ahead: unless things have changed the only coffee available in Mexico is typically Folgers and that just is not going to do. During our last cruise in Mexico we stopped drinking coffee altogether; truthfully I can’t remember if it’s that all the extra sunshine helped get us off the caffeine habit or if it’s just that we couldn’t stomach the taste of the “coffee” sold pre-ground in cans.

But anyway, we are here in the Northwest and coffee is just a necessity. We can’t even get out of bed in the dark damp mornings without downing at least one cup of thick, black brew. However, for the reasons above we’ve been doing our best to cut back. For quite a long time now we’ve been mixing regular and decaf beans to reduce our caffeine intake. But this doesn’t really help with the mid-day lattes when we are out and about.

Wondertime's Coffee Shop

Recently, we found the perfect solution: we purchased a Capresso frothPRO with some gift cards leftover from Christmas. We grind our beans fresh, then use our AeroPress to make up to 4 shots of perfectly rich and smooth espresso. [A quick note on the AeroPress: this is the best coffee maker ever invented. Just add some additional hot water to your espresso shots and you’ll have the smoothest, richest, best tasting cup of coffee you’ve ever had. I mean it.] The frothPRO heats and froths our soymilk up just perfectly; with a few squirts of chocolate or caramel sauce, or, my favorite, vanilla syrup we now drink lattes regularly that rival any from one of our local coffee shops. Now we are able to drink even MORE coffee, with delicious creamy lattes right on the boat!


Well, if nothing else our trips through the Starbucks drive-though have been noticeably reduced now that I know that if I can just wait to get home after running errands I can whip up a latte myself for just pennies. Now, the only problem is that we will almost certainly have to fill the bilges with beans from Trader Joes because it appears the frothPRO is happy frothing up cold lattes too. On second thought, I think the coffee is still winning, but I can live with that:


  1. Tucker says:

    The hardest thing i had to give up when we moved aboard was my semi-pro espresso machine (Isomac Rituale). It was so hard in fact that i brought it into work, and there it sits, ready to make espresso whenever coffee crisis looms.

    On board I roast my own beans in an AC powered off-axis roaster (Gene Cafe) the amp load is just ridiculous so I am thinking about implementing my Frankenstein roaster concept. Frankenroaster will be born from the propane BBQ, modified to house a small DC or hand powered roasting basket. If you guys want to help me with my evil plans i promise to share fresh roasted beans in MX 🙂

    1. Sara says:

      Dude, you guys are HARD CORE! Love it! We currently have our Honda EU1000 on Craigslist as we just want to buy more solar panels; we may have to rethink that! I haven’t had an espresso machine since we got rid of ours the first time we moved aboard 12 (!) years ago. It’s sure been nice to have lattes at home again. Seriously, have you tried an aeropress? Really, really nice brew. I never thought to roast our own beans…will have to learn from you!

  2. Deborah says:


    I’d never heard of the frothPRO, but it sounds like we may have to get one. Lattes onboard – heavenly! (And yes, much more economical than the daily Starbucks trip) Though I’m not sure I want to encourage Marty’s coffee obsession any further; at one point I think we had no fewer than FOUR ways of making coffee on the boat. I believe we’re down to two now.

    Tucker, I would love to hear more about how you roast your own beans onboard …. could you email me at deborah@threesheetsnw.com?

  3. sunbreak! says:

    hario skerton ceramic grinder ($40), aeropress, aerolatte ($20) = Low power, small size, easy use, cheap, super high quality coffee!

    we’ve used an aerolatte for years, it works great, the batteries last for months.

    green beans last a long time, so the only major unsolved power issue is roasting… until then, vacuum packed roasted beans.

  4. You’re welcome! 🙂 Glad you agreed and got the same set up we have. While we’ve really enjoyed the aeroPress for the past year, I wish we’d had the frother (I didn’t know these even existed until we returned from our cruise, honestly). Horror – I had to give up lattes for our two year cruise. I used a little whisker thingy that made bubbles that only lasted about five minutes. But I closed my eyes and pretended it was a yummy latte. Now I love using the frother (best Christmas present ever) with my latte machine at home and I can’t wait to get back on the boat and try this set up at anchor.