Ok. So after years of daily Starbucks trips, I finally realized that $5.50 per day adds up to quite a bit of money. What to do? I asked for and received a small, pretty modest personal espresso maker for my birthday. Someone else got me some whole beans imported from Italy. The results were eye-opening. That "gourmet" slop they serve at Starbucks is appallingly bad! Until I got this espresso maker, I had no idea coffee could be so delicious. It consistently makes cup after cup of the best coffee I have ever had. I have been experimenting with various beans and blends ever since, and it keeps on getting better. I am now passionate about learning all about coffee. The most important things I have discovered: 1. I cream with 100% organic grass-fed heavy whipping cream. It's cheap and makes a huge difference. 2. I sweeten with cane sugar syrup. (and it doesn't take 6 huge pumps like at Starbucks, more like half a tablespoonful in a 24oz tumbler to achieve a good balance.) 3. Freshness affects coffee quality quite dramatically. I grind daily, and beans are good for only 2-3 weeks after opening. 4. Quality, fair trade beans are important The best stuff I have made usually consists of a high quality organic dark roast of some kind, enriched with 30-40% of pure 100% Kona beans from Hawaii. For some reason, to me, a 100% Kona cup isn't totally ideal, but adding it to other roasts makes amazing coffee. I make 2 double shots, poured directly over tons of ice in a 24 oz tumbler, then cream and syrup. Melts some of the ice and makes a great cup. I'll usually make a second cup now, not because I want or need the caffeine, but purely because it's just so ridiculously delicious. I suspect it makes me type too much... Does anyone else have a coffee obsession? Are there some special beans out there that I need to try?