The old man and I are a bit cack when it comes to keeping secrets. This year’s main Christmas presents to each other are in use already! I decided that Hot Stuff needed a proper coffee maker with a milk frother and everything. Can’t you pay a lot for those things? I thought that a mid price stainless steel, posh department store own brand beast would do nicely. It didn’t fit the bill. One lukewarm cuppa, two pints of wasted milk and lots of fiddly washing up later it’s gone back to whence it came.

After attempt two and lots of research on passionate barista websites I’ve bought one of these instead. It’s called an AeroPress and was designed by an American engineer more than a decade ago. Go to the website to read the techie stuff. It sits on top of the cup, brews a coffee in less than a couple of minutes and is as easy peasy as can be. To clean it you rinse it under the tap and it doesn’t take up half the work surface either. It came in at sub thirty quid.

For forty pounds more I’ve bought a milk frother. It has four settings and sits on top of the kettle’s base to heat up. Very effective it is too. Just a teeny tiny portion of milk quickly turns into a foamy mass. It’s not cream on top of that meerkat mug. We think that it will be brilliant for hot chocolate making as well.

So has my cheapskate present buying cut the mustard? ‘Better than Costa.’ was the verdict from the man himself. And a fraction of the price too. What’s more it’s converted me from a hardened tea guzzler to a once a day coffee drinker. Now that’s really something!

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