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  • By Susan Welsh

When Life Hands You Lemon Orchards

With our return trip to Italy mere months away, visions of the lemon-scented, sun-drenched Amalfi Coast have begun to permeate my daydreams, as well as history and pasta, and naturally, coffee. Why is the coffee in Italy so damn good? Inspired by every cup of coffee I had in Rome, I’ve been on a quest for years to recreate the perfect brew.

Meet my new kitchen tool—the Aeropress, a hybrid press/drip coffee maker that costs under $30, looks like a chemistry apparatus, and makes an incredible cup of coffee —velvet smooth, rich, sweet, and deep. It’s no surprise that the inventor, Alan Adler, is an engineer with 40 patents and also the guy who invented the Aerobie Pro, a flying disc that set the Guinness World Record for distance and was the first object to be thrown across Niagara Falls.

The science behind the Aeropress includes robust extraction through total immersion of the grounds, air pressure that shortens filtering time to avoid bitterness and a short brew time which yields lower acid. An additional perk is that it stores neatly in its own stacking column where filters, measuring spoon, and stirring wand tuck away neatly.

Back in my office with excellent brew in hand, I’m writing. . . On my headphones right now—Bryan Ferry, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, recorded in 1974. Ferry, once lead singer and primary songwriter of the glam rock band Roxy Music, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Gifted with Savile Row style and an iconic, velvet smooth soul voice—he is an international treasure.

As much as I love Ferry’s newest release, Roxy Music’s Avalon still remains my #1 desert island album—music so lush and romantic it still alters my heartbeat just a little bit every time I hear it. For context, the first time I ever heard it I was in a red Mustang convertible with my friend Lydia, driving down Mulholland Drive, LA breeze in my hair and youth still on my side.

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