Fancy or Simple, What’s your preference?

We have a few people that provide content on the CanTorque site, today it’s Colin writing. I am the founder and president of CanTorque. It struck me the other day that despite my love of toys (take a look at our racing section) my preference with most everything is simple.

I’ve learned something from almost everyone I’ve met.  A lesson a learned almost 30 years ago came from a gentleman named Jim Dublanko who worked as a mechanic in my father in law’s automotive shop.  But I think of Jim more as a philosopher; to this day “As Jim would say……” is a very common way to remember the wisdom he imparted with my family. 

As a very young adult I was test driving a vehicle which had the option of power seats-a very cool option for an 18 year old.  Cleaning his comments up a bit he asked “What do you want all that nonsense for? The more of that powered stuff you have, the more stuff will break!” 

Those 5 seconds stuck with me and in many ways set the foundation for how we manufacture. 

If you’ve ever met me you’ll quickly discover that I have a love of coffee in all natural forms. I like them all: espresso, brewed and even combos like lattes (once in a while). My personal opinion is the flavoured and heavily sugared versions of coffees that are sold in chains aren’t really coffees and don’t qualify for this discussion. Simply put: they’re too complicated. IE: Unicorn Frappuccino at 500 calories, 18 grams of fat and 76 grams of sugar! No thank you.

I always prefer to make my own but when I’m away from my kitchen I’ll choose places that make quality product over something fancy that is way more expensive with much lower quality.

In North America we seem to crave things that are over complicated.  Spending a lot of money on something like a coffee machine does not, in itself, produce any better coffee.  But for some people they let their objects identify them.  Or more specifically-they let the cost of something determine its value.

I offer a few examples from my personal life for your consideration:

Example 1: My French Press. For those who are not coffee devotes a French Press may not be familiar but there’s not much to explain here. Grind coffee beans, place grounds in beaker, add hot water (boiling water can burn the coffee, my method is 95 degree C water), press with plunger/screen and viola! Coffee. Non-drip, non-filtered beautiful and delicious coffee. Cost of the coffee grounds works out to pennies per pot, water is less than that and a French Press sells for between $25-$80.  Mine sold for about $40, I use it almost daily for the past 5 years. It works every time and I haven’t had a problem.

My other example is espresso. I’ve been fortunate to work with people around the world and one of my favourite places to visit is Italy. We have our pumps manufactured there and when I visit I am served all of the espresso that I can handle. But I don’t see fancy machines with pumps, steamer and a bunch of nonsense. A quick online search of espresso machines shows a range from about $130 to over $1000!

I was in Venice on vacation when I first saw and used my first stovetop espresso maker. Without hesitation I can say it made as good of espresso as I’d had anywhere. Once I got home I found that a 2 cup pot was about $25, the larger pot was $40. Operation is equally simple to a French Press. Add water to the base. Fill the cup with espresso, set cup above water pot. Screw on the top. Place on stove set on high. Water boils, turns to steam and forces its way up through the grounds into the pot-Viola, espresso! Same idea as French Press, never had a problem and nothing has failed.

  • Bottom Pot

  • Bottom Pot with espresso cup

  • Assembled Stovetop Espresso Maker

With both of the aforementioned systems there is also no waste from disposable plastic cups, no vehicle idling and no need to toss paper cups with plastic lids. Simply wash, dry and store.