Matt Smith looks at the other drink James Bond enjoys.
The Film: Live and Let Die (1973)
The Drink: Coffee
The Scene: It’s very early in the morning and Bond is tucked up in his London apartment with a lovely Italian agent, when the doorbell rings. It’s M. Three ‘00’ agents have been killed in the last 24 hours and Bond must establish a connection.
“Coffee, Sir?” he says, and proceeds to his La Pavoni espresso machine. He grinds the beans, connects the portafilter and brews, by pulling the lever, forcing the hot water through the coffee. Pulling the lever, adjusting the controls, frothing the milk, the steaming … the whole operation takes a while and looks like priming an engine. It’s quite a ceremony. “Is that all it does?” quips M sarcastically, as Bond gives him the cup.
The traditional La Pavoni machine looked cool in Bond’s kitchen in 1973 and still looks cool now. It’s a device where form follows function, but its coolness goes deeper than looks – mainly because it’s just so difficult to use and takes practice to get right. If you can make a good coffee with this, you really know what you are doing.
Aficionados will easily spot that Bond is far better at handling his Walther PPK than his espresso machine. He really doesn’t know what he’s doing: he doesn’t warm the cup first, he doesn’t seem to tamp the coffee and he froths the milk AFTER adding it to the coffee. No! Still, he does escape from a shark tank and inflates Mr Big with an exploding bullet – but might make better coffee with Nespresso capsules.
How to Experience in KL: Head to Cuppa in KL (www.cuppa.com.my) and ask to try the espresso machines. Or to get straight to the coffee, head to espressamante illy in Pavilion or Bangsar or hit il Lido for some good Italian food.