A Tale of Two…er, Three Espresso Machines

This post is dedicated to the person who’s been requesting it for months. You know who you are. In case you don’t, your name is Kerri.

It was the best of espresso making, it was the worst of espresso making. (…Betcha saw that coming.)

Oh, the caffeine highs and post-caffeine-crash lows of being a married couple addicted to specialty coffee drinks. It’ll drive you to feed your addiction in creative ways. It’ll also drive you to Starbucks so often that they’ll mail you a shiny, re-loadable gold card with your name printed on it. Or so I’ve heard.

Yet over the years we’ve been learning from our habit. I share our wisdom now with you.

Lesson Number One: Don’t give away your heart too easily. We told ourselves, We should buy our own espresso machine. We can make them at home and rarely darken the door of a coffee house! Think of the money we’ll save! This is a sound idea in theory. And it worked to some extent.  Yet we didn’t know we’d have our heart broken in the process. After carrying home our on-sale, chrome-and-black pride and joy, we settled happily into our new roles: David morphed into Coffee Drink Creator Extraordinaire, and I the lucky taste tester. Flavored mochas galore! Oh, how the aroma filled our home when he worked his caffeine magic.

But the magic didn’t last (sigh). A year or so later, our first-bought went kaput. We lovingly laid it to rest in the local landfill.

Lesson Two: Beautiful machines make lousy traveling companions. Let’s buy a better-quality machine that’ll last longer, we said. Marvelous plan!  We combed websites and read reviews for weeks. Finally, we laid eyes on it: a sleek, high-quality refurbished model for a decent price. We knew it belonged with us. It arrived, and we made a place for it on our kitchen counter and in our hearts. This beaut had style and could make a mean mocha. Proudly I invited friends over and attempted my own creations, using a page-long list of David’s coaching instructions.

But, alas, it was too good to last. The time came when we couldn’t bear to leave it behind during a camping trip. Yep, you heard me. You see, many of you know that we love camping in our little RV. When talking about it, though, we call it “camping” with air quotes; it’s hard to claim that you’re roughing it if you’re toting along a queen-sized bed, TV/DVD player, and full kitchen  – even a microwave! So when we went “camping” one Thanksgiving, we oooohed over the idea of sipping coffee drinks while watching the Macy’s parade. Into the RV the espresso machine went.  Will it be okay on the kitchen counter while we’re on the road?  Suuuure, it’s heavy enough that it’ll stay put, we reasoned.

What I would give to have had a video camera inside the RV to capture the machine’s maiden voyage when we had to slam on the brakes.  I’m certain it happened in slow motion; the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey could’ve been a fitting soundtrack. Upon arrival, we peered inside to see that it had sailed high enough to knock a chunk out of the counter top then land six feet beyond on the floor, metal arm severed clean. Oops.

Lesson Three: Once an espresso machine owner, always an espresso machine owner. It gets in your blood, this addiction of ours. The forlorn metal arm couldn’t be mended, nor could the rest of the machine. But that didn’t stop us.

We allowed ourselves time to heal…about a year. Then one day – tears long dried – we found its successor. Another gorgeous, capable maker. The space on our kitchen counter sits filled once again, along with our coffee cups.

And so it continues…