Saturday, October 20, 2007

Goodbye old friend

Our beloved coffee maker has given up the ghost. It's just a filter drip thing, but it has a lot of nice features that we've grown used to, that we rely on:

  • spring loaded valve thingy, so you can get a cheeky half cup before the brewing cycle has completed
  • removable water tank, so you can take that to the sink and back - also so you're not tempted to use the carafe which would introduce coffee to the innards of the machine
  • thermos carafe - instead of the glass decanter with hot plate beneath - this means that your coffee never scorches.

It also has some other features, like a timer and strength modulator and I think you can reverse the polarity, but we don't really use those. But the ones listed above, we need them now.

The pump on the machine has packed up, it's caked with lime scale. London water is ridiculously hard, it's well 'ard. If you fink your appliances can escape unscaved, yer having a larf.

C'mon mister coffee, come and haff a go if you fink yer 'ard enough. Yeah, you and yer coffee mate.

We've had a few close calls with the coffee maker - for a couple of years we had a paint brush stuck to the bottom of the carafe with blue tack because I'd broken the spring loaded valve thingy and without the extra height We nearly gave in and got rid of it a couple of times, just because we were tired of people asking "Why do you have a paint brush stuck to the bottom of your coffee pot?". And yet we could hardly blame them for asking. But we persevered with our rigged appliance because we couldn't find a replacement. The market is saturated now with one cup encapsulated coffee makers with their expensive tied brands of coffee or cappuccino-latte frothy extraordinaire jobbies which look complicated and difficult to clean and likely to cause steam burns and I don't even like cappuccinos and lattes and poncy coffee drinks. Eventually the Vol-in-Law found, ordered and installed a part which allowed us to dispense with the brush.

But there's no such easy cure this time. I've tried some home descaling methods - I've run three and a half bottles of vinegar and two doses of oxyclean through the thing. It's improved the situation somewhat - since I've caught quite a bit of calcite grit coming through the machine, but it's still not working right.

In the mean time we've been using a coffee press, which produces unsatisfactorily small amounts of coffee which goes cold all too quickly. And on Thursday we bought a filter drip machine for such a cheap price that we can view the machine as disposable (it cost the same as two and a quarter venti Americanos). And the taste? We probably should have spent the money on the two and a quarter coffee shop coffees.

I've identified a replacement coffee maker that has all the features of our old one - plus a descaling mode, but we'd have to take a second mortgage out. But we're getting desperate. Might be time for a call to the banker.

1 comment:

Chris in Oxford said...

Nooooooo! Not the coffee maker! I feel your pain. Such a loss would rip my heart out. My sympathy.