It was small and functional and probably at least 15 years old. When I moved from California to Michigan, and drove across the country, through blizzards and ice storms, it travelled with me, so I could always start my day with that morning latté in the hotel, wherever I found myself.
There had been indications that it was beginning to fail and I had started looking around for a replacement, but found the product landscape has changed a lot with bigger, better, all-singing-and-dancing machines at one end and convenient K-cup style machines at the other. Simple espresso machines seemed to have gone out of fashion.
My first inclination yesterday morning was to go out and buy a replacement, but since I'd already been looking, I knew I wasn't going to be happy with what I found locally. Even online, it was slim pickin's, but I did find something that I thought might work and ordered it ... with an estimated delivery in 5 days.
I routinely give up caffeine once or twice a year for at least a month; I thought I'd be able to manage a week ... but I woke up this morning, lying in bed, wishing I could go downstairs and make my morning latté. The soundtrack in my head was under the influence, too. Yesterday, I was making up lyrics for The Day the Espresso Machine Died and today in the car, I kept singing Patty Larkin's Caffeine.
Goodwill offered lots of options. No espresso machines, nor options for steaming milk, but lots of way to turn ground coffee into liquid caffeine for a modest price. And it was 25% discount day, which made it seem even more reasonable to buy a "backup coffeemaker" ... in case this should happen to me again in another 15 years–it seems the caffeine withdrawal might have been effecting my thoughts a bit.
I selected a small model designed to make enough for a travel mug–the mug was no longer included, but that was OK. Then, as I was on my way toward the cashier, I noticed a monster of a coffee maker on the bottom shelf.
After checking that I could return it if it didn't work, I brought it home. I have three days to figure out if it works and return it if it doesn't.
It's one of those all-singing-and-dancing machines that I always thought weren't worth all the counter space and knew that I didn't need because I really don't consume that much coffee. But, the price was right and with it I could steam milk.
I confess, I was doubtful it would work. At the Goodwill store, I noticed that there was still water in the water tank. Ewww. I wondered about the person who wouldn't empty it before they donated it and why Goodwill would put it on the shelf that way. When I got it home, I saw that it also still had coffee beans inside.
I easily found the very detailed user manual online. I dumped the old water and beans, cleaned it and took it for a spin. While some lights indicate that it isn't entirely happy and it's making a noise that may or may not be normal, it still made a lovely cappuccino. While I figure out if it can be made happy or should be returned, I will, at least, be able to enjoy my morning cup of
Who knows? It may even turn out to be my first ever thrift store bargain.