Monday, February 24, 2014


Yesterday morning, my trusty little espresso machine died. While I don't drink a lot of coffee, I start each day with a latté, which is, for me, is a lot of steamed milk with a shot of espresso.

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.

While I was out running errands and feeling pathetically sorry for my un-caffeinated self, I decided to see if I might find a thrift store coffeemaker to see me through the week.

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.

A used model is selling for $599 on Amazon: Jura Capresso C1000 Super-Automatic Coffee and Espresso Center

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 caffeine coffee.

Who knows? It may even turn out to be my first ever thrift store bargain.


Glen QuiltSwissy said...

LOL! I have a really nice Breville from William Sonoma. So I understand the need for that latte. It is my second machine, in all these years. I like it, but with the new machines on the market and the simplicity of the K cup machines, I am thinking I will go that way should this one ever die.

I spent a long long long time researching and looking and comparing before I decided on it.

Can't wait to hear if your goodwill machine makes good latte and what you got for your "real" machine!

joe tulips said...

I tend to gravitate towards the cheap coffee makers. Getting a fancy one means it has automatic shutoff.
And if we really want extra fancy coffee, we will use freshly ground beans. I think you found a real deal here!

Farm Quilter said...

Mercy, that is a huge, expensive machine! You did get great price on it and if you don't end up liking it, you could always sell it on craigslist for way more than you paid! It does look awfully classy just sitting there :)

Helen Wahl said...

My parents have one of those. It got me hooked on drinking a couple of cups a day. LOVE it!!

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