Requiem for a Coffee Maker

Requiem for a Coffee Maker

I am useless until I’ve had my first cup of coffee.

I’m sleepy. I’m slow. I cannot focus. I start to do something and then drift off to do something else.

I simply do not function until I’ve used my coffee maker, and I tell people that all the time.

My family thinks it’s a joke, because they truly don’t comprehend how fuzzy I am until I get that glorious hit of caffeine – and that I NEED it. They make fun of me for guzzling it down and asking for another.

But thanks to the DNA analysis I got from 23AndMe, I now have a genetic excuse:

Coffee Consumption

My Beloved Nespresso Coffee Maker

I’m telling you all of this so you understand the urgency I felt last Thursday, when I fired up my beloved Nespresso machine and Aeroccino… and went to pour my heated almond milk on top of my espresso…

…only to discover that my cup was devoid of its usual shot of coffee.

OK, there have been times when the machine has hiccuped. After all, I’ve had it for several years now.

The pod – which usually drops into receptacle designed for that purpose – was still in place. I tapped the brew button again, and this time, I watched as the machine went through the brewing process, but did not drip any of the precious coffee into my cup.

Instead, I saw vapor rising from the machine itself. All the hot water from the two brewing attempts had collected in the spill tray. I used oven mitts to grab the tray and empty it into the sink and drove to Starbucks.

I thought I remembered this happening before. “It just needs to be descaled,” I decided.

But I could not descale the machine as long as that pod was stubbornly stuck in there.

Nespresso vs. Keurig

I also began Friday and Saturday with a Starbucks visit. On Sunday, I settled for a lesser cup of coffee from the Keurig (a gift from my mother, which I keep because my husband thinks espresso cups are too tiny and lattes are too fancy, and he insists he’s incapable of making a pot of coffee with a drip coffee maker.)

My original Nespresso coffee maker was a premium I received in my days as a mom blogger. At the time, I determined it was the most life-changing device I’d ever owned.

(Note: That post on my original SoCal Mom blog links to a post on this site’s predecessor, InQuestOf – which no longer exists. So my review of the machine has disappeared. Suffice to say: it was a positive one.)

I have a lot of reasons for preferring the Nespresso to the Keurig:

  • I like to drink lattes, so I want an espresso base.
  • The quality of the coffee in the Nespresso pods is better.
  • Nespresso’s aluminum pods are fully recyclable, and Nespresso makes it easy to do by accepting the used pods by mail.

My husband enjoys a challenge, so he attempted to remove the stuck Nespresso pod. This task led him to Home Depot a European style screwdriver he could use to take it apart.

“Well, this thing is knackered,” he said, as he showed me the plastic parts that broke off when he was taking the machine apart.

RIP, my trusty Nespresso machine. It served me well.

My NEW Nespresso Coffee Maker

And say hello to my new and improved Nespresso Vertuo Plus. I ordered it immediately after learning that the old machine could not be put together again. It was delivered last night.

(Another note: I should probably mention that while my original review of my old Nespresso was a sponsored post, today I am neither an employee nor an affiliate of Nestle or Nespresso, and am receiving no compensation for writing about this now.)

My old coffee maker could only brew espresso in a couple of sizes. My usual morning cup of Joe was a latte that consisted of two shots and about 4 oz of steamed almond milk. But a few years ago, Nespresso put out new models that produce beverages in five different sizes.

And these machines brew the coffee in a revolutionary new way: not by percolating, or dripping, or pouring over – but with a built-in centrifuge. The result is a mug of coffee that has about an inch of foamy crema, (like a good espresso), and it’s so rich and foamy that you almost don’t need to add any milk.

Nespresso Vertuo Plus

The thick crema is what impressed me most about the newer Nespresso machines, and why I vowed that I would buy one when one of the old machines died. I always thought that would be the Keurig, but I hadn’t counted on having a mishap with a stuck Nespresso pod.

The Vertuo retailed for about $300 when it first debuted, but the cost has come down to the $150-$200 range. There were issues with water temperature on earlier models, but I’ve made two cups today and both were sufficiently hot.

Best of all, since this machine makes both espresso and regular mug-sized coffee, we can get rid of the Keurig and free up some counter space for another appliance.

It’s a win-win.