Don't you love knowing that no matter what else is going on, there is one thing you can count on? Whether the girls have woken up grumpy or smiling, sniffling, feverish, or bounding out of bed, my espresso machine doesn't care. No matter that Bubba's out of town, the cat has yakked up something nasty on the carpet, my little fire-engine red Starbucks Barista baby sits on the counter ready and waiting.
Six and a half years ago I bought this little sweetie for my big sweetie as a birthday gift. Not only did it satisfy his need for a morning latte, but it appealed to the techie in him - something mechanical that he could fiddle with. He loved it so much that he ran out and got his mother one for Christmas. We progressed from using it on the weekends to getting so good at it that we had time to make espresso before we left for work in the mornings every day. When our friends from Europe and South America come, it gets pressed into service five or six times a day - producing the requisite morning coffees as well as the after-midday-meal digestive espresso and late evening espressos these visitors are used to consuming.
Two years ago, she started to sputter. She dripped the espresso excruciatingly slow and we considered tossing her and shopping for her replacement. On a whim, I decided to call the toll free number on her side and reached a coffee expert at Starbucks. She walked me through the descaling process (nope, hadn't done it even once in four+ years - my face was nearly as red as my little friend on the counter), made sure I wasn't packing too much espresso into the machine, taught me the optimal way to produce my morning latte, and voila! A new lease on life!
Since then, I take much better care of this girl. She gets descaled every month and is only filled with cold, clean water. In return, she is my workhorse. My predictable savior in the mornings, sitting in the corner shining her bright red smile at me, ready to make my espresso just the way I like it. Ahhh, technology.