So as part of the latest office renovations, my work now has a brand new coffee machine. And while originally I looked at it and thought ‘Looks nice but meh, it’s not for me’ each day I’m realising how timely and actually useful this thing truly is.
Especially since I had to guess how it worked initially..
Learn the ins and outs of the new coffee machine with a lesson
While it’s tempting to leave the fate of a shiny new office toy in the hands of the asylum inmates, my work new it was in the best interest to organise someone to come around and show us how it all worked before someone found a creative way to make it spontaneously combust or something. Especially since this commercial grade coffee machine also arrived with a space age cutting edge coffee grinder and professional coffee grind scales.
Oh yes, this isn’t your run of the mill one button press and here’s a cup of the good stuff machine, this thing is the real deal. It certainly wasn’t cheap and knowing how things actually happen would be a good way to keep it running.
Only clever me managed to miss the first lesson. Organised early in the afternoon one day when my brain capacity would be somewhere on the lower scale, I opted for a no show. So they booked another one a couple of weeks later…which I conveniently forgot to attend.
(Apparently it was very in depth too covering everything from how to use the scales as well as
My reasoning was simple: My wife is a professional barista, I’ve spent a few afternoons in a coffee van (taking the money, not actually making the brews mind you..) exactly how hard could this be?
Tis not silky enough!
First go I got the basics of the new coffee machine down pat (when no one was looking so if I made a mistake no one could see it)- grunt at the grinder to hit you with a double shot straight to the group handle (that’s the weapon like thing the grounds go into), tamp that thing down like you’re the Incredible Hulk stamping down on some puny human, lock it into the machine like you’re tightening down the hatch of an impending space ship launch and then hit one of the buttons, waiting til some kind of brownish fluid flows forth into the cup.
(Note: The buttons have just symbols which I quickly guessed as ‘Barely any coffee machine juice’, ‘A bit’, ‘Normal super knockout punch strength’, ‘Manual mode’ and ‘Whoa, things got messy’ aka cleaning mode.)
While that dripped away I turned a small jug of milk into a practically overflowing fountain of foam courtesy of the steam wand. I even remembered to wipe it down after use, just like I’d seen in the van – go me! From there I combined both parts in one incredible cafe union and did what most people do when they make a coffee with a wiz bang fancy pants machine like this, I bragged to my wife about it via Facebook messenger complete with pics.
Of course she wasn’t nearly as impressed as I’d hoped:
Milk is not sexy enough, it’s to bubbly and not silky smooth.-Wife
Gah! Well at least I tried. And truth be told too bubbly aside, it did taste pretty damn good for something I’d just worked out how to do on the first go.
The coffees at work go on
While I haven’t mastered the art of the silky milk (that sounds like some strange Jazz group actually), things have been going very well with my daily brews. I can make a coffee and clean up any and all mess in sub five minutes before I’m back on air again and it does provide me with the occasional content piece to amuse the masses on Facebook.
Not to mention the fact that this is so much quicker and less fiddly than breaking out the moka pot, setting up the hotplate and remembering to check in on things roughly ten minutes later.
Even better? Now that I’ve mastered the art of very basic office coffee machine skills, it has saved me a fair bit of coin over the last couple of weeks. Especially when something this size would set me back about $6 from the cafe around the corner. Which doesn’t sound much by itself but when you start to do the coffee maths:
$6 per day is
$30 per working week, which in turn is:
$120 per month, which ends up being…
$1440 a year!
Now a couple of things to note here: Before the machine came in I wasn’t buying a coffee a day every day of the week (but most of the week of the week) and also during my annual leave, I’m certainly not popping into the cafe every day to pick up where I left off. But hey, it still adds up to over a grand a year just on the heart starters and let’s face it, that’s certainly money I could use for other things including minimising debts and investing. I mean I love my coffees when someone else makes them (and makes them well) but still at that price (and going up and up and up)…
Here to stay
So obviously now won’t be the last time I ever go to a cafe and buy myself a brew but since I’ve somehow convinced the machine spirit in the brand new coffee machine to work with me (although last week someone somehow set the grinder to spew forth about 4 cups of ground bean when you pressed the 2 cup button..not sure how that happened), things have been going well. The milk is still (and will forever be) bubbly but the coffee is always hot and strong. And while I won’t be hanging up the headphones to become a barista anytime soon, I’m very happy that work is providing some ripper coffees especially in the stupidly early hours of the morning when they’re most needed. Both my energy levels and wallet thank you!