Something else I hate

Here’s another thing I don’t like. Those convoluted benchtop coffee machines people buy. I make a perfectly good (read bloody excellent) cup with a stovetop espresso. It was purchased for $10 at an op-shop. You can always buy cheap stovetop espresso machines these days  because people throw them out in favor of those ridiculous machines they keep buying.

The single speed/fixe ethos is at the opposite end to whatever compulsion drives people to buy those coffee machines. They’ve got so much going on. And unless you’ve spend $500+ they still don’t make coffee as good as my $10 stovetop jobby. And if you’ve spent $500+ on a coffee machine shouldn’t you just order out? Even at the cost of today’s coffees that’s still…okay…almost 10-15 coffees.

As a guide, you find yourself in a store making purchasing decisions with your wife. She convinces you to spend the equivalent of a new fixie on a coffee machine. You’ve been emasculated. I know we make loads of compromises in relationships and our friends give us hell for all of them. And just about every time we reluctantly agree with wife/girlfriend we are, inevitably, better for it. (Didn’t really need a bar fridge with a VB logo on it and are better people for not owning it.) But when you agree to forgoing a decent ride so you stand in the kitchen and play barristers on a toy coffee machine, at that point you need to re-appraise your place within your domestic relationship.

You gotta get your style up to ride a single speed or fixie properly. Same goes for your stovetop espresso. Not any idiot can use one and make a decent coffee. Not that it’s hard (and neither is riding a single speed to be honest, but some people make it look so). But it’s part of the attraction. Good stovetop espresso coffee shows a certain style and grace in the morning. Firing up your toy steam pump double-boil contraption does not.

I can’t see why anyone would choose to have something as simple as beautiful as a single speed bike in the garage and then opt for something as convoluted and ineffectual as a $200 benchtop coffee machine in their kitchen.

Now those machine with capsules have come along. My friend worked for a coffee company in the 80s who produced them briefly back then. They dumped them on environmental grounds. No such concerns now. People are perfectly happy to throw shit away every time they feel the urge for a coffee hit.

We know those cyclists with their day-glo vests and zip-tied helmets have the high moral ground when it comes to the environment. They have a stack of gears, they use them regularly, they always seem to be in a gear way too high, they ride slowly, follow all the rules and indicate corners with an outstretched hand. And they love of the environment. I sometimes wonder if the environment cares. (Environment: “yeah I want to be saved and all but not by you, you great wally.”)

But I care too. I take my green recycled bags with me (when I drive to the shops). I drink my coffee from an estate with its own solar power (as I read the news on my laptop driven by brown coal technology). I have a no CSG sticker on my car (not really, I may be a satirist but I’m not a complete hypocrite). I paid the carbon levy last time I flew halfway across the globe to take advantage of the buying power of my stronger currency in a poor country. You see, I fucking love the environment. I just don’t ride a  fifteen year old mountain bike with an antler-type arrangements of bar-ends. And I draw the line at chucking shit every time I wan’t a tasty beverage.

You know you can pay over $5,000 for those machines? For your domestic kitchen. I’m not talking about you setting up a business to get a return on your investment. If I had that kind of money sitting round the house I wouldn’t be wasting it on a coffee machine. Not when I can get a flying bike instead.

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