Farewell to the espresso machine that saved us over $7,000

Our beloved espresso machine gave up the ghost this weekend. The irony of it happening on Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection, did not escape us. This little machine has been resurrecting us on Sundays, and every day in between, for the past 4 years and 6 months. We know that because I’ve an exact record of when it was born into our household, and so yesterday, in honour of its service, we calculated it had saved us over $7,000 over its lifetime.

I realise many of you might think we should have had better things to do on Easter Sunday than calculate coffee machine savings, things like spending time with the family. But you see, this little coffee machine is, or rather was, a member of our family. And it has brothers and sisters all over the world, living with our brothers and sisters. Even my 86-year old mother, incapable of operating a mobile phone or a TV remote control, was so enamoured of the coffees produced by our little fella, she learned how to use one, and now swears by a single shot every day from her own wee fella over in Northern Ireland.

Our little machine is the first thing to be switched on after we return home from holiday, and the last thing to be switched off when we leave. Or not, as was the case when we set off for Spring Break last month. Which might perhaps account for yesterday’s sad demise. The event was even more tragic as it occurred just as we sat down to watch Manchester United play Chelsea – an epic football match only marred by the loss, not of our team but of our espressos. Cona coffee did not cut it. A bit like Chelsea.

So how did this magic machine save us over $7,000? Well, on the basis of an average 4 espressos a day at $1.75 and allowing for one month each year when we were not at home, we reckoned this little machine saved us spending $10,395 in a coffee shop over its lifetime. We did buy the coffee beans, and I estimate we get through a pound of coffee every 5 days or so. But at around $10 a lb, that still gives us a saving of $7,425.

Ah, you say, but there’s also the cost of the machine itself. Surely an appliance that for years can churn out tirelessly crema after crema, cappuccino after cappuccino without attitude or backchat must cost several hundred dollars, weigh a ton, take up half the kitchen and require Maserati-like servicing. Think again.

Our humble little machine left us with change from $85 back in October 2012, took up as little counter top space as the toaster, and never needed any medical attention, not even descaling, the coffee machine equivalent of colonic irrigation.

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The newest addition to our family

So there was really only one thing to do yesterday after we’d pulled (and cut off) the plug, wiped away our tears and the last clinging coffee grinds, then laid our beloved machine to rest in the trash can. Buy another one, exactly the same. So we did.

Farewell beloved DeLonghi coffee machine. You will live on in our hearts as our first in Chicago. You saw us through two polar winters, multiple guests from around the world, too-many-to-count early work starts, one college dissertation and one set of university applications. You’ve revived, reassured, refreshed and refuelled us. Your new shiny brother, already sitting in your former spot, has big shoes to fill.

Fortunately, he has exactly the same size feet.

And just in case you still doubt my love of all things coffee….

My life-long love affair with coffee on National Coffee Day

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