Espresso.

A few years ago I decided to spend on good coffee rather that volumes of coffee.  After a little bit of research I discovered that espresso machines come in two types, the €3000 (and up) café machine or the basic sub €200. You can find Gaggia’s for €700 but they aren’t going to do anymore that the €180 one. In fact some do less.
So there was a bit of a saga early on with this and that, but at the end I had a machine that did service for a few years but had a hiccup or two in December when I decided to keep an eye out for a new one in the Christmas sales.
Onwards to 31st of Dec when I bought a new machine at half off. And it had a fitting that I could put the Nespresso Pods into which had intrigued me ever since Kimberly mentioned them a while ago.
When I brought it home I found the spouts that feed the stream of coffee to the cup was damaged so I rang the help line to tell them about the issue. They said fine they’d send me on a replacement. Yesterday morning I had a knock on the door and a courier handed over a big heavy box had me sign and left. In the box was a whole new machine. Not just the handle and basket bit, which is what I thought I was getting. Nope a whole new machine.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m really delighted to have 3 machines when I’d only 1 only a few weeks ago. I’m just a bit bemused that it’s easier and probably cheaper to ship a new system rather than a new part.

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12 Responses to Espresso.

  1. Kelly says:

    Wow, and they didn’t expect you to ship back the damaged machine?

    My daughter got an espresso machine for a wedding gift. I’m not sure what kind, but I know she’s enjoyed it so far.

    • Vincent says:

      No. it seems the costs of me shipping it and billing them for it negates to such an extent that the shipping is more than the cost of the machine. They’ve just cut a loss, I think.

      I hope she likes it, for used well it can produce lovely coffee. These mornings I’ve been doing a half and half with boiling water topped off with the espresso shot. Espresso in the morning wasn’t such a brilliant notion, but diluted, it works well.
      I still stop coffee for a month of more every now and then when my consumption exceeds a pound weight a week of grounds. I won’t buy three 8oz packs a week.

  2. Sage says:

    it is interesting how some companies will quickly replace and others don’t seem to want to do anything. I am not much of an expresso drinker-generally taking good dark black coffee from a coffee maker, or when I am out in the wilderness, in my small peculator.

    • Vincent says:

      I think nowadays it depends on the shipping contract they have with their UPS or whoever. I think also they expect a level of returns. But in general if you have difficulty getting service don’t shop with them again. These days nothing is made in the West so they haven’t the Wests source costs but they continue to ticket price as if they are made by your cousin down the road.
      The making of espresso is a bit harder than normal coffee, but only because you have to watch it to stop it getting very bitter. You do learn very quickly though the type of coffee that doesn’t agree with you. This might take a while when you’re brewing it.

  3. Ed says:

    Well you have a donor machine for parts. Between the two of them, perhaps you can keep it running as long as yourself!

    • Vincent says:

      That’s what I was thinking too. Except the bit I was moaning about isn’t an active part of the machine. You know on a café espresso maker at say Starbucks. It’s the bit under the handle thing they disconnect to fill with the grounds. The machine itself is fine.

  4. Kimberly says:

    It truly is amazing that they will ship and not ask for the damaged one back. I’ve thwt experience with Amazon in multiple occasions, and most of the time it definitely benefited me as there are now more than I had before. But that’s great! I’m glad you got it taken care of.
    Soooo, what’s the verdict? Are you filling your own pods or buying prefilled ones? I’m not sure what weight my opinion carries as I’m a super wimpy coffee drinker. Your taste for coffee is much more refined than mine. :). So I hope you’re enjoying it.

    • Vincent says:

      I bought pods, but the only ones I could get were in the mid range so I thought the result was crap. I’ll try again with ones in the price range of the coffee I usually buy. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t work. Yeah, I’ll have to go a 2nd time to get the double shot which is my usual.
      Now I don’t know if the Nespresso has an adjustment on the volume of water you pass through the coffee. If it has you should keep it on the short side time-wise. The more water you pass through the more bitterness. Granted I’ve more control since I’m standing over the thing watching for the change from tan-umber to a white stream. You don’t want the white.
      I’m just a bit bemused, but I do get it (I think).
      If you are selling one million units across Europe, you have factored in the cost of replacing a percentage. And likely have a delivery company on tap to go from warehouse to customer. But It would probably more than double (if not more) the cost if they had to pay the return too. They aren’t looking at my machine and it’s loss, it’s simply expected.

      • Kimberly says:

        I have a sneaking suspicion that their loss is factored into our cost anyway. They’re not going to take the hit…we are. But I guess I’d rather pay a few pennies more as a consumer and know they will take care of it when something like that happens, without a hassle. No hassle is worth it!
        I sent my camera into Canon, kind of blind really, with a note about the issues and my name, address, email, and phone number based on their warranty directions. They had it for a few days before I got a response that it was logged in their system, and then a few days later telling me it’s still under warranty so whatever they do would be no charge. On Monday, I received an email with a tracking number saying it was on its way. I have no idea what they did (fix or replace). I’m thinking it’s been replaced though because it was sent to their repair center in Costa Mesa, CA and the package is coming from New Jersey. So fingers crossed it’s new. Other than the frustration of it not working, the warranty process was fairly hassle free. Now the issue of actually receiving it when it was sent, signature required, and Fed Ex will only come between 8-5 is turning into a hassle!
        On the water, most of the single-serve type machines have an option of adding more (or stopping it early if you want less). Mine is programmed for the type/flavor of pod and from there I can add or take away. I do find when I’m trying to fill up that travel mug, it won’t go much past the program before it starts to run clear. I didn’t realize that affect the bitterness of it. I’d have thought a watery flavor as opposed to bitter. Good to know!

        • Vincent says:

          That’s only down the road a bit, Costa Mesa ?.
          Still I suppose it’s prob easier to get in to the door. But for the time.

          Yeah, if you pass water through the grounds it begins to leach the bad stuff out of the bean. The first few sec’s has the oils and whatnot. Then when the colour of the flow changes to white or even clear you’ve got to some nasty acids. It’s different in flavour adding the water from the kettle. It seems the acids do most of the thinning.

          I held your camera in my hands here before Christmas to see if there was something. It neat, and far better than my old D3000. It’s a bit small for my hands, even though I’ve quite small ones.
          On the forums I’ve found something that might be useful to you. http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/54944453 It lets 8 times more light in than the little lense and at $50 it’s a steal. It would be very useful for inside shots, either portraits or interiors.

          • Kimberly says:

            It is tiny. When I first held it at the store, I didn’t care for it as there wasn’t a lot to hold onto on that right hand side. But my hands are small and the larger rebel, while still small, was just a bit too much. It took me like a hot second to get used to it though. I’m glad I went with it.
            Thanks for the link. I skimmed it this morning with sleepy eyes, but will look at it with more of an inquiring mind tonight. 🙂

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