Embracing Epiphanies

Rita Bourland

Rita Bourland
Columbus, Ohio,
August 04
I have three sons in their twenties and have been married for 35 years. Life is good. I embrace life's epiphanies as they come to me and pass them along in my writing.


APRIL 18, 2012 8:59AM

R.I.P. Dear Coffee Maker

Rate: 15 Flag

Photo by Rita Bourland © 2012

R.I.P. Dear Coffee Maker

We lost our dearly beloved coffee maker today.  It sprang a spring from some inner valve, no longer able to push steaming water through the grounds.   I purchased this Krups coffee maker over 15 years ago for my husband.  He had become a latte lover or lover of lattes whichever phrase you prefer – bottom line – I had a hunch he would enjoy making lattes.  Besides bringing our three wonderful sons into the world, it was probably the best gift I ever gave him.

He delighted in preparing each cup.   He placed just the right amount of coffee into the filter, poured water into the water cavity and then waited for the perfect moment to turn the steamer on.  His cup stood at the ready with just enough milk for perfect frothing.  It was so simple, so successful an endeavor that we all quickly became converts.  Guests were seduced with the offer of a latte.  It even came with us for a summer wedding in Indiana where we had rented a cabin with 10 other people.  The early morning line formed behind the Krups - numbers were taken.

The design was flawless, the function reliable, the coffee so superb that we were lulled into a sense of security, thinking our machine would be with us always.  We took for granted its can do spirit, its work ethic, its ever ready stance.  Sure, we had to purchase a new glass carafe on two occasions, but it was the basic machine we relied on for our morning coffee.

Just in the last couple of months we had talked about the inevitable day when the machine might die, no doubt cursing our fate. 

We have begun our search.  Krups still has a machine that looks similar to what we lost, but nothing will ever fully replace the old tried and true.  

My parents had machines they could repair and find parts for – they took pride in owning them for decades.  It was inspiring to watch my father dismantle a clock or radio and later find it working again.  The same was true for lawn mowers, cars and vacuums.  This little Krups machine reminded me of those good old days. 

So, tomorrow will come, but coffee will have to wait for a sad drive to a coffee shop.  Speaking into the drive thru window I will say, “One medium, skim latte, please.”  Until our new machine arrives, we will be scouring the city for a cup of coffee that resembles the latte delights we prepared in our own kitchen. 

 R.I.P. dear coffee maker.  You served us well. 

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Ahhhh poor coffee maker. Maybe you will find that life without that habit is much better and you can kick it. Everything is so peaceful without that machine.
I hope it arrives soon. I've been known to get crabby if I have to go out for my morning coffee.
Rita, I just love this post...the thoughts of impermanence, never pleasant ones, but real nonetheless. The idea that at one time, machines were fixed and parts were replaced, many many years before the idea of a landfill came into play. And most of all, because this was a sentimental gift and a symbol of sharing your special coffee drink with each other and with loved ones. You bring the most crystal-clear perspective and such poignancy to these memorable experiences. Thank you. Rated with admiration.
zanelle, this piece is somewhat humorous. There are many days I go without coffee and when I do have it, it is usually decaf. There is a simple beauty to a small machine of this nature that works so efficiently.

jlsathre, I think we've found the replacement, so we should be back in business very soon.

Michelle, thank you for understanding what I was trying to say here. Sometimes it is the simplest things that take on a powerful place in our lives. There was much sentimentality associated with this object, not just for my husband and me but for our sons as well. I always appreciate you kind and perceptive comments.
Great memories from a tiny machine!
Good memories, yet I am sure the future will bring even better coffee! R
I know exactly how you feel./r
Ah, you've described the latte lover's machine so eloquently. I hope you find a replacement soon. ~r
Thanks, Bernadine. It was tiny but powerful!

Thank you, Thoth. That is the hope.

Christine, I think there are many who count on their coffee in the morning. Thank you for understanding. :-)

Thanks, Joan. We are nearing a decision. It seems that Krups has a reasonably close replacement.

Kate, I feel your pain and can almost hear the glass shattering as it hits the tap. Thanks for your kind comments.
Yes, rest in peace... My son became a latte lover, his habit was becoming rather costly, so a year and a half ago, before Christmas, I suggested to my 17 year old boy, would he like a latte maker for Christmas. Never a more excited boy have I seen, hilarious! And then he begged me to give it to him early. I did... I'll probably have to get another smaller one for him when he leaves for college this fall, or lose the one I have!

Good luck in your search!
Alas, poor coffee maker, you served us well. Sweet post, Rita. I understand the attachment one can get to one's coffeemaker. The new ones aren't made to last.
Yes, Asia, it sounds like he will need that in college as well. He'll probably always remember that gift from you.

Agreed, Erica. There aren't too many objects I get attached to, but this one had special significance. Thanks for stopping by.
I love your slices of life posts!! How sad to lose an old friend... but how exciting to look for another!
As a lover of the black gold, I felt duty bound to do a bit of research to help you in this time of need. You can indeed find replacement parts, seals and such to repair this machine, available directly thru Krups or a number of other suppliers under Krups model #963.

Of course there's trying to figure out which seal it may be and just like any diagnosis it's seldom the first try that gets it so instead I recommend ebay. At the present time there are five of this exact model listed for sale, incredibly one new in the box even, and all under $20 before shipping. Why you can even have a choice between a black or white setup!

A good coffee machine, like a good friend, is hard to find and well worth holding onto even when times are tough. Good luck with whatever direction you choose to go and of course, happy brewing.
Brazen Princess, I like that thought. Thank you for putting a different spin on our situation.

Brad, you are incredibly kind to check this out for me. I hadn't thought of ebay and didn't think this particular problem could be repaired. I will check into this today. THANK YOU!
I recently got a Tassimo, which produces pretty good fake lattes and cappuccinos...tho I was alarmed to read about how it had a leetul tendency to explode hot liquid all over you. But they sent me a little replacement thingy to put in it and I keep using it (tho go to the far side of the room while it's thumping and hissing).

My late husband used to complain about how things are now complicated (cars w. computers) or impenetrable and generally beyond one's personal capacity to fix. In his youth he built radios from scratch and prided himself on being able to assemble and disassemble his cars and do all his own maintenance. The advent of computers desperately frustrated him, tho he eventually got on one, mainly to do simulated flying...
I understand the sadness in parting with old "friends". May the new one give you many years of joy too.
I have a Keurig machine, a gift from my daughter last Christmas. I love it. Every cup is fresh-made, rather than just the first one. A pot from my old machine would last me two regular, non-stressful days or one baaaad day at work. By the time I got to the last cup, reheated in the microwave, that stuff was like what you get at gas stations. I was a bit bothered about the wastefulness of the K-cups, but I bought a re-fillable one on eBay so much of the time I use that with my favorite bulk coffee.