Monday, April 5, 2010

The Old, Reliable Coffee Machine

Regular readers of this site are well aware of my love for coffee and my ongoing struggle with the neurotic gourmet coffee machine from Hell. I had a dollar in change this morning and decided to pop over to the machine to see if it might smile upon me and grant me some delicious Coffea arabica goodness. Cautiously, I plunked my quarters into the machine. The third quarter didn't register. Somewhat miffed, I hit the coin return button and resolved to start the payment process again. Only two quarters dropped out. The coffee machine seemed to taunt me. Enraged, I fought the urge to beat the machine down in order to make it surrender a frothy French Vanilla beverage. I calmed myself down by reminding myself that this was probably due to the negative coffee karma I had recently incurred by ninja-ing coffee from Steve's brewing station twice last week. Okay, three times.

Dejected, and with only 75 cents now in my pocket, I schlepped to the vending lounge to reconsider my options. Amid the glossy soda machines and the hip looking snack machines sits a machine that appears to be an anachronism. Over the years, as the other machines have been updated, this poor little coffee vending machine sat there neglected. Whenever I walk by it, part of me wonders if it doesn't exist in some sort of time warp, localized in that specific location in the vending lounge.

The old coffee vending machine may not be as flashy looking as the gourmet coffee machine I usually use. However, a cup of coffee costs just 50 cents for a beverage that's about 2/3 the size of what is offered in the newer machine. I plunked my money into machine and it whirred to life. It sounded like a rusty pneumatic drill tearing up a slab of concrete. After the grinding and the hissing subsided, I was presented with a steaming hot cup of coffee.

I've used the old coffee vending machine a number of times over the years. Often, I will approach the machine and find that it is in a brewing cycle and is unable to dispense coffee. However, whenever I find it online, I never have an issue with it. It has never stolen my money, it has never dispensed the wrong product and it has never pulled the old "sorry, out of cups, here's your coffee anyway" trick. What I've learned from this machine is that, while new technologies are certainly fun and intriguing, old technologies still have their place.

1 comment:

  1. what's with coffee vending machines this week? sunday we went to see scott's uncle at the VA home, and he wanted a large, and we waited, and no cup came out, and we watched the coffee all go right down the drain. THEN someone finally said.. oh yeah, it only has small cups. umm.. thanks?? lol