I don’t remember the exact moment I fell under the spell of coffee. Both of my parents were coffee drinkers and I remember noting the pleasure it brought them. I begged for a taste of it without success. When I was 11, my mother gave me a glass of warm milk with a dash of coffee. I was hooked.
Through the years I have indulged my habit while experimenting with a succession of coffee-brewing machines that began with the automatic percolator, then an automatic drip coffee maker. That was nothing compared to the challenge of finding the brand of coffee that consistently offered the perfect cup. The coffee pod machines gave me hope that once and for all, every cup would be just the right blend every time.
My little pod machine and I were pretty content until I happened to stop in at William Sonoma where the clerk was offering samples of coffee from what looked like a miniature version of the The Bank of England. She handed me a cup and I took a sip. The aroma made me catch my breath. It went down smooth and mellow. The caffeine must have gone straight to my brain because I blurted out, “I have to have this machine.”
The clerk was as excited as I was. Based on what appeared to be a large ratio of stainless steel to plastic on my new bank of coffee, I casually asked, “How much is the machine?” She grinned and said, “$500.” My breath left my body. I thought I might faint right there.
I mentally weighed the value of the Mercedes of coffee makers against my house and car payment, grocery money, and ballet and karate tuition. The coffee maker lost. I made up some pathetic excuse about not having my checkbook and watched the clerk’s joy turn to disgust. I asked her, “What is the name of that machine?” “Capresso,” she hissed.
Periodically I visited other little Capresso models at William Sonoma and other fine kitchen and appliance stores. It seemed there were several versions of her, some no more expensive than my car note. I stared at her little hot milk frother and said, “One day you will be mine.”
On a random visitation, I discovered that the entire Capresso display was gone at my favorite kitchen store. I panicked. The clerk informed me that they were being phased out to make room for their own brand of coffee machines. In fact, she said, “They are all gone except for one floor model on the clearance table.” I pushed past the clerk to the table and there she sat surround by last season’s peppermint hot chocolate and fig-flavored balsamic vinegar. I thought I even heard her call my name. I wrapped my arms around her in case any other coffee fiend was nearby.
“I don’t have a box, but I do have the instructions,” said the clerk. “I don’t care. I want her,” I blurted.
Cappy and I have been together now for 6 years. Once a year we have our own little anniversary celebration of the day she came to live with me. I buy her a new water filter and hand clean her grounds tray.
Some people treasure their jewels, their pets or even their automobiles. All I know is that if there is ever a pre-nup in my future, little Cappy stays with me.