Caffeine Addiction and the Threat Thereto

I’ve been drinking coffee for most of my life.  I started when I was probably about seven or so and have built up a tolerance to caffeine, ensuring that I can drink strong espresso or cappuccino and then disappear off to bed and sleep like a baby.  This of course has disadvantages: what do you do when you need to stay awake or give yourself a jolt?  Well, I guess I could resort to illegal drugs but that’s never held any attraction for me so I just resort to being sleepy.  Or dopey.  Or both.

Five years ago when I was living in Zurich, I discovered that I could no longer tolerate instant coffee.  Even the bad coffee over there was streets ahead of nearly every instant coffee available and I invested in a little Senseo machine and have pretty much never looked back.  My first machine died after a couple of years – irritatingly late one Friday night – and I found myself in a right old panic wondering what was going to supply my caffeine habit until I managed to leg it up to the shops the next day.  Fortunately, I was within 20 mins of the final delivery window for Amazon’s next day delivery (as I found out during my feverish internet hunt that followed the discovery of the machine failure) and a shiny new machine was delivered to my doorstep by 8.35 the following morning.  Phew!

Over the last few years the new machine has continued to bring fresh frothy coffee to me whenever I demanded it.  Until about a week ago.  It’s now throwing a hissy fit every now and again, decided to randomly switch off after delivering a teaspoonful of dribbled coffee.  Irritating?  Yes!

Having resorted to my old friend Google, I discover that the machine is probably fritzed and I’m now looking at my second replacement.  Do I go for the same one again?  Do I try something different?  Rightly enough, the mug sized pods are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and I usually have to resort to one of the large supermarkets in town to get my fix.  Having never considered replacing the machine, I’m woefully underinformed about the plethora of caffeine delivery systems now available, with the exception of the good old Nespresso machines.  I was lucky enough to have temporary custody of one of these little beauties in my second apartment in Zurich and the coffee is indeed fabulous.  However, the pods are expensive and don’t deliver the necessary size of cup that I’d like – I have to use two pods to get a decent sized cup, which does make for a rather expensive habit.

For now I’ll have to gently coax my Senseo to produce a coffee for me while I research the different machines and what’s available but am rather saddened by this latest loss.


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