Thursday, September 27, 2007

Equipment Failure Week

So, as part of Equipment Failure Week at Stella, we had our first espresso machine scare. One of our baristas noticed extraneous water inside of our La Marzocco. Frantic phone calls were made and an Intelligentsia technician arrived. After spending a few brief hours putzing around in there, he announced that all was well again.

If it were only so simple. A scare, the way it is usually defined, is something terrifying that comes and goes quickly. One minute the meteor is hurtling towards the Earth, and the next we see fresh-faced children running through lawn sprinklers again. Sure, Bruce Willis is now dead, but that hardly seems a sacrifice.

Now, in the real world, it don't go down that way. You see, after the machine was fixed, Maya and I had realized that we had both stopped drinking the traditional lattes we used to love so much. We both switched to good old drip, thinking that espresso had gotten old for us.

Sily, naive cafe owners we were. When I finally made it to Stella that day, I pulled myself a shot. As soon as the espresso began streaming into the shotglass, I could sense the aroma. It was like ripe fruit, something you have to bite into right away. No choice in the matter, you just have to do it. You can never go off the stuff. So long as it is available, you must have it.

The big scare was not the machine breaking. Rather, it was the damage done by those few days of bad espresso. Maya is mortified, and I am petrified. Is it vice versa? Either way, it's not so good. Of course, the eternal cockeyed optimist that I am, I still sleep at night, but the thought of our faithful drinking overheated, flat espresso does make me cringe. On top of that, we garnered a well-deserved, if somewhat shrill, negative review on Yelp. Actually, I think it was that review that gave my equanimity back to me. Bad publicity beats the shit out of no publicity at all, which means we are still in the TMZ, and on top of that, our product is once again awesome.

That same week, my computer, the one that pretty much runs Stella and houses all of my children's pictures and movies, went completely catatonic mid-surf and never came back. The protracted rescue operation that followed stands in stark contrast to Intelligentsia's speedy handling of La Marzocco. It's like my mother always said - it's good to be a member of the Intelligentsia. And don't you forget it.

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