Making tough decisions is part of any marriage. Where should we move? Which house should we buy? Do we want children? How should we handle our finances?
It’s a partnership. A union of two people, coming together to debate, discuss, and ultimately, to decide. There will be sometimes friction, disagreements, possibly even a bit of yelling. And almost always, there will be compromise.
Scott and I have faced our share of tough choices over the past seven years. Moving to New York for graduate school, relocating to Minnesota for Scott’s job, and finally buying a house certainly rank amongst the most challenging decisions we’ve ever made. Yet even these pale in comparison to the painstakingly impossible decision we’ve been wrestling with over the past few weeks.
Which espresso machine are we going to buy?
It’s no secret that Scott and I have differing opinions when it comes to coffee makers. Remember my beloved Tassimo he made me give up for adoption as the cups it used weren’t recyclable? (Insert eye roll here.) After several Katrina-style hissy fits, he ultimately agreed to purchase me a Keurig single cup coffee brewer to replace it — so long as I only used the refillable K-cups you put your own coffee grounds in, and composted the contents after each use. This system lasted for about a year before I arrived at two important conclusions.
- Constantly filling, composting, washing and drying those reusable K-cups is a huge pain, and takes away the entire “convenience” aspect of a single cup coffee brewer.
- My coffee tasted terrible. I used the finest ground espresso blend I could get my hands on, and the coffee still wasn’t strong enough.
Not one to settle for weak coffee, I’ve been secretly buying “real” K-cups from Wal-Mart for the past several weeks. Scott looked the other way for a month or so, before eventually confronting me about the wastefulness of my coffee pod habit. It quickly became apparent the time had come to buy an espresso machine.
(I suppose having a husband obsessed with saving the planet isn’t all bad.)
Unfortunately, the selection process has been less of a fun shopping spree, and more of a heated debate. With so many options to choose from, Scott and I are having one heck of a time agreeing on “the one”.
Scott has insisted we opt for a machine that can be plumbed into our reverse osmosis water line, so he doesn’t have to constantly refill a water tank. I quickly pointed out that he doesn’t even drink coffee…so he wouldn’t have to fill the tank in the first place. I don’t mind refilling the water reservoir once a week, so the plumbing thing was a non-issue. Also? 99 percent of espresso machines aren’t even equipped to be hooked up to plumbing. The select few machines that are prepared to be “plumbed in” start at about five thousand dollars, and require being mounted on the wall like a major appliance.
In spite of putting my foot down several times, there is currently a man downstairs installing a second reverse osmosis system in our kitchen as I type this. He will then be drilling a hole through our concrete countertops for this ridiculous espresso maker to hook up to the osmosis tank. Not only is the entire charade costing an arm and a leg, the noise from the installation is making it incredibly difficult to concentrating on typing this coffee-fueled saga.
Did I mention Scott doesn’t even drink coffee?
Fortunately, I’ve found several articles online detailing how to take a regular old espresso maker, and plumb it into a water system yourself. Not only will this save a great deal of cash, it means I don’t have to buy a mammoth espresso maker and mount it on the wall like a freaking oven. Yay, compromise!
Unfortunately, the plumbing debate has only been half of the struggle. You see, I — the person who will actually be using this espresso maker in the first place — have my heart set on an automatic machine that grinds the beans itself, and doesn’t require one of those shot cups with a handle that you fill with coffee, and then lock into place before brewing. (I have no idea what these things are called, but Scott refers to them as “the clickety clack.”)
Scott: Absolutely not. The automatic ones have way more working parts than the old-fashioned ones. It’s so much easier for them to break down. We’ll spend a fortune on repairs.
Me: Oh, we will not. Plus, I don’t want to have to fill, compost, wash and dry that thing for each cup of coffee I make. It will be no different from those stupid reusable K-cups you sentenced me to.
Scott: You’re being dramatic. It’s so easy to fill those things and do it yourself. We’re getting one with a clickety clack.
Me: You don’t even drink coffee! I’m the one that has to use this every day, and I don’t want to deal with a clickety clack!
Scott: You’ll learn to love the clicketly clack.
Me: I WILL NEVER LOVE THE CLICKETY CLACK!
The jury’s still out on which machine we’ll be ordering. It’s an appliance we plan on having for life, not to mention an investment of a couple thousand dollars. This home brewing system — as wannabe yuppie ridiculous as it it– is a big decision, and I want to make sure we both feel good about it. (Translation? Over my dead body will a “clickety clack” be involved.)
Marriage is hard. Especially when there’s coffee involved.