We are BIG fans of Illy's iperespresso idea. Larry played with one of these machines in the USA when they first came out, but balked once he discovered he couldn't get the proper capsules via the "bro deal" we enjoy with Illy. (Disclaimer: other than enjoying what amounts to a wholesale account since we share the caffe with anyone who visits our offices, we get nothing special from Illy, we simply think their espresso is the best and most consistent in quality) Check the details here or use the link on our links page, under Our Friends, which is where we put stuff we like and think you might as well.We bought the Gaggia machine (the top photo) here in Italy a few years ago to use in our apartment in Viterbo. We blogged about it then and again when we brought it down to Sicily last year. But this year was different - the little thing's computer brain seemed to have gotten scrambled somehow, the lights just blinked but nothing happened. Before we turned in our van, Larry drove over to the place we get the Illy capsules and picked up the Francis X7 you see below, nicknamed "Stewie" for its resemblance to the TV character on Family Guy. When the going gets tough, the tough take bold action, right? The nearest bar to our apartment here is far enough away that bringing Heather cappuccino in the morning would mean it would be cold by the time it arrived.
So "Stewie" was pressed into service, and while he's just fine, Larry really preferred the Gaggia machine, but what to do? Amazingly, it turns out there was a service facility listed in the owner's manual that turned out to be within cycling distance of our apartment! So off Larry went with the Gaggia box balanced on the handlebars, searching for the repair shop. It turned out not to be at the address specified, but after a few laps around the block and pestering a few folks in the neighborhood it was found. The rest of the story later in a future post.