Machine …behaving?

I think our old machine has heard word of its imminent retirement, and is trying its best to prove it’s not that bad afterall. For the last couple of weeks, it has actually been running a little more stably. Namely, the malfunctioning autofill on the boiler seems to have magically near-righted itself after months of hellish behaviour. Some engineers tried to fix it, but couldn’t… So, regularly (and always at the worst possible moment), the boiler would decide to completely fill, zapping all pressure. You then had to manually drain off all the excess water, and wait for it to repressurise – playing havoc with the temps as well. As this has cleared-up a bit, I am now benefiting from better stability, and a reduction in the fear felt as I turn on the steam wand, which is nice. Hence, with some lovely new season coffees coming in for the espresso, some of the shots of late have been some of the best I’ve ever been able to produce at work (using Blackburn Estate AB, Finca La Fany, and organic Ethiopian Wotona Bultuma/Brazilian Santa Luzia, to name a few).
However, I fear the machine may just be lulling us into a false sense of security, and planning its next, more devastating move! Also, the consistency is still, well, just not there – and the quality, whilst improved, could still be much, much better. As well as needing to raise the overall standard, and get the best, consistently, from these wonderful coffees, we also need a machine that we can can actually rely on. Therefore, I think the decision is final, its days are definitely numbered …and the search is still on!

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