Almost ten years ago I received a coffee machine for my 28th birthday. What a big deal it was. I mean, who has a coffee machine at home? Only serious coffee lovers and rich people. So which one was I? As the excitement died down and I had thanked everyone I needed to for the amazingly generous gift, I began noticing that I wasn’t the only one with such an incredible appliance in my kitchen. There weren’t many of us, but we were not alone either.
As time went by and my coffee machine grew tired my love for coffee became more and more established. In fact, I couldn’t do without it anymore. In the past there were days where I could skip coffee. Now that was no longer possible. Was my coffee machine birthday present to blame for this addiction? Did I feel uncomfortable about my attachment? Was I regretful at all? No, no and no.
Coffee machines in the home are a sign of our times. No longer a status symbol, in 2011 they have become a necessary item, appearing on most wedding registries and wish lists. Coffee machines represent the unreachable now being attainable as with so much else of what we find fills our daily lives. Suddenly, we can keep up with the ‘tweets’ of famous people; suddenly we can comment on an icon’s facebook page. Suddenly, espresso can be brewed at home and it’s no big deal. The romance of the coffee shop is still appealing and while it still lasts cannot replace the convenience of a coffee in bed first thing in the morning.
The café is no longer the place you go to just for a good coffee. Yes it is safe to say that most establishments that call themselves cafes have a professional standard commercial coffee machine to match their name, but that’s not the only reason you came anymore. Now you go to socialise, you go to be seen, you go for the great sandwiches and organic produce they use in their kitchen, you go because you need to get the kids out and keep yourself sane at the same time. But great coffee? You have that at home. Beautiful crema? You can do that yourself. The unmatched aroma of fresh coffee just ground? No big deal. In your kitchen.
So I guess my question is this: If not only coffee but great coffee is at the tips of everyone’s finger tips, or at least everyone who chooses it so, then will coffee fade out, like other fads have? Is café culture just the in thing at the moment? Will green tea take over? If anyone can make real coffee at home with automatic coffee machines that are user friendly and fool proof, will people get wick of it?
I think the answer to my question is this: No. I think that coffee machines will not be going anywhere soon, except into the future. That is, the automatic coffee machines we have in our kitchens this decade will look archaic to the coffee making devices that will be available for purchase in the near future. And everyone will want one, at least. Because as the world grows more and more demanding coffee is the substance that will get us through the days that seem to grow shorter and longer all at the very same time. Watch this space!