Sunday, October 18, 2009

Get me some towels and hot water. And plenty of coffee.

Mrs W and I are partial to a bit of Lavazza and I recently bought a new cafetiere, which came in a pretty duck-egg blue. Within just a few uses, it was clear that coffee grind was getting caught between the glass beaker and the metal frame that surrounded it. Try as I might, I could not separate glass from metal and was worried that I was going to break the thing.

A quick web search for my exotic, continental "LaCafetiere" revealed that the company responsible was based in north Wales, not far from Prestatyn. I was immediately on the phone. And my high horse.

Amazingly, at the other end of the line was an American guy who took me seriously and talked me through the process of detaching my beaker for cleaning. The best way to imagine this conversation - which I played on speakerphone to Mrs W - is to think of an emergency services operator talking a terrified dad-to-be through the home delivery of his first child.

First of all, we needed to establish exactly which cafetiere I'd bought. This was done through a kind of flow-diagram elimination of different models. Would I say that the glass beaker extended to approximately two-thirds of the height of the total contraption? Could I see a slim vertical window extending down the side of the metal frame, allowing me to view the content of the pot?

Once we knew I had a Rainbow, he put me at my ease by telling me this was definitely one of the stiffest ranges and it could occasionally prove problematic. (In other words, I wasn't a few grinds short of an espresso and wasting his time with a damn fool question.) The solution involved a towel, co-ordinated thumb movements and a bit of patience.

Mrs W and her Lavazza are doing well.

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