Friday, November 25, 2022

I Wonder if it's a Patent Thing or What

I prefer espresso. Tamara prefers regular drip coffee.

A few years ago, we went from a drip coffee maker with a big pot to a cheap Keurig-style single-cup brewer, and then (when the el cheapo stopped working) to a real Keurig (a low-end, single-cup-only type I found on sale). We have the little baskets to use our own coffee with instead of buying expensive pre-made K-cups.

In the meantime, I've gone through a succession of cheap yard sale espresso machines. I understand that the average life of those low-end, nine-bar machines is two years. Since I buy them used for $5-10, less than that before (my best guess) the gaskets/seals go and they no longer do their thing.

So I was looking at Amazon Black Friday deals this morning, and even outside the "Black Friday deal" categories, and was surprised to not find what I was hoping to find:

A single machine that will brew either espresso or regular drip coffee, and that will accommodate both K-cup and Nespresso and/or Dolce Gusto container shapes.

Press a different button and it either drips hot water through coarser grind coffee in a loose basket or puts pressurized water through espresso grind in a tight pack.

Yes, I know you can buy K-cups that are supposed to approximate espresso in terms of flavor, etc. But I prefer the real thing, and she prefers her regular coffee.

My guess is that there are lots of people/couples/families with varying coffee preferences between them (or with one person at different times). Seems like one machine to do it all would be a big seller if the price was right. But I'm not seeing anything like that at the high end, at the low end, or otherwise. I found a couple of Dolce Gusto machines for less than $100, but both of our current machines are still working so unless I can find some kind of dual-use thing, I'm in no hurry to buy.

It's not a big huge hairy deal. I can continue picking up low-end espresso machines as needed. Even new ones can be found for ~$40. And it's not like having the two machines uses lots of extra counter space or anything. But it just seems like a market niche that someone could make money by catering to.

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