Coffee machine revelation

My husband and I have bought a fancy new coffee maker, and it has had a real positive effect on our relationship.

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Mr T and I just invested in a coffee machine. The result? A complete shift in the dynamics of our relationship.

We had always been instant coffee drinkers: a spoonful from a jar stirred into hot water and hey, presto, a cup of black gold in under five seconds. From the gasps of horror my admission elicited from American and Canadian colleagues, there might not be anything worse in the world than instant coffee, apparently, except perhaps instant coffee with powdered milk and sickly sweet saccharine tablets.

In an effort to refine our coffee tastes - I was told that the points gathered when serving an elaborate gourmet dinner from scratch are automatically cancelled out when I offer my guests hot water and coffee granules at the end of it - we began our research.

Enter the discovery of the capsule-friendly coffee maker, thanks to a few friends who we have decided to put up on pedestals in honour of their coffee-awareness. The coffee capsule, to me, is the perfect example of the perfect invention: a sophisticated little gem of ground coffee just waiting to turn into creamy, frothy, rich liquid. Sleek, user-friendly and with no more than three buttons, that particular type of machine guarantees minimal clean-up and does not require me to dismantle it into 113 minuscule pieces to guarantee a fresh, smooth cup of coffee. It also does not require me to read the manual for the umpteenth time before every use - something I still have to do with both our dishwasher and washing machine.

Our minds made up, we splurged on a model that I deemed the sexiest of the lot and I cradled it in my lap all the way home, together with the 16 sample capsules of java delight our purchase came with.

Overnight, both our personal and social lives began to revolve around the compact black, silver and orange machine on our kitchen countertop. We tripped over our feet to get to the machine first and offer the other person a cup of coffee. Espresso? Lungo? Ristretto? Intenso or volluto? Or perhaps a decaffeinato? We began discussing the possibility of Italian language classes, considering how much the conversations in our apartment began to resemble the chatter of a trattoria.

I have been daydreaming about having friends over for a coffee-tasting marathon. I am going to serve them bitter dark chocolate with their cups of espresso. And speaking of cups, I am going to go hunting for the perfect ones to serve the delicious coffee in. There are no limits to how far I can go with this.

As for Mr T, he's just delighted that our coffee purchase equates to his wife's presence in the morning - it takes so little to please the guy. In anticipation of the espresso that awaits me at the start of my day, I have been getting up earlier and earlier, which means I spend more time than I ever have with my husband before he heads off to work. A win-win situation, really: he gets me, and I get my espresso.