I hate my coffee machine
May 3, 2023 - ⏱️ 2 minutes to read
As a young adult, I made one of the most characterizing purchases for my apartment: A coffee machine.
As a gen-zer, I went to Amazon and searched for coffee machines. After reading some reviews, the coffee machine I decided to buy is a Gaggia Viva Style, a modest appliance that, at least in theory, should get the job done.
And the machine did well, but only for the first two months, then it decided to start leaking from the handle, and it stopped dispensing coffee.
A little chat with Amazon support
After contacting Amazon support about this problem, they advised me that the handle is a consumable part. They couldn't assist with this component (even if it's a fundamental part of the machine). Their follow-up was: "Buy a new handle."
After checking the price of the said handle, I decided to have my go at tearing it down. I discovered that the sub-component giving me trouble was the "pressurized filter-holder." It was trivially swappable, so I went to Gaggia's site, and to my astonishment, they only sell the complete handle.
I then went on a journey for third-party sellers (online and not), trying to find this part, but none carried a genuine part (Gaggia doesn't sell those).
I decided to cave in and bought a new handle from a local seller. It went brilliantly (but only for two months). Then it exhibited the same problems as the original unit shipped with the machine.
Environmental issues and right to repair
Gaggia designed one of their most popular machines with a flaw regarding the pressurized filter holder, but it's ok, we are humans, and we all can make errors. The infuriating part is that their support channels direct you to buy a part costing 1/3 of the machine, spotting the same design issues as the original.
This issue means producing and disposing of a composed piece of plastic, Teflon, and steel, with a consequent environmental impact, when they can sell the individual part (made of Teflon).
I want to repair my machine. I want my coffee.
Update May 6, 2023
Eliseo Martelli @eliseomartelli
May 6, 2023
I refurbished it using third party parts, let’s see how it holds