Basically, the machine still heats up and the pump still runs but only develops around 3 bars of pressure. How am I meant to make espresso with only 3 bars of pressure!? It's a nightmare of underextraction that leaves a very bitter aftertaste.
Now, I realise the dangers of narrowly basing self-worth on a single aspect of your life, but cappuccino making is a) the only employable skill listed on my resumé, and b) the sole reason that Hannah allows me to hang around. "No espresso, no caress-o," my wife has stated. "If you're not foaming, you can go roaming," she added. Or maybe not - I'm having significant caffeine-withdrawal hallucinations at the moment.
Between the bouts of wailing, gnashing, and drinking drip (drip!!) I have managed to arrange to return the machine to the manufacturer who, for a not-so-small fee, promise they will fix it. The turnaround on this process can be up to six weeks, but at least I get my Lenten fast out of the way early this year.
At moments like this, it is helpful to keep things in perspective. Current events are producing threats to the fundamentals of liberal western democracy that have not been this great for many generations...and now my coffee machine has broken! Time for the only acceptable British response to such a crisis: put the kettle on.
The manufacturer was nice enough to send me packing materials to return the machine. Sure that box is big enough? I'm returning a coffee machine, not a child! Although if that's a service you offer...
Goodbye machine, do not go gentle into that good night...
Coffee, in happier times. Aaaaarrrrghh!!!