The Tale of a Stolen Espresso Machine

I don’t actively look for espresso machines to buy even though I’m in love with manual machines. I was searching online ads not for any real need, just a curiosity. I stumbled upon a commercial espresso machine that was beautiful, and more importantly, it was a spring driven, manual espresso machine, my favorite type. He wanted $900, which was a lot, but I figured maybe I could bring the price down.

The difficulty of the purchase was the size. It was a beautiful machine, but it was roughly 3 feet wide, 2 feet deep, and 4 feet tall. It was a beast, but what a deal.

I asked about the history and why he was getting rid of it. He said he didn’t know how to use it, and it was missing a portafilter. Whatever I thought, his loss. I wondered why someone would buy such a large coffee machine and not invest in a portafilter which doesn’t cost much.

I went out to see it. By this time, I had shared the phone with my coffee friends. I had dreams of setting it up at work and being more obnoxious than I already am with my work coffee setup. I was torn though because I don’t need to spend the money, I felt hard pressed to pass up such a deal.

We went over to his house in East Palo Alto. Palo Alto is a very rich area, but East Palo Alto has a bad reputation. Even my wife didn’t feel comfortable driving there. The house looked normal, and the machine was more beautiful than the pictures. It was in perfect condition. I offered $300. He said it was too low. I also asked again why he didn’t just buy a portafilter. He said he didn’t want to get the grinder and everything else to do the coffee thing. Strange for someone new to coffee to buy that kind of machine.

I came up to $500. He said $550, and I figured why not. I went back to the car to consult with my wife. She was supportive of whatever I wanted to do, but I still felt something wasn’t right with the purchase and wanted to be extra cautious. She said why not wait a day and see how I feel.

I told him, and he was very nice about it. Then he asks if I’m interested in other espresso machines. He shows me one in his kitchen, but I wasn’t interested. Oddly, it had no portafilter. Weird if you are wanting to use it. Then he said he bought a few to try out what he liked. This particularly made me start feeling something wasn’t right because he clearly wasn’t trying them out.

He went back and brought out a nice, manual espresso machine that was new and in the box. It was a spring driven, manual espresso machine called Ponte Vecchio. He said to look it up, and it cost over a $1,000. He only wanted $700. Why didn’t he just return it if it was so new?

The thought that everything was stolen completely sunk in, and I told him, I was going to think about it. I got in the car and left. I was bothered that I knew it was stolen. Even though I didn’t buy anything, I still looked up online for recent coffee shop robberies. There was one in San Diego at the beginning of 2018. It could have been from something else. I don’t know.

I would like to say I’m a man of high morals, but this coffee machine was on my mind for two days. If only he had taken $300, I would have that machine and not have thought about if it was stolen or not. That was the pervasive thought in my head, and I had to work to let it go. I’d rather have known, and I’m glad I figured out someone was wrong before I bought it.

God bless whomever got robbed.

Overthinking Life

Thinking too much on Philosophy, Math, Science, Politics, Work, and Life

Robert McKeon Aloe

Written by

I’m in love with my wife, my kids, espresso, tomatoes, cooking, engineering, talking, family, Paris, and Italy, not necessarily in that order.

Overthinking Life

Thinking too much on Philosophy, Math, Science, Politics, Work, and Life

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