Gaming the Coffee Machine

We’re in Bordeaux, on the second day of our drive-and-dine roadtrip through southern France.

Our hotel has a lovely buffet breakfast laid out and I’m finding myself very entertained by my fellow guests as they do what’s necessary to get themselves their morning coffee. The ”coffee machine” looks like this:

Espresso, coffee, latte, cafe creme, americano, and hot chocolate

The machine is pretty simple to use: put a cup in place and tap the desired picture. This snazzy, single-serve machine will then grind the necessary beans, brew the coffee, and dispense the right amount. So easy!

And yet… Some of guests have noticed that the large, generous cups are not filled all the way, so they figure they can run a second choice into the same cup to top it off.

I can understand thinking you can double up on the caffeine by running an espresso in on top of a regular coffee, for example, but what I don’t get is how badly people seem to estimate how much room is left in the nearly-full cup. Some hilarity ensues.

As the cup fills and overflows, one guy panics and punches multiple buttons to make it stop, without success. Another keeps discreetly tipping some liquid out of his cup into the drain tray until the second cycle ends. And my favorite was a lady who just pretended nothing untoward was happening and walked off with her full-to-the brim cup, leaving a trails of spills through the dining room and the machine dispensing the remaining coffee directly into the drain.

What did they think was going to happen, I wonder?

Me? I drink tea.

2 thoughts on “Gaming the Coffee Machine

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