I broke my coffee machine. Fuck.

Alexei Sorokin
3 min readJun 29, 2022

Using “fuck” in the story title is cheap, I’ve always thought. But this morning’s incident deserves a “fuck”.

It was going to be a lovely morning. I got up early and waited for the local Sprouts to open. It’s just a five-minute walk from where I live in Irvine. I’d run out of coffee beans. To say that I love coffee — plain black, nothing added- in the morning is an understatement. Don’t ask me what I like better — my coffee in the morning or my beer after running. I wouldn’t be able to answer this very hard question.

I have a pretty fancy Cuisinart coffee maker. My wife bought it at the end of last year.

At Sprouts I got my beans and I grabbed some gouda cheese too.

Back at home, I started making coffee and by mistake poured water into the grinding chamber. I’d brewed coffee hundreds of times and there I was fucking up my coffee machine. I guess my Harvard-educated brain was momentarily confused seeing the grading chamber empty (that’s why I went to get the beans!) and decided to put water in it instead of the beans.

First, the machine switched off completely. It wouldn’t power on. I was guessing I’d burned something. Then, with much joy, I discovered that the power outlet needed to be reset. The machine came back to life!

But my joy was premature. First, it kept showing me that the filter compartment was open when it wasn’t.

I got through to Breville customer support and they tried to troubleshoot it over the phone.

Eventually with their help and my own cleaning efforts I almost got it to work. Almost. It’d grind but the ground coffee would never make its way to the filter; I could see how it’d be blocked inside the machine. I’d clean with a knife but it’d get blocked again and again. I guess the grinding mechanism is wet from all that water. Taking it apart is not an option, not for me anyway. Some other folks could probably fix it but I’m bad at these things.

Look at how my morning turned out:

The Breville person told me to ship the machine to them for investigation.

Shipping that thing?! Such a hassle. And how am I going to live without coffee in the mornings? Unimaginable.

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Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. https://runningwritingliving.substack.com/