A Tale of Two Coffee Machines

Posted by Conor Murphy on July 25, 2011 in Editorial -- Share:

Big Fish Games Coffee MachinesFor those of you who aren’t aware, our office is in Seattle and in Seattle, we take our coffee very, very seriously.

Coffee. Coffee shops. Coffee festivals. Coffee tours. Shops that are not even coffee shops, but still serve great coffee. Gas stations with coffee. Getting 50 MPG if you add 2 cups of coffee to your gas tank. (Do not try this one at home.)

We don’t even need to drink coffee to feel the effects. Just talking about coffee is enough to get most Seattleites excited.

To that end, the topic of this post will be something that is very dear to my heart – and about fifty feet from my desk (I haven’t actually measured the distance, hence the “about”).

I am talking about the coffee machines at Big Fish Games headquarters. Machines, in the plural sense. My guess is that we have coffee machines in our Cork, Ireland office. But I’ve never been to the Cork office and so I will limit my commentary to the coffee machines in Seattle HQ.

As we are a technology company and coffee to a techie is like Gatorade to an athlete, our coffee machines are nearly as important as heat and electricity. In fact, when someone in the tech sector has a winning streak, the tradition is to dump a hot pot of coffee on their head. It builds the immune system PLUS it keeps their head out of the clouds.

Boudewijn Rombouts Loves Coffee!

International Site manager Boudewijn Rombouts stands in between the two coffee machines. See if you can guess which one is the uber-fancy Machine!

Back to the coffee situation. (Full disclaimer: I am sipping an espresso shot from our office machine as I write this very blog entry!). My department is situated on the 3rd floor. There are 2 coffee machines in the kitchen area. The machines sit side by side (they might actually be standing, but from the human perspective, they appear to be sitting).

One machine is pretty fancy. The other electrical coffee dispenser is a bit more utilitarian. At this point I would like to somewhat randomly point out that our office is located approximately 1.5 miles away from the original Starbucks.

I assume these two machines serve identical tasting coffee. Guess what? They don’t! In fact, I totally prefer the coffee from “Avalon Gourmet” machine, versus the fancy machine. And I am not alone. The Avalon Gourmet machine is so popular, that it is often too popular. Due to the high demand of its liquid output, the machine is in a constant state of repair.

What is the difference in taste? Does the fancy machine have any benefits over the “Avalon Gourmet” machine? Are there folks in the office who prefer the coffee from the fancy machine? Do the people who enjoy the coffee from the fancy machine have other interesting tastes, like foreign films or pizza with tuna? And why does the “Avalon Machine” continue to experience more breakdowns than Charlie Sheen?

These are all good questions that I intend to explore in future posts. Please join me for the ride!

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Conor is a Marketing Manager with Big Fish, working out of the Seattle office. In his spare time he enjoys watching science documentaries and playing old school adventure games. Get in touch with him on Twitter! or Google+