October 24, 2004

LISTEN UP, GUYS

To deeply impress your beloved on her birthday, all you need do is rebuild her ancient, broken Atomic coffee machine.

atomic1.jpg

Trust me on this.

Posted by Tim Blair at October 24, 2004 02:42 AM
Comments

MUST HAVE

Posted by: goldsmith at October 24, 2004 at 02:57 AM

That rocks!

Posted by: Andrew at October 24, 2004 at 03:03 AM

You BET it rocks, Andrew! Best coffee ever. The device is a little tricky to use -- you need to enter some kind of Zen-coffee thought-phase beforehand -- but the results are outrageous.

My advice: buy the one linked above. Good examples sometimes go for $500 plus, so right now the Ebay-listed Atomic is a bargain. Instructions for use/repair are available at several coffee-related websites.

Home repair can be tricky. I actually went to a car workshop, where serious tools were available. The mechanics were fascinated. They were Italian, of course ...

Posted by: tim at October 24, 2004 at 03:32 AM

I have no idea what to do with it, but now I really really want one.

Posted by: Bryan C at October 24, 2004 at 03:40 AM

It's beautiful. There's no way I'll tell my wife about this. I'll wait for the cheap knock-off.

Posted by: AuSkeptic at October 24, 2004 at 03:43 AM

Sweet! What is it? Did it come from Moon Base Alpha? Sweet!

Posted by: Mikey at October 24, 2004 at 04:07 AM

Cool! I hope your repair work including making sure the safety valve operates properly.

Posted by: Mike at October 24, 2004 at 04:53 AM

Safety valve? There's a safety valve? Let me heat it up and check ... AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Posted by: tim at October 24, 2004 at 04:58 AM

You know you can make it brew the coffee a whole lot faster if you clamp the safety valve shut.

Posted by: MIke at October 24, 2004 at 05:24 AM

what a gorgeous machine. looks like it should be in george jetson's parlor....

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at October 24, 2004 at 07:10 AM

It looks like futuristic sex toy.

Posted by: Benjamin at October 24, 2004 at 08:00 AM

Sounds like the snake charmer was not badly bitten, but pleasantly nibbled!

Posted by: J. Louis at October 24, 2004 at 08:29 AM

Great design but is it just another coffee poseur's machine.
does it make a knock out stretto with magic crema ? mmm 500 buckaroos!
would have to think about chopping in my old dei longhi 350 buck for one of those babes.
obviously works for tim whose rivulets of wit, stream forth like the gurglings from an atomic.

Posted by: davo at October 24, 2004 at 08:33 AM

Drooolllll.... You know, Christmas is just about two months away. Hinty hinty.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 24, 2004 at 09:50 AM

What is that, some sort of medieval torture device?

Posted by: Quentin George at October 24, 2004 at 09:57 AM

PS: it would look lovely sitting between my two Olivetti Lettera (a 22 and a 32) typewriters. Now all I need is one of these, and one of these, and one of these...

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 24, 2004 at 10:01 AM

Quentin: you are obviously a barbarian.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 24, 2004 at 10:01 AM

Davo: I had a Delonghi coffee machine but the thing sucked -- I had only owned it a few months when it stopped working. I paid nearly fifty bucks for the thing! Feh.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 24, 2004 at 10:03 AM

Andrea
I only make expressos. I bought mine at meyers in a sale . you probably drink fluffy caps.
i had a gaggia before that packed up.
The GM of a brisbane major south bank hotel was here only yesterday and reckoned his super duper hotel machine could not surpass it.
Maybe it's the ILLY or mayne your 50 buck machine was a clapped out second hand with no S/steel pressure vessel.
In any case you won't buy the ebay one for fifty bucks try 550.
So Barristers and Baristas take note -Currumbin Coffee reigns!

Posted by: davo at October 24, 2004 at 10:46 AM

PS Andrea
any chance of borrowing the olivetti to produce some backdated memos regarding John's record in vietnam?

Posted by: davo at October 24, 2004 at 10:51 AM

with those prices it looks like i'll have to sell mine!

Posted by: rosceo at October 24, 2004 at 11:14 AM

davo: actually it was just a standard coffee maker -- not an espresso maker. Whenever I get the urge for espresso I usually pick up one of those ten-dollar stovetop cafeteria pots. Unfortunately the last one I had went bye bye: I left the espresso in it overnight and in the morning found its insides all eaten up by coffee acid. Ulp.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 24, 2004 at 11:32 AM

Sci-fi movie hit for 2005: Tom Swift and His Atomic Coffee Maker.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at October 24, 2004 at 11:42 AM

Michael, if you can work a reference to global warming into that, it should be a winner.

Posted by: PW at October 24, 2004 at 11:55 AM

Happy birthday to Tim's beloved.

Posted by: Yoo Hoo at October 24, 2004 at 12:08 PM

Is 'Atomic' just the brand name, or is it an accurate description? I like my macchiatos laced with cancer-inducing, planet-killing plutonium.

Posted by: TimT at October 24, 2004 at 12:48 PM

TimT -- It actually uses two pieces of uranium-235. The black knob in the back is used to move the masses closer together, to create a critical mass and generate heat.

Posted by: Mike at October 24, 2004 at 01:40 PM

That is a beautiful thing! Now *I* want one.

Better start cruising them thrift shops...

Posted by: Dr Alice at October 24, 2004 at 01:43 PM

davo,

500AU, whats that about $25US?

Seriously though, as a mechanical engineer I appreciate fine design and that is one damn fine looking machine.

Now where's a piece of cherry pie when you need one?

Posted by: Joe Bagadonuts at October 24, 2004 at 01:47 PM

Arabica coffee roasted by Tim, of course.

Posted by: Yoo Hoo at October 24, 2004 at 02:53 PM

davo,

500AU, whats that about $25US?

IF only!
Would be great to turn my stack of US$ into serious spending cash.

Posted by: davo at October 24, 2004 at 03:14 PM

Andrea
i'm stil waiting to hear about your 1970's olivetti.
We,ve only a few days left to produce those Vietnam Kerry memos.
Unless the Washington Post beats us to it in the next few days ?

Posted by: davo at October 24, 2004 at 05:34 PM

FYI they still make the Atomic in Italy and you can buy one at Bon Trading, Oxford St Paddington. Of course, you will then run the risk of being marginalised as a 'latte drinker'

Posted by: wbatman at October 24, 2004 at 06:52 PM

Seriously, Mike? No joke? Wow, now I really do want one! Oh, and I'll only use %100 pure genetically-modified coffee beans in it!

Posted by: TimT at October 24, 2004 at 08:52 PM

Seriously, Mike? No joke? Wow, now I really do want one! Oh, and I'll only use %100 pure genetically-modified coffee beans in it

Amateur! I drink only the finest third-world coffee, picked and hand-ground by malnourished Vietnamese orphans.

Posted by: Quentin George at October 24, 2004 at 08:54 PM

Well I never! I thought only really clever people had Atomics. Tim you have a better brain than I thought you had.

This thing is hard to learn but once you have the knack they are simple. Makes the best coffee.

You can get Atomics from the Bon Trading Company in Wollara (?spelling) in Sydney just near Centennial Park. The lady behind the counter doesn't like customers so treat her mean.

Once you've got it walk around to Cafe Moncur for a nosh up.

I've had mine for 10 years. Can't live without it.

They're made in Italy and I'm told that during WWII the workers used to stamp the Star of David in the holes where the coffee drips as a silent protest against the Nazis.

Posted by: TN at October 24, 2004 at 09:44 PM

totally, utterly pathetic the lot of you

if she's not happy with a mug of international roast, she's not worth having

Posted by: ilibcc at October 24, 2004 at 10:20 PM

davo: actually the Lettera 22 was built in the 50s and the 32 was built in the early (I believe) 60s. I do however have a 70s-era Smith Corona which needs a new ribbon, and a couple of 80s Olivetti-Underwood machines, which are, however, pretty crappy. (The company's manual typewriter product seems to have gone downhill after the 70s, probably because everyone was getting into electrics at that time.)

Any of them, of course, could have produced a more authentic-looking memo than the notorious CBS memo.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 25, 2004 at 02:03 AM

Quentin George That IS the genetically modified coffee. That Agent Orange stuff gets around...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 25, 2004 at 05:27 AM

Wasn't Saddam using those for his chemical weapons program?

Speaking of WMDs, I was shopping at Fry's Electronics the other day and saw a can of extra-caffeinated coffee on the shelf. Yikes!

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at October 25, 2004 at 03:54 PM

BON TRADING CO
U 12/ 12 Oxford St
Woollahra NSW 2025
AUSTRALIA
(02) 9331 2007

thanks Whitepages.com.au

Posted by: kae at October 25, 2004 at 05:55 PM

Alan K. Henderson: we wants it, yessss we does Precious!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 25, 2004 at 10:01 PM

I have an idea. Let's have another presidential debate, but require each of the candidates - and moderator Chris Matthews - to down a latte-sized serving of capuccino made from that extra-caffeinated coffee. Watch 'em bounce off the walls.

If you call the nearest Fry's they can tell you the brand name. It's located on the impulse-buying aisle on the way to checkout.

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at October 26, 2004 at 02:24 AM

Pull the plug out before you go to bed.

Posted by: Richard Smith at October 26, 2004 at 07:06 PM