First, in case the title of this post has worried anyone, I should say that it has nothing to do with the hazardous combination of a newly mobile baby plus burning hot coffee (though it probably goes without saying not to let your baby near hot burny things in general). Instead, this post tells the tale of a coffee machine that we had for a little while, and the less than pleasant outcome for our kitchen.
Some background: Joe and I are “coffee people” who brew up a fresh pot every morning to drink with breakfast, so a good reliable coffee machine is a must. And in our modestly-sized kitchen, counter space is at a premium — you can see a floor plan here, but basically there are just two sections of countertop, one between the sink and the stove (which serves as the main food preparation area) and a smaller section between the sink and the refrigerator (which is where we cram various foodstuffs and appliances that need to be used on a daily basis, like the toaster and the sugar jar).
So when we received a Black & Decker Spacemaker coffee machine as a Christmas gift, it seemed like the perfect thing. It bolts to the bottom of your kitchen cabinets, freeing up the space beneath it and generally making things feel a bit more spacious. Here it is after we installed it in our kitchen:
It did require some drilling through the bottom of the cabinet in order to install it, and included a handy template to show you how to space out the holes. The bolts were pretty unobtrusive, even if I did accidentally splinter the wood a little while drilling the holes. Here’s what the emptied-out cabinet looked like after installing the hanging coffee machine:
The mounted position worked really well for us, and it was a nice coffee machine — it had a timer and everything, so you could set it the night before and wake up to a hot pot of coffee with no groggy early-morning preparation required. For a few months, we enjoyed our lovely space-saving coffee machine.
But… little did we know that something sinister was happening with every pot we brewed. Hot coffee will naturally produce some steam, which resulted in a bit of condensation building up on the front of the cabinet. I noticed it in passing a few times, but figured it was no big deal… and by the time we realized that the steam was actually corroding the cabinet, the damage was already done:
The cabinet ended up with some discoloration and the finish completely peeling away to reveal bare wood. In case it’s hard to tell from the photo, the damaged spot is roughly aligned with the coffee pot handle in the first photo (and you can see how undamaged that section of cabinet was when we installed it).
I’m not sure if our particular machine had some kind of defect, or if we installed it slightly wrong, or if the finish on our cabinets was just so old and flaky that it was bound to happen… But in the end we went back to a traditional on-the-counter coffee machine since the mounted one didn’t seem to be working out.
Granted, our kitchen cabinets weren’t new or pristine by any stretch, and over the years they had developed some very obvious signs of wear in places. And while it would be nice to do a full kitchen remodel someday down the road, it’s hard to deny that the cabinets are still perfectly functional — though maybe this is a sign that we should start looking into repainting or refinishing the cabinets to spruce them up a little.
For anyone reading this, have you ever tried a mounted coffee machine? And if so, did it do anything weird to your cabinets?