October 8, 2005
I had a brief panic yesterday when my Isomac Tea decided to quit heating. The pilot and heater light were on, but the group head was cold, and there was no pressure on the steam or hot water wands. The brew lever would activate the pump, but only pump cold water.
Doing some googling around, I found some posts on alt.coffee that suggested the thermal fuse (aka “thermo fuse” aka “thermal cut off”) that is mounted next to the boiler. After soliciting some additional advice from the good folks at CoffeeGeek, I tested the fuse, and sure enough, it was blown.
I was able to find a replacement at Radio Shack, and am now back to having a machine that heats properly. Unfortunately, the replacement is rated for a little too high a temp (which means it won’t protect the heating element properly), so I’ve got a new proper temp one on order…
On the bright side, it could have been much more expensive or difficult (replacing the heating element, for instance) and I did get the opportunity to see what all was going on under the covers of the Tea, which was quite interesting… There is sure a whole lot of plumbing and wiring to make these things work…
October 2, 2005
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” — perhaps, but if they called them “stink weeds” it might be more difficult to sell them by the dozen on St. Valentine’s Day.
We’ve all heard various funny stories about companies marketing products with unfortunate names in other languages.
The Isomac Tea is one of the better examples. The story as I have it is that it’s intended to be pronounced “Tey-uh”, in the venerable Italian habit of giving neat pieces of gear women’s names. Unfortunately, when they brought it out here, a lot of people apparently went “Tea? I want coffee, not tea!” and didn’t give it another look.
Which is a shame…