Target practice

Coffee machineWe all know these automatic coffee machines: you place a paper cup under the nozzle, hit a button, and out comes a flow of some sort of coffee or chocolate drink. The machine at right is a good example.

The problem with such manual cup placement is that you risk misaligning the cup to the nozzle hidden in the machine’s innards; that’s why the surface you place the cup on is a grille, to allow any spilled liquid to collect out of sight. The machine in this photo has such a grille, elegantly formed into an ellipse. But it has a glaring design flaw…

Below you see two such grilles from two other machines. Both have a circle showing you the target, the optimal location to place your cup in; one even has the targets for either one or two cups.

Coffee machine targets

But the machine shown at the top of this post has no such target – or rather, it does have a tagret arrangement of sorts – concentric ellipses – which has nothing to do with where to place a cup. And indeed, when I snapped it it had a nice coffee stain to show for this design oversight…


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