It was closing time at Java Junction last Wednesday night and barista Rachel Jantzi, a junior, was washing dishes in the back room. When she returned to the coffee preparation area, she was surprised to find the espresso machine smoking as small flames rose behind the espresso spout. The fire was due to a small malfunction of an electrical piece within the machine that had become rusted and worn down, allowing water to drip through to the electrical wiring.
The machine sparked and smoked on Wednesday evening, but by Thursday afternoon, it was back in working order.
Michelle Horning, professor of business and supervisor over Java Junction, had anticipated that the machine was close to malfunctioning. She had already scheduled a routine check-up with coffee shop machinery specialist, Chris Williamson.
“The expected life of a heavily used espresso machine is five years,” Horning said. “Though, because our machine is not as heavily used due to the time periods we are closed throughout the year, this machine has had about a nine and a half year life.”
Jantzi, one of the six new hires at Java Junction this semester, was relieved that the malfunction did not cause permanent damage.
“The machine works perfectly fine now and is causing no problems,” Jantzi said. “Thank God it still works!”
The machine is back in working order and Java continues to be open for business at regular open hours. Java is open from 7.30 a.m.-4 p.m. and 7.30-11.30 p.m. Monday-Friday. On weekends, its hours are from 1-4 p.m. and 7.30-11.30 p.m.