I have a history, you know. A long one. It’s not something I’m proud of either.
I am a murderer.
It’s true. Many the night that I slunk to trash can or dumpster, a bundle in my arms, as I made another offering to the god of waste and futility. My husband has tried to stop me, but still…it continues.
I kill coffee makers.
It’s like some masochistic addiction that I must feed with an astounding regularity. I’ve killed cappuccino machines, expresso machines, drip coffee makers, fancy drip coffee makers, percolators…even single serve machines. I go to the store, spending sometimes vast sums of money to bring home my latest victim. Sometimes, I go to the store and purchase a cheap model for my next victim. It doesn’t seem to matter. They all end up the same way.
It’s not a conscious decision, I never get up in the morning and say, “Today, I shall murder Mr. Coffee.” It just…happens.
This year, I seem to be on the road to recovery. I’ve only killed a handful of them. Three with no name for me to remember, a Rival, and a lone Mr. Coffee have made their way to the trash man’s burden. They were carried away by those who knew not of my sins against the Coffee Makers.
But I knew.
I remembered. I always remember. I never forget them. Usually they are white, sometimes they are black, occasionally, they have been silver. They’ve been accompanied by carafes of many sizes and shapes. Most were glass, a few were metallic. It made no difference.
Who wants a carafe staring them in the eye, reminding them of their sins?
How could I possibly start a day, looking at a relic from my latest victim…or the long line of victims behind it?
The coffee maker is the bane of my existence. I love a good cup of coffee, even if I don’t drink as much as I used to. I can’t stand a bad cup either. I’ll confess, I’m picky about it. Weak, tasteless, or simply horrible coffee is nauseating. Good coffee is rich, strong, and laced with cream and sugar. I love a latte too. Instant cappuccinos are nothing more than another flavor of “cocoa” to me, sort of a sacrilege at the altar of coffee.
So how do I cope with my desire for good coffee and my incessant habit of committing homicide on a coffee maker?
These days, my need for good strong coffee are met by a Rival coffee maker with the habit of not having a warming plate that has a high enough temperature to keep the coffee drinkable for more than 30 minutes, even on a warm day. I suppose it’s better than one of the previously murdered models that burnt the coffee in less than an hour though, as its warming plate was excessively hot. I also have a Melitta single serving and reliable filter holder that I merely pop in a filter, add my ground coffee, and pour the hot water into it where it then brews and slowly drips into my mug. It’s ultra low tech, but it’s also homicide proof and very reliable. It also makes the grade when I’m traveling or camping. I can depend on it.
Why is dependability so important?
Face it, when you want a cup of coffee, you WANT a cup of coffee. I am somewhat ashamed to admit, on one camping trip when I neglected to bring any coffee “fixings” with me, I drove over 60 miles to get a cup of coffee.
I have wept over the lack of coffee.
I’m an addict and a ninny too. I can’t live without it, and can’t accept crappy coffee as acceptable. Making coffee for me isn’t rocket science. I’ve discovered certain things over the years.
Things like different water means probably I will prefer a different coffee. It might change when I slaughter another coffee maker and bring home a new prospective victim too. I’ve also discovered that no matter what I do, no matter what the brand, I can’t make coffee I like when I’m at my daughter’s house. Not even using the same brand of bottled water that I would use at home saves the day for some reason. I suspect it’s because of homicidal tendencies towards her coffee maker…and fear I will not manage to restrain myself and it will result in the death of her fancy coffee maker.
The coffee for me isn’t about the fancy expensive brands, the ritual of grinding, and a long list of exotic flavors or varieties. Sure, there are some I like a great deal, but the day to day coffee these days?
Good old Folgers, but not the wimpy “breakfast blend.” I like a darker roast usually, but our water goes better with strong “classic” or “supreme” these days. I’ve also been a fan of their “Black Silk” blend in the past, but it just didn’t get along well with our water when we moved. I have some others that have been past favorites, but these days, Folgers is my preferred every day brand.
The coffee maker? It’s a Rival, a very inexpensive plain jane model. No frills, but I have discovered that I prefer a coffee maker with a removable filter basket that does not perch over the water reservoir. I’m a bit accident prone, I suppose, but this spares me from attempting to fish out a used coffee filter and the grounds without making a mess, as well as from spilling the coffee into the water reservoir. I don’t like removable water reservoirs either, as I’m somewhat challenged in lifting things, and the weight of a full reservoir is a potential problem with their awkward shape. Let’s just say I can take the art of being a klutz to new heights, and the size of mess created by 12 cups of water and one water reservoir is amazing. What I don’t like about our current coffee maker is that the filter basket must be “clicked” into place. I don’t always get the silly thing to “click”, which can result in everything from the thing plugging up and overflowing all over the counter to merely ending up with coffee grounds in our coffee. (I hate chunky coffee too.)
I also have an expresso pot. I’ve killed many “automatic” models, the inexpensive things that are sold in department stores everywhere, always under $100 in my case. They usually don’t last long for me. All sorts of things go wrong with them. My expresso pot is a low tech stovetop model made in Venezuela, which I didn’t even realize until I went to see what brand it was. It seems that giving it a name wasn’t important, the box merely says “coffee pot.” It’s a small 3 cup model, but that suits me fine. I bought it ages ago when I was single, and besides…my other half doesn’t really care one way or another about expresso. He’ll actually drink coffee made from either re-used grounds (sacrilege!) or instant (another sacrilege!)
Oh the frothed milk…
Yeah, I gave up on the fancy methods ages ago too. Too many problems resulted in my ultra low-tech method. I simply heat the milk in the microwave and then froth it with a battery operated hand held frother I bought from Amazon. Sometimes, I don’t even bother frothing, and merely mix hot milk with hot coffee or expresso. Terrible maybe, but it suits me too.
Then, there was the Tassimo machine. I loved the coffee at first, until I dealt with their customer service. It’s funny, but after going through that experience, I hated it. I stared at it, it seemed to look malevolently back at me. I began to regard it as the “Christine” of the coffee maker world. It gave me nightmares. I feared it would poison me. Obviously, I had to sneak it out of the house, when it wasn’t paying attention, before I became the subject of a new Stephen King novel…
The Tassimo wasn’t the first single serve machine I had tried. It was the most expensive though. (That’s purchase price is what I’m referring to, we’re not going to go into the rest of the “expense” that miserable experience put me through.) The others that I had gracing my counters usually didn’t last long at all, doing no better than the 4 cup pots that I had tried. All of them were inexpensive models, avoiding the specialized cups and disks, allowing me to use my own coffee instead. Most were messy. Some only liked to dispense into their special cups. Some were slow too. None of them lasted beyond a month, causing me to slink to the trash in the dead of night, embarrassed about my latest victim.
I tried a very expensive (for me) retro-looking name brand coffee pot too. It lasted as long as the warranty, then simply refused to do anything, without any warning, once again forcing an emergency requiring me to get out my faithful (and reliable) mug-topping single cup brew basket from the camping gear so I could have a cup of coffee. It made great coffee, but I honestly couldn’t justify spending nearly $100 for a coffee maker that died that soon when a no frills model could do the job for $10 for at least as long.
A coffee maker doesn’t have to look like it just came from the future…or the past. It should first and foremost simply make coffee. I don’t need it to grind the beans, have a series of lights, have many buttons or dials, and I sure don’t want to have to put my glasses on to figure out how to brew coffee. It should be easy to clean, easy to use, and reliable. It shouldn’t frequently result in coffee or water spreading all over the counter and floor. A good coffee maker doesn’t result often in producing chunky coffee, with a thick layer of grounds in the bottom of pot or cup. It shouldn’t leave me with cold coffee, nor should it burn the coffee. I like the automatic shut off feature, and I like “pause and pour.” (Yes, I am impatient. I often pour my coffee when it’s only half brewed, but these features are not deal breakers on a coffee pot either.) It also should not take forever to brew a cup of coffee.
We can send a man to the moon. We can send robots to Mars. I wonder when Science will invent a reliable coffee maker that isn’t priced like it is being made for the moon or Mars though!