Monthly Archives: June 2016

There’s Trouble a’Brewin’

I started drinking coffee because years ago, one of my bosses had a secretary that would bring him coffee, and after we went out a couple of times, she would bring me coffee, too. It pays to sit next to your boss’ office. It pays to date the coffee maker. (The person who makes coffee, not the machine.) (Yes, this was a long, long time ago. At my current job, nobody has secretaries but upper management, and they have assistants, and they don’t make coffee. Well, they might, but if you’re in Dallas and your assistant is in Raleigh, it doesn’t help much.)

That started a long addiction to the bean-flavored hot water.

I’ve had fresh-brewed coffee, stale-brewed coffee, coffee from random machines, Starbucks (it gives me a headache), instant coffee, you name it.

Eventually, I became a bit of a coffee snob. I went from instant to brewed coffee to grinding beans just before brewing. I even roasted my own beans. Once.

I spent years on the Gevalia plan, getting overpriced coffee shipped to my door, so I could grind beans every morning, and make a fresh pot. (Being home-officed means you are in charge of your own coffee.) I finally gave it up to prove to the Spousal Unit that I could give up my frivolous spending, but it just encouraged her to increase hers, since we were saving money elsewhere.

If I had to go into the office, there was a QuikTrip on the way, and I like their coffee. Plus, the drive there was about as long as it took my diuretic to kick in, so win-win.

Over time, slowly, I stopped grinding. I suppose it was because I found that I could order Wawa coffee (after having it every day while visiting the in-laws) but they didn’t have beans, just ground. It may also be because I am getting lazy. One less thing to clean, one less thing to do.

So, Wawa is pre-ground. But it’s good.

So, I went from “Frankly, I feel that if you don’t grind your own beans, you are not receiving the essence of coffee” to “Wawa good. Brew now.”

That was the first step into darkness.

The next issue was that the Spousal Unit gave up coffee. So, now, when I made a pot of ten to twelve cups (aka three to four mugs) in the morning, I was drinking it. All of it.

Wow. That will raise your heart rate, especially when coupled with constant conference calls.

That is just too much coffee, even for me.

So, I needed a way to make less, and I really don’t like how coffee tastes when you try to brew only a couple of cups in a big machine. I got down to making about three mugs, which was less waste, but it still took a while to brew, and I was usually behind schedule in the mornings.

That lead to the … evil … K-Cup.

There were only a few things in the coffee world I had said I would never do.

  • I had made instant (shudder!)
  • I skipped coffee, had soda or tea and survived the mornings, but would have a headache in the afternoon.
  • I had used an Italian stovetop espresso machine (and not blown up the kitchen), after I had to go buy espresso cups.
  • I had used a French Press (Spousal Unit broke it.) Actually, I had a large one and a small one.
  • I had used a vacuum pot (Spousal Unit broke it.)
  • I had made cold brew coffee, the last time it was in vogue – it’s coming back again.
  • I had used an aluminum percolator like my Grandmother had, just without putting eggshells in it to mellow the brew.
  • I had used a single-cup drip coffee maker that was really just a filter holder that sat on top of a cup.
  • I had a four-cup machine, a ten-cup machine and a twelve-cup machine (Spousal Unit broke the carafe.)
  • I ended up with a twelve-cup machine with a reservoir for the coffee and nothing made of glass that the Spousal Unit could break.

However, I had never used a single-cup K-Cup machine.

I don’t know what my original objection was, since I’m old and rather forgetful, but it was a pretty strong objection, let me tell you.

So, now I have a single-cup brewer. In my defense, it will also brew grounds and pods (if you can find pods), so I’m not stuck with just K-Cups. It’s a multi-tasker. Sort of.

Now, I can make one cup of coffee at a time. It takes two minutes, which is a lot less time than brewing a pot of coffee. In fact, I can get one cup brewed while I’m removing the previous cup from my system. Efficient.

Single-cup tasted better when somebody was bringing it to me. However, I’m not wasting a half a pot any more, and that bothered me a lot.

The only issue is that the K-Cup universe thinks 10oz is a large cup. Have these people never been to Wawa? QuikTrip? 7-11? (I leave Starbucks out, since I do not make enough to enjoy a large cup of Starbucks coffee.)

Luckily, the cups that came with our dish set are the perfect size for single-cup use. Now, I know why they were so tiny. Otherwise, you just brew twice into the same cup. This is non-optimal, obviously, because who has four minutes to wait for coffee?

I still make a pot of coffee on days I will need it – say, more than two meetings. The rest of the time, it’s one at a time.

Wawa sells K-cup pods.

Life is good.