Monday, January 4, 2010

Everybody should believe in something. I believe I'll have another cup of coffee.

The unthinkable happened last night.  I was getting ready to brew a pot of after-dinner coffee and while rinsing out the pot -- you know, swirling the water around in it -- I smashed it against the side of the sink.


Yeah, I broke it.  I didn't manage to smash it to smithereens or anything, just busted out a little 1/2-inch piece of glass from the bottom.  In my panic-stricken mind, I started brainstorming about possible repairs.  I had the little piece of glass, rescued from the sink.  I started imagining miracle-glue, duct tape, bondo, you name it.  None of these seemed like real options.

Genius struck!  I remembered that coffee has been drunk for centuries...long before there was electricity and automatic drip pots.  I just needed to filter the hot water through some grounds and presto! There would be coffee.

So, I took a little sieve...almost identical to this one.

And I put a coffee filter into it and I filled the filter full of grounds and then I filled a pot with water until it just got about 1/2 of the sieve submerged and set the pot to boil.  This made a fine little pot of coffee (after much stirring of the grounds with a fork so they'd all actually get wet instead of just floating there).

And by the time I was done, I realized that actually heating up the water in a kettle and then pouring it through the grounds might have some precedent.  My plan for the morning was complete.

There is, however something I hadn't contemplated.  Making coffee in the morning is impossible.  It's a paradox.  It's a miracle that it ever happens at all.  Ya'see, I, like many people, have a hard time doing anything in the morning before having my first cup of coffee.

I've grown accustomed to making coffee (the new fashioned way) in my sleep.  Most mornings I manage to put the filter in before putting the grounds into the basket.  Most mornings I manage to pour approximately the right amount of water into the reservoir.  Most mornings I remember to push the "start" button before I walk away to wait for the noise that signifies the availability of coffee! (You'll note the repeated use of the word "most" instead of "all".  I've been known to skip a step on occasion.)

I have to say, the putting of coffee grounds into a sieve balanced over an empty pot awaiting the whistle of the kettle was almost beyond me this morning.  I didn't want to wait for the water to really come to a boil.  I wanted to pour it all in there at once instead of waiting for enough to drip through the grounds first.

Making coffee is hard!

In little while, I'm off to the store in search of our new coffee maker.  It'll be bright and shiny, and red (don't ask), and most importantly, it'll have a self-timer so I can set it up tonight and have the coffee make itself tomorrow.


Eric said...

Just think how hard it was for cowboys in the Old West who (based on some movies and old magazine advertisements for coffee I've seen decorating the walls of coffee shop restrooms) had to build and start a fire to boil the water for their coffee.

It's a wonder the West was won at all.

Nathan said...

Ah, but the cowboys had the smoored fire from the night before and just needed to toss a little new kindling on it.

The problem was those big-assed coffee pots they used. I bet that was some nasty coffee.

John the Scientist said...

Or you can try the patented JTS method and go without coffee at all.

Chocolate milk is my wake-up beverage.

Yes, I annoy my wife, too. :D

John the Scientist said...

I had a nice mug of lowfat chocolate milk this morning. How was your coffee?


Chris said...

Buy a Keurig. The wife gave me one for xmas and I'm still trying to figure out how I ever lived without the frakking thing.

Nathan said...


I get why people like them, but I can't stand 'em. I prefer a pot of coffee and I hate all those little coffee packs. I suppose it makes more sense if you like flavored coffees and there are people in the house with different tastes, but GF and I like coffee...regular old coffee.

I'll also admit to a prejudice against the damned things from when they're on the craft service table. The only thing worse than having to wait in line behind a bunch of people brewing coffee one cup at a time is when the guy shows up who can't figure out how to work it and brings everything to a standstill.

Carol Elaine said...

The Keurigs look nice, and part of me would love one (even though I drink coffee maybe once or twice a week, and then it's usually decaf), but all I can think about is the waste generated by all those little packets. I'll stick with my old fashioned 4 cup Mr. Coffee. For as little coffee as I drink at home, it works for me.

MWT said...

Mmm... hazelnut coffee smoothies...

...and chocolate soymilk. :D

John the Scientist said...

So, is there coffee in the house yet?

And are you getting your RDA of calcium? :D

Nathan said...


I'm something violent next time I see you!

I ended up ordering the caraffe online from Mr. Coffee direct instead of buying a whole new coffee maker. The caraffe is reasonably priced. The shipping, however...isn't. If I had wanted 1-day shipping, it would have cost almost $70 for the thing. For 2-day shipping, it comes down to around $50. I'm hoping they erred on the side of caution when they said ground shipping ($28 for the purchase and shipping cost) would take 7-14 days. In the meantime, I'm still pouring water from a kettle into a sieve. It sucks.

And you, sir, are NOT HELPING!

John the Scientist said...

I can send you some homemade chocolate syrup my wife makes. Milk doens't ship well, though. :D

Warner said...

You could have used an alternate container, such as a sauce pan and if it has the no drain if no carafe feature, hold up the trigger with a chop stick.