Monday, March 21, 2011

The cups of our lives

. . . wait a second. Does that title give the impression this is going to be a post about bras? Sorry! Did not cross my mind until just now. Really. No, not bras. Although I could certainly write a long sad post about shopping for those clothing items.

Back to the original reason for this post's title.

I've gone through a number of coffee makers in my life, as I'm sure you have, too--if you're a coffee drinker. I wager (but I'm guessing) my first (waay back in the late 70's) was either a Mr. Coffee, West Bend or a Procter Silex. It was an automatic drip model and likely a wedding gift. (I've never owned a percolator. Seemed like a cruel abuse of ground beans to me.)  I learned quickly that those replacement carafes sold in stores, were made with people like me in mind. (cue sound of shattering glass)

In the past 20 years, my coffee making has changed for the better. In the early 90's, I began to experiment with buying beans at the grocery store and using their grinder. When it was time to replace the current coffee maker, I did research instead of just looking for the features and price I wanted. One of my first favorites, as far as making a nice full flavored brew, was a Cuisinart. Unfortunately, the "brew pause" feature was poorly designed. The simple mechanism was positioned in such a way that if someone used too much force when replacing the carafe under the basket, it would snap off. And mine did. I kept it as long as I could tolerate the mess resulting from failing to remember not to remove the pot during the brew process. Which can be difficult when you have a family who drinks as much coffee as mine does.
Back to the internet to research.

Up next? A Krups. The reviews on Amazon were spotty. A dripping carafe was enough for many people to rate it just one star. People! It's the flavor! Well, as least it is for me. However the coffee websites rated it high for a mid-priced drip maker.

We've been together for 4-5 years, my Krups and I. It didn't mind at all when I began to grind beans at home and decided to use a gold filter instead of paper. But just recently I noticed the base was staying warm several hours after being turned off. I'm not an electrician, but it didn't seem like a good sign. Instead of doing research again, I picked up a Cuisinart at Costco.

It's true, I probably put more coffee in the basket than average and it was immediately clear this coffee maker wasn't up to the task. The ground beans were being splashed onto and behind the "showerhead", under the filter, under the basket and into the pot where it ended up plugging the drip process and making a mess on the counter. It didn't help that the resulting brew wasn't strong enough for me, either.
The Cuisinart has been thoroughly cleaned and it's back in it's box. A new Krups (exactly like the old one) is in the mail.
{Don't tell my coffee maker, but if I had the budget for it? This is the one I'd buy.}
Krups Moka Brew

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