Monday, January 28, 2008

Coffee, Coffee, Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink

You know when the fates whisper to you in some quiet way about it being time to change your life...

a fortune cookie reads exactly what you've been thinking

or someone sends you a posting for a new job out of the blue, one that is perfect for you

or you run into someone by accident that you haven't seen in twenty years and it reminds you of something you've lost along the way...

You know, Hallmark stuff.

And then there is the rock being dropped on your head.

I got the rock this morning.

Two weeks ago, I broke the coffeemaker. The carafe slipped out of my hands, smashed, and the display had been broken for months making it almost impossible to set.

Let's get a new one, Jeanine said.

She brought home a nightmare of a machine. I could not figure out how to make it work. It required grinding two different times. You had to press three buttons in a certain succession in order for it to work.

It's fine, Jeanine kept saying.

I refused to make coffee. I do not have a PhD in electronics. I don't want a coffeemaker that requires one.

Finally, one morning as Jeanine shuffled over the the machine and pushed one of the many buttons, she sent a spark into it (from shuffling) and zap. The machine was dead.

I smiled. Now we need a new one.

Buying gear, electronics, computers, anything with a switch and no real design options, are all Jeanine's domain. I don't want it to cost a lot. That's all I care about.

And how many buttons are on it.

This time, she required several days to accomplish the task. In the meantime, we were drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee, which I love but is NOT strong enough for 6:00AM. Not even remotely.

Not to mention you have to go out to get it.

You go, I begged.

No you go.

Oh, please...

Fine, I'll just have tea, Jeanine said, covers over her head.

Yuh, like you're going to drink herbal tea in the morning.

Which brings me to this morning and the rock. After purchasing yet another new coffee maker, I came downstairs this morning to find coffee so light I could see the bottom of the cup after pouring it.

The grinder feature- oh you know gadget girl needed to have an auto grinder- didn't work properly.

Finally, I got it.

Perhaps it's time to wean myself off my coffee habit. Twenty years ago, I quit smoking. I quit because I realized I would walk barefoot in a blinding snowstorm to get a pack of cigarettes.

Without even thinking there was anything wrong with it.

Maybe the fates tossed me a gentle nudge and seeing my oblivion, dropped a rock on my head.

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Anonymous Laura said...

or you can just go to Starbucks!

11:23 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

too far!!

dunkin donuts is really a block away.

and besides, I don't feel like I can go to starbucks in my jammies, muck boots and carhart jacket.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Margaret said...

I gave up coffee in November because my doctor said caffeine was making my breasts hurt, and the hurting breasts were driving me crazy by making feel myself up all day long, sure I had a tumor. Anyway, it's not so hard, but for me the trick was to switch to decaf, which fakes the brain into thinking it's getting actual coffee. And, unfortunately, you need a coffeemaker for decaf, too.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would go to starbucks in said outfit just to watch all the yuppies cringe!!

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...


You can go to Starbucks like that! You'd be surprised how I go! Although, ours has a drive thru....that TOTALLY helps at times!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

dunkin donuts is really a block away.

Man, you gotta love New England!

2:44 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

What rock? You're just getting the wrong coffee makers.
All a coffee maker REALLY needs to do is heat water to a certain temperature and siphon it through ground coffee beans.
Even vaguely inferior coffee is better than going out in the snow.
I think you're just being reminded to simplify, not give up caffeine.
Of course I say that as someone who will give up my Krupps programable coffee maker when they pry my cold dead hands from its precious carafe.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

well, Jeanine just fixed it- or so she's says.

decaf is pointless.

Ms. Moon... prying your dead hands... Oh, I get it. but dont you think that makes us a tad addicted?

Just a tad?

another friend emailed me and said I was nuts. coffee is good for you.

I know it's good for my children. If I didn't drink it, I'm not sure what kind of nightmare I'd be first thing in the morning.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

Oh, hell. Addiction is just a word that makes us fear. Like terrorism. Of course I'm addicted to caffeine. But so what? I heard a scientist on NPR (I swear this is true) say that if coffee were invented today, we would call it a health food.
So drink your coffee.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Ulla said...

I'm with ms. moon all the way. Why give up coffee? You like it, with moderation it won't hurt you, and it's good for the kids.
Here's the simple solution - which, by the way, is scientifically proven here in Denmark to make for the best coffee: get a thermos - put a conelike filter holder on top with a paper filter and the ground coffee of your choise. Now the important bit: boil the right amount of water in a kettle. When it boils, grab the kettle and wait appr. 20-30 seconds. It has to stop boiling. It has to cool a little bit. Wait till it is completely still, but no more than that. Then pour on the ground beans - fill up the filter. Wait til the water sinks half way down, and fill up the filter again. This is important, because the point is to make the ground coffee whirl around in the water several times. Then you are done! Wonderful coffee - the best - and you can just bring the cone, filters and thermos along to the summerhouse. The next best choise is a french press, but that is a nuasance to clean.
Now, if the coffee comes out too bitter, the water was too warm. If it comes out slightly flavorless, the water was too cold. This all sounds like a complicated prosedure, but it's really easy and low tech (and cheap, too).

2:44 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

The filterholder should look like this

with a sort of "spout" and a "collar" so it doesn't tip over.
The danish price equals 4 dollars incl. VAT!

2:59 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

okay, Ulla, one more reason why I am going to move to Denmark.

Health care and coffee.

I am having a lovely cup right now, and I will say, it is not to be replaced by tea or decaf.


5:47 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

For universal healthcare you should move to France - it is not that great in Denmark. It is free, but lousy.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Ulla said...

I should correct myself here: we get the best healthcare we can get at a really low cost. It's very cost-efficient. Nobody gets the best possible treatment, but we all get the same so-so treatment. There are waitinglists for a lot of things, including cancer treatment. I'm sure, in America, the insured get better treatment, while the uninsured get less than we do.
An example: I had a symptom - it could be breastcancer. I was scared, obviously. My doctor said it should be looked into, he wrote a referral to the hospital. It took the hospital a fortnight to inform me that I could be examined in six weeks. My husband and I opted to go to Copenhagen and buy an exam at a private hospital. It cost us 400 dollars. I didn't have breast cancer - and, as the doctor informed me: the long wait in the public system was due to the fact that my symptom and my age (37) made me low-risk. Statistically, the wait would only cause an infinitisimal number of that kind of patient to die. You see?

6:30 AM  

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