Friday, January 04, 2013

1118 You Call This Coffee?

1118  You Call This Coffee?

A Keurig coffee maker has taken its place on the kitchen counter.  If there’s anything that will drive you to Starbucks, this machine is it.  Even if you hate Starbuck’s.

The company that makes it, the pretty respectable Green Mountain folks, are counting on some truths about its customers:

1.  They are lazy.
2.  They are used to paying four-bucks at Starbucks
3. They have more money than they know what to do with.
4. They consider coffee makers kitchen sculpture.  (Probably they have a panini maker, a slow cooker, a Nu-Wave Oven, a Ninja Blender and an exotic brand of toaster or toaster oven as part of their display.  But don’t be fooled by claims that “we use our microwave only for storage.”

Those little cups you put into the machine make the worst slop you’ve ever tasted.  Oh, it looks like coffee.  And it even SMELLS like coffee.  But it isn’t.

It doesn’t matter what they call it:  “Breakfast Blend” or “Dark Magic” or “Sumatran Reserve” it’s still weak and tastes processed.

(Why is everyone’s “breakfast blend” watery and weak?  At breakfast most of us want to wake up.  We need that morning “snap” to clear our heads.  Breakfast blend should be re-labeled “Late Afternoon Almost Decaf.")

There are, of course workarounds.   The newer Keurigs “brew” three quantities of liquid, selectable with a push button.  Only the smallest makes anything resembling a good cup.

So you use two smalls to half-fill your mug.

At ten bucks for a dozen “K-cups,” you might as well go to McDonald’s... although their stuff has taken a nosedive since they went fancy.

(Two other places you should never order coffee:  Wendy’s and any Asian restaurant not in Asia.)

So what’s a coffee lover to do?   Well, you can get fill-your-own K-cups.  You can stuff them with store bought, fair trade, organic espresso.  But it still tastes lousy.  Cheaper, though.

The main reason for trading in the Mr. Coffee for the Keurig was cleanliness.  There’s almost no one who can make a mess with a Keurig.  Even the biggest slob in the house (“present, teacher) can’t get grounds all over the floor with one of these.

But desperate times require desperate measures.  So the next thing to do is hunt for that previously mentioned stovetop percolator.  As reported earlier in these pages, no one seems to sell those.  But Amazon does.  And they work.  And yes, there’s the danger of a daily mess.  But you can throw the worst store brand coffee in the world (are you listening Wal-Mart?) into the thing and still come back with a cup worthy of the name.


Shrapnel:

--Proof positive that Al Gore is just another crappy, creepy multimillionaire politician.  He has sold his liberal TV network to Al Jazeera.  So Current TV goes from Keith Olbermann and David Bohrman to Ali Babba and the 40 thieves.

--Of course, Gore and his partner had the right to sell that dog.  But to wrap it in an act of activism is preposterous.  Here’s the quote from Gore and co-owner Joel Hyatt: "Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us."  And Gore added some nonsense about giving voice to the underserved.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2013

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