At first, I was skeptical. It’s like a man buying you a pair of shoes. What does a man know about women’s shoes? How does he know what makes a good shoe or what looks good? Chris is a coffee neophyte without the slow-roasted years of acquiring a coffee taste. So many of my years rejecting gas station coffee (this is swill), to office place Mr. Coffee (this is burnt), to Starbuck’s coffee (money can buy you flavor), and finally finding what I like leading me to very finicky coffee taste.
(perhaps the only person more finicky is Jerome Harrison who has an entire coffeehouse sitting on his kitchen counter and special coffee delivered to his house)
Chris brings home this giant box containing the coffee machine that is said to solve all of my coffee woes. The ones that I have when I have to clean our current coffee pot or when I forget to press a button or put on a lid or add the filter because it has so many parts there is bound to be one I forget which often results in a river of coffee flowing down my countertops and making one very messy mistake.
I look at the new coffeemaker. It rests in a giant box with a picture of a woman on it. A very large picture. She is blond and holding a coffee cup. She is smiling. This is the best cup of coffee she’s ever had. Take her word. Judging from her very white teeth, she’d know.
My husband - getting a little more than appropriately excited by the fact that we now have something in our house powerful enough to heat a rocket engine - actually wakes up early on Thursday. Actually takes the dog out. And then by some divine miracle that has never – NEVER – in years of dating and nearly 3 years of marriage – makes me a pot of coffee.
Once it's done brewing he is ready to shove the mug in my hand and force the coffee down my throat. HERE, drink this, is it good, what do you think, do you like the new coffee maker, is it hot, how is it – it all streams out of his mouth as one giant mass words but all I can respond to the visual monstrosity that now rests on my counter….
WHAT. IS. THAT.
The new coffee maker.
That is the UGLIEST thing I have ever seen. Seriously. But, shhhhh, don’t say that too loud or you’ll hurt its feelings. At the very least someone please tell the kitchen counter to cover its eyes.
Well, It’s not the prettiest machine I’ve ever seen but let’s see if it passes the test – can it make coffee. I drink a cup and I am pleased to report it was good. Good as in it was hot, it was good but I wasn’t about to become the spokesperson for the world’s ugliest coffee machine. I just can't. You see, I’m a little biased. I’m one of those people that thinks you just cannot make the best cup of coffee in your own house. I believe that is what coffeehouses are for and yes, Rachel, I do believe everything tastes better in a cardboard cup.
I’m just kidding on that.
So this morning I wake up and I’m left alone with this new coffee machine. It looks simple enough – you pour water in, you add grounds and then you turn the switch on. That is what I do. I expect a sound like a rocket launching when I press the button, get ready to cover my ears, but instead there is…nothing at all.
Hmm. Turn the switch off then on again – this time putting my ear up next to it just in case.
Not surprising. It’s probably already broken. What do the Dutch know about coffee anyways. The Italians invented espresso so if we really wanted the best coffee maker in the world we’d have something made by Jimmy Barbarinorelli on my counter. Oh please, I’m Italian, I can say that. For that matter I can also say we have the stronghold on raviolis and meatballs and hair gel.
I unplug it. Turn it back on. Nothing. Move the filter around. Close the lids again. Nothing again. There appears to be one switch so what am I doing wrong? Then I see it – a tiny white button that the coffee pot has to rest against. Seems that this is what triggers the rocket launching warming of water to begin.
Rocket engine power triggered by a button the size of a chocolate chip.
A vroom, a bubbling of water and a dripping of coffee into a carafe. I’m sitting at the table and then a few minutes later I hear silence again. Is it done? Where are my fancy beeps and whistles? The whir of the grinder. The drip drip drip. The beep beep beep come and get it alarm.
For as simple as this machine is, for a moment I missed my complicated messy Cadillac. Sure, there were 20 minutes less of mess to clean up but I guess it had become a routine. But then I tasted the coffee. It was good. It was hot. And there was no mess.
So I guess the new coffee maker wins. And that’s good because when I have coffee it signifies the start to my day. So today can begin. Sometimes I think about why I started drinking coffee – I can trace it back to a desk job – but also because it never lets me down. It’s always been there. No matter where I am, there is always coffee. It is familiar, welcoming and warm. It always makes me feel good. It puts a smile on my face. Not many things in life can do that – a dog, a child, a husband. I have 2 of 3 of those so I guess coffee is and always will be my number 3.
Who am I kidding – it will always be my number one. Here's to new coffeemakers. And the Dutch. (waterstraat!)