The New Coffee Maker

Buying anything new in our house is not just a question of going shopping. All purchases of any substance need discussion. If it’s a replacement item, what is wrong with the old one – can it be fixed? Do we actually need it? Can one be found second-hand? If it’s something new to the house, why? What purpose does it serve, and what need does it fill that currently isn’t met? We don’t need more things, and we’re trying to reduce what we have.

I drink coffee. I love coffee. BD hates the stuff. I’ve had a little 4-cup drip coffee maker for years and years…and it was slowly dying, not heating the water to a sufficient temperature. I tried cleaning it. No better. Reluctantly, I decided it really had to be replaced. I need my coffee. Equally reluctantly, BD agreed. ‘Can you get something that doesn’t make the whole house smell like coffee?’ he asked (after the initial ‘Why don’t you give the stuff up?’ followed by ‘Can’t you just drink instant?’ )

Hmmmm. I used to have a French press, many years ago, but cleaning it was a pain, even though it made good coffee. I did some research, and found the AeroPress. Basically a modified French press, the AeroPress sits on top of a mug. You add a filter and coffee to the detachable filter basket, screw it onto the body, add water just a bit below boiling, and press down on the plunger. The on-line reviews were fabulous.

I was fairly sure that my local roast-their-own beans coffee shop would carry it, and I was right. The barrista there raved about it. It was about thirty dollars, twice what a replacement 4-cup drip maker would cost, but it won’t make the house smell like coffee from the pot sitting on the warmer, and will use less water -I almost always made more coffee than I drank, because I could never get small amounts to taste right. (Water use matters – we buy our drinking water, because our well, while safe from a bacterial count viewpoint, has a high manganese and iron content, and tastes unpleasant. So every couple of weeks, BD drives to town with the big reusable bottles and refills them and that’s what we and the cats drink.)

I’ve had it for four days. The verdict? It makes great coffee. It took me a day or two to work out exactly how much coffee and how much water I needed to make it taste just right, not too strong, not too weak. It’s a cinch to clean, the filter and used coffee pop out directly into the compost bin, and it doesn’t take up counter space.

It also means I’m not drinking coffee mindlessly, because it’s in the pot. Already my coffee consumption has dropped because I have to think about whether or not I want to take the three or four minutes it takes to make a cup. I always meant to only drink two cups a day, one in the morning, one after lunch – but it was there on the counter, calling to me. I’m sleeping better, and my stomach is happier. What’s not to like?

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