29 September 2011

in celebration of national coffee day

At home, I have four ways to make coffee:
  • drip coffee: Nice and normal and stays warm for hours, although it will take on that burnt coffee taste if you leave too little in the pot and cook all the enjoyment out of the flavor. I am not, however, saying I don't drink it after it's taken on said flavor. I'm also not against heating up coffee in the microwave, by the way. I realize that the microwave, by its very nature, changes the molecular arrangement of my coffee and therefore the taste, but I DON'T CARE.
  • French press: Somewhat disturbingly, all real French people I know have never heard of this. Where did it come from? Why did we make it French? Did we think it gave the coffee a certain je ne sais quoi, perhaps a taste of cigarettes, chocolate, lavender fields, boeuf bourguignon, and a waiter who refuses to make eye contact with you at the cafe? And yes, I originally got this because it had the word "French" in the title.
  • espresso machine: I got this for free at a garage sale up the street from my parents' house in Iowa. It did not come with an instruction manual; I totally would've paid a quarter to get that. My sister and I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how to work it without making a mess. We were not successful, but at least we figured out how to make espresso. If you want your espresso served with hot water all over your mother's counters and floors, that is.
  • Italian espresso maker: When I lived in Rouen, France, I had an Italian roommate. She used one of these little contraptions to make her coffee, and once she let me taste it. I almost spit it out, it was so dark. Not wanting to appear uncouth and like a weak American {no! We are a strong people! How else do you think we settled this entire country full of Starbucks and expressways?}, I drank the rest of it like a shot. And then later had a stomach ache. And then mysteriously was never around when Annamaria offered coffee again.

But recently, one of those trusty coffee methods broke on me.

The drip coffee.

"WHY AREN'T YOU WORKING?!?!" I, as you can tell from the all-caps sentence, shouted at the coffee maker one morning.

"I paid $10 for you six years ago at Walgreen's. Why doesn't ANYONE make a quality product any more?!?!" I said this as I tried to figure out which other coffee-making method to use and thought about that website for First World Problems: this "ooh, which fancy coffee maker should I use?" quandary definitely qualified for that.

The problem wasn't that I couldn't make coffee and have my morning ritual; the problem was that something I'd paid good money for—and was clearly a high-class product if Walgreen's was carrying it—had broken.

$10, people. That is good, good money, especially considering I bought it before I actually had a paycheck. I think the process went like this:

Soon-to-be-boss: Kamiah, we'd like to offer you a job. Can you start in two weeks?
Young, Naive Me: TWO WEEKS?!?! I have two weeks to pack up, move out of my parents' house—eh, maybe I'll just leave some of these things here. You know, like my high school yearbooks and a pair of slippers and all these clothes and my American Girls dolls. Yeah, I'll do that. That'll lighten the load and I bet my parents will appreciate finding pieces of me all over the house—find a place to live in Chicagoland, settle in, and figure out how a grown-up dresses every day for work? Just two weeks?
Boss: Your panic and focus on packing {and what not to pack} makes me doubt my decision. However, your ability to say everything out like that, just as if you were making a bullet-point list, is something intriguing.
Me: Oh no, I'm cool. I'm fine. I'll just make a to-do list to handle all of this. Item a1a: Buy coffeemaker. I think I saw one at Walgreen's the other day. Yes, I need to buy that and the second season of Mary Tyler Moore. Priorities are so critical.
Boss: [Pause as he once again reconsiders the smartness of hiring someone who will probably base her work wardrobe on a TV show from the 70s.] See, you did it again. You say something that freaks me out, but then you finish strong with something about priorities.
Me: How about we bond later? I need to get over to Walgreen's in case they've run out of that coffee maker!

After how excited I was for that coffee maker, how dare it break. I felt a little bit like it broke my trust.

So I did what any good American would do: I went out and bought something bigger. This time, I upgraded to Target.

How far I've come from Young, Naive Me—and how helpful of my coffee maker to show me that. It maybe could've shown me without breaking, but since it's an inanimate object, I'm not sure how it would've accomplished that.


  1. This may be your best post ever.

  2. I agree with Val - this made me laugh out loud in a room by myself. I hardly ever do that :) Also, I want to know what kind of coffee maker you bought. And perhaps a picture. These are important matters, you know.

  3. Best post ever!

    Val, please consider making me an award {a trophy of some kind would be just fine} for this post.

    Oesa, I shall take a picture of my new coffeemaker for you. I used the delay brew feature this morning. I got to wake up to the smell of coffee! "The best part of waking up is [not Folgers; I don't drink Folgers because I find it an insult to coffee everywhere] in your cup."



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