Contraptions that Work

Yesterday I tragically lost my Bunn coffee maker. Gigi hasn’t been sleeping well so she got up at some unreal hour and made a pot of coffee.

Apparently the holding tank breeched and water poured all over the counter. Bless her heart; she saved me a cup albeit cold until I woke up. I don’t mind cold coffee.

This Bunn was a fine contraption. It made good coffee fast. It has a holding tank inside so a pot of coffee is ready in literally 3 minutes.

I stopped by Lowes on the way into work to pick up a new Bunn. I was tempted by the other fancy machines at the same price. I stuck with the tried and true for about $120. I tend to stick with things that work for me like vacation spots and relationships.

In the old days before drip coffee you used either a stove top percolator, or an electric percolator. A stove top pot was only a few bucks. The coffee had a unique smell and taste. It took forever, maybe 30 minutes to make.

Back then you had maybe 4 or 5 brands of coffee to choose from. There was always Maxwell House, Luzianne with chicory, and if you were real fancy you bought Eight O’clock whole beans and had them ground in the store. I used to love stick my nose in the bag and breath in deeply after it was ground.

That chicory coffee was nasty. It tasted like clabbered egg yolks with dirty feet and a hint of something else bad tasting.

People used to put weird stuff in their coffee like salt and egg shells. I am not making that up, egg shells. My dad used to put a few shakes of salt in before cooking the coffee 30 minutes. He usually did this on Saturday when it was his day to fix coffee.

Gigi’s Polish grandmother used to boil a pot of water and coffee grounds with egg shells and then strain the mess into a cup. I drank a cup once and it was stout. No fancy coffee makers for them.

My only gripe with most coffee makers is the spout where you pour coffee does a poor job most of the time. Older coffee pots had a clearly defined spout and where you pointed and tilted, it poured without a mess. You could fill a cup in a second. Now I must be gentle and pour slowly so the coffee will go in the cup and not on the counter.


Michael said...

Too true about the spouts on new coffeemakers. Ours has a holding tank thats just enough for one pot. If you use the coffee pot to fill the tank, you have to pour slow and controlled, or you end up with water on the counter, and not enough in the tank.

We tend to stick with our minor appliances, even when they don't work so well. In our previous coffeemaker, the little doo-hickey at the bottom of the brewing funnel broke - the thing that stops the coffee from spilling out all over if you remove the pot before every last drop has dripped through.

Rather than replace it, we would wedge a spoon between the top of the pot and that thing-a-ma-gig. Otherwise the coffee wouldn't drip through, it'd fill up in the filter-funnel and coffee and grounds would spill out the top. Only about half would go in the pot, and it'd be full of grounds.

We finally replaced it after too many cups with grounds in 'em.

We also had a toaster oven that we had to prop something in front of the door, or it wouldn't turn on. It didn't appreciate us refusing to let it retire gracefully, so one day, it just exploded - glass and toast all over the counter.

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten about the stove top percolators. My parents had one when I was a kid. I don't recall them brewing anything other than coffee grounds though.

The coffee pot I have is the free one they give when you sign up for Gevalia Coffee. I don't even make coffee every day, but I find that I've grown attached to the hazelnut Gevalia coffee and now I find it hard to drink any other brand.

DocMtCat said...

Those old stove top percolators give me deja vu to Boy Scout camp years ago for some reason....

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

Yep, that was about the only way to get a cup of Joe in the woods.

Stacy said...

i hate when you use the pot to fill the tank with water and that damn spout makes you spill it every where. grrr

Logzie said...

I'm with ya on the spout thing! Mine makes a terrible mess. I always say "if we can put a man on the moon...why can't we__________?" in this case MAKE A SPOUT THAT WORKS!!!!

Ali said...

I bid adieu to my precious Bunn about 3 months ago. I always go in spurts with making coffee at home and apparently I went a little too long...I burned the coil right out because all the water in the holding tank evaporated. I was quite upset.

The weird thing is that I went out and bought a cheap $30 replacement and I love it.

But I still love going home to my parents' and having my coffee ready in a few minutes.

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

Damn Ali...I thought I was going to have to poke you out of hibernation...where you been?

The Bunn is fast and consistent. I have a professional Bunn at work and don't like it as much as my home Bunn. It tries to boil dry rather quickly.

Ali said...

I have been laying low - trying to recoop from the holidays. I think I'm more exhausted now than when I left :)
I missed you guys too - be posting soon - I promise.