Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Coffee crisis - AVERTED!
Those of you out in Blogland didn't know that this week, I've been wrestling with my own private coffee crisis.
Saturday morning, I awoke to the realization that I was out of coffee pods for my beloved Senseo machine. And I was out of my Gevalia coffee for my tricked out grinder/coffee machine. And I was expecting a shipment of Gevalia at any moment so I didn't want to go buy more coffee.
In other words, on Saturday morning I awoke to NO COFFEE!
In less than a year, I have become a coffee fiend. So you'll imagine my delight when, after pawing through my kitchen cabinets, I emerged with a bag of ground coffee which Jason had been given at a food service trade show a few months back.
Crisis averted! Or, so I thought.
I have become a coffee fiend, it is true - unfortunately, thanks to my choice in coffee makers (the Senseo and the grinder which tells me with wee small marks how many beans to insert for my four cups) I have become a coffee fiend without knowing how to brew a cup of coffee.
Go ahead. Point and laugh.
So, I found the scoop that came with my coffee maker, and, trying to remember what I'd been told by Alton Brown, I scooped one scoop for each cup of coffee.
(I was later told by some folks at work that it was one scoop for every three cups. That seems a bit weak to me - I guess I should consult my friend LaJuan, who is the most serious coffee drinker I've ever met. Well, next to my friend Barbara, who never goes anywhere without a cup in tow.)
The coffee was pretty good, even if it seemed to be a bit less than the machine should've made for the amount of water I poured in.
Sunday, I repeated the procedure. I got a little less coffee in return this time.
Monday, I got less coffee still. By now, I was getting a bit concerned.
But Tuesday, oh, Tuesday was the worst - for the four cups of water I poured in, I got maybe a half-cup of coffee in return.
Needless to say, I left my house yesterday sans coffee. I substituted a Coke Zero - Breakfast of Champions.
My Gevalia came in yesterday morning (the Mail Guy brought it by my office, to save himself the trip of getting out of his truck at my house) and I was determined to figure out what was going on.
At lunch, I prepared the coffee maker as usual, with the whole beans. I got about a half cup of coffee again. After I ate, I looked inside the coffee maker and saw a good bit of water left in the reservoir. Like any enterprising journalist, I unplugged the unit to investigate further.
(Also, to dump the water into the sink.)
It poured. And it poured. And it poured. And I have NO idea where all this water was coming from! But at the bottom of the reservoir, I spied two rogue coffee beans, perhaps refugees from my loading the grinder while it was still in the unit.
I decided to run water through the already-ground beans, because they didn't appear to have had very much run through them the first time. I got more coffee, but it took forever - like 30 minutes - to finish brewing.
After dinner last night, I found a flashlight. At the bottom of the reservoir, in the drain, I thought I saw a coffee bean - perhaps an explanation for my water woes.
I tried several different mechanisms for getting at the suspected bean - coffee stirrers linked together, a bendy straw, and, finally, a wire coat hanger with a paper clip attached at the end.
What did I get? Big fat nothin'.
Jason suggested that I take the machine to my dad, but my coffee addiction centers started screaming - "No! That'll take DAYS! I need my fix TOMORROW!"
I decided to take my chances. Last night I loaded the unit up, set the timer for about 15 minutes before I was scheduled to get up, and held my breath.
(Not really - that would've made it really hard to sleep.)
And this morning - success! I don't know what I did last night, but I had my coffee waiting on me when I stumbled into the kitchen!
Now, I'll poll The Internets about the proper coffee-to-water ratio. I received some mocha coffee in yesterday's shipment, which is already ground, and I don't want to waste a drop.
Because mail-order coffee is a terrible thing to waste.