Grounds for complaint

By Sue Curtis

Anyone who knows me fairly well, knows that I love coffee. It’s been my beverage of choice since I was 17 years old. I prefer it black and straight, because I actually love the taste. This means I don’t care whether it’s caffeinated or not. It also means I’ve had a number of wonderful coffee pots through the years.

About five years ago, we began to delve into the technologically-new world of “single-brew” coffee makers. I was totally content with my 12-cup pot, so I didn’t actively pursue this new concept at first. I won a pod-brew maker in a raffle, so I brought it (and the 78 pods that came with it) home to try.

It’s like a little K-cup maker, but you place pods of coffee into a little tray. The pods look like make up pads on steroids, and the water pours over them and into your cup. This was amazing. Matt prefers to vary his coffee a little – caffeine in the morning only, and flavors like highlander grogg and hazelnut. So this single-cup brewing idea was really helpful to us. We each got to enjoy a cup of whatever we liked best without trying to save a pot in a carafe and brewing a second pot.

The machine worked well for a year, so we became totally hooked on this idea. When the coffee maker began to not work well (by breaking), I replaced it immediately. After all, I had about 100 pods in the cupboard, so we couldn’t waste them. This coffee maker was as good as the first one. For about five months.

Then it began to sputter and cough. It spit water at us. It brewed coffee grounds into our cups. We pitched it in the trash and bought a standard single-cup coffee maker with a name brand. I thought the name brand was Swedish and after my battles with furniture of this ilk, I was skeptical. As it turns out, it was actually made in Vermont, so you can’t always judge a coffee maker by its name.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it didn’t brew coffee well. We returned that machine and got another one, this time a good old American (I thought) brand.

After it worked for a week, I purchased dozens of little cups — regular, decaf, and flavored. It was such fun and so great, until it stopped working the day after the warranty expired.

I went back to my old faithful 12-cup pot for many months. But brewing two different pots of coffee most mornings cut into my reading time, so I broke down and bought the name brand, single-cup brewing machine. In the interim, as it turns out, a German company purchased the coffee maker and is headquartered in Luxembourg. I don’t know if that will make it better or worse, but as I write this, I’m enjoying a cup of regular black coffee, and Matt is sipping his hazelnut decaf. Is fifth time the charm?

Email me at [email protected]

By Sue Curtis

Sue Curtis is a retired public servant who volunteers aand teaches part-time at Urbana University.

Sue Curtis is a retired public servant who volunteers aand teaches part-time at Urbana University.