Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mourning Coffee

It became a part of our family, sort of by accident a bit over 6 years ago.

When we got married, we got this gift certificate for a pretty large amount to a pretty swanky store, that we pretty much would never have stepped foot in, unless of course we had a pretty penny to spend on things we really didn't NEED. You know?

But we DID have this gift certificate. So we took a little trip to the big city.

Inside this store, we both, I mean, my husband and I, wandered around, looking for something on which we could spend this gift certificate. The things in the store were beautiful~don't get me wrong~but one thing that we both have in common is that we don't spend money on things that we don't NEED. (Well, at least I don't. My husband has been banned from "stopping to pick up milk" due to his recent "impulse" buys, like 12 boxes of light bulbs, or new "funnels" just in case they would ever come in handy, anyway...that's another story)...

So again, this particular store was filled with unnecessary items~pottery, massive candles, hand-crafted sculpture-like-things-that-you-put-on-your-mantle-if-you-have-one, things that I would not likely spend money on...except we had this "fun" money...

We walked slowly around the store...picking up one thing, shaking our heads, "No." Stopping in front of another thing. "How about this?"

"Uuummmm....not so much."

It really wasn't our kind of stuff.

"Can I help you find something?" The hippy-ish clerk asked.

Neither of us had any idea.

"Have you been upstairs? There is a whole other department up there..."


Rich people coffee. Java. Espresso machines. Cappuccino makers. Stirrers. Grinders. Beans. Mugs. Spoons. Mixers. Coffee books. Coffee magazines. Coffee experts in fancy coffee aprons...

Coffee pots.

Not just your average department store brand coffee makers. Not that there was anything wrong with average department store brand coffee makers... I mean, we had a perfectly good, well-functioning, Mr. Coffee at home...

We were happy.

 We had coffee every morning.

It was fine coffee, too.

But these machines were different. They looked different. They were stainless steel trimmed, sleek black and sturdy. Stallions.

Guaranteed to brew the perfect cup o' joe.

We peered over the models.

They were spectacular.

And we had a gift certificate.

Did we need one of these beauties?


Had we ever even discussed the notion of owning one of these masters of coffee makers?


They cost almost as much as two car payments for heaven's sake!!

But here we were...standing face to face with owning one of the best...

What the hell else were we going to buy? A forty pound beeswax candle? A miniature sculpture of "The Thinker?"

We had to spend it on SOMETHING!

So we did. AND we had enough left over to buy the "Burger Bible" cookbook.

This coffee pot had an instruction manual the size of the dictionary. We learned the basics, plugged it in, and pushed start.

And THAT was the beginning of our beautiful relationship with our coffee pot.

The coffee that it produced was better than any I had EVER had. DD, Starbucks, here, there...wherever. This was superior java.

If our guests had it, they all commented. It was GOOD. It was SO GOOD.

I looked forward to it every single morning. The best was when my hubby made it before he left for work and it was waiting for me when I padded into the kitchen, poured, and sat to watch the weather before the kids came trampling down the stairs. It was pre-perked heaven in a cup.

For 6 years.

Then, in the last couple of months, it started taking a little longer than usual to brew.

It would sigh and heave and gurgle sounds that it never made before. still tasted great, but it was certainly showing its signs of aging.


I was so excited to make my coffee and start the holiday traditions: cinnamon buns for the kids, coffee for me while I started baking...

I put the coffee in the filter. I poured the water in. I pushed "on."


I stood there and stared at it for a good 3 minutes.


I gave it a little "love tap."

Still Nothing.

Oh, no.

Oh, no.

Oh, Dear God, NO!!

I pushed the button to "off."

Unplugged it. Plugged it back in.


I was in a state of complete panic.

My husband came in and saw my face.

"What's wrong?"


He came over and gave it a smack on the side.

"I's been like this for a while." He said.

I gave it a smack. Then another.

Then, the life giving "HIIISSSSSSSSS" sound graced my ears as it started brewing.

A collective sigh of relief blended with the percolating sounds of our beloved machine.

But we knew it then.

Its days were numbered.

In the days that followed, we took turns smacking it, shaking it, cussing at it, plugging-UN-plugging-plugging it into different places around the kitchen, trying to set the timer, using hot water, colder it, praying in front of it, cleaning it again, standing in front of it with our ears next to the base of it...hoping for it to brew...

At first it would go after a couple of shakes and smacks...but as the days passed, we had to beat it longer and harder. Shake it to the point of crazy. The kids were waking up to one of us literally beating the crap out of the coffee maker. We knew it was not long before we would have to buy a...



So, we searched high and low...on-line, in stores, in the holiday fliers...for a respectable, yet practical, new maker.

We found one.

It looked like a beauty. Decent price.

Sturdy. Not too many options...12 cup...and RED. (I like that. It looks sharp).

My husband asked before he hit "send" on the order..."You SURE?"

"I'm sure."

"Really sure?"

"Ugh. I guess so."


It was done.

I can't help but feel oddly sentimental about it.

It was, after all, a wedding gift. It was REALLY nice. It made excellent coffee

So for the past few days, we had waited for the new machine to arrive. And, of course, yesterday, our trusty old maker started brewing at the first push of the button...much like the day of a scheduled hair cut, you have a great hair was almost like it knew...I know that sounds crazy. I 'm tearing up...

But this morning...OH!THIS!MORNING!

It would NOT start. I was trying to figure out how to make a DD run in my jammies...My husband was pacing in front of it...he had to leave for was not gonna brew. it was over.

I unplugged it for the final time.

Then the doorbell rang...

It was our new coffee pot. (IT didn't ring the bell, the UPS guy did...)

I took it from him like it was a newborn.

I tore it out of the box and placed it on the counter, where I hope it will remain for many years.

I called my husband. "It's here."

When he got home this evening, we just stood looking at it. He filled it and set the timer.

"I feel like going to bed now, so morning will get here faster." He said. (Love him).

And so it goes. At least, I hope.

Thanks to my Uncle Jim for the inspiration for the title of this...Thanks to the friends-who gave us the gc in the first place-Thanks to the folks at KRUPP'S...It was a hell of a ride.

I love my coffee.

Oh, and we still have the "Burger Bible."

Books are forever, you know.

That is all.

thanks for reading.

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