Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Perfect Coffee Press

Two years ago, for Christmas, I gave my husband a Starbucks coffee press, which he has used in fits and starts ever since. He likes it well enough, but the wire mesh filter at the bottom of the press, even though he purchases the correct grind of coffee, still allows a few grounds through now and again. Actually, a little more often than now and again, but he solves this problem by cutting and using a size 4 filter (the kind used in drip coffeemakers) in conjunction with the wire mesh filter to catch the stray grounds. He seemed content with this solution, but it is somewhat more time consuming than a drip coffeemaker. Because his mornings are pretty tight on time, King Richard has, of late, entertained the notion of replacing his coffee press with a new coffeemaker. The primary requirement for this new appliance: it cannot burn the coffee.

Now, I gave up my daily dose of coffee (try twenty-two cups per day) almost seventeen years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. Occasionally, I will take a sip of my husband’s brew but, these days (generally speaking), I am a confirmed tea drinker. So, when he said he wanted a coffeemaker that wouldn’t burn his coffee, I thought he meant he didn’t want a coffeemaker that would make more coffee than he could drink in one sitting, a coffeemaker that would leave the additional coffee sit in a carafe on a hot plate and bake all day. Even that kind of confused me because I figured he could just turn off the coffeemaker as soon as the coffee was finished brewing and put the extra coffee in a thermos or something. No, and this demonstrates how far removed I am from my coffee-drinking days, he wanted a coffeemaker that didn’t have a hot plate under the carafe because the extra heat transferred while the coffee dripped into the container was too much additional heating. That, apparently, is when the coffee begins to burn and lose its flavor. (???)

My initial reaction to this statement, I must confess, was somewhere along the lines of:

“You have got to be kidding.”

Followed closely by:

“Are you nuts?”

Ok, call me insensitive, but I thought he was carrying this “burnt coffee” idea a little too far. I just shook my head and wandered around the Gray Goose Cookery store looking at fondue pots and food samples while he examined all the coffeemakers, coffee pots, and coffee presses the owner had in stock. Eventually (and not a moment too soon for my daughter), King Richard came away with this: the Aerobie® Aeropress™ Coffee Press for ~$30.00.

And how does he like his newfound gadget? I believe his exact words were “This is awesome! I can finally duplicate that cup of coffee I had in Hong Kong twenty-five years ago.”

Now all he needs to do is find the perfect tool bag and all our problems will be solved. :-) Anybody need a Starbucks coffee press? I have an extra one hanging around my kitchen.

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