10/28/09

RIP, Coffee Machine Glass Thingy

Boss Man and I arrived at the same time this morning. Again, with the dreary and rainy. We started getting settled in for the day, as you do, and Hector informed us that the glass pot for the coffee machine was broken.

The thing about coffee is that it doesn't like to sit around. In fact, it barely likes to sit a square, a triangle, or any other shape, for that matter. Coffee is not a sitting beverage, like wine. Coffee is sprightly, and fast on its feet. Yes, you may enjoy that morning mug of black gold, but the beverage itself is far more flitty. It doesn't sit still. It doesn't improve with age.

For the best coffee, you should be buying in small quantities, from a purveyor who does a lot of business, so that you know that the coffee isn't sitting around for ages and ages, gathering dust, and losing flavour. For the best experience, choose a store that roasts their own beans on premises. They should be able to sell you any of their varieties, in any grind size (french press, drip coffee, and espresso grind) or as whole beans, and they should have a good solid choice of varieties to suit your needs. Most of the good ones even sell coffee in 1/2 pound increments, which is great for home needs. (Our coffee purveyor is Porto Rico; if you're ever there, tell them we said "hi". )

The point of getting into all of that is to tell you why we don't use those giant hotel-sized coffee machines. You know the sort. Any hotel advertising free "continental breakfast" will most likely have one of those suckers. They make about 3 gallons of coffee at a time, and it tastes like dishwater. The enormous batch sits around for the entire day. And they never put enough coffee for the amount of water flooding through. AND they use that horrific preground coffee that comes in cellophane packages. So not only has the coffee been roasted a long time back, it was also ground a long time back and brewed a long time back. That is not a good look. There's a reason we don't use the giant machine.

So what do we do at Chow?

During the week, the coffee that you order is usually made to order, a cup at a time. Frankly, we don't want the coffee sitting in the carafe all day, losing its aroma, losing its character, and losing the entire purpose of enjoying the thing in the first place! We order small batches of coffee from Porto Rico, and grind our espresso to order. Why? Because if we were to make a pot of coffee for the weekdays, it would sit around too long, and would end up getting wasted. It's not worth it.

But what about Brunch?

Brunch is a different beast. People go through a couple of cups of coffee per meal, and to make each cup to order would tie up the works. Also, if we're making a pot of coffee for brunch, it'll barely survive for an hour before being hungrily devoured by our lovely Weekend Brunch family. And that's great, because it means that we can easily go through a couple of pots of coffee in a Brunch service.

So I told you that to tell you this. We make our brunch coffee in a 12 cup standard coffee machine like you find at your local store. Point being, we're not making gallons at a time, because we want for your pot to be fresh and tasty. So for that reason, we do use the small home-sized coffee machine. To hear that the pot broke today was rather sad, as we just recently bought the new coffee machine.

It was awful to see. Poor little coffee pot.

So I run down to the store to locate a replacement pot.

...

The bloody replacement pot costs as much as the coffee maker itself. What a rip! You try to do the responsible thing, and avoid creating even more waste for the already clogged system to handle, and they pull this little stunt. What a nasty way to behave. I'm so annoyed at this whole disposable appliance nonsense. Things aren't built to last anymore. You buy it, it works for a year, and then you pitch it. Repairing or replacing a single part is too complicated and expensive. No. You have to get a new one if you plan on not being broke.

So I went through all that for this. Anyone got a recommendation for a coffee machine setup that doesn't involve spending a million dollars, but also doesn't use crappy, easily broken materials?
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