Monday, November 29, 2010

Attention Coffee Makers

I appreciate you trying to make coffee.  I really do.  But I expect more out of you.  When my kids help me in the kitchen I know at the end I'm going to have half a cup of flour on the floor and some egg shells in the batter.  They're kids.  It's expected.  When adults handle foodstuffs I have somewhat higher expectations.  Perhaps they are unrealistic.  I just expect that I can drink a cup of coffee without the bottom of my mug being filled with coffee grounds.

Let's discuss how this happens and how to avoid it, shall we?

First, our assumptions ... we're talking about regular drip coffee from a standard office coffee maker.  Not Turkish Coffee.  Not some French press thing.  Nothing fancy or complicated.  Here's the basic concept.
fig. 1, Coffee correctly confined in filter
Here we see the filter "basket" with a filter in it, and dry coffee grounds in the filter.  The water pours over the coffee grounds, absorbing some coffee-ishness from them, then seeps through the filter to the waiting coffee pot (not pictured!  don't panic!)  The filter has a very special job, you see!  It keeps the coffee grounds nicely separated from the final product: coffee that is 100% liquid.

Here's how it can go terribly wrong...
fig. 2, Coffee has escaped the filter!
You see, some coffee has escaped the bounds of the filter, making its way to the exit of the basket and therefore into the coffee pot.  And since coffee has a dark color, you never notice it until you drink it.

The end result.....
fig. 3, an unpleasant coffee-covered tongue
Do you see the problem?  We want to drink our coffee without having to chew it at the end.  You know who can help us?  You can!  You can make sure all the coffee is in the filter before adding the water!  When you pour the dry coffee grounds into the filter, do it slowly and carefully.  Not a single ground should escape its filter home if you are careful.  I know you can do it!

Do not just fling the grounds haphazardly at the filter, as I suspect you are doing currently.  You are not Tom Cruise in "Cocktail" when you make coffee.  Take your time and do it right for once.
fig. 4, some jerk

  Seriously.  I'm sick of crunchy-style coffee.


  1. Ah, Monday. Good day for a rant!

    Love the Cocktail joke/pic.

  2. I half expected to see a ZT-Guy style drawing.

  3. Cartoons = win. Especially the tongue one.

    I kind of accept "flavour crystals" as a consequence of self-brewed coffee, but it's also nice not to have them at all.

  4. Off topic:

    By the way, how do you get your list of other blogs to show a little thumbnail of their latest post? It's really neat.


  5. @Allison, I use the blogger layout manager, and one of the gadgets you can insert is a blog list that can automatically do the thumbnail thing. You just have to maintain the blogs to list in the channel and check the preview boxes (title of most recent item, snippet of most recent item, thumbnail of most recent item, etc.) Thanks for the comments!


I had to add anti-spam measures because, let's face it, almost nobody comments on blogs anymore unless they are spamming. Sorry.