My parents' coffee maker broke, and it's causing rifts to form in the household.
Who would've guessed?
For years I have been trying to convert them to my own (oh so enlightened) ways of utilizing burr grinders and fancy kettles and cones for the perfect pour-over for their morning cup with no avail. Tested and true, they stuck by their all-in-one, blade-bean-smasher, perma-stained-metal-carafe hunk of a machine that made a bland and burnt cup most of the times you put any type of coffee in it. It was easy, they just put in water, beans, a filter and then they hit a button. After a few minutes of sounds resembling a jet engine wrestling a grizzly bear with a sinus infection, there was coffee! Sure, it wasn't the greatest, but it was convenient.
The water reservoir broke, and into the trash flew the sopping wet hunk of stained "stainless" steel. This was my chance.
I had finally weened my family to start drinking really good coffee a few months ago, or at least the coffee I was roasting as opposed to the bulk bags that came from Costco, and now I could finally convert them to caffeine nirvana by throwing in my own two cents about what should replace their broken brewer. I know they have seen my extensive collection of coffee paraphernalia and I have witnessed their eyes bug out looking over the absurd lengths I can occasionally go to in order to make myself a single cup, so off the bat I know there is no way I'm going to sell them a method that was inconvenienced by slow, tedious, manual processes. They wanted something easy to brew with, easy to clean, could make a lot of coffee in one batch, and took up as little counter space as possible. My mother was set on having and all-in-one machine again, but my dad was sick of not being able to successfully clean it.
The rift grows.
Now the thing with coffee, like many other facets of food, beverage and consumer products, is that there is often an inverse when you compare quality with convenience. As opposed to what a commercial may say, I can confidently tell you that you will (probably) never get the best cup of coffee you've ever had at the simple touch of a button. The most convenient thing you can do to get an amazing cup of coffee is probably pay a barista to make it for you. Seeing as how I can't always be the barista on-call at the house, there was going to need to be some level of automation involved.
My solution to them was a nicer version of a drip machine for a few extra bucks. The Bonavita 8-Cup Brewer (glass carafe for a cleaner pot!) is a fine machine for regular house-hold use that can make a pretty decent cup with minimal effort and cleanup. My parents nodded in affirmation, until I suggested the addition of a dedicated burr grinder. The idea of another appliance that took an extra step in the morning wasn't attractive to them, but I told them of this imbalance of quality and convenience and decided to leave it up to them to decide the caffeinated fate. Ease of use, or really good coffee; it was up to them. Just because you show someone your religion doesn't mean they will convert to it, they have to want it as much as you in order to transition to another stage of enlightenment.
In the end, they decided on using a small blade grinder and a percolator.
So it goes...
Hayden Kaye is our Master Roaster and head of the Say Interesting Stuff department.