The past two days, with cup of coffee in hand, I have looked at over 1,000 house exteriors and over 800 bathroom interiors. It want the new house to be perfect. Online you can make idea books that you can share. You can put comments on why you saved this or that thing. These idea books give me the information to make decisions so the house will be perfect.
In the early weeks after the fire, when we were first starting to put our household items back together, we decided we wanted our new things to be things that had meaning in our lives. We did not set out to replace everything. We set out to replace what was important to us.
We decided that we would prioritize and if we used something a bit, but not often, we might not even replace it. For things that we used often, we would use this awful opportunity provided by the fire for a “do over.” We would pick something we liked, not just something we ended up with.
It was with this philosophy that I went shopping for a perfect coffee maker. We love coffee. When I first met my spouse nearly 40 years ago he shocked me when he took me to his kitchen to see how he made a cup of coffee. It was in the last vestiges of the Woodstock culture so being invited into the kitchen when courting was odd but not improbable. What was improbable was the jar of little black, turtle-looking things he put on the counter.
I grew up in a family that drank tea, not coffee. I had discovered coffee when I was a teen and I was daft for it but did not have it often.
After my then beau got out the jar of black, turtle-looking things, without a word he got down what was obviously a grinder. Then he took out a carafe and finally a cone shaped paper filter that went into the carafe. I had seen coffee filters, by then we all were acquainted with Mr. Coffee. I had never seen a cone shaped filter. I watched and the black, turtle-looking things went into the grinder, the handle was turned and the pleasing aroma of coffee emitted from the grinder. The contents of the little drawer at the bottom of the grinder was dumped into the cone shaped filter and my spouse patiently poured boiling water over the coffee and and let it moisten the freshly ground coffee and then drip to the bottom of the carafe. Pour, drip, pour, drip. All the while the smell of the rich, fresh coffee filled my nostrils with its tantalizing promise of slightly oily, piquant warmth.
It was in this way that I was introduced to coffee that was from whole beans and made with care. It may be that the coffee stole my heart that day but I think it was watching a man I respected making coffee with such care and the point of the event was to give me something wonderful.
Over the years that has not changed. When we both were running this way and that with overly busy careers I would stagger out of bed into the shower after yet another late night at work. Shortly thereafter a mug of coffee would appear at the back of the shower where the curtain and the wall meet. Sometimes I could see the coffee and the hand as it came into the shower. Sometimes just the coffee. Never a word, just a lovingly offered cup of luxuriant coffee.
Now days we are not in such a rush all the time and actually take time to share breakfast. Still, the coffee appears, like magic, to help welcome me to the day. After nearly 40 years I am still courted by a man who likes to give me coffee.
So, coffee pots are important. They fit our criteria as something we would replace as soon as we could. We had always used the give-a-way pots that you got with a coffee order. They made good coffee but we knew that there was more to this ritual we shared. A few years back when our ancient blade grinder gave up the ghost I had purchased a professional-style burr grinder. I had gone online for information. I read reviews, I debated, I bargain shopped and finally I bought the perfect one. We loved the coffee it made.
With this history I repurchased the burr grinder and set out to find a perfect coffee pot. I went online for information. I did internet searches, I read reviews, I shopped ebay, I shopped Amazon, I checked our local stores and I was shocked to find the wide variety of coffee producing equipment, and the huge range in price. I determined right off that there was a tier of coffee makers that would never see the likes of us. Even if it made the best coffee in the world I could not pay $1000 for a coffee pot. I had a hard enough time thinking about a coffee pot that was a step up from our give-away-pots. I did discover that there were a large number of pots without really scary price tags that promised more than the give-a-way pots.
Online I found just the right pot. It portended to be perfect. It has special little rotating spray arms to sprinkle the water at just the right pace in just the right place. It has special water heating coils so that the water exited the reservoir and came to nestle on the ground beans at just the right, and precisely controlled temperature throughout the whole brewing process. Then I realized that it was not programmable. One of our concessions to age is preparing the coffee the night before. This would require someone to be awake and functioning to start the coffee brewing.
So, I set that one aside and moved to the other six models I had narrowed down to. I got all the information I could. I read and I read and I compared and I compared and I went back and read the reviews on the $19.99 models and wondered if a 5 star review there was the same or different from a 5 star review on a $200 coffee maker. Round and round I went. Then, I said to myself, “Just pick one!”
When the coffee pot arrived I was very excited to provide to the man who loved to make me coffee a coffee pot that he would love. It made great coffee. It was the non-programmable model. So, now we have 2 coffee pots. The second one we found for $39.99 at Tuesday Mornings. It is programmable.
So, with coffee cup in hand, after looking at over 1,000 house exteriors and 800 bathroom interiors, I realized that selecting the details of a house could be like getting a coffee pot. The true thing I was looking for was the love that made the coffee, not the pot that made the coffee. In our new house we will have siding and stairs. We will have showers and chairs. They can be of any style and more expensive is not better. Like making a cup of coffee, when it is done as a gift for those you love, it is perfect.