Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The reason why I am not allowed to make coffee at home anymore

For the best cup of coffee you've ever tasted, it's essential that you use a french press. Freshly brewed coffee made in a press tastes far better than that made with the drip method that is predominately used today in homes and restaurants.

Unfortunately, it's also far messier than the drip method.

At least it is for me.

Even in the best of circumstances, I'm using the sleeve of my bathrobe to wipe small congregations of runaway grounds down the sink.

And a week ago Saturday was far, far from being the best of circumstances.

Carrie was still in bed and I had coffee duty. I grind coffee, boil water, pour into press, and set the timer on the stove to four minutes to allow the coffee to steep. Other than a stray coffee ground or two on the counter, I'm doing alright.

Then the timer goes off, I go to plunge, and all coffee hell breaks loose. It takes me a second or two to realize what had happened. All I know is that one second, I was pressing down on the plunger (okay, I'll admit it, maybe, just maybe, the plunger wasn't going down easy and I just might have, perhaps, forced it just a wee bit too hard) and the next second I am staring at a shattered french press that is empty of hot water and soggy coffee grounds. The second after that, I begin to realize that while the hot, soggy coffee grounds are no longer in what was once the french press, they are in pretty much every other conceivable location in the kitchen. Down the front of the cabinets below me, dripping from the cabinets above me, on the kitchen table, on the floor, in the spice rack, blender, and food processor, in the sink (that part was kind of okay), on my T-shirt, on the front of my pajamas, God knows how but even on the back of my pajamas, on the coffee pot I wasn't even using (if I had only been less ambitious and stuck to the autodrip, this would have never happened), on the refrigerator. You really have no idea just how many coffee grounds it takes to make a pot of coffee until they are covering your entire kitchen.

At this point, I'm pretty sure I yell Shit! or Crap! or some variation. Carrie asks what's wrong.


"It sounds like something"

"I'm taking care of it"

"Taking care of what?"

I stomp into the bedroom, covered in coffee grounds, clutching a wadded up ball of about six paper towels that I managed to wipe up a very small amount of soggy coffee grounds with.

"Goddamn french press exploded," I explain.

"How did that happen?"

"I don't mumble, mumble, grumble. I can clean it up!"

Carrie gets out of bed and commandeers the paper towels and the cleaning operation.

"I can clean it up!" I pout.

"If you clean it up, we'll be finding coffee grounds all over the kitchen for the next three months."

"I can clean it up!" I stomp.

"Sit down somewhere away from the coffee grounds and eat your bagel."

"I can clean it up," I whimper.

Two hours later, the kitchen is clean, and by the tail end of the operation, I'm even allowed to take over some cleaning duties, such as washing all the pots and pans that a large contingent of coffee grounds were able to locate even though the pots and pans were inside the kitchen cabinets.

Then I went to Dunkin' Donuts (which, in retrospect, like using the autodrip coffee maker, would have been a much less painless first option for making coffee)after being told that I was no longer allowed to make coffee at home.

Which is really not much of a problem, considering the french press is broken. Though, I tell you, the french press does make a tasty cup of coffee.


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