Monday, November 19, 2018

Coffee ~ my column from Sunday's paper

Jilda and I had a minor crisis in our lives this past week. Our coffee maker died. It was a slow, tragic death. I should have seen it coming, but I neglected the telltale signs of tepid coffee and an unexplained leak. Then last Thursday, it spewed and gurgled one last time. That’s when the Watson household went into crisis mode.

My Army training kicked in. Situation analysis: Jilda will be awake soon, and if there is no coffee, there could be bloodshed. She is even-tempered 99 percent of the time, but those numbers drop dramatically on mornings when she hasn’t had caffeine. 

I riffled through the back of our pantry for the old glass coffee press that we use when the power goes off. Blowing the dust off, I washed that baby off and fired up the kettle on the stove. Soon we had two steaming cups of java on the coffee table – crisis averted.

Then came the search for a new coffee maker. Most people would have gone to Walmart and bought a cheap coffee maker to solve the problem. But “we ain’t most people.”

Jilda said we have to get the right coffee maker. She’d just read about a journalist who interviewed the musician, Tom Petty. I Googled the story. It didn’t take long to realize that Petty was into coffee too. During the interview, Petty talked about his music and life on the road. But the conversation took a turn, and Petty talked about his love of coffee. When he was a young starving artist in Gainesville, Florida, he would go to a diner for coffee. This was when he couldn’t afford a piece of pie to go with his coffee. That experience of sitting for hours in that diner with his fingers around a hot cup of coffee was an experience that stayed with him throughout his life. 

Later in Petty’s career, he could afford exotic coffee from anywhere on the planet and the best coffee maker ever made. He bought two Bunn Coffee Makers because he never wanted to wait for a fresh cup. We also thought it interesting that Petty’s choice of coffee was Maxwell House. After reading the article, I looked at Jilda and said, “We need a Bunn.” 

Doing some research, we decided on a BX Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Brewer. I used my mad-money that I made from writing this column and purchased one online.

Even though the UPS man brought the box late in the afternoon, we felt compelled to have a cup of coffee. Who needs sleep?

I rarely read instructions, but I wanted to make sure the Bunn was set up right. It took about 30 torturous minutes to complete all the steps. 

Once we were satisfied the coffee maker was ready to go, I meticulously measured the right amount of java for two mugs of coffee. 

I closed my eyes. The aroma of coffee soon drifted from the kitchen. Through the years, we’ve belonged to expensive coffee clubs and tasted coffee from around the world. I’m not sure any of those coffees were better than our first cup from the new Bunn coffee maker. I’m glad we took Tom Petty’s advice.


  1. I read your previous post and that reminded me of my boys when they were young bringing home the joke book from the school library. They all went through that phase. Even though all 4 boys read the same joke book they still made us laugh! This post was cute because I'm not a coffee drinker but I keep a coffee maker on hand for my Chicago family members. I broke the one I keep in storage and had to get another. It wasn't preforming at the level yours is! I always give the "I"m high on life" saying when folks ask how I function without coffee, especially in the health care field with our crazy hours. Our patients usually come into surgery with headaches because they can't have any food or drink before hand...or they cheat and have a cup of coffee. If you don't add the milk you can usually get by without the surgery getting cancelled...just in case you might need that info!

  2. I had to give up coffee twenty years ago. Still love the smell.

  3. Anonymous3:51 AM

    Petty knew his music & his coffee!!

  4. Glad you found the right fit for you. I am one that always starts my day with a good cup of coffee so I can appreciate your need. Enjoy your morning coffee ! Good to the last drop!

  5. I'm glad that you lived to tell this story... A great story but I can't believe that sweet little woman of yours is so violent if she doesn't get her cup of coffee in the morning. For some people coffee in the morning is serious I'm drinking my coffee with cream as I type this, It's made in a Keurig machine.

  6. My girl knows coffee. She says I make the best. Imma thinking that is because she doesn't have to make it. For me? just make it black, a day old is good. I call it mid-watch coffee from my time at sea. Taste didn't matter, staying awake did. LOL
    I think we need a Bunn. Never had a top rated coffee maker. I will remember this column the next time our maker dies.

  7. PS
    at first glance I thought the table top was the deck. I was going to say I love that deck planking! But then realized it was the table! LOL

  8. I'm a big coffee lover, but I'll stick only to that kind of coffee that doesn't interfere with my sleep. To me, the 7-hours sleep is above all, as it is the greatest metabolism booster.

  9. Good idea, keeping that French Press for emergencies! Since we adopted our Keurig, Tom's become fiercely loyal to his 'breakfast blend' while I prefer the dark, smoky blends. It looks like compromise isn't in the cards at this stage of our lives.

  10. We have one of those K-cup things. I gave up on it as the cups just are not strong enough. You can fill your own cup and make it stronger but it only brews one cup at a time and I need one really big cup (two cups) in the morning. I pulled out an old Mr. Coffee and it does the trick for me.

  11. All's well that ends well in the Watson household; especially when it comes to coffee makers, both automatic and manual.

  12. I do not drink coffee, don't like the taste or smell of it, never had


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