Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our $200 Dollar Piece of $#!@ Coffee Pot

I rarely rant, ask my wife, but I have treated her to a couple of doozies in the recent months as she comes out for our morning coffee.

The first thing on our list of wants with the various sets of gift cards we got for our wedding was a really nice coffee pot. Brooke is a coffee fiend, and I am a supportive 1 or 2 cups in the morning type of guy. We had our dream coffee pot picked out: the Cuisanart 12 cup burr grind and brew thermal coffee pot which retailed for $200. Right after the honeymoon, we went to Bed Bath & Beyond and used our gift cards to buy this Cadillac of coffee pots.

This coffee pot has everything. It is supposed to require the minimum of actual work possible while creating a perfect cup of steaming coffee. It has a bean hopper that holds about a weeks worth of coffee beans (at the rate we drink). It has a self timer so that it will turn on, grind the beans, brew the coffee, all in time for us to walk out to a wonderful smell and a great cup of coffee when we get up. All we have to do is make sure the hopper has beans and the reservoir has water and the pot does the rest. In theory!

The pot worked pretty well for a couple of weeks. Then the coffee started to taste a little weak. We found that the coffee chute was clogging. But hey, no problem, just clean it more often. Then we found that it clogged almost every day. On closer inspection, it appeared to be our beans that were a little oily that were clogging up the chute and grinding mechanism. No problem, switch beans.

Then, sometimes we would get up and the coffee had not brewed. Turns out, the machine was starting to have mechanical problems. Every moving part in this machine needs to be perfectly aligned, perfectly clean, perfectly perfect in order for the pot to brew. So, no more timer. I had to get up and babysit the machine to make sure it actually brews.

Then, the biggest problem of all. The lid on the carafe is temperamental. Sometimes it allows the coffee to flow through smoothly, other times it decides to slow the flow of coffee into the pot enough that it overflows the lid and drips (or flows) over the pot, onto the shelf it is on, down the cookbook shelf below.

Here is the typical morning now.
Step 1: clean the pot.
Step 2: Align everything perfectly.
Step 3: Make sure there are enough beans in the hopper
Step 4: fill the reservoir with water.
Step 5: Pray.
Step 6: Push the start button.
Step 7: The grinder starts, but I have to coax the beans manually into the grinder so that it grinds enough beans. Then, the clicking as the pot tries to maneuver the parts into perfect alignment. I hear the beep-beep, telling me that something is amiss.
Step 8: turn off the coffee pot.
Step 9:Open the door
Step 10: realign the pieces
Step 11: press the grind-off button (to avoid a second grind)
Step 12: press start. I might have to repeat from step 8 2-3 times before the pot actually starts to brew.
Step 13: once i finally hear the bubbling of the water, I quickly grab the paper towels and babysit the machine to make sure that it does not overflow the carafe lid. If it does,
Step 14: I quickly stop the machine while stemming the flow of coffee with the paper towels.
Step 15: Clean up the mess
Step 16: repeat from step 9

So, I am ready to shelve the Cadillac of coffee pots and buy a $20 Wal-Mart model.

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