*Kids, back in 2013 when your mom and I moved to Rochester, I had to immediately address a problem of epic proportions. So big, in fact, that the word “epic” is indeed applicable, but not entirely accurate. Rather, let’s use a better word. Let’s call it “legendary.”
The problem, kids, was the how the hell I would make my morning coffee.
See, we got rid of everything when we moved—everything that wouldn’t fit in the car. And in a blind rage of yard sales and give aways, my french press was lost and forgotten in the hubbub. As we drove across the continent, stopping at gas stations for dollar “coffee,” I prayed for a brighter future. A bolder future. An acidic future. One that involved coffee.
You know, the one.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. It all started in Idaho when I was in my early twenties. I worked at a Natural Foods store in Coeur d’Alene where local roasters would come to teach—as monks enlighten—and they would also come to replenish their store bins. It was through these vendors (Doma, Evans Bros, and Equal Exchange) that I learned to sip, spit, and smell my coffee.
And coffee became more than just a warm liquidated caffeine which instigated BMs. Coffee became everything. I had learned the secrets of the bean. I began to taste subtle notes. I researched and learned growing and roasting techniques. My lips began to automatically scowl at shelves with Folgers and hands holding Starbucks.
I preached about Fair Trade and just wages (annoying everyone I talked to).
Before long, I couldn’t depend on work coffee. I had to make the “plunge” and buy a home maker, something my coffee monk friends would approve of. The french press, of course. It was a single cup beauty, and she served it hot, gritty, and frighteningly strong.
Before we moved to New York state, we first lived in California. It was a quick six month stay, an internship, and it was there where I had decided to extract all I could out of my coffee. It was time I moved to espresso.
We found a dual maker at a yard sale for $20. It was great. A Krups. Worth more than what we paid; however, for reasons beyond me, people who don’t know what they’re doing like to buy espresso machines and not read the instructions. These same people like to put the milk where the water is suppose to go, and it cakes up and leaves dried milky residue on the inside where the water steams.
Now, I hate reading directions as much as the next guy or girl, but I mean, come on! How does that even logically make sense? A mistake, maybe. Kids, whatever you do, never call anyone an idiot. Even if they deserve it. Unless, of course, they buy a Keurig. Because that is fair game.
As mentioned, when we moved to New York we sold all that we could. The dual coffee maker was a short lived relationship. It made a good cup here or there. We had some laughs, some cries (see my “latte” attempt at the top?), but in the end, she wasn’t the one. We left her in the house we rented, and I imagine she’s making our former landlords naively happy.
So we moved to Rochester. The opposite of what we did when we left Idaho—instead of purging, that is—we shopped and shopped and shopped. Target here, Wegmans there. A garage sale here, an estate sale there. We bought so much dead people stuff you would think we were prepping for Halloween. Which, for the record, I always am.
But it was at a quick yard sale stop, on the way to an estate sale, where I saw her. Her red curves, her big body. Her $2 price tag. Boom. I knew I had to have her. The Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker.
But kids, in the fall of 2013, I hit a rough patch that I am not proud of. I let myself go. See, the coffee maker and I weren’t exactly getting along. She sucked all the flavor out of my coffee like a mosquito on a bloody marry. It didn’t matter how many grounds I put in. Every cup tasted identical (identically crappy)! And honest, kids, I began to lose hope. What if I never find the one? So I did what any depressed mid-twenties coffee-fiend would do.
I bought a Keurig. I know! I’m sorry, kids. I’m sorry I never told you. It was my Keurig Mid-Twenties Crisis. But hey, it was only $7 at another garage sale! How could I pass that up?
Though the Keurig and I had a fun honeymoon phase, and I enjoyed the refillable basket that allowed me to put my own coffee in on my own terms, I couldn’t commit. The convenience was there, and the novelty value was there, but every cup I “brewed” was served with guilt. I imagined my coffee monks from Idaho, watching me as I sipped, shaking their heads, arms crossed, and disappointed. I would scream, “GET OUT OF MY HEAD, COFFEE MONKS!!!” but they wouldn’t leave.
Finally, I gave her up. You don’t know this kids, but she sat in our closet for years. She was a hard one to let go. But in the end, you can’t force love, and you sure as hell can’t settle.
So in 2014, I got back out there. I flirted and experimented with pour over coffee, cold brew, and tea. I had fun, but nothing lasted. At the end of every day (or rather, the start of every day), I’d get out of bed, walk to the kitchen, sigh and look out the window. She had to be out there.
She had to be.
And that’s when it hit me. That’s when it all made sense. I already knew who I loved! I already knew who could brew me coffee every day with a dynamic, full-bodied, temperamental taste that fluctuated if I didn’t get it just right.
The French Press. My first love! Oh, and it felt so right.
And we were happy.
Kids, that is how I met your coffee maker.
*To the tune of How I Met Your Mother.