The Great Coffee Compromise
  • Maggie Franklin
  • August 16, 2013
Coffee. It’s what keeps some people alive. Statistically, only 30% of Americans drink coffee. But I like to think I help even that number out, because I’m pretty sure my blood stream is 30% coffee.
So, you can imagine, having a working coffee pot in the salon is not optional.
I’m pretty sure my grandmother put coffee in my baby bottle — I’ve been drinking the stuff for as long as I can remember. Grandma always made it with about two ounces of coffee to 12 ounces of milk for me, with a teaspoon of sugar thrown in for good measure. You can imagine how much I have enjoyed the Starbucks revolution — with all those venti lattes made just the way Grandma used to make my coffee. Only with espresso instead of Folgers. Mmmm.
Point is, I grew up on old timey coffee — made on the stovetop each morning and left to mature in the pot throughout the day. If you wanted another cup of coffee mid-afternoon, you just turned on the stove burner and heated up the pot again.
So, as I grew up, the move to automatic drip pots and a new coffee culture of “let me just make a new pot, hun, this has been sitting for a while” confused me. What’s wrong with coffee that’s an hour old?
Consequently I loathe coffee makers that have auto shut-off features. I want to drink an entire pot of coffee. If I wasn’t going to drink it, why would I have made a whole pot?! And I want it to stay hot — waiting for me patiently to refill my mug — until I turn. off. the. pot.
So I tend to buy the cheapest auto drip makers I can find. Which means I burn the element out of them yearly. So I started lusting after a professional model. Ahhh, how I love thee, Bunn. And while I was saving my nickels and dimes to afford a $600 coffee maker, client after client after friend after family member after stranger on the street started “suggesting” that I get a Keurig.
People! We are supposed to be an earth-minded generation. We are supposed to be reducing, reusing, and recycling. And I drink coffee in a 24-oz. mug. How does it make sense — environmentally or financially — for me to brew each eight to 12 ounces individually? Using two to three of those little cups? That aren’t recyclable?
On the other hand...*sigh*... it does seem reasonable for clients, doesn’t it? I rarely keep a pot of hot coffee on hand during the summer months. I usually brew a pot, pour it into a pitcher, and stick it in the fridge for my own consumption, since most of my clients don’t drink coffee during the summer and, if they do, they bring it with them in a Starbucks cup. So those rare occasions when someone would like a cup of coffee on an August afternoon would be well served with a single-brew system...and those unrecyclable cups probably break even with my new-maker-a-year track record anyway.


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