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Care About Something: The Coffee Situation

Coffee: better than the last cup, but not as good as the next.

If you’re still using coffee filters and a drip-system to brew your morning beverage you must be living in the Mesozoic era. I don’t condone the use of new-wave K-cups either. The genuine and unpretentious coffee brewing delivery system is that of a French press—don’t let the term ‘French’ dissuade you.

Maybe you worship using the drip-system. It has its advantages in the ability to set a timer for your early-morning-rise to have coffee ready at the appropriate time of rubbing the built up sleep out of your eye sockets and stagger to the kitchen like a hobo post-consumption of a Carlo Rossi jug. Drip systems also come with a technical heating element to keep your coffee at the better-than-acceptable temperature in melting-face hot. Drip-system images singed in my mind: Hills Bros. tin-can that features a movie-extra from the film Ghandi mid-stride enjoying a barely adequate, and what should be succinctly referred to as a, cup of mud, and a weathered Mr. Coffee or Braun contraption that looks like it should expel burnt water and not the potion of the gods. On closer inspection I realized that the man on the Hills Bros. can is actually in a body length nighty and his hat a night-cap and not the traditional Sikh headwear of a turban. In the throes of adolescence you tend to mistake bed apparel, from the 19th century, early 20th century maybe, 1920’s possibly, for garments worn in other countries. Closer to present day you sit and enjoy your coffee, even for a brief moment, and don’t have to chug it while on your way to change out of your pajamas. Conceivably the coffee was horrid and he gulped it down as-soon-as-fucking-possible. And there are no qualms in drip-system machinery ejecting liquid filth—such an insensitive apparatus.

Folgers, Hills Bros., Yuban, Maxwell House, and MJB represent the typical brands of coffee used in a drip—swill. No self-respecting consumer parades organic/artisanal roasted-and-ground-heaven with a drip-system. Coffee filters never seem to fit correctly either. You always have to fold, stuff, contort, and do ancient origami for them to fit into a usable shape. And have mercy on your soul if you run out of filters. There’s always some pantyhose or stockings you could discard from the clothesline to run a makeshift strainer.

Maybe you have turned the page and got the new-new system in the K-cups. How eco-unfriendly can you be? Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know you like to crash oil-tankers in the ocean and destroy the ozone with hairspray based CFCs. You spend all this dough on a Keurig and then you have to drop major coin on these little cups that hold the alleged-perfect amount of coffee, one subpar cup at a time. The one cup idea sounds nice in theory, but who drinks only one cup? A cyborg: that’s who. Or a person who doesn’t even like coffee but merely enjoys the thought of a warm beverage. So you make your half dozen or small handful of K-cups and the flaw shows its menacing face—the accumulation of rubbish. K-cups will subsequently be the leading killer of dolphins as the disposed ramekins plug blowholes and cut off air passages to the amorous sea mammals. K-cups don’t allow for change in potency as sometimes you crave rocket-fuel and other times normal strength.

Well you can always buy an espresso maker which rarely works out, figuratively or literally, like it should. Or maybe the espresso machine functions just fine but you don’t want to take the inordinate amount of time to exhume all accoutrement from the cupboards and fridge. So what happens is that this multi-hundred dollar appliance sits on your counter and grows lonelier by the day and amasses more dust by the minute. “I’m in too much of hurry to make myself a latte” said everyone, all the time. Ownership of an espresso machine eventually loses its novelty and in-turn people pander to Fivebucks—because you can’t get out of Starbuck’s without spending at least a finsky—and nick a latte; there’s one every thousand yards.

To the French press; all profound coffee drinkers shall make the move to, where the coffee is splendid. I’ve heard the French press is “too much of a hassle to clean”. Well to this I say, “You think a little French press is too difficult to run some water and swipe a sponge to?”; just throw your drip-system away, not later, now, like you should-have-thrown-it-out-yesterday-now because you’ve probably never cleaned that thing in its entire existence. Lazy drippers.

French presses offer the best of all coffee realms. You can make the coffee as potent as you like. The screens rarely need changing as long as you keep up on the rinsing. Waste is kept to a bare minimum. Did I mention the coffee tastes outstanding? Me saying the coffee tastes outstanding understates the brilliance of French press brew.  It’s competes for time versus using that mechanized drip-system. Steps in using the press: boil water, wait four mins, push down, pour cup.

Costs of French presses vary depending on size and what structural materials used. Whatever you spend on a French press will be a bargain at twice the price and will save you money in the long run since extraneous items that breakdown on drip-systems, i.e. electronic trappings, are kept to a minimum. The French press embodies analog and you shouldn’t be jaded by its simplicity. I’d suggest purchasing a Pyrex based receptacle with all-metal workings. Go one week using a press, and you’ll kick “drip” by the wayside. Don’t be a dripper, be a presser.

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