I am learning about the wonderful world of home brewed coffee.
I have never been much of a coffee drinker – maybe a Frappuccino foo-foo drink every once in a blue moon. All that changed a few months ago when I decided I needed to cut down on my soda intake.
The immediate effect was that I found myself drowsy all the time. Using powers of deduction only Sherlock Holmes could match, I realized the lethargy was because I was no longer getting loaded up with caffeine from soda pop.
There was a simple solution to this. I bought a coffee maker and set out to infuse my bloodstream with copious amounts of liquid energy.
I soon fell in love with coffee. But it is a conditional love. It has to be highly disguised – lots of Stevia sweetener and milk.
I know this coffee camouflage must come as a shock to true aficionados who drink the mud straight or infuse it with the more conventional cream and sugar. But that’s just what works for me. Black coffee doesn’t match up well with my palate, and there are too many calories and fat in cream and sugar. Don’t get me wrong, I love both cream and sugar, but my goal with cutting down pop was to cut out calories.
My diluted coffee creations delighted me. In short order I was drinking a pot of coffee in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Sometimes one more at some point in the day. Yes, I had traded one vice (soda pop) for another (black gold).
I became a coffee warrior, investing in my special Chicago Bulls travel cup and hauling my home brew with me everywhere. And when the Bulls cup is out of commission, I have my backup Superman travel cup. I’m prepared for any coffee emergency.
It went smooth for a while. Then, disaster struck!
Being new to coffee making, I was dismayed when after only a month my new coffee machine was spitting out coffee all over the kitchen counter.
I tried to implement a ghetto solution: stuffing paper towels around the base to soak up the mess as fast as it was being created. But that coffee, as good as it tastes, it’s a caustic substance that doesn’t hesitate to stain all that it touches. The ghetto solution just wasn’t working, and it was becoming apparent that I was going to have to pull out the credit card and buy a replacement.
I mentioned this dilemma to a friend, voicing my frustration that after only a month I was going to have to buy a new coffee machine. That friend asked me if I had cleaned my existing coffee maker with vinegar.
I had not. I had never heard of doing such a thing. But, willing to try anything I decided to give it a go.
So, I got to work doing some mad scientist detailing of my laboring coffee maker. I ran vinegar through the system twice. I removed all the parts of the machine and cleaned them of the black sludge that apparently the brewing process creates (can we say “eww”?).
Once everything was sparkling and clean (well as sparkling as black matte plastic can be), I put it all back together. I stocked it full of fresh grounds, added just the right amount of water, and hit “start”.
Low and behold, my coffee maker works fine and dandy again! No more leaks. No more stains on the counter. No more mess to clean up. Just fresh brewed Nectar of the Gods.
It took some work and some learning on my part, but I accomplished my goal. I have achieve coffee splendor.
Hooray for my ability to continue my Cup o’ Joe addiction! Now I am both happy and awake.
Peace. Love. Trust.