So: how smart does a coffee maker have to be, I wonder?
My coffee maker is a pretty cool gadget, if I do say so myself. It’s a Hamilton Beach Brewstation, which doesn’t use a carafe, but instead makes the coffee into a tank, and then when you want some you press your cup against a button and the coffee dispenses neatly therein. I decided on getting this one because I was tired of carafes; it is as though those glass coffee pots either break, or are made incorrectly. It seems like making the pouring spout is an art form, and if it’s not just right then you get a pot that dribbles back down the side and all over the floor when you’re pouring, or that misses the cup when you’re directly over it. I decided a few years ago to ditch the carafe, and I wouldn’t go back.
It’s not perfect, though. When the tank gets to the end, the last bit tends to dribble down the front where you press the cup, rather than dispense neatly therein. I get around this by tipping the coffee maker forward when I get that last cup out of it, and I can get the last of it with a bit of silt. I can live with that; it’s a good workaround and the silt isn’t horrible. I just swish the cup as I drink a slightly richer brew. Plus, coffee takes a little bit longer for me to make because I’m somewhat OCD – Obsessively Caffeine-Driven – and the unit comes apart in three parts.
There’s the coffee tank, the filter basket, and the permanent mesh filter that I got because I hate using paper filters. So I have to dump the old coffee grounds, and then I wash all three parts under running water with a little palm-size scrub brush that looks like an octopus. I also fill the water tank with water from the Brita pitcher, which if it isn’t full takes longer because I have to add more water to the pitcher before I can proceed; usually I start with this step so that if I have to wait for water to filter it can do so while I’m washing parts (for the freshest coffee flavor). Lastly, I grind my coffee beans and add them to the filter basket and it all stacks up neatly: the coffee tank’s stacked up on the water tank, the filter basket’s stacked up on the coffee tank, and the permanent filter is stacked up in the filter basket, with fresh ground coffee inside.
So essentially, I clean the unit every time I am making coffee, and I get nice coffee from it. And yet the blasted machine has the gall to tell me to clean it once in a while. A look inside the manual says it automatically does this every X time you make coffee, or if a sensor detects some build-up. I could run vinegar through it, but who has time for that? So I ignore the coffee maker, like I ignore so much in life that demands my attention. I don’t have time to do everything, you know.
I have time for me, time for my wife and daughter.
I have time to write and time to run every other week.
I have time to try and grow some food as a declaration of independence.
I have time to recycle and reuse.
I have time to catch up on Arrested Development so I can finally have some closure in my life.
I do not have time to clean my wiseacre coffee maker.
I should just name it Tobias and move on with my life, except then I would be living in fear of what it might say next.