They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To
I guess this could be slotted into the first-world problems, but only for ironic reasons, because when first-world problems started in this country, they used to make coffee makers that lasted longer than the average term for a POTUS press secretary.
Friday morning, 5am. My wife, who needed to get up at an insane hour that morning, awakes me at an insane hour to notify me that the coffee maker has stopped working. It says “brew”, the lights are on, but nobody’s home. No percolating, no water inftake, not even a hot plate. Nada. I dick around with it for half an hour, knowing full well deep down what I don’t want to to admit: that all of my attempts are fruitless.
Fortunately (sic), I’m versed in this enough to know when to call it dead and move on to the French press before my eyes bleed out of my head from non-caffienated early morning bullshit. It’s an experience that seemed way to fresh to be right. Could I have just gone through this song and dance in the last year? I looked up when my last coffee maker died. End of June, 2012. For those keeping score, that’s a hair under nine months. That’s right: one $80 Calphalon coffee maker lasted less than nine fucking months.
The brewer before that – a $54 Krups on Amazon – two years, three months. The one before that lasted three or four years.
It’s an old story but I’ll tell it again: they don’t make ’em like they used to. Don’t believe me? My wife had an old piece of shit on/off Mr. Coffee that was used when I started dating her about six years ago. It still works. I use it in my office.
What I want really shouldn’t be too much to ask for: 12 cup, cone filter, automated clock. That’s it. I bought a separate grinder when the second grind-n-brew Cuisinart I owned (and loved) took a dive, so I don’t even need that. This combination in a coffee maker, by the way, is apparently a rare commodity, like green amber. Drive around enough, and you’ll end up at Bloodbath and Beyond, because everywhere else sells 15 varieties of the same fucking cheap basket filter.
And they all die the same way: spontaneous, inexplicable death. It lights up and doesn’t work.
Here’s some good news. When I was registering for my wedding, my wife and I discovered that whatever you buy at Bed, Bath and Beyond that breaks, they exchange it, no questions, no receipt needed. That’s what you’re paying extra for there. It’s a little expensive the first time around, but you’re only buying it once. And if that model phases out, they swap it with the comparable version.
Speaking of which, my issue is apparently not exclusive to my kitchen. The very kind BB&B Customer Service rep added my old coffee maker to a heap of two other completely different coffee makers behind her, also returned by other customers who were swapping out fairly new looking makers. All of this was done while she was telling me about how her own $100+ coffee maker lasted a whopping year before it started pouring coffee out above the basket, instead of below it, for no apparent reason.
So, I swapped the Calphalon out for free. Nonetheless, I promised myself eight months ago if this crap recurs after a couple years (or in eight months, whichever comes first), I’m going cold-brew. No bullshit, no moving parts, no fucking tech whatsoever. Ground coffee + water = coffee, arguably better than what I’m drinking now.
Going Cold Brew
So I have a Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot en route to my house in a couple days. The $80 returnable gonna-break-before-you-know-it Calphalon bastard is my backup for guests and large parties that I don’t want drinking my good shit. If you can’t beat ’em, pick up your ball and play somewhere where you can beat ’em. Over-priced, cheap-ass, poorly made coffee-maker making motherfuckers.