Your coffee pot is full of compromises

Puget Sounders love their coffee. You’ll get no judgment from me about how you take yours — unless it’s from a total stranger in a bikini or a banana hammock. But no matter how you acquire your morning joe, it usually involves a combination of three things: time, money and patience.

Go to Starbucks and you’ll spend time and money. Brew at home and prepare to be patient.

For my birthday last year I received a coffeemaker that freshly grinds beans moments before brewing. Add a shade-grown blend from Camano Island Coffee Roasters and it makes the best coffee ever. At least that’s my opinion.

If you ask my husband, he’ll point out that my new coffeemaker has six separate parts that have to be washed and assembled every day. If you accidentally forget one of them, the coffee maker erupts and black sludge oozes down the kitchen counter onto the floor.

That’s never fun to wake up to — especially when it’s the second time it’s happened that week.

After I broke my wrist in March, my neurotic coffee pot became too unmanageable. I couldn’t even unscrew the carafe because I only had one good hand.

A tea-drinking friend came up with a great solution. She loaned me the coffee pod machine she keeps for company. The pod machine offers coffee, tea, cider or hot chocolate at the press of a button. They are so popular that everyone I know owns one but me.

For a mom with a broken wrist, the pod machine was a blessing. But once my cast was off, I was happy to give it back.

My husband and I didn’t think the coffee tasted as good as normal. Maybe that’s because it’s the result of piping hot water seeped through aluminum and plastic. Yum!

Plus, at about 60 cents a pod, the coffee wasn’t cheap. Some people reuse the pods, but that’s definitely an acquired taste.

Another big concern is the environment. In an article last March titled “Your Coffee Pods’ Dirty Secret,” Mother Jones magazine reported that 95 percent of a popular brand’s pods are made of No. 7 plastic that can’t be recycled. In order to recycle the other 5 percent, you have to first rip off the aluminum lid and dump out the grounds. I bet a lot of people, like me, didn’t know we were supposed to do that.

Still, the pod machines are seductively convenient. I can see why they are flying off the shelves.

Speaking of flying, did I mention that the automatic grinder on my coffeemaker is so loud that it sounds like the house is under attack by hornets?

Hmm … Maybe I should unearth some instant coffee from the pantry. Newfangled coffeemakers are overrated.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.

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