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Making coffee in the 21st Century

OK so I’m guilty of it but I do laugh every time that I think about it. Think about what you ask? That would be about how we have taken one of the most basic processes on earth and increased its complexity to a rather astounding zenith. Making coffee.

A quick review…

Now I readily admit that growing coffee, harvesting coffee, and roasting coffee have their nuances and I not trying to imply that these processes are basic. Certainly the factories that bag and vacuum seal the prepared beans are very sophisticated. I refer to the process of heating water and exposing the roasted ground coffee to it. There really isn’t anything more to review. Heat the water, and pour it over the coffee. Am I missing any steps here?

Making coffee today…

So the new and improved method for making coffee in today’s world has a few additional steps. First you must purchase a $100 to $200 coffee machine. This is the model I gave my wife for Christmas two years ago.

K-cup Coffee Maker

I’m sure you well know that these makers, don’t make pots of coffee rather they make individual cups of coffee. Each “dose” of coffee is very carefully packaged in individual carefully designed cups, keeping the coffee extremely fresh and very expensive to purchase.

K-cup Coffee

The advantage, beyond freshness is the endless variety of coffee that can be purchased. I say this assuming one can afford to purchase it as each K-cup of coffee usually runs $0.50-$1.00! Ouch!

To make coffee one, turns on the machine, lets the water heat, machine comes ready, insert the K-cup, select the coffee cup size, press the brew button. Within a few minutes, you have a perfect cup coffee. Of course these instructions assume that you have water in the reservoir if not you need to disconnect it take it to the sink and fill it first. Oops, I forget to throw away the old K-cup from the last cup. OK so now, I’m ready to make my coffee but…. ah…. no water is coming out. Hmmm, better go to Google and find out what’s wrong. Pump isn’t primed, slap the top of the unit soundly to get the water flowing again. Whack, nothing, whack, nothing, whack.whack.whack, there we go ….. WTF I asked for 16 oz and it only poured 4  😦  I can work around that, I’ll just lift the lid to make it think I’ve loaded a new K-cup and do this 3 more times.

God I love the conveniences the 21st Century has brought us!

Nothing lasts forever…

Well a $200 coffee maker can’t be expected to last forever. Although I must admit I can’t think of any other of the coffee makers I’ve purchased in the last 40 years ever breaking? Perhaps a few carafs but never the maker. Anyway this Christmas, Susan blessed us with a brand new Keurig, the problem is now solved! We can now make as many cups of $1.00 coffee as we can reasonably afford, at least for the next year or so.

What boys do with things that no longer work…

Kuerig Coffee Maker

I don’t know what everything does but I can say that I found a cool DC motor, several electric valves, a tiny DC magnetic head water pump (really cute), heating elements, thermocouples, a 14V transformer, voltage regulators, blue LEDs, microswitches and a host of wires. I have now developed an interest in basic electronics I figure I can recycle some of these parts as I learn. I was considering whether or not the power supply and motor could be used to build a pickup winder but I already have another idea for that project. Meanwhile, I may be tearing down and harvesting other electronic “junk” before disposing…..

Coffee Maker Carcass Coffee Maker Disassembly

You have been reading an excerpt from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.
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