Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The 12 Steps of Coffee

Ok, so it's really only eight steps, but who can count before having had their coffee?

For the last few years I have had a cute little single serving automatic drip coffee maker. It actually has a really cool spout design that lets you drip your coffee into either one or two cups, but we usually just make one at a time.

There are several steps that must be accomplished in order to generate a cup of coffee:
  1. Open the lid.
  2. Insert a #2 cone paper filter.
  3. Put in a scoop of coffee.
  4. Pour water into the heating chamber.
  5. Close the lid.
  6. Set the mug under the spout.
  7. Put a paper towel under the mug (optional, but useful to catch drips.)
  8. Push the button to turn it on.
I must confess that over the years, at one time or another, I have forgotten almost all of these steps. Of course the consequences of each step missed vary in terms of frustration, time consumed and mess generated. Rarely has more than any one step been forgotten at a time, but at one time or another, just about each step has in fact been forgotten.

Except #1. You can't really do anything until that has been accomplished.

And #2. I've never forgotten to put a filter in. The filter has occasionally had holes in it, leading to a nasty mess of grounds that render the coffee undrinkable, so I've learned to be careful with the delicate paper.

I have forgotten to put in the coffee. The water percolates through; I hear the nice steaming noise, but eventually wonder why there's no welcoming coffee aroma. When I go back to get the coffee, there's nothing but a cup of steaming hot water. This is the easiest to fix. Pour the same water back; use the same filter; just add the damn coffee. Nothing lost but a few minutes.

Offhand I can't recall when I've forgotten to add water, but I do believe I would become quickly alarmed by the strange noises that would ensue. (I hope.)

I have forgotten to close the lid more often than you'd think. What happens is that the hot water spills back down into the heating chamber instead of onto to the coffee and then down into the mug. The noise it makes is louder than it should be, which is how I am alerted to this sitution. No loss at all: just close the damn lid.

*I* have never forgotten to put a mug underneath. I just haven't. I would never forget to do that. I just wouldn't.

Because the paper towel is optional, I forget it on a regular basis; then I just say "dammit" and get a paper towel later to clean up the drips.

Pushing the "on" button is a tossup, in that I've screwed it up both ways. I've forgotten to push it and then wondered why it was taking forever for the coffee to be ready. But on other occasions I have purposely decided to get everything set up, but not push the button until I get back in from walking the dog -- and then pushed it anyway.

Because at one time or another I have forgotten just about every step in making coffee, I am very slow to condemn others for their failures. Then again...

Last weekend, my dear spouse calls up from downstairs, "I pulled an 'oops'."

Pulling an "oops" is not good.

"What did you do?" I asked. (Or not do? I thought.)

"I forgot to put the cup underneath."

Now that's what I call an "oops."

"I cleaned it all up."

This is good.

"Really? All of it?" (Coffee tends to pool behind the machine and hide behind the knife block.)

"All of it."

"All cleaned up?"

"All cleaned up."


(Later on I wiped up behind the knife block.)


At Tue Nov 14, 06:17:00 PM, Blogger 593 said...

I have actually forgotten the water . . . lol. Oh, don't put the water back through . . . coffee should be made with cold water. ;o) I take my coffee seriously.

At Tue Nov 14, 08:49:00 PM, Blogger Big Lebowski Store said...

1. pour coffee from carafe.

2. add milk (skim)

3. put non-spill cover on travel mug.

4. pay the lady $1

Works for me.



At Wed Nov 15, 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Dreaming again said...

It's Wednesday morning ... I do volunteer work at my church on Wednesday, plus wednesday nite services, plus I have a doc appt today the normal family stuff ...

I want coffee ...and I want it NOW!!!!! I like flea's way...

At Wed Nov 15, 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

I have forgotten to put the coffee in, too.

One day last quarter I walked into the clean utility to get a patient ice water. There was "coffee" spilling EVERYWHERE. Someone had not put the pot OR the plastic hold (with the filter and coffee).
What a mess...and all of the folks that walked in while I was cleaning up thought I was the dimbulb who made the mess.


Blame the student nurse. :)


At Fri Nov 17, 10:20:00 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

OMG..I had to write this very assignment when I was in english comp,. in college.

There are really alot more steps than what you mentioned.

When my mom was progressing with her ALZ., remembering these steps, helped me realize that just a simple action to us, actually required many steps for a person suffering with Alzheimer's.

You forgot all the steps of reaching into the cupboard or cabinet and getting out the filters....Before you can take a scoop of coffee out of the container you have to first open a drawer and get the scoop, then insert it into the coffee. Before you can pour the water into the coffee maker, you have to turn on the water and place the carafe under it, then you have to lift it from the sink....etc, etc, etc...


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