Saturday, September 27, 2008

Making Coffee

Last year, while on 'home assignment' a generous lady at our church gave me a Gevalia coffeemaker. It's really nice and I like the fact that's it's programmable (is that a word?). We have been enjoying it very much and even brought it with us to Mexico. And then, one morning last wouldn't work. It had worked the day before, so we're not sure what happened! In doing some research, I found out that these are $100 coffeemakers, not really the amount of money we'd be willing to spend on a replacement. And for costing that much, you'd think it would have lasted a little longer!

In reviewing my options, I could do one of the following:

1. Quit drinking coffee...yeah, right!
2. Drink instant, I don't think so...although I do like a good Venezuelan 'café con leche' with instant Nescafé once in a while (heat a mug of milk, add a tsp. of Nescafé and sugar to taste)
3. Get the coffeemaker fixed...hmmm, definitely a possibility considering that they fix anything and everything down here!

4. Get a new one (Gevalia is offering a free coffeemaker with the purchase of 2 half-pounds of coffee!)

5. Switch to using a different kind of coffeemaker, like a french press...I've been thinking about that for a while

OR, I could just keep doing what I'm doing now, which is pouring hot water through the filter and coffee grounds in the coffeemaker and putting it into a thermos to keep it hot....very similar to how I used to make the coffee...I remember when we first arrived in Venezuela, a coffeemaker was very high on my list of things to buy...I couldn't imagine how I could live without one! Miguel apparently had other priorities and the days went by and no coffeemaker. Another missionary lady helped me out, however, by giving me what reminded me of a small fishnet, only the net part was a white cloth. I wasn't what to do with it, but then my sister showed me that it was a "coffeemaker" in itself and how most Venezuelans make coffee...heating water and pouring it through the net with the coffee grounds in it. I found out later that they even have coffee 'stations' complete with a ring for the net, hooks for the mugs, sugar bowl, and coffee pitcher. At first, I thought it to be rather "primitive" and inconvenient, but gradually I found myself getting used to it and then even preferring the taste of coffee made that way!

Nearly three years later, I was still making the coffee with the net every morning, well I'm sure I'd had to buy a new one by then-and they were definitely cheaper than an electric coffeemaker! It just goes to show that some things I think are so important may not be! And that there are many different ways of making coffee...I found out later about french-press coffee brewers, expresso makers, and other interesting ways of making coffee found all around the world. Which is why I didn't freak when this coffeemaker quit working on me...perhaps I've learned my lesson? As related to coffee, anyway!
I would be interested in hearing how you make your coffee!


Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

Does anyone know why I have trouble with the spacing in the post? I noticed that it seems to be easier on my desktop, so maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm currently posting using a laptop? Or my settings? Any advice out there?!

Ellie said...

Sorry, I am not much of a computer person. I use it, but I learn very, very slowly on it!

About coffee makers... I know more about that from working in food service in bible school. Even then, not that much. But, do you get calk (or is that a German word?) - you know that white stuff that builds up on the inside of a teapot you use to boil water in? That can sometimes clog a hose in a coffee maker. If so, take apart what comes apart, and put it in a pot of simmering vinegar (outside - this stinks!). That can loosen the calk, and some can fall off. Then, try running a pot of vinegar through instead of water - yeah, go ahead and forget the coffee grounds on this one! :-) That should loosen any build up, and if it is that, the coffee maker should work again. If not, well, you're out some vinegar and a stinky house.

After that, I would take it to an electrician.... but... sometimes, they fix it nice, and sometimes you wonder what they were thinking!

Ellie said...

Hey! Nice photo! Nice pictures on your other blog, too! Wow. Jkaile grew since his last photo I saw of him.

Send me your e-mail address, and I'll send you a photo of my crew.

Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

That's a good idea! I will try could be that's what's going on because the clock works and the lights come on, but no action. for the pic.

Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

oh yes, Jkaile is growing like a weed! :) All the kids are, but we can tell more with the baby since he's at the age when change happens fast...

Ellie said...

Well, now I have a coffee maker, but before we owned one, we had another thing. It looked like a large, oversized glass mug with a lid and a inside piece like another lid.

We put the coffee grounds in, poured hot water on top, let it sit for a few minutes, and then slowly pushed the handle down, which pushed the inner lid made out of a wire mesh down to the bottom. That pushed all the coffee grounds to the bottom, and good coffee was on top ready to be poured out.

It actually was a pretty neat invention. I've seen it more in Europe than the US.

Lately, it hasn't mattered to me how it it made as long as it contains caffeine!

Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

Ellie, that sounds like a french press...I think they are becoming more popular in the U.S. now. A friend actually has one she said I could borrow, but I keep forgetting to pick it up. :(

I tried to take the coffeemaker apart, but no go. I soaked what I could in vinegar water, but I don't think it reached what it should...I might have to turn it upside down into the vinegar water to get it to soak good. Otherwise, we have a friend who said he would look at it, he's pretty handy with appliances. :)

I agree...just give me some caffeine! :)

Anonymous said...

Well, you know how I make coffee!


Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

Well, yeah, Liz...but it's cool to collect coffeemaking methods! :) I don't know what you call that little thingy you use, is it a tea ball? or a spice ball? At any rate...Liz makes her coffee one cup at a time with that little gadget...

Ellie said...

I am not sure if one cup at a time will do it for me!

In fact, just thinking about it makes me want to go get another cup.


Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

Yeah, Liz isn't quite the drinker the rest of us are! :) I keep my coffee in a thermos to drink throughout the day...