Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Daily Grind

I did not drink coffee until I retired. Yeah, it just doesn't make sense! But, I had tried it when I was young and it didn't appeal to me. Then, when Starbucks overtook the east coast, my family would occasionally stop in, and what's a girl to do? I'd have some sort of sugary, creamy, fattening concoction. I discovered I like coffee flavored milk and cream, with sugar! And so, my journey with coffee began.

A few years ago, I came into my Dentist's office for a routine visit and the receptionist offered me coffee. She took me over to their Keurig machine and I was smitten. What fun! I wanted a single cup coffee brewer, too. Just think, I could have flavored coffee on any given morning. My hubby could have bold coffee. I could change my mind and have a light roast. He could start with a morning blend and then have a cup of something a bit stronger. What fun! So, a not-so-gentle hint was dropped near Mother's Day and my family, being the wonderful people they are, delivered. (Hmmm, could it be they also recognize the old adage, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"?)

Yesterday my Keurig stopped brewing. It was a sad, sad morning, at least for my hubby. Having risen first, I did get a cup in before the machine went on hiatus. We tried all manner of things. We turned it off. We turned it on. It would tell us it was brewing, but we didn't hear any water being pumped and nothing was coming out. We unplugged it. We plugged it back in. We turned it on. Again, it would tell us it was brewing when it wasn't. It was lying to us! So, what's a girl to do? Get on the Internet. Check out the manuals. Look for troubleshooting guides. The FAQ didn't have my question. It didn't have my answer. So, as suggested in the Keurig literature, I called Customer Service. After only 3 menus the phone was answered quite promptly by a girl with a lovely accent (insert eye rolls here). Is it just me? I have trouble understanding some foreign accents. But we proceeded. She asked a few questions then walked me step by step through the process of cleaning the needles of our machine. Literally. She went with me on my quest for a paperclip. She helped me scrounge through the drawer to find the measuring cup. She waited, oh so patiently, while I performed minor surgical procedures on the machine's needles, plugged the machine back in, turned it on, waited for it to be 'ready' and then she waited while it spewed a cup of water. She stayed on the line insisting that I run three more cups of water through the machine. It worked! Well, it worked, that is, until we hung up. Then, the first time hubby tried to brew a real cup of coffee, it failed to perform. I went back to work with the needles and eventually he did get his coffee.

But, I wasn't done. Since we obviously were having some sort of blockage (oh, and you don't want to know what those first cups of water looked like after the voice on the phone helped me unclog the needles) it seemed advisable to descale the coffee maker. Off we went to the store to buy large quantities of vinegar. The Keurig site has helpful videos that show just how to do this. They are cute. The have numbered little coffee mugs to show you how many steps it will take to perform whatever process you are considering. They have a little clock feature that shows you the time it will take to perform your magic. So, I emptied the water tank - Step 1. I poured 30 ounces of vinegar in the water tank - Step 2. I ran the vinegar through the system by 'brewing' cups of vinegar - Step 3. Yes, it smelled perfect for the day before Easter. I should have recycled that vinegar by coloring some eggs! Darn! Missed opportunity! The vinegar percolated for four hours, then I began running water through the system. I ran more water through the system. And more.

So, on this beautiful Easter morning everything is right with the world. I have a coffee machine that is working. I am writing a blog post for my friends, sipping my morning coffee, which has only a slight overtone of .... vinegar!

Happy Easter to all of you. I hope you have a wonderful day!


  1. I don't even drink coffee, but I love my Keurig! My boss gave it to me two years ago for Christmas and at first I was like, 'yea, thanks, I'll never use this'. But now, both RCC and I use it all the time for cider, chai, and his fru-fru coffe that he likes.

    I'm glad you got yours up and running again.

  2. Oh, the things we will do for a cup of coffee!

    Thanks for the Easter laugh.

  3. Happy Easter. Mmmmm, ironic that your Kuerig has been resorected! Sorry, spelling doesn't look right.

  4. I love my Keurig. My original machine died last month but it was well used for 3 1/2 years.

  5. We have a Keurig at work. I swear by my French Press with my Starbucks. I'm lucky because my son works at Starbucks and get me my coffee. He always brings some good grinds! I didn't dye eggs today for Easter...I dyed wool! It's all about the wool!
    Happy Easter!

  6. I understand I wouldn't make it without my morning cup of coffee! And it has to be fresh ground, good coffee, otherwise, what's the point right? I'm so glad that got sorted. I learned the vinegar thing to in a panic. Hope you are having a great weekend and Happy Easter! :)

  7. Happy Easter!
    I drink about 6 cups a day....a nonworking coffee machine would qualify as an emergency.

  8. Nothing beats a warm cup of coffee on Easter morning:)

  9. I'm not a drinker of coffee but do use my 5+ year old Mr. Coffee to brew tea (a family-size bag of decaf and about 1/4 cup of Royal Cup's Mango Sunrise tea leaves). When houseguests brew coffee in the machine, I use soda water followed by a couple of runs of plain water to wash away the coffee flavor. With my drinking iced tea year round and Bacot's drinking instant decaf coffee (I suspect you are saying "yuck!"), we have no need for a single-cup brewer.


  10. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I am still stuck on that part about your Dentist's receptionist offering you a cup of coffee.
    Dentists typically advice against coffee drinking because it stains the teeth and causes bad breath.

    Ahhhhhh (lightbulb moment!). Your dentist probably thinks that offering coffee to his patients is a money making prospect! He has another patient he can perform teeth bleaching on!


  11. Cute story & illustration! We de-vinegar our coffee machine on a regular basis, they just don't build them like they used to. Glad you go your cup o' joe on this fine Easter morning.

  12. I never drank coffee until I had to do shift work. Then I was hooked.

  13. I still don't drink coffee, but could feel your pain!


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