Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Hate Mr. Coffee

I was going to blog about painting -- shades of white; big box store stinks; the paint specialty store gets A+ on the color match. . . . Consider it done.

The other thing on my mind has been the wretched, spattery coffeemaker we recently purchased. I wanted to let it go, to avoid trying to compete with the eloquent rants of others on consumerism and its ails. I would have let it go, but here's Wired listing it as a sample of a Good Thing -- grrr! I hate Mr. Coffee!! How can they list it?? I want my Black & Decker one back!

The Black & Decker one stopped working, suddenly. Perhaps its demise was related to all the concrete and plaster dust in the kitchen this spring; I did not do an autopsy. We found coffee in the outside world that morning, and went to a box store that night to look for new ones. We were in a rush -- lots going on that weekend. We didn't want to drive all around town, or spend a lot of money -- and we'd registered for a nice-ish one, after all. The box store had thin pickins in the under-$40 category, and all were way uglier than my old one. Drip coffee maker design now involves displeasing, counter-hogging oblongs. We chose a cheap Mr. Coffee and headed home.

The first morning, I couldn't remember if we had in fact selected a model that pauses the drip so we can grab a fast cup. I whipped the pot out and poured a cup -- and still wasn't sure! It dripped much more than other ones that do pause the stream of caffeine, but not as much as the no-name brand I used to own that did not have that feature. As days went by, I learned that it pours sloppily when full. It retains water all day, so that if I wash and dry the pot and stick it in place, then open the lid to see if the morning's grounds are in there, two tablespoons of cold coffee water slosh into the clean pot.

I don't even know at what point it sprays a light film of coffee-colored dots all over the counter and sugar bowl.

Sure, Wired, drip coffee makers in general are Great Gadgets, but mention not Mr. C. to me.


SpunkyP said...

I SO feel your pain! Our 14 year old coffee pot bit the dust this year, and it took us THREE different coffee pots before we settled on something halfway decent. (Cuisinart). Did the Mr. Coffee thing, and Black and Decker--one shot boiling hot coffee on your hand instead of letting you pause the brew to get a cup midway. The other one spewed coffee all over the frigging counter. What the??? I just can't bring myself to say they don't make them like they used to. (Crap, guess I just said it.)

Daniel said...

Heh. Once again, tech trumps the consumer. This should be a lesson to us all: trust in Grandma's percolator.

I've always been more of a tea sort than a coffee, so perhaps I just don't get it. All the same, I was perfectly happy with the coffee makers of the '80s. They were pretty simple, didn't attempt to wow you with interesting technology, and just plain worked. I didn't even need the "stop brew" thing to get coffee in mid-process; pouring a cup while the thing is still spitting into the carafe is one of my art forms, as much of Carver High will attest.

Except that the new ones don't even let you do THAT. They're so overdesigned that if you try to move the carafe and pour into the cup whilst the dripper is a-drippin', you WILL end up with a scald.

Props, though, for supporting Black and Decker, a fine old Baltimore firm--and one in which I own stock.

I've outdone my own antediluvian tendencies and now use a "French press." I'm not sure how French it really is, and it's gotten terribly chic lately, but it's reasonably un-labor-intensive and has no electronic or mechanical parts to go hideously wrong.