I really don't know how or when all of this coffee addition started for Liz. It's a topic I have never actually thought of until now. In the triathlon world, you eventually ask someone you know how they got into the sport and why. I've been married to Liz for over 2 years, dated for 4 before that, and it only occurs to me now about the "how and why" question on a topic that has put us on the balance of life and death several times trying to acquire it.
At home we have what is a pretty fancy coffee maker that you dump whole beans into, water, flip a switch, and about 8 minutes later of grinding and bubbling, you have a steaming hot cup of brew. She claims it's a mess to clean up as there is a gazillion parts to it that all get coated with coffee dust during the grinding and then lightly steamed afterwards to a nice muddy finish. This requires her to strip down the coffee maker, cram it into the tiny dishwasher, then complain that the machine is down the next day if the dishwasher isn't run the night before. I can see her point about this though. I did try the suggestion of "Hey, let's go buy one of those cheap coffee machines like they have in my office.", which got a firm reply of NO.
The machine in our office is pretty rough. It's so old that the plastic has yellowed, rotted, and turned cancerous; flaking off plastic bits into the brew kettle as it gurgles away heating the water. The kettle itself is a Frankenstein creation, cobbled together from previous kettles that bit the dust and assembled in the middle of the night by a madman. It's also an office orphan that no one wants to take care of. On the plus side, all you have to do is plop in a filter, grounds, water, and then dump out the grounds the next time someone makes a fresh pot. This means that after Friday, there's been a good 72 hours of rotting goodness in it's basket on Monday morning. Somehow a machine like that is unappealing to Elizabeth.
Too complicated is too much. Too mundane is not enough. I did some research while she was in St. Croix and came up with a machine, so grand, so simple, that I hope to cure the conundrum Liz faces each morning when she's looking for her fix. I even asked other coffee guru's about it and got the response "that's the one". I finally ordered it a few days ago and it just came today.
Here's a pic:
It's ugly, but the premise is easy. You put grounds in, add water, flip one switch. It's a European deal and it will pretty much require a solid year of skipping Grande-Soy-NonFat-Sugarfree-Decaf-Vanilla-Iced-Mochas to pay it off. It's unfortunately no exotic Italian model with so much sex appeal that it turns you on when you turn it on. This one was created by the no-frills Dutch out of German components. When I talked to Cheryl at the office about getting it and it's price, she asked if it made Frappachinos and had a million buttons. Nope. Just the on/off switch.
Supposedly this machine makes the best coffee. It's even certified by the Juan Valdez Coffee Cartel for making coffee good enough for burros and discerning sombrero wearing men. The key component of this coffee maker apparently is the heating element. It's the same one used to start the rocket engines on the space shuttle. On it's test run, I could hear the office building's back-up generator start up when I flipped the maker to ON, so you know it's going to be HOT COFFEE.
I bought this for Liz as a surprise and hopefully it's going to make her coffee she can't complain about. There's one problem with it, so I'm going to save a special space in my office for it when it gets rejected. It's called the TechniVorm. I guess the Dutch were even shorter on name aesthetics than on looks.