Coffee and/or Keurig.

Keurig.

Image by suendercafe via Flickr

One of the things my wife got me for Christmas was a new Keurig coffee maker. She got me a Mini Plus to replace my old one, which was a Platinum Plus that died a horrible, painful death. I loved the PP for the time that I had it, but unfortunately I had an experience that it seems a lot of people have… the thing just refused to do its assigned task, which is to produce hot brown water that prevents me from bringing harm to the people around me.

The PP isn’t really meant for a one or two person household, I don’t think. It kept water hot at all times, and had a healthy reservoir. Once the machine was first filled with water, it would never be empty again. No matter what you do, you can’t get the water out of it. You can cycle more through, but you can’t drain it out. Now, to me, that seems like a really incredibly stupid way to design a thing, but I’m a computer tech and not a coffee maker… maker. So I’ll let that go. The problem that developed with it was that it simply wouldn’t spit any of that water into a cup. It wanted to keep it all for itself, and in the meantime, my patience with it waned. I unplugged it, as though I had decided that would teach it a lesson. That’s something I’m guilty of, by the way… I try to reason with (and sometimes threaten) inanimate objects. After trying to reason with (and threaten) the coffee maker that I had loved so dearly, it became obvious that I had a decision to make. And so, with a heavy heart and a final cry of “Fuck this shit, man” I threw it away. The warranty had expired, and so had my dear friend, Captain Keurig.

Until…

I was completely surprised when I unwrapped the new Mini Plus that my wife had chosen for me. Undoubtedly moved by my outpouring of sorrow during the mourning period (which manifested itself as various strings of profanity) she had purchased a replacement! It’s not as fancy as the Platinum, and quite frankly, I love that about it.

“The more shit a thing does, the more ways it has to break.” – Me.

This little guy does not have a bizarrely sequestered water chamber, it has what industry professionals call a top part. You pour water in there. You lift the lever thing and you wait for the water to gurgle down into the machine. You put the little K-Cup in the little K-Cup holder, slam that handle down, press the living hell out of the brew button, and you wait. You stare at it, hoping that it’s not going to break, because you’ve basically lost all faith in Keurig, and you wait. Then, two minutes or so later, you drink coffee. Every time you make a cup of coffee, you have that same fear. I hope that maybe this simpler model will be a longer-lasting inhabitant in our kitchen. So far, so good!

But how does the coffee taste, I hear you asking.

Well… not great. Not horrible, but not great. It really depends on the K-Cup you use. So far the absolute worst one that I’ve had has been something that Emeril Lagasse put his name on for God knows why, and it was… rough. It was strong in a bitter way, and tasted like you had poured boiling water on the hell-roasted ashes of coffee beans. So, BAM and all that. The Folgers varieties are all pretty good. I’d love to be able to try the Dunkin Donuts variety, which is some of my favorite coffee to make at home, but last I checked they’d made a decision that I hope got someone in marketing fired and elected to only sell the K-Cups inside Dunkin Donuts. One, we don’t have one around here, and two, if I could go to the store and get a cup of coffee there, why in the hell would I buy K-Cups to take home? Surely I’m not the only person that finds that a bit silly. Still, the overall K-Cup experience is a pretty good one.

As long as this iteration of Keurig keeps putting out that calming ichor, I would recommend it. I like being able to grab a cup of coffee in a hurry (not because I’m so busy, but rather because I’m fucking impatient. Thanks for that, Internet.) and most of the time it’s a decent enough cup that I leave satisfied.

Comforting Photograph for Tea Lovers

I was playing around with Instagram and Hipstamatic while waiting on my tea to steep the other night, and I came up with this shot. I think it’s very simple but very comforting at the same time. I’ve had so much Lady Grey that I can practically taste it just by looking at this picture!

Twinings, You Are My Friend.

Old Twinings Shop on The Strand, London

Good things come from here.

This week I got a Twinings tea chest. It’s probably one of my favorite things now, despite the fact that it only does one thing, which is hold tea. It’s not the most interactive of devices, but it’s very glossy, so I like it. One of the most interesting things about it is that fact that it came pre-loaded with various teas. Now, I am in no way a tea connoisseur… all I know is that there are some teas I enjoy and some I don’t; I’m much happier with black teas than I am with herbal teas. I very much like trying new things (particularly beverages) and tonight I’m sipping on a cup of chamomile.

I’ve never had chamomile tea before now. When the steeping was done, the first thing I noticed was, of course, the aroma. Not being a gentleman of very refined tastes, I reviewed the scent verbally to my awesome wife (AKA TMT). “This smells like ass,” said I. “An ass made of grass.”

I would like to reiterate at this point that I am not a connoisseur of tea.

Undeterred by the scent of what was sure to be a hot cup of sweaty lawn clippings, I proceeded to prepare tea the way I like it. Yes, I sweeten it. Yes, I use milk or creamer in it. No, I don’t care if you think I’m doing it “wrong”. I drinks it like I likes it. Prepared cup of tea in hand, I hunkered down and made myself ready for the worst… and wound up being pleasantly surprised.

Chamomile tea isn’t bad at all. It’s not my favorite tea by any stretch — I’d take a cup of Earl Grey over damn near anything — but it’s pretty good. It’s certainly a lot better than I anticipated. I’d gladly drink another cup… particularly now that this one is empty. That’s the beauty of trying something new… if you like it, you’ve discovered something new to enjoy in life. If you don’t particularly like it you never have to have it again, but at least you know what it tastes like. It’s a win/win!

What are some of your favorite teas? I’d love to hear about them!

Chocolate Chip Awesome.

Missing chocolate chip cookie.

Last night was heading towards being a very “meh” night. You know what I’m talking about… the kind of night that’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but not all that great, either. Just kind of a night. TMT and I were talking to Small Boy, explaining to him that his rather bulbous mid-section was in fact his milk pouch, and that was where he stored the milk that he’s had. TMT asked him, innocently enough, where his cookies were, since he had a milk pouch and all.

Immediately thereafter, I wondered aloud where my cookies were. “Where are my cookies?” I exclaimed, as only a man finding himself sans-cookies can.

“Where are my cookies?”

“Do you want me to make some cookies?”, she inquired.

That was all it took. That simple question was enough to turn the tide of the evening. I excitedly expressed interest in the previously mentioned cookies (because let’s face it guys, there really aren’t very many times that we don’t want our women to make us cookies, am I right?) and within moments we were in the kitchen, Small Boy in tow. The cookie making commenced, and they were delicious indeed. That simple act (though it seems like some sort of delightful dessert witchcraft in the light of day) was enough to turn a “meh” night into a really, really fun one.

Small Boy is going to realize some day that he is very lucky indeed to have the mother he does. Ladies… you don’t know the power that you wield! You can change the course of a day with but a cookie. After all, we men are simple folk with simple tastes… feed us well and we’ll take care of you for the rest of our days. 🙂

 

Twix Cheesecakes (via Gingerbread Bagels)

My palate tends to go one of two ways; sweets and meats. These definitely seem like they’d hit the spot on the sweet side! They look absolutely fantastic!

Twix Cheesecakes In my humble opinion, desserts and candy belong together. Butterfingers make cupcakes a little more intriguing, blondies filled with peanut butter cups are even more irresistible, gummy worms taste better when they’re coming out of a cupcake and Twix in cheesecake….well that just makes me drool. How can I not drool when one of my favorite desserts, mini cheesecakes, are combined with my #3 favorite candy in the entire universe? Yes my friends,  … Read More

via Gingerbread Bagels