Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Few Weeks with A Keurig, and a Few Observations

The CW' household forever changed on Christmas when we received the worlds most talked about countertop appliance, the Keurig. Curious as to what all the hooplah was about I set out to report on any insights gained in my first three weeks with this machine, to see if it could live up to my self-dubbed nickname for it, the White Man's Crack Spoon.

1. It’s clean, like you’d think I’d hired a Puerto rican house keeper named Juanita, until you opened up my silverware drawer and saw that all the forks and knives where still there. I actually can’t get over it. My old coffee maker was an unmitigated disaster. First off, I’d never once changed the water filter on the back, nor do I know anyone that ever has, period. Just your average domestic bio hazard. Secondly, the coffee pot itself was tinged a darker shade of brown than hypothetical Juanita. Why? Because I’m a lazy cleaner, I just rinse it out, and scrub it once a year or so. I just never saw the point…it’s stained from the same stuff I’m going to be making today, right? It’s like that piece of Tupperware you have that is forever tinged red/orange because of that one time you froze spaghetti sauce in it. There’s nothing wrong with it, its just a little off colored. Finally, my counter was just littered with coffee stains, because, for some reason, the makers of coffee pots haven’t figured out how to make a fucking lip that won’t dribble all over the place like a 3 year old learning to pee standing up for the first time when you go to pour a fresh cup in the morning. That shit drove me insane. And now that’s all gone. None of that is present in the Keurig. There is no water filter to my knowledge (not that this knowledge would change anything). There is no pot to clean, and there is no pouring of the coffee. It’s the dream.

2. It’s all people want to talk about. I thought it was strange how much people wanted to talk about the Keurig after I received it on Christmas, but figured it was the novelty and the fact that I’d just got it that day…I could have told everyone that I’d won $50k on a scratch ticket and they’d have been more interested in the Keurig. I have a cousin who swore up and down that he’d never even seen one before (he lives out in Hawaii, so maybe it’s possible? I don’t know), needless to say he was immediately converted to the legions of k-cup zombie followers, I think if he tried a few more flavors he would have offered me $200 on the spot for it. But still, people still wouldn’t be clinging to this banal piece of domesticity three weeks later, would they? Yes. Yes they would. It’s like a cult. I had a 3 day e-mail exchange with late blogger, The Maestro, over various flavors and purchasing strategies. We’ve had friends over, who upon seeing the Divine appliance, begin babbling in tongues, raving about their favorite flavors and how this seemingly innocuous device has changed their lives. It’s wild. And it's the same conversation every time: "Oh, we have one of those too! Don't you love it? Our favorite flavor is xyz, what's yours? You know you can buy the pods cheaper here (generic place they happened to find a sale)." It's madness, I tell ya.

3. “Single Serving” is a bit of a misnomer. First off, it has two settings, small and large. Logically, this doesn’t make sense. A single serving, is a single serving, is a single serving. Pick a size and go with it. Secondly, one person’s single serving is another person’s sip, ya know? Like, look at my mug. I’ll pause while you take it in…Yes, that is a Winston’s cup 25th anniversary coffee mug, celebrating all the great champions of NASCAR Yore, the time period right before Jeff Gordon showed up and made it a pussy sport. I love that mug, and it’s because Jeff Gordon isn’t on it…Anyway, I digress. It’s a BIG FUCKING mug and two large’s doesn’t quite fill this up, but 3 is too much, messing with my daily fuel consumption, and possibly leading to the lack of productivity on this blog lately. I’ve more or less assimilated, so this isn’t a big deal anymore, but still, given that this is America, and as a people we are by and large, anywhere between overweight to mordibly obese, I find it odd that Keurig would select such a small pour for their definition of “single serving.” I'm an American and I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up my un-alienable right to diabeetus, for the convenience of not having to deal with the social stigma that my dingy brown coffee mug created whenever guests caught a glimpse of it.

4. It’s not quicker people. It’s just not. This is by far my biggest pet peeve when discussing the Keurig. And if you think it is quicker, it means one of two things, A) You’re not the one making the coffee in your household, or B) You were doing it wrong before.

Point A was the biggest selling point in my fiancée’s (still really weird to say/type) marketing campaign in favor of us becoming a Single Serving household, which I repeatedly shot down with vigor (we only converted due to Christmas). See, I make the coffee in the house. I get up, add the water, scoop the ginds, and press the “on” button. The fiancée gets up and gets in the shower. A cup of perfectly mixed coffee magically appears upon her exit. Even if you were to buy into the idea that the Keurig is quicker, there would be no time saved on her end, as there was not time spent to begin with. Despite my contention that my stance was well rooted in logic, we would bicker over this selling point like the old couple we’ll surely become.

Point B is all about efficiency. If you were an idiot, and stood blankly staring at your previous coffee pot as it percolated and dripped endlessly for 5-6 minutes, then yes, the Keurig is faster, but that’s just because you’re a moron. If you were smart, you simply poured the water, scooped the grinds hit “on” and went on with your business, returning only to pour the coffee once it’s done. This is not possible with the Keurig. If you’re like me and take a double dose, you must stand there while the water heats for an extended period of time (but not so extended that it makes sense to walk away and take care of something else), put in the first pod, watch it pour, and then put in the second pod, and again, watch it pour. This is a complete waste of time, and it’s possible this is another reason for the lack of productivity on this blog in the morning. And for the nitpickers who will ask, why watch it pour? Why not walk away? Because, the Keurig does not use a heating apparatus once the coffee has poured, unlike a traditional coffee pot. And being a sane, non-psychotic person that I am, I prefer my coffee not be served at room temperature. This necessitates my consumption process starting shortly thereafter the coffee is poured.

5. It is fun. Despite the negativity of the two previous points, I very much look forward to weekends with my Keurig. You might say I feind for it. Twice since bringing our newborn home I’ve woken up on a Saturday morning, nudged the fiancée and said “hey, lets go make coffee!” Old me would have been appalled. Old me would have rolled out of bed hours later and drove to Dunkin Donuts. Yes, I’ve become a K-Kup Krazie weekend warrior.