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How I stumbled across the perfect coffee brewer for my writing sanctuary.
I don’t know if I write to support my coffee habit or if I’m hooked on coffee because it fuels my writing. Regardless, I’ve been shopping for a new brewer. This is not a commercial, but a guide to how I chose my new life support system. Your results may vary, choices subject to dealer availability, not applicable where prohibited by law, employees and family of Jot and Jitter need not apply … oops – just slipped into the small print.

Call me lazy, but I shopped for a new brewer because I didn’t want to make the long commute to the kitchen just to satisfy my coffee jones. My perfect candidate had to meet stringent guidelines:

         Energy efficient
         Easy to maintain
         Easy to use

After scouting the market for small coffee makers I added an additional guideline – it must be a single cup machine.

Like most of us, space in my home office is at a premium. I want my joe and I want it now, but where do I put the machine? I could always ditch the scanner. Or maybe the color inkjet. Or maybe the old, but reliable laser printer. Maybe I could get rid of one of the workstations. Duh! That’s not happening.

I spent an eye crossing weekend surfing for all known variants and followed that with a weekend of touch and feel shopping. The quandary was this – how good would the coffee taste from each machine. Even though a sweet little lady was hawking samples in Bed, Bath & Beyond, she flatly refused to set up all of her machines and brew me a cup. She had the nerve to say I was unreasonable and that she might have to call a security consultant to help speed my shopping.

My long suffering wife yanked on my choke chain and hauled my snarling body out of the store. She suggested that we should do just a bit more research and possibly adjust my meds before we made a final choice of brewers. We were saved by a call from my sister-in-law who needed us to ferry some of her belongings to her new home. The five hour drive would give me time to reflect on the endless possibilities available in the realm of coffee brewers. So, Thermos in hand, we set out to spend some quality time together and indulge in some over-the-road analysis. (Job induced moves are always a pain – especially on short notice. But that’s another post.)

After we arrived in that other city, which in NOT where I live – I schlepped a van full of “stuff” up to the second floor. Little sissie, the quintessential Southern hostess, asked if I would like a cup of coffee. Duh! Double Duh! Does a wild bear tiptoe lightly through the woodland? Does a koala like Vick’s?

She knows that I bleed brown, but I replied sweetly, “Why yes, dear. I believe that I could drink just the tiniest bit of your divine brew.” I hate sugar in my coffee, but sometimes it just comes dribbling out of my mouth.

Now, keep in mind that my little sissie lives alone and drinks a measly one cup of java a day. On her countertop sat a tiny little machine that became the answer to all of my searching.

I watched as she pressed one large chrome button. The machine’s jaw popped open in anticipation and she treated it to a tiny little plastic cup. When she patted it on the head it closed its little mouth and popped its little top. She poured in a precisely measured bit of water and pressed its little cap back into place. Suddenly a little blue light began to blink – just like the old blue light specials at K-Mart. Sissie pressed the blue light and walked away.
Less than three minutes later my trembling hands lifted a perfectly brewed cup of coffee to my lips. I was hooked. I was in love. I even liked my sister-in-law.

We made a pilgrimage to where she bought her sleek, black brewer. On the shelf was my ultimate machine – and it had just been released in Road Rage Red. All around me were boxes and boxes of the tiny little treats that the machine loved to chew. Dozens of flavors and brews. But WAIT! I also saw little boxes of teas and cocoa. All for my new little friend.
After thoroughly testing the machine back at the office, it met all of my requirements and more. Maybe these are additional benefits or maybe I’m trying to justify popping 90 bucks on a single cup brewer, but after extensive use I’ve noticed the following:

         the K-Cups are made of recyclable materials
         the machine shuts off after the cup brews
         there is no carafe of extra coffee that slowly turns to syrup while you work
         you have a huge variety of brews available without needing to keep several containers open
         the ritual of brewing a single cup allows me to take a short break resulting in more productivity.

The winner, at least in my case, is the Keurig Mini.

What is your favorite brewer and coffee combination?
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