How Not To Make Coffee

Photo credit: Sergi Alexander/Getty (I combined a round and slash)

How we make coffee is, we move a dusty and roasted and substantially belligerent seeds of a Coffea plant together with some water, typically hot, for some duration of time, and this turns a H2O into coffee. That’s it. It is not a difficult procedure.

You can do this all forms of ways. Turkish coffee, for example, is prepared by simmering a intensely excellent drift in a tiny pot and portion a ensuing libation unfiltered; when we splash Turkish coffee, we will find some sour lees usually chilling during a bottom of your crater during a end. Your standard American crater o’ joe is done by pouring prohibited H2O solemnly by drift hold in a paper filter, to season down into a pot sitting on a prohibited plate. Espresso involves firmly compressed drift and near-boiling H2O forced by underneath high pressure. A French press involves coarser drift and a automatic movement of your arm dire a steel filter down by a mainstay of prohibited water. But in all cases a basis are a same: Water + Grounds = Coffee. For all a hundreds of years that humans have been celebration this beverage, if we had water, and dusty and ground-up seeds of Coffea plants, and some means to mix a dual other than transfer them both on a ground, afterwards we could have some coffee to drink.


My mother had a Keurig coffeemaker. In ubiquitous a family is not a everybody-gets-their-own-appliances type: We all watch a same TV in a same room during a same time; nobody has a tiny fridge stashed in their closet for a things usually they like; a master lavatory has a his-and-hers penetrate though both sides of it have my toothpaste froth encrusted on them. The Keurig was hers in a clarity that I, a Luddite, did not use it and regarded it with some suspicion, preferring a analog protocol of a foolish French press we bought as a approach of creation my honestly pornographic coffee intake feel some-more like self-indulgence than like self-medication. Whereas my mother usually likes to splash coffee and took a navigator on a new gizmo, a preference superbly unburdened by paranoia or existentialist dread. This is all a tiny beside a point.

Probably we are informed with a Keurig coffeemaker.* If we are not, what a Keurig does is, it brews—it only brews; it usually can brew—a singular portion of coffee during a time. You insert a tiny away finished pod of drift into a special opening in a Keurig, we lift a symbol or a integrate of buttons, and inside a Keurig a array of puzzling electronic automatic things happen, and afterwards a singular portion of coffee pours out of a spigot into a mop we have placed underneath it.

* The Keurig association has been in a news over a weekend, interjection to some kind of shit involving worried media clown Sean Hannity. we don’t know what it’s about and we don’t wish to! we started this blog several days before this news brace arrived to make it timely!


At a utterly individualistic spin during that a culture’s benefaction doctrine of techno-libertarianism encourages us to perspective a lives, this is Convenience and Ease and Efficiency. You, a individual, do not have to magnitude quantities of H2O and grounds; we do not have to reinstate a paper filter or purify a steel one; we do not have to guard H2O temperature; we do not have to flex your bend to press a filter down by a water. The Keurig appurtenance will do all of this. All you, a individual, contingency do is name and insert your elite single-serving drift container, place your mop underneath a spigot, and press a symbol or a integrate of buttons. The closest thing to a undignified season coffeemaker’s vile, superannuated communitarianism a Keurig appurtenance final of we is that we check and presumably refill a H2O tank.

Of course, during any spin even somewhat some-more holistic than pristine individualism, a Keurig looks utterly different. The appurtenance itself is exponentially some-more worldly and greedy than even a blurb espresso maker, costly to make and involving rare-earth computing materials and so forth. A box of cosmetic single-serving drift containers (“K-Cups”) multiplies a wrapping of a elementary bag of coffee beans many times over. And then, to furnish a apportion of coffee homogeneous to that constructed by, say, a singular iteration of a season coffeemaker’s brewing cycle, it contingency energy by a many some-more mechanically elaborate brewing cycle over and over again, immoderate electricity all a while, during that time it is of no use to anyone though a one chairman who will splash that portion of coffee. The over behind we lift from a evident knowledge of one libertarian end-user unmotivated with anything over his possess evident experience, a worse it looks: For a individual, a Keurig has some claim to preference and palliate and efficiency; for, say, an office, or a household, it dramatically slows down and complicates a routine of scheming coffee for everybody who wants some; for tellurian society, it is a greedy inefficiency; pound-for-pound, for human life as a tellurian organism, if we are foolish and nauseating adequate to still perform a thought of such a thing, it is an outrage.

And all of this for a purpose that is, on a face, rarely dubious. Common defenses of a Keurig go something like Yeah, though when you’re staying by yourself in a hotel, it’s unequivocally convenient, or I live alone so it’s unequivocally good for me. But a thing is, we can decoction a singular portion of coffee with a season coffeemaker that involves no computing components whatsoever; even during a spin of pristine individualism, it usually slows a routine down by a few minutes, tops. You can decoction a singular portion of coffee with a French press involving positively no relocating parts; we do it each day, and it takes maybe 10 mins from a time we spin a feverishness on underneath a kettle of H2O to a time we fill my absurdly vast transport mug. To whatever border people did not decoction singular servings of coffee before to a appearance and widespread adoption of a Keurig machine, it was not since they couldn’t do it; it was since it creates some-more clarity to usually decoction a pot of coffee so everybody can have some.

But here is a thing. My wife’s Keurig machine, a somewhat fancier indication than a many simple Keurig machine, had on a front a tiny touch-screen LED, maybe dual inches across. With a Keurig appurtenance plugged in and powered on, a shade would light up, and we used it to close in a settings for a subsequent brewing cycle: How many coffee we wanted, and how clever it should be, and so forth. First we sealed these settings into place, then a tangible earthy symbol on a front of a Keurig appurtenance would light up, signaling that, with a information fields now sufficient populated, a Keurig was prepared to decoction your coffee. Then we pushed a symbol and a Keurig brewed your coffee.

If we did not use a shade to submit your coffee settings, a symbol would not light up; a Keurig would not decoction your coffee. You see, in sequence to have a explain to preference and palliate and efficiency, a Keurig had to be automatic usually so, to your specifications. Or else, what would it do? What would tell it to stop brewing coffee? Or how clever to make a coffee? The whole pride is, a portion of coffee we get from a Keurig is precisely and usually a portion of coffee we have told it to give you; though this, a Keurig is nothing.

This is not usually or even mostly an ontological point. The LED shade on my wife’s Keurig began to flicker. You powered a Keurig on, and a shade remained dim for long, meaningful seconds, and afterwards flickered, dimly. Eventually it would figure a shit out and light up, and afterwards we could use a screen. Until a day, a integrate weeks ago, that she powered a Keurig on and a shade remained dark, and remained dark, and usually ever remained dark.


The Keurig appurtenance was not dead! You could hear it heating H2O inside itself, in credentials for brewing coffee. The automatic tools concerned in a routine of brewing a singular portion of coffee, so distant as anybody knows, were fine. But a touch-screen LED was dead. What had failed, inside a Keurig machine, were components totally apart to a brewing of coffee—the bringing together of prohibited H2O and dusty and roasted and belligerent seeds of a Coffea plant. Of course, though a touch-screen, we could not submit your brewing settings. Without your brewing settings input, a Keurig appurtenance could not be prepared to decoction your coffee. The symbol would not light up. The Keurig machine, reduced to a spin of technological sophistication still distant leading that of, say, a unchanging season coffeemaker, with apparently ideally total and operable coffeemaking machinery, was, in utterly verbatim terms, useless. You could not make it decoction a portion of coffee. From now until a finish of time, unless and until someone repairs mechanism components that have nothing, whatsoever, to do with brewing coffee, that Keurig coffee appurtenance will not decoction another portion of coffee, ever. we consternation if that ever will happen, during a landfill!

(My French press, if we were wondering, works fine, notwithstanding a totally nonfunctional and nonexistent touch-screen LED. we can even module it to decoction coffee during a same time each morning, by environment an alarm time and removing out of bed when a alarm time goes off and afterwards regulating a French press to decoction some coffee.)

The universe has lots of unequivocally foolish ideas in it. One of them, one of a many harmful, is a prevalent thought of what it means for one thing to be technologically higher to another. Only a enlightenment fallen to a unequivocally frightening and baleful spin of libertarian irrationality would courtesy a Keurig machine—a sophisticated, programmed drudge designed privately and usually to decoction a singular portion of coffee, rather than a large fit pot of it; that presents only illusory palliate and preference only to whoever is regulating it during a impulse of his or her use and to no one else, and only around frail technologized mediations it wears atop a primary duty like an anvil, or a explosve collar; that can be rendered literally obsolete by a relapse of unnecessary components totally subordinate to that primary function—as a technological alleviation on a season coffeemaker, or a French press, or putting some coffee drift in a fucking saucepan with some H2O and holding it over a campfire for a tiny while until a H2O smells good. It is not technologically higher to any of those! It is vastly technologically inferior to all of them. It is a greedy square of trash. It is not a appurtenance engineered to urge anything or to solve a problem, though usually and wholly a stratagem for a sales pitch, a means to apart someone from their money.


Appropriately, then, it also creates shitty, bad-tasting coffee! The Keurig appurtenance is a stupidest appurtenance in a whole goddamn world; it is as foolish as a multitude that called it into existence. we would advise holding your Keurig appurtenance outward and outstanding it with a fucking sledgehammer, though a outlandish materials inside it substantially would glare a watershed. Bury it in a salt cavern. Jettison it into space.

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