I have cut back on my coffee consumption by a very large margin. That does not, however, mean I don’t still want the prefect cup of coffee. It just means I have to have fewer of them. So the few that are left, better be good.

I actually just needed to cut back on the caffeine. So I began drinking some decaf along with my regular coffee. But then we found half caf coffee and decided we would go with that. It means I can have two cups of coffee before work. At dinner time, I have one or two more cups. And trust me, this is cutting back.

Since I wasn’t drinking as much coffee, Dick was in a quandary. He had to drink stale coffee that was left in the coffeepot. This is, apparently, an abomination and something fit only for his wife. So he would make a whole pot of coffee and throw away half of it and when I got home from work, would proudly announce, “I made you fresh coffee.” This really meant he wanted some more coffee and it was a safe way to throw away the stuff he wouldn’t drink. But at least it looks good on paper. Except, I didn’t want coffee when I got home from work because I was cutting back on my coffee consumption. So I asked him to stop helping me in this way which put a crimp in his style.

So we bought a Keurig coffee maker. The K-cups are expensive and come in a limited variety of flavors. They do have some decaf, but none in flavors. And their flavors are not as wide ranging as my flavors. So I also bought an insert for the K-machine to allow me to use my own coffee. We used it all the time, using the prefilled K-cups only for company when we needed to make several cups quickly. This was also fairly unsatisfactory, so we just got the old pot out and made a whole pot. Worked better all around.

We paid $139.95 plus tax for the coffee maker. The insert was another $15. But at least I could use my half caf coffee along with all my flavors, both caffeine and decaf. And I could use half flavor caffeinated and half decaf and make my own half caf, but with variety. So it was okay.

It was also very messy. The grounds sat in a basket inside a plastic housing placed for the hot water to shoot through. Between each cup of coffee, we had to empty the grounds, making what was essentially a huge mess. This was why I didn’t use the insert at work, where we also have a K-machine. There was no way to get rid of the grounds. They stick to the wire meshing and you have to really clean it between each cup of coffee.

But coffee was made perfectly each time and it took next to no time to get it.

Three months later, all of a sudden, Dick made me a coffee after I got in from one of my walks. And I only got about two-thirds of a cup. But I drank it. Then I made myself my own coffee, figuring he had done something weird, like somehow selected the wrong cup size. He hadn’t. I only got two-thirds of a cup even selecting the largest cup, like always.

So we got some vinegar and I followed the instructions for descaling the coffee maker. I ran the vinegar through at least four times and then let it sit for four hours. Then I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. Then I made a cup of coffee. I got two-thirds of a cup. The other third of the water was coming out a release valve and pouring the water back into the reservoir.

Beverage center - teas, coffee maker, bowl for used coffee, filters, sugar

We looked all over and there is no way to get to the inside of the maker. So we took it outside and I brought in a $12 Black & Decker single cup brewer. I had looked all over for these last spring so I could take one to work. I had to go to the outlet mall. I eventually bought one of the $12 model and three of the $16 model – it accommodates a taller cup and comes with a thermal mug. So I had some here.

We brought in the cheapo coffee maker and have been using it ever since. There is a paper filter that we just plop out so there is much less mess. We can still use half caf, decaf, or any of my assorted flavors. Each cup is make fresh. It does take longer to get the cup of coffee, but we are getting a full cup.

The K-machine is still sitting in the lanai, mocking us. Letting us know we wasted so much money and it never was worth it. It was messy, it was expensive, and it didn’t last very long. Perhaps we should be grateful about that last part.