Saying goodbye to an old friend

Farewell, noble warrior. Your service will never be forgotten.

Alas, today I bid adieu to a trusted family member who was always there to make sure our family was complete. Goodbye, coffee maker.

Alas, my coffee maker died last week, having served up a final pot of delicious morning energizer and then, I feel quite certain, saying, “Go on without me…”My late coffee pot was a fine model, a Bunn. It was one of those fancy models that kept a reservoir of water warm, just waiting to spring into action and become delicious, morning-starting coffee. It was a champ, with the exception of the times when someone would accidentally hit the “vacation” button on the side, and the water would no longer be heated. Thus, you would think you were making a piping hot batch of coffee only to find out you had a big ol’ batch of room temperature coffee which, let’s be honest, is nasty.

When I mentioned my coffee maker’s death, several folks insisted I get a Keurig, those fancy one-cup-at-a-time machines that are all the rage these days. While I have had and enjoyed a cup of coffee from a Keurig on several occasions, I did not want one for three main reasons:

  1. The first three times I had a Keurig coffee, I was in a funeral home. Not that it’s Keurig’s fault, but having three different deaths pop up on the ol’ memory radar is not exactly how you want to start your morning Joe.
  2. They do not make a Keurig cup the size of a paint can, which is what I would need in order to meet my morning coffee needs.
  3. My parents got a Keurig, and all the grandkids discovered hot chocolate and cider cups. Based on their rate of consumption, if I had one of those in my house, I would be bankrupt in about four hours.

So I set off to replace my coffee pot. I had some very strict guidelines for the purchase:

  1. It needed to be able to make me a big ol’ pot of coffee.


Wow, turns out I’m not that high maintenance. When I started shopping, I noticed that a lot of the coffee pots had plenty of bells and whistles, such as clocks and alarms and even one that let you control just how strong you wanted your coffee.

I noticed that for every bell, whistle, alarm or strength regulator, the price went up. Sometimes a lot. I went back to my detailed list outlining my needs in a coffee pot and realized that any extra money I spent would be going far above my needs.

So I adjusted my search. Rather than shop based on the coffee pot and its features, I focused on one thing only – the price.

I scanned the price tags and kept shopping until I hit the lowest number I could. I then found that model on the shelf, a Mr. Coffee brand pot that had a single on-off button. That was its feature. Make coffee or don’t make coffee. Right up my alley.

I brought the pot home and set it up for the next day. I poured my usual amount in the reservoir, added a coffee filter, and then added the coffee grounds the scientific way I usually do, which is to shake some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee out of the bag until it looks juuuuuust about right.

The next morning I performed my daily ritual: Come downstairs, start the coffee, let the dogs out, return to the kitchen and have some coffee. While my faithful old Bunn model did make the coffee a bit quicker, El Cheapo didn’t lag far behind, and I soon had my morning coffee for my first check of the day’s e-mail.

And the taste? Perfect, of course, because I’m just not that picky about coffee. I just want a mug of piping hot brew to start my morning, and I really don’t need much more than that. I’m a simple man, with simple tastes. So I’ll call this coffee pot a winner, as it makes fine coffee for me in an ample amount of time. And, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t make hot chocolate or cider.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.


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