My war with the coffee maker ... or how the roast was won

My war with the coffee maker ... or how the roast was won

I'm trying to eat at home more, which means writing my morning post in our living room rather than at my usual coffee shop haunt close to my job in the suburbs. Today was my first day trying this. So – of course – today was the day the coffee maker decided it didn't want to actually allow coffee to fall into the pot.

That's strange, I think, as I listen to the coffee maker bubbling and can tell it's doing its job, yet no coffee is falling into the pot as it should. Were the laws of gravity overturned while I was sleeping? If so, why I am I not floating around like an awesome astronaut?

I close my right eye and contemplate the coffee maker, as if this will allow me to divine its true nature. Sensing nothing, my left eye closes, as well. Maybe I should just go back to sleep. That would teach the coffee maker a lesson! How the coffee maker would receive that lesson, however, is a mystery to me since both eyes now are closed – not that I seem to have any appliance whispering power anyway.

I reopen my eyes, turn the coffee maker off and begin investigating what went wrong. CSI: Cramped Kitchen. I remove the filter from the machine. It's now filled with coffee sludge water, which is not nearly as appetizing as it sounds. For some reason, the filter is refusing to release its contents into the pot. Did I accidentally buy the condom version of a filter? That would be unfortunate, but at least my coffee maker won't have any unexpected babies.

Maybe I'm still asleep.

I pinch myself. It hurts. I still have a coffee maker issue.

I dump the contents of the filter and begin examining the dispenser that holds the filter and – as its name implies – is supposed to dispense coffee into the pot. I figure out that when the little piece at the bottom of it is pushed up, water is dispensed. When the piece in its natural position, water stays in the dispenser. Yet, there doesn't seem to be a way to get that piece to stay pushed up. Is this perhaps a job for duct tape?

I've never had this issue before. What's going? I ponder the coffee maker some more.

And then I see it.

The coffee pot lid. Not on the coffee pot. Where it belongs. But instead on the kitchen counter. Next to the coffee maker. With a piece in the middle that's curved up, perfect for – oh, I don't know – keeping something above it pushed up that's supposed to be pushed up.

So, it was the lid's fault. It must have jumped off the coffee pot as I was preparing the coffee maker. That little scump.

I refill the filter, put more water in the coffee maker and turn it on once again. Soon, coffee starts dribbling into the pot. Once again, I close my right eye and stare at the coffee maker. I swear it winks at me. Or maybe I really am just sleeping.

Going for Gusto is a blog by Joe Grace. Columns, videos, lists and quick thoughts posted throughout the week. Send questions, comments and blog ideas to Subscribe to my Facebook page at to keep up with all of the posts at Going For Gusto.

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