How Much Coffee is Enough? and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

I figured out a long time ago that if I want to be resilient, there will have to be coffee. Organizing shelves and unpacking boxes of stored stuff showed me I must be really resilient by now — I have way too many coffee makers.Cafe Press, Chemex, and Drip Cup

My once-beloved Pyrex stove-top percolator is long gone but not forgotten. The Chemex on the left was a lucky find of the same era. At the time, Chemex was the epitome of cool and way out of my price range. Then one day I walked into the local Salvation Army store and was astonished to find one for $2.00… Sold! The French-press pots are recent, and make me feel ever so continental — not to mention green, for being filter-free — but they’re a pain to wash.


Cappuccino makers basking in a ray of morning sun…

Two of these cappuccino makers were packed away in Bob’s boxes, so before donating, I’ll have to see if they still work. (It’s hard to believe now that in pre-Starbucks days we went all the way to Italy to discover cappuccino) I won’t include a photo of my standard coffee pot – it’s been misbehaving anyway.

Lately it’s all just too much trouble and this has been my coffee-maker —

Instant Coffee

We discovered it as hotel-coffee when traveling – it’s actually pretty good

Here on earth our relationship with a morning cup of coffee is complex. And now we hear that climate change is threatening coffee crops. (Do you hear that, politicians? How can anyone resist fighting climate change when coffee is at stake?)

But wait — when I savor that morning cup, I may feel slightly virtuous if I throw my coffee grounds into the compost, but I haven’t even been considering climate change, or excess waste and pollution from processing plants that pollute waterways, or deforestation resulting when farmers replace traditional shade-growing methods with sun cultivation.  I just get up in the morning and stumble into the kitchen to make my cup of instant-gratification. I haven’t noticed any shade-grown instant, but when I switched to instant I wasn’t thinking, wasn’t looking.

I need to get back to shopping and consuming more responsibly. Guess I’ll start by dusting off one of the coffee-makers (and we’ll see if I have the resilience to give up my instant gratification). Surely I can at least manage the over-the-cup drip coffee (first photo) —  I even found the cute little filters that go with it. I’m hoping that’ll help me work my way back to filter-free with the French-press pot.

How do you like your coffee? And do you have enough coffee-makers?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

How to Green Your Cup of Coffee


22 thoughts on “How Much Coffee is Enough? and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

  1. I can’t live without coffee. Strangely, I have only two coffeemakers – one here in DC and one in my soon-to-be-sold house in Chicago. One is 30+ years old; the other probably 20. I may not be drinking responsible coffee, but I’ve certainly gotten good use out of the makers!

    • I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve already given away at least two electric pots I found, so the total count was even higher than what I have out now. My Chemex is rivaling your 30-year old, but I haven’t used it in a while. The French-press pots have been in use about 5 years, and replaced a single-serve version that a friend at work gave me when she moved away around 20 years back — I eventually wore it out. I’m with you, can’t live without coffee, even if it’s mostly decaf that I drink now, it’s still coffee!

      • Yes it’s great! All you do is pour the espresso grounds into the metal filter, fill the water to the line in the bottom section and boil it and when you hear it bubbling you can peek in the top and see that the coffee is done. It’s awesome! We always were breaking our French press so replaced it with this 3 or 4 years ago 🙂

    • I’m with you on using the espresso pot, but I just realized – unlike back when I acquired electric espresso makers – today we have youtube, and there’ll be a hundred or so videos to showing how to do the real thing. I’m using my 1-cup drip this morning and it smells so good. THAT’s what I was missing with instant.

    • Oh, good idea about keeping the big one for guests. I do have some trouble with my big electric one though, it seems to want a bigger filter than the ones that go with it (or ones that I can find) or maybe the water just goes through too slowly.

  2. You can never own too many coffee brewing methods! (My wife disagrees).
    Our kitchen is filled with a massive assortment of coffee gear; 2 different sized Chemexes, an espresso machine, an Aeropress, 4 Vietnamese phin filters, 2 Moka pots, 2 different sized V60’s, 2 French Presses, Hario gooseneck kettles, and a beautiful syphon brewer. We need a bigger kitchen for all the remaining brew methods not yet owned 😉

  3. We gave up in cappucino machines as they took up counter space and broke after a year. We have a one-quart/liter stainless steel press and put what we do not drink into a small thermos. (Mr IDWE drinks a lot of coffee!) We have two different sizes of Filter-holder (one-cup and one-pot) Instant?!?! It must have changed since I last tried it!

    • That’s a good point about the cappuccino machines. When I tested the two I found in the basement, I found that though they still made espresso, the steamers no longer worked. Now instead of donating them I’ll have to have them recycled. I remember now that the ones I had back in the 80s didn’t last all that long. What a waste. (and instant’s not so bad in a pinch, good enough for travel at least – or is that just me being desperate?)

  4. That is quite a few coffee makers over the last few decades and just by looking at the photos, they still look very good. Can’t see them rusted but I suppose you get a better look when you open them. I don’t drink coffee as it makes me extremely hyper. In high school I drank it for about a year, usually a takeaway cappuccino or flat white from the cafe near my school. $4 for a small cup and it certainly took a chunk out of my wallet.

    • Two of the cappuccino makers turned out to make espresso but no longer steam – too bad, but I’ll have to recycle them. I did find a place that takes small appliances so will deliver them next time I’m nearby. I love coffee, but can’t have much of the real stuff. Sadly, mostly decaf (and yes, very expensive to buy when out, but still a treat)

      • Decaf is also expensive here in Australia, and it doesn’t taste as good as real coffee for some reason. Hope you get to keep at least one of those makers that are in full working condition.

      • Now that you mention it, I noticed here that the decaf instant is more expensive than the regular, and harder to find. I still see both kinds of coffee beans. I’m looking for a re-usable one-cup pour-over filter to replace the old plastic one I found. But then, that’s one more “thing” so I should probably just drink more tea.

      • I think decaf costs more because you have to pay for the manpower and resources to remove the caffeine from the coffee. You never know. The more you start drinking coffee, the more you may fall in love with the taste and keep longing for that next cuppa.

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