Java stop

Mr. Krups, still going (and brewing) strong
after more than a quarter-century on the job.

Mistah Coffee, he daid … again.

Happily, Mr. Krups remains very much on the job after more than a quarter century’s service. I used to take this midget espresso maker with me on road trips, before there was a barista on every street corner in the US of A.

Our latest and final Mr. Coffee machine, as recommended by The Wirecutter, survived just over 16 months before coughing up a pot of lukewarm fluid and croaking this morning.

No memorial service; interment will be at the nearest landfill. In lieu of flowers please send Chemex filters to El Rancho Pendejo, Duke City, NM, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

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29 Responses to “Java stop”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Ooh. My condolences. We used those at work in the coffee room and they had a shorter half life than most of our radioisotopes. But they were pushed pretty hard.

    I’ve been using a Chemex flask for years. Burr mill, boiling device, and a flask. Great java and its sort of my morning ritual. Boil water. Feed cat and dog. Clean litter pan. Water is boiling? Grind beans, add water, and watch the magic.

    Only crisis was when I broke the flask last spring during the lockdown (don’t ask how I did it) and had to order a new one via Amazon even though two stores a five minute walk from the house stocks them. But both were shut down as “non-essential” stores. Last time I vote for this governor when coffee supplies and cooking implements of mass destruction are considered “non-essential”.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I use a similar setup for camp coffee. Big battered green Thermos and a filter basket. It’ll take one of those reusable mesh baskets or paper filters. Like the Krups espresso machine, this one has covered a whole lot of miles with me.

      Camp coffeemaker

  2. carl duellman Says:

    we have that same espresso machine and we’ve used it daily for years, or at least my girlfriend does. she makes some god awful flavored coffee concoction that stinks up the house. i am more primitive in that i hand grind my beans and do a pour-over. i used to roast my own beans until my roaster went up in a cloud of smoke. now i have a guy from the bike shop that roasts and sells (and delivers!) for $10/lb

  3. debby511 Says:

    Hmm. Maybe I should try a Krups machine. I’m currently using an Aeropress, having gone through a series of cheap espresso machines, none of which lasted longer than one year under daily use. The Aeropress is as simple and reliable as a stone axe though…

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I have a Krups compact slicer that has worked for 25 year turning turkey breasts and hams into sandwiches for my lunch cooler. haven’t even sharpened the blade, Designed in Germany and made in Ireland. What could be better?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Irish used to make Apple’s PowerBooks. I had one of those, back in the day. Long since recycled, alas.

      This old Krups espresso maker was made in (wait for it) Switzerland. Wow.

  5. katholoch Says:

    We bought a Technivorm in 2007. Still going strong and worth the $300 investment. Not sure how much a Mr. Coffee costs, but by the time you buy several of them you could have bought the Technivorm. I bought the carafe version as it doesn’t require a heated pad (one less thing to break) nor a glass carafe that is way to easy to break. I highly recommend them. Available at Williams Sonoma, online, and maybe Bed, Bath, and Beyond (I think).

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Is this your model? Disco nabisco. Herself was just saying we should buy some high-zoot java fountain instead of the same old Target landfill fodder. And this model would fit under our counters, too.

      Made in the Netherlands, too, like fine cyclocrossers.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Nice looking bit of technology!

      • katholoch Says:

        Yes, it is. But I see by today’s blog that I may have missed the boat in getting you quick confirmation. The price has onlygone up $9 in 14 years, which is interesting. I hate filling the landfill with cheap stuff, and tend to research too much to avoid doing so. The Technivorm is really just a high tech water heater that pours over coffee grounds. You can do the same thing with a kettle and the Chemex. I’m just not awake enough in the morning to handle boiling water.

    • SAO' Says:

      Technivorm and Bonavita are always 1-2 in the machine reviews. Sometimes the order flips, but they have been consistently at the top for a dozen years or so.

      Not sure how either handles acorns, however, so if you’re a prepper getting ready for the zombie apocalypse, you might be out of luck.

      https://highplainsdrifters.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/confederate-coffee/

    • Shawn Says:

      I just got around to looking at the Technivorm. That is nice. I do some pot brewing and have a marginal operative unit now that enjoys it’s own sweet time in the morning. Perhaps I should invest in the future of my area’s landfill.

      Bon cafe’!

  6. Dale Says:

    I like a simple Melita filter cone or any drip maker that uses the same type of cone filter. Umteen years ago I had a maker that looked like Audrey Hepburn. It was class and glass – had a small waist too – I can’t remember the model name; but it looked like an angular hourglass. It made great coffee.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I got the Chemex a few years back when I had half a dozen boxes of Melita filters all routinely failing in use, splunking the grounds into the carafe. The crimp on the bottom was separating regularly. The metal filter let too many fines through. Then to put icing on the cake, none of the stores in Los Alamos sold the big #6 Melita filters. Just the small ones for the automated pots. So I had to go all the way to Santa Fe even for those puppies and they were breaking.

      I looked at the Chemex and it was kinda cool, reminding me of the chemistry flasks I used at work. Plus, the filters were better designed without that bottom crimp. As long as I don’t get confused and use them for filtering Plutonium.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We had an old Krups drip coffeemaker for years. Totally simple. It made coffee, kept it hot, had a clock. I forget what finally killed it. We’ve never had a really reliable one since, though we’ve endured a couple more complicated ones.

      I’m leaning toward the Chemex, but that shiny object Ms. O’Loch recommends is a sore temptation.

  7. B Lester Says:

    I’ve got a copy of that Krups in the basement. I used to use it with a little machine the chopped the beans, not grind. Bad idea.

    We recently got a Cuisinart Thermal Carafe maker, and their Touchscreen Burr Grinder. Of the 4 bazillion coffeemakers we’ve tried, this one is far and away the best. It gently heats the carafe as it’s brewing, so the coffee’s hotter than other carafe brewers we’ve had. And since it’s (nearly) sealed, it keeps the brew hot and fresh for a surprisingly long time. It doesn’t cook the brew like the glass pot machines do. I can go home and microwave a cup that’s been in that carafe all day, and it’s still very good.

    The addition of the burr grinder has gotten us into all sorts of experimentation with whole bean coffees. We got an assortment of Illy from Italy and have been sampling local roasters. It’s been a lot of fun. Good therapy on long winter pandemic weekends.

    I think I’ll dig out the Krups, put the burr grinder on “espresso” and see what happens

    • khal spencer Says:

      Coffee is sort of a religion for me. I have a Capresso Infinity burr grinder that does everything from french press to espresso grind, the Chemex flask, and a thermos carafe sitting next to it. The coffee that doesn’t go into the cup goes into the thermos so it doesn’t sit on a hotplate and get cooked to death. Its a considerable collection of stuff just to make coffee, but I don’t have to worry about one expensive single point failure taking down the whole system.

  8. Hurben Says:

    Being the Peasant that I am, standing here at the end of the world, I use cheap shit instant from the local supermarket.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Whoo, that’s an oldie but a goodie. And with Dennis Miller, before he lost his marbles, too.

      I’ll confess that I have been known to use the Starbucks Via instant on road trips when I was too lazy to make proper coffee. I’ve used it to punch up substandard java too.

  9. Shawn Says:

    Enameled Tin Coffee Pot. Pour in cool mountain stream water. Heat over camp fire until boiling. Drop in a fistful of fresh ground beans raised in the best under-the-tree cow crap. Remove from fire. Crack the shell of one cold egg over pot and drop the egg contents in. Toss shell fragments into the boots of the scoundrel who drank the last shot of whisky last night – Ignore if you were the scoundrel. Allow the pot to cool for a period of behind-the-tree wander to water the wild flowers. Rinse hands in mountain stream and return to camp. Wake up the rest of your camp chums and enjoy some good coffee. Note: Pour coffee slowly so that the egg continues to retain the grounds.

    Regarding a single cup filter, the collapsible filters are great. They take up very little space.

    https://www.backcountrygear.com/collapsible-java-drip-gsi.html

    Did anybody else see that Bunki passed on?

    https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/former-olympian-world-champion-bankaitis-davis-dies-at-63/

    I’m not sure if you guys may have known her or of her, but she was great.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I hadn’t heard the news. That’s a bummer. Way too young to shove off. She retired shortly after I went full-time as a freelancer for VeloNews and Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, and I don’t believe I ever had the chance to meet her.

      Meanwhile, here’s Ol’ Blue, the camp coffeepot.

      Ol' Blue, the camp coffeepot

    • SAO' Says:

      Interesting use of an egg. Brown-boot Army field mess coffee does it the other way around. Huge kettle of hot water, add grounds and stir. Add several crushed egg shells to the slurry. Calcium carbonate mellows out the bitterness, but adds a certain crunch that may not be your thing. Right before serving, you dump a pot of cold water into the mix and then cross our fingers that this makes the grounds settle to the bottom. Coffee is then scooped from the top of the pot.

  10. SAO' Says:

    Food and music … weird Venn diagram of personal tastes, obviously, but also an overlap and intersection of things that we will force upon others. Most of the time, we realize, hey, I’m into Scandinavian Death Metal and you’re into Inuit throat singing … let’s agree to disagree. But then one of us will stumble on to little Sun Ra, Jelly Roll Morton, or maybe some pre-Roxy Phil Manzanera, and we just cannot stop from forcing it on our friends.

    Coffee is on that chart somewhere. Get folks talking about their coffee habits and we’ll need to put on a second pot before we’re half-way done analyzing it.

    And folks like to talk about Big Tech because of their obvious planned obsolescence, but that was a thing way before everything had a chip. When we stopped rebuilding carburetors and started replacing fuel injectors, it was pretty much game over.

    Coffee makers have got to be at the top of the list. You’re not buying one, you’re leasing it for a year and a half but with zero trade-in value.

    We stopped brewing pots a while ago because the official coffee drinkers are never on the same time schedule. If we brewed eight cups, seven of them got microwaved before it was time to drink up. So it’s pretty much French press every day around here, individual cups Monday through Friday and the bigger pot on Weekends. But even the French press isn’t foolproof. I think we grabbed a pair of small ones at Ikea, thinking we could make a cup on demand without consulting each other, but the filter/plunger was designed backwards so it stripped it’s screw threads after about a year. Also bought a name brand iced coffee pitcher that had no moving parts, just a jug and a filter, and thought it should last forever. But it had a design flaw where the grounds got in between the glass and the plastic handle and the only way to clean it was to smash it in the driveway and start over.

    Design … it’s not how it looks, it’s how it works … but Lordy if half the shit we make these days is designed to look good on the shelf instead of providing a decent lifespan of regular use.

    • JD Says:

      SAO: That’s why I love Montbell outdoor products/clothing. Their motto is “Function is Beauty” and they live up to it.

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