‘Old dog’ learns to enjoy his Keurig

Published 8:28 am Friday, July 28, 2017

By TJ Ray

Truth to tell, it took my wife almost half a century to train me to make a pot of coffee. In time I became adept at emptying the used grounds and filter, putting in a new filter, adding the spoonfuls of fresh coffee, turning it on. Of course, it never made the new coffee as quickly as I liked.

As life changed, I came to have no need of a whole pot of coffee. Before I realized that and made a change, I poured out a lot of coffee that I hadn’t drunk. Not sure which goaded me to improve things: the slowness of doing the prep work or the waste at the end of the day.  But I did make a change.

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My daughter-in-law exposed me to a magic machine that eliminated most of the prep steps and nearly all the of the thrown-away brew. It was made by the Keurig folks. Put a little container in the machine. When the water was hot, I pushed the button for the desired cup size, and Voila! the cup quietly filled up. To make another cup, I just replaced the little insert, and watched it.

Well, in time it penetrated my foggy brain that I should get one of these fantastic devices. So on a pretty Saturday when a local store was having a sale, I went and walked among the shelves, wondering which one was the right one for me.  Undecided, I went to a friend’s house, who at once made me a cup of fine liquid black gold. She convinced me that a machine that could make just a few cups without being watered would suit me well. So home I went with a Keurig K40 K-Cup Single Cup Brewing System.

For several weeks I tried different coffee blends from the jillions of options at Kroger. If I didn’t like a coffee on the first try, into a box went the rest of that batch. Ere long I had a conglomeration of flavors and had wasted many dollars. Someone suggested I just use the old Folger blend I liked. That good samaritan even gave me a couple of those little inserts that enable loading your own.

Joy had come to my hill!  But…

Yes, there is a “But.” But 1: Take care to put fresh grounds in before starting again — unless you want very weak coffee. But 2: After the water is heated, remember to put a cup for it to drop into. Otherwise, get ready to clean the counter. But 3: Be not hasty in setting the cup on the dispenser. Make sure it is not bottom up. The other day when I went to get my cup, I discovered that the machine had filled it all the way to the top. I’d never seen it fill so far.  Of course, it hadn’t!  But I had instructed it to make a full cup, and it had done what it was told, even though an upside down cup was waiting.

And so, I will go and cajole my Keurig K40 into blessing me with a fresh cup, with the fervent hope that I don’t spill it on me in my recliner! As I will add sweetener and Bailey’s Irish Cream to the cup — creating what my friend Gerald Inmon calls Sissy Coffee. Perhaps the mystical power of coffee beans will help me figure out how to turn on my TV.  How many new tricks can an old dog learn?

TJ Ray is a retired professor of English at Ole Miss.