Opinion: Happiness in a Bunn

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Commentary by Ward Degler

I like our Bunn coffee maker. Mostly because it’s fast. The water is already hot, and within three minutes you’ve got a steaming cup of fresh brew.

We bought the Bunn when our sluggish dripolator stopped working. When it was new, the drip pot took 10 minutes to make coffee. As it aged, it got worse. By the time it finally gave up, we were spending upwards of a half-hour waiting for coffee.

We did try another dripolator that had a timer. We filled it with water and coffee grounds when we went to bed, and set the timer to kick in a few minutes before the alarm went off.

What neither my wife nor I considered, however, is what dripolators do when they make coffee: They chug, wheeze, cough, sputter, whine and gag like a pod of enraged dolphins. Which meant snoozing till the alarm rang was impossible.

Instant and silent gratification, that’s my motto, and when we heard about the Bunn, we were hooked.

When I was a kid, we lived in a couple places that didn’t have electricity. Our coffee pot was a stove-top percolator – one of those aluminum jobs with a glass knob in the top so you could check the color to know when the coffee was done.

We also had a campfire version of the pot made of blue-and-white speckled metal. For some reason, Dad always dropped eggshells into this pot. He said it settled the grounds.

When Mom and Dad got married, they received a GE electric percolator as a wedding gift. Every morning at breakfast it would sit on the kitchen table and bubble and hiss until the coffee was done. It even had a dial on it to make stronger or weaker coffee.

It must have died somewhere along the line, and Mom and Dad got the newest in coffee-maker technology – the Silex vacuum pot. It had a glass pot at the bottom and a glass globe on the top.

You put water in the bottom and coffee grounds in the top. When you heated it on the stove, the water bubbled into the top and mixed with the coffee. When you turned the heat off, the bottom cooled and created a vacuum, which sucked the brewed coffee back down.

The problem with the Silex was, sooner or later, the top would break, and you had to wait for a replacement. Later, Mom and Dad switched to instant coffee. They only drank one cup a day, they said, and it would be a shame to waste a whole pot.

I rarely count on machines to make me happy, but I make an exception for our Bunn coffee maker.

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