We go through coffee makers around here.
Wear them plumb out.
Expensive coffee makers with milk steamers.
Cheap coffee makers bought at the hardware store.
Everything in between.
We kill ‘em. Fast.
I have to say, in this house, coffee makers get more use than your usual brew. Michael and I are both heavy coffee drinkers, and we’ve passed it on to most of the kids. We currently have five coffee drinkers in the house, and four of us school or office from home. So the coffee makers usually make 3 or 4 runs a day, 7 days a week.
Hence the high mortality rate for said machines.
A few months ago we had yet another coffee maker kick the bucket. In an act of desperation, I rummaged in the cabinets and found my French press, hauling it from the dark depths. And I somehow scrounged up a rogue bag of flavored roast, the kind that then required me to find the coffee grinder and pulverize some beans. Which then required me to hunt down the tea kettle to boil some water. Which all seemed a huge hassle, except for the fact that I was caffeine frantic.
But when that French press was ready to be plunged?
I had forgotten.
Good coffee can be.
For some reason, none of the 5 coffee drinkers in the house picked up a new coffee maker for a while. I’d be out doing my frenetic grocery foraging, would pass by the coffee makers, think, “We need a new one,” and would push on by. Michael kept intending to grab one, and didn’t. And the other 3 coffee swilers sort of got into the whole French press process.
But recently, Michael couldn’t stand it anymore, the archaic ritual of grinding beans, boiling water, pouring and waiting. He was ready again, ready for the convenience of setting an electric coffee maker the night before on a timer, a fresh pot timed to perfume the shrilling chime of his alarm clock in the morning. And as much coffee as we drink around here, there are fiscal benefits to going back to bulk, pre-ground coffee, the kind available in paint bucket sizes at our local superstores.
So Michael made his purchase, a cheap coffee maker, no frills with the exception of the handy dandy timer that would allow him to set up his coffee fix the night before.
As he often does, he brought me a steaming cup a few mornings ago. (Sidebar: if coffee is an important part of your life, there is nothing more attractive than a man who will deliver it to your bedside so you can slurp it sideways before attempting to sit up. This should be on your ‘must have’ list if you are currently in the romantic partner shopping mode.)
Michael. Father of my eight children. Bringer of my coffee.
He brought me a cup.
From his new coffee maker.
It was coffee. Your standard coffee. And I’ve never, ever been a coffee snob.
My palate had been changed in the months that we were exclusively using the French press and the better beans and the water heated to full boil. I discovered afresh what coffee could be. And when faced again with what coffee typically is, in the name of convenience and bulk buying, I was reminded keenly of the difference between those two caffeine sources.
Much like my spiritual diet, my spiritual hydration.
We have a lot of freedom in Christ. His grace covers us. His mercy envelops us. And so often, in the name of convenience and hurry and busy, I take full advantage. I allow things in my media feed and my entertainment and my listening and my reading and my attitude and my talk and my heart that give me a sense of energy.
But they’re not quality.
They’re not well crafted.
They’re not well brewed.
And when I drink again from that which is pure, when I take time and effort to be thoughtful in what I’m doing, what I’m soaking up, when I encounter again what devoted time with God is, when I dig down into the Word, when I allow my heart to become fevered again with devotion and passion in faith, my spiritual palate is renewed. Things that have ‘tasted’ acceptable now are experienced through the contrast of tasting what is most pleasing to Him.
A bad cup of coffee.
A good cup of coffee.
Like a cup full of distraction and busy.
Or like a cup filled with that which is divine.
Let’s keep our taste for time with God and an appreciation of what He calls best filling our hearts and spirits.
Now excuse me while I go make a fresh pot of French press.