- Eventually coffee beans turn into paste.
- White lawns are simultaneously pretty and creepy.
- A poorly maintained coffee pot surprisingly doesn't smell.
Two or three months ago, I switched my coffee routine. I switched from this:
My Cuisinart coffee maker is nice, but a lot of work. It will grind the beans for me, make 10 cups at a time, and even starts on its own due to the build in timer. It's great to prep coffee at night and have it ready as soon as a I wake up the following day. And the thermal carafe keeps coffee warm for hours without burning.
But it's a pain to prep and clean. I have to clean out the bean grinder, the bean grinder lid, the filter basket, the filter basket lid, the filter, and the pot. And none of it is really easy.
So I switched to the press, which makes better coffee anyway.
In advance of Thanksgiving guests, it was time to prep the Cuisinart. It makes more than the press and I wanted to be ready.
Out came the white vinegar, and important coffee machine cleaning product. I got ready to run some hot water and vinegar through the equipment so it would be all fresh and sparkly. I grabbed the carafe and made and unfortunate discovery.
The dregs of the last pot of coffee I made were in there. At least 3 tablespoons worth. I dumped it out and stealed myself for what I now knew to expect from the rest of the machine. Multi-month old, damp coffee grounds.
I popped open the filter draw, and pulled out the assembly. I pried the lid off the filter basket and found a lawn. A nice, thick, lush, damp,white lawn growing on top of the coffee grounds.
I thought about mowing it, but don't have Deere that will fit in there. Instead I turned it upside down to dump the nearly sentient coffee grounds in the sink. And that's when I made my next discovery. Cofffee grounds, as they age, begin to think they are above Isaac Newton, and don't need to obey his silly laws. They just hung in the filter.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Tapping on the filter did not help.
BANG BANG BANG SMACK
Banging it on the bottom of the sink and smacking it into the side still did not dislodge this stubborn culture.
So now it was up to the water. 5 minutes of hot water pouring through the filter was enough to finally break up this coffee paste. It took a couple days of soaking and scrubbing to get the rest of it off. Eventually, it was mostly clean and now I could unleash cries of, "DEPLOY THE VINEGAR!"
I filled the carafe, which at one point actually had a silver interior, with hot water and a bunch of vinegar and ran it through the equipment. And did it again. And again. And again.
Now, it's mostly clean. I'm running daily flushings of just hot water through there to get rid of the vinegar, and now it's as good as new. Or at least as good as six months old.
Who wants coffee?