I think most of us will agree that our mornings don’t start until after our first cup of coffee. For me, any kind of coffee is acceptable—as long as it is not burnt—and even that can be made acceptable by dunking a lowcal donut or cookie in it.
Two years ago, I decided I was probably missing out on some new convenience I didn’t even know about, nor had ever missed, so I upgraded from a $19 automatic drip coffee maker to THE Keurig machine.
I can’t even pronounce it, so it must be good. And it has turned out to be a boon for the coffee bean industry, as it converts us from just plain java drinkers and into coffee Connoisseurs. Is it my imagination or do connoisseur and Keurig both have the very fancy “EU” in the middle of them? I wonder if that is because EU is the abbreviation for the European Union—the old world—where fancy-schmancy comes from.
I have to admit; I like this machine. The coffee, tea, and various latte formulas are all premixed in little, individual, disposable, plastic containers (K-cups). That’s all there is to it. Just drop a K-Cup into the unit with ease (no one refers to it as a coffee maker—it’s a machine or a unit). A minute later, you have coffee.
No bother or mess. No need to measure out coffee, dispose of grounds or fool with messy filters; just sit back and let that wonderful smell fill the air, while you enjoy your first cup in the morning. Simplicity and sophistication in one unit. And my status as a person gets upgraded, as well—to Connoisseur.
With all this in mind, I must tell you of a devastating incident that started my morning. In case things go badly, I am including a copy of the conversation for posterity, or the police, whichever comes first. This is all true—mostly.
There was a single loud knock the door. It shook the doorframe. I looked out the kitchen window and saw a plain, black Keurig delivery van in the driveway. A small K-Cup logo was discreetly etched into the glass on vehicle’s windscreen.
“Morning sir, Keurig Special Agent Jethro Givbson here and this is Agent Anton DeSoto. May we come in? Take us to the machine.” He flashed some sort of official looking badge; a K-Cup was emblazoned in the middle.
“Are you here to let me try some new special coffee or froo froo latte mix?” They pushed past and into the kitchen.
“No, sir! We are here to check out the unit. It seems you have not registered it and there is an issue about abusing the machine.”
“This is crazy! You can’t abuse a coffee maker.” I moved in front on my Keurig.
“Coffee maker? Is that how you refer to our unit, sir? Anton please write a chit fining this man $15 for derogatory coffee industry remarks? Normally, we just have you pop a fiver into our bad words can, but we’ve come a long way and couldn’t bring it with us on the plane.”
“Long way— Where are you from?”
The tall one, in a pressed, grey jump suit, moved in close and whispered. “The EU, sir. I thought you could tell from our accent.”
With one large muscular arm, he moved me aside. “I’ll have to ask you to keep clear of the unit, sir. It knows we’re here and wants a check up.”
“Are you kidding?”
“We never kid, sir.” Givbson attached a set of long leads in the back of the unit and set up a miniature oscilloscope and recording device on the counter. Anton took pictures and asked lots of questions.
“You always keep the machine on this messy counter? It’s pretty near your daily post. It could overheat the unit. Glue fumes from your mail could enter the brew cycle. You don’t expect us to be responsible for that do you, sir?”
“Hey! This is my coffee mak— err, unit. I bought and paid for it, and I can do anything I want with it, and put it wherever.”
From the bedroom my wife heard the commotion and wanted to know what was going on. “Nothing dear. Just a couple of guys from Keurig telling me where to put it.”
“Best she doesn’t come out here, sir. We treat it like a crime scene.”
I groaned. “Crime scene? There is no such thing for a coffee pot.”
“Coffee pot, really, sir? Apparently, you didn’t read all the Menu screens on your unit. Under terms and conditions screen eleven down and three over—”
“Over? There are no “over” screens on that unit.”
“If you hold your finger on the brew light and menu button simultaneously, then quickly push the small and large cup-size buttons at the same time, just once—the menu goes black. Then you can scroll it sideways. As described in the operating package that would have been sent to you, had you bothered to register, sir.”
“Gee, I didn’t realize—”
“They never do, eh Anton.”
“My tests are done. It says you operate this unit often without a K-Cup in it. You just run hot water through it to make tea. Is that right, sir?” A disgusted look came over a weathered face.
“Well, I like tea sometimes, so I just throw a teaspoon in my cup—”
“We sell tea K-Cups, you know! Are you like a cheapskate or something? Are you perverted?” He unplugged my machine and put it under his arm. Coffee spilled on the counter from the drip tray. “More…more violations. This unit is going back to the factory for a full check up.”
I followed him to the van. “What am I supposed to do for coffee? How will I get my unit back?”
As the van started, Anton snapped my picture one last time, rolled down the window, and handed me a plain, blank, white business card. “I’m sorry, sir.”
As they drove away, I turned it over. On the back was a big circle with a wide red line across it like a Ghost Busters logo. Inside was one single word, in beautiful gold and black raised lettering—Connoisseur.