Hello, 911? My Coffee Maker Broke

Morning, Joe. photo: jparadisi 2012

It was a crisis that will never make the morning news: our coffee maker died suddenly, without a gasp. The “power on” light still blinks a brilliant blue, which makes me wonder if the machine is actually dead or merely in a coma. No matter, as I have already pulled the plug.

Speaking of comas, I cannot function without drinking coffee in the morning, everyday, whether working or not.

My morning coffee is so important that I have not left it to chance, having kept an old French press in case of just such an emergency. However, as events over the past few years have exposed, no emergency plan is without omission of certain important details. In this case, the first being that the coffee I brew is too finely ground to hold up in a French press. My attempt created something resembling cream of coffee soup more than the elixir that helps me hang on.

The second glitch in my plan was that David had the day off too. He possesses the ability to wait to get to work before having morning coffee, but for some reason is unable to wait that long after waking up when he is home. This meant I had to figure out, in my pre- caffeinated state of mind, how to make enough coffee for two with available tools, while he sat in the big green armchair, eating yogurt with peanut butter. I don’t know why he eats peanut butter with yogurt. It’s one of those questions I don’t ask, preserving the sanctity of our marriage.

I came up with another plan, because I’M A NURSE DAMMIT! Have I mentioned that when I was a new grad nurse, one of my many nicknames (I seem to collect them) was MacGyver because of my ability to jimmy-rig supplies at hand to do the job of equipment I can’t find. So, I think to myself, “Hmmm, what if I Ieave the coffee machine’s swing door open, boil water, and pour it over the ground coffee in the filter held by the machine, thereby creating manually dripped coffee?

It didn’t work. The water refused to flow through the ground coffee and filter by gravity. WTH? IV fluids flow by gravity, why not coffee? Dammn it!

This is why I am sitting in my neighborhood bakery, with a sixteen ounce paper cup containing four shots of espresso and just enough water to prevent the stir stick from standing upright. The girl at the counter told me I was doing pretty well for not having coffee yet, but she didn’t see my fumbling fingers while I poured soy milk into the cup, or the struggle to prevent spilling coffee as I found a seat. Thankfully, I’m not at work, trying to start an IV on an unsuspecting patient.

 Good news! Thousands of studies find that drinking coffee might actually be good for you. For more information, watch this video: The Truth About Coffee.


  1. Love it! I’m the same way and can sooo relate. I used to go to a yoga class before my shift and the instructor harassed us about coffee. I told him he wouldn’t get us out of chavasana without it.


  2. One of my favourite gifts was a coffee pot that works on a timer. When coffee isn’t ready in the morning things can hit a bit of a slow patch.

    Glad to hear you got yours, so your day could finally get started.

    Speaking of coffee, I think I might just go brew a pot.


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