Friday, February 22, 2008

The Minimalist's Kitchen - Coffee

So many people fret over their kitchens. Either they don't have enough counter space, cupboard space, pantry space, or they can't seem to keep it clean and uncluttered. Really, a kitchen is an amazing space filled with time saving appliances that people not so long ago would loved to have had! The problem is we are tempted to buy every kitchen gadget and wizard to do things that can be done without them faster than the time it takes to find them in a cluttered cupboard, wipe the grime off, use them, clean them, and cram them back in with the rest of the junk we've been coaxed into buying that we don't need. The trick is to make the most of what we do need and get rid of the rest. In future posts, I will discuss how to simplify a kitchen one piece at a time. Today I'm going to talk about coffee.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are two basic drinking pastimes: coffee and micro-brewed beer. Making coffee at home saves a huge amount of money as mentioned in The Late Factor by David Bach. ( We'll talk about beer later.) But who wants that ugly coffee maker on their counter? They're usually too big to be put away into a cupboard, and you'd have to wait for the warming plate to cool off even if you could. Chances are that big, ugly, plastic thing with its dirty coffee pot will greet you whe
n you get home from work. Now you're already behind before you've even walked through the door. Of course, you could wait until the next morning to take care of it, giving yourself one more task to clutter up your morning routine.

Here's an easier alternative: Ditch your coffee maker and get a coffee press.

A coffee press and a hot water carafe will save space on your counters because they can easily fit into your cupboards. The used grounds are easily tossed into your compost bucket ( I'll get to that later too.), and the press goes right into the dishwasher. They're inexpensive, so you could even own two (if you don't run the dishwasher every day.) Another advantage to putting small appliances away is that they will be unplugged which saves energy because appliances drain energy when they are left plugged in even if not in use. If you don't mind using a tea kettle on the stove, that's about the same. You have to keep an eye on it though. An advantage to the hot water carafe is it will turn itself off when it reaches a boil.
Coffee presses can be found at Kitchen Kaboodle, Williams Sonoma, Zupans, basically any kitchen store. The hot water carafes can be found at stores like Target.

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