Coffee Quest, Day 1: The Unusual Suspects #coffeequest

I grew up in a “drip coffee” house. Mom and Dad always drank it–heck, I even prepared it for them, from time to time–but they were no fuss, no muss kind of people. Whatever came in the blue or red or yellow can was fine with them: the larger the container, the better. Their drip coffee maker was the basic model you’d find in any department store. No need to get fancy here.

I never really acquired the taste for coffee; at least, not when most people do, following their peers in high school or staying up late cramming in college. I may have had the occasional cup, but it didn’t make a difference to me one way or the other whether I had it or not. There was always an ample supply, but I had no real desire to drink it. I would get through the day regardless.

Keurig coffee brewer

It wasn’t until the last few years that my views on coffee started to shift. I hadn’t slept fully through the night in years. I had returned to college and was often up late studying and writing papers. I found myself surrounded by coffee drinkers. But being the only coffee drinker in my house meant that a drip coffee maker would be a tad wasteful; no need for the minimum 4 cups when I only required 1 or 2 cups sporadically. It seemed only natural, under the circumstances, to purchase a one-cup coffee maker. In fact, I tried 2 of them: first, a Tassimo; later, when I grew bored with the coffee selection, a Keurig.

I liked the convenience of just having to pop a pod into the maker and–voila!–there was coffee in under 2 minutes. I liked the variety without having to worry about large quantities of coffee going bad because, after all, variety is the spice of life. It was less money than stopping at a trendy coffee shop, and less wasteful in that I wasn’t throwing away 2-3 cups of coffee every time I made it.

But it was wasteful.

Primula Products coffee makers

All those little plastic pods add up. There is a hefty price to pay for convenience, and this began to weigh heavily on my mind. I eventually picked up a refillable filter cup for my Keurig, but it gave me mixed results–and eliminated one of the reasons why I had a Keurig in the first place–open bags of coffee were back in the house, and I was wasting them on a coffee maker that no longer satisfied me. There had to be another way.

I put out my call for help on the internet and it was answered almost instantly: time to think outside the box. Or, at least outside the electrical box, because you can make some pretty fantastic coffee and you don’t even need an electric current to do it!

Marnely of Cooking With Books graciously connected me with Primula Products–a company well known for their tea and coffee brewing products–and MistoBox–offering monthly shipments of coffee samples for your tasting pleasure–and I was well on my way on an eye-opening journey: the Coffee Quest.

Primula Products Infusion Pitcher, attempt #1

This week I’ll be taking a look at Primula Products’ 3-cup stovetop espresso coffee maker, 8-cup coffee press, and an infusion pitcher that allows you to cold brew for iced coffee, as well as trying out the monthly subscription service that MistoBox offers. I’ll share my insights, tell you what worked for me and what was a challenge, and hopefully help you move on to the next level, as well. There’s no reason to settle for less-than-stellar coffee when there’s so much better out there just waiting for you to discover it and try it for yourself! Join me! The Quest has only just begun…

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    • Ruthy @ omeletta on 22 April, 2013 at 10:22 am
    • Reply

    I love this, Carrie! I’m a coffee freak, but recently switched from a stove-top percolator back to my regular ole drip machine, due to convenience. It would be nice to find something other than the machine, especially that pitcher. I can’t wait to hear your final verdict πŸ™‚

    1. Convenience makes it so hard to change. I’m a sucker for it far too often. Keep reading!

  1. I cannot wait to hear what you thought about all of these different makers! I need my coffee every single morning the moment my eyes open! It’s the first thing I do! I use a drip maker, but I’ve always wanted a press…can’t wait to see how you liked that one!

    1. I think it’s more about the ritual for me than anything else, but I’ve also noticed recently that I’m enjoying my coffee more when I drink it now. Or at least wanting to enjoy it. I stopped putting sugar in about a month ago, and last week I stopped adding cream. I figure if I’m going to drink it, I may as well taste it. πŸ™‚

  2. I LOVE coffee! My husband and I make it every morning and use a French press, I’ve used a press for over 20 years and have never looked back. It makes the most delicious coffee I’ve ever tasted. As far as the Keurig, wasteful, do we really need more plastic pods floating in the ocean?, and expensive! I listened to the Colin McEnroe show on NPR about the Keurig and when you add up how much you spend on a pound of coffee it comes to over $50.00!!! I don’t understand the Keurig craze at all, the coffee tasted lousy, maybe I’m a coffee snob! But listen, there are times I want a single cup and I have a single cup French press and you know those presses even look nice sitting on the counter πŸ˜‰
    I look forward to your reviews…

    1. It was very easy to reason originally that I was saving money with the Keurig because I wasn’t stopping to buy coffee–therefore, it was cheaper and, in some ways, less wasteful (no cups being thrown out). But I’ve realized it was more of a rationalization to make myself feel better about using it. Bye, bye! I’m ready for the good stuff now!

  3. I’m looking forward to this! I’m a coffee lover!

  4. i am really looking forward to this series! We sound very similar – I didn’t start enjoying coffee until kids, but now, I take it very seriously! I currently use a keurig, but am interested to see how how this turns out πŸ™‚

    • J Timothy Quirk on 25 April, 2013 at 9:33 pm
    • Reply

    I actually drink FAR TOO MUCH COFFEE (so much I sometimes type in capital letters πŸ™‚ ) Really, though, I drink about 6 to 7 cups per day. That’s a big reason that I’m very interested in your coffee series to see what you find out!!

    1. So a one-cup maker would help reduce your intake? πŸ˜‰ The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this journey is that there is no excuse for drinking bad coffee–and it doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune to have the better stuff!

    • Mandy on 27 April, 2013 at 7:24 am
    • Reply

    I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I’m on an expresso kick and looking for a machine to buy.

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