a guest post by Annette
We were handed the key to the new space today. We have to choose paint and carpet colors. We still must order warehouse shelving. The service order for Comcast is in, electric and gas will switch on Feb. 1, the storage container out back will be removed Feb. 8.
But the most worrisome of items to coordinate, the topic of hottest concern here is: should we get a new coffee maker, and if so, what style?
While we have a Francis! Francis! espresso machine, she has only a single boiler, which is a pain and a wait for steamed milk or hot water for Americanos. Our current warehouse is located within quick driving and biking distance from three coffee outlets, so the blood-need for caffeine can be filled quickly. But the new space, although not far from here, means several lights and turns (especially nearly impossible left turns) to get anywhere; the coffee will be cold by the time we return to the shop.
Here are the options:
The Keurig system. The pros are: it is clean (no grounds!) and quick, everyone can have his/her favorite flavor, and you could dispense hot water for tea if you bought a large enough unit. The cons are the K-cups are ridiculously expensive and the coffee is not hot enough, unless the machine is hard wired into the water supply. We could save on the coffee itself if we got a "refillable K-cup," but that would negate the whole "no grounds!" argument.
Good old Mr. Coffee and his offspring. Pros: it's inexpensive, and sometimes you can coax a good cup out of it with a brand as inexpensive as Folgers, and they're not just ugly white or black any more. Cons: grounds, the horrible smell of old coffee in the pot... and some staff members would quit if we went with that.
Double boiler espresso machine. Pros: hot water on demand, no wait for steam build-up for frothing milk, and it looks cool as hell. Cons: Costly upfront cash outlay, too much maintenance what with backflushing, new gaskets, etc. And then there's the grounds, as it's my experience that no one except me empties the knockbox (though we do have a grassy area out back for a garden, and espresso grounds are supposedly great for the soil).
French Press or Pour Over. Pros: nice individual coffee to your taste and simple to prepare. Cons: grounds, constant clean up in the bathroom sink, and the French Press system is fussy (boil, pour, stir, wait, press, or is it boil, pour, wait, stir, press?)
Short of some enterprising soul's opening a coffee shop in the warehouse district, none of these options is ideal. Maybe we can talk the banana-bread commercial bakery next door into opening a coffee bar. Your thoughts?