Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thoughts on Buying a New Coffee Machine

The ability to provide good coffee is an important part of being an innkeeper. Here at Chez Sven, we serve organic free trade and grind whole beans every morning. Recently I have been in a quandary about what type of coffee machine to purchase for 2011. These gadgets are convenient but do not last very long. Recent models have built-in filters, which is fine, until you need to change the filter and cannot find the same type in local stores. I tried leaving a French press in the cottage over the past two months and decided guests do prefer coffee machines. So, I have been looking for a new one. Have you ever thought about what most coffee machines are made of? The water goes into a receptacle that, even in metal machines, is usually plastic. At Chez Sven, plastic is something we try to avoid.

Yesterday, on my way back from Boston, I checked out the selection at Costco. The box for the new Cuisinart "Brew-Central" is marked BPA-free. I did not expect BPA in a coffee machine but still was glad to see Cuisinart is aware of the risk BPA poses to health.

In France, I brewed coffee in a small metal coffee pot. Snow's, in Orleans, sells this type, but I know, from experience, that the larger ones are hard to close and that the rubber ring needs regular replacement. Still, that would have been my choice were I not running a B&B.

"Do you think this coffee pot was made in China?" I asked Sven this morning.

"Bet it is," he responded. "Everything is made in China these days."

I turned over the box, and sure enough. What a shame the United States lost these industries because manufacture is cheaper abroad! That's the reason for our runaway deficit. Everything is Made in China, stuff that breaks and needs to be replaced.

What type of coffee pot do you use? Any suggestions on how to avoid plastic while brewing coffee?