A very long ramble about about the time the coffee maker died and she lost an entire Sunday to the quest for a new one

On a Sunday morning already off to a rocky start by virtue of it starting at 5:15 am, and further compromised by the need to stand barefoot outside on the frozen patio bricks in nothing but a nightgown trying to encourage a suddenly willfull puppy to pee on the outside instead of the inside of the house, you can imagine my elevated level of dismay when I poured fresh water in to the coffee maker only to have it promptly pour back out of the coffee maker and all over the countertop and the floor.

Assuming it was some sort of fluke or gravitational flux or that perhaps I had just missed the reservoir entirely, I doggedly went through the motions of trying to force water into the coffee maker three more times before giving up. Water was definitely egressing from the coffee maker from parts that never previously leaked. And that’s how I ended up at the Manotick Tim’s drive-through before six on a Sunday morning, wearing boots but no socks and mismatched flannel pants with my nightgown under my coat. Don’t judge me, I needed BOTH of the XLs I ordered.

63:365 Please play again

In the way that only the highest magnitudes of crises can do, all potential plans for Sunday were scrapped in favour of acquiring a new coffee maker. While waiting the necessary aeons for the big box stores in Barrhaven to open, I surfed the web to read reviews, compare prices and hunt for sales. Did you know the highest-end coffee maker at Best Buy retails for a stunning $2100? That’s more than I paid for my camera. Seriously, that is stupid-expensive – for that much, it better come with a Barista named Cody who serves my daily coffee in his ripped jeans and a white t-shirt. […]

What? Oh sorry, are you still here? Got distracted by something for a minute there… ahem.

Anyway, long story shorter (but sadly for both of us, not by much) I started out at Bed, Bath and Beyond because I had a coupon. In my life, it’s always about the coupon. But they had only a few models, one or two bargain basement cheapies and several more progressing from $100 up to “are you kidding me?” They had one higher-end one I liked, and I knew my mom had picked up the same one. I was nervous, though, about the re-usable filter. We’re on a septic system and I am absurdly paranoid about coffee grounds going down the drain and somehow blocking up the holes in the pipes in the septic drainage bed. (Reason #297 you should never read the Internet – septic system paranoia.) Standing in Bed Bath and Beyond trying to google whether I could use paper filters, I found out they had the same model at Costco for about $50 less. AND that I could use paper filters for it.

Hmmm. $50 savings versus Costco on a Sunday morning. At what price sanity? Ah, what the hell, Beloved has the kids, I can just nip in and out. (Are you laughing? Yeah. My ability to delude myself astonishes me.) So I get to Costco and it’s a madhouse. Like Christmas-bananas. And when I finally give up searching for this elusive deal and find a clerk to help me (no small feat in itself) I hear those dreaded words: web-only deal. So I go back to the two or three models they actually have and start googling them and realize that the one they have in stock sells for $130 at Canadian Tire but is on sale here for $70 AND I have my annual rebate cheque thingee and I’m in Scottish-Dutch heaven with the good dealiness of it all. Totally worth my sanity and the hour of my time it takes to buy one coffee maker and a container of guacamole. (I never go to Costco without buying guacamole. It’s why I have a membership. I’m not one of those people who spends $400 every time I go, but I never leave without buying my guac.)

So I’m driving home and thinking that I’m going to unpack it right away because by now it’s lunch time and I’ve been up for seven hours and had only two XL cups of coffee and that’s clearly not going to get me through the rest of the day and I really need another cup of coffee now so let’s take this baby for a test drive. And I plunk it down on the counter, slide it against the wall and grab the cord – which only reaches half way to the socket. I pull and jiggle and tug and still have only about 30 cm of cord. WTF? So I check the instructions, which helpfully tell me that my machine is equipped with a short safety cord, and is not recommended for use with an extension cord. Seriously? That’s a feature?

And so it went back in the box and I went back in the car and drove to Canadian Tire, where I stood scowling and muttering at the row of coffee makers, now willfully refusing to pay full price after having been denied my most excellent deal. I refuse to consider the higher-end machines, but after a lifetime of coffee machine buying, I know the $20 model will probably only last a year and I do not want to be spending any more time in the coffee maker aisle in the foreseeable future. I briefly consider the Black and Decker that is on sale, but when I read the reviews I remember our last two B&D carafes which poured more coffee on to the counter than in to the mugs. I pace agitatedly up and down the aisle a few more times, thinking of the 20% off coupon I still have in my pocket for Bed, Bath and Beyond across the street, and finally give up and end up back where I started three and a half hours before.

Rankled that I now seem doomed to spend $100 (minus 20%) on a coffee maker, far more than I have ever previously spend on one, I narrow down my selections to three choices, now rating models first based on cord length and second on price and throwing pretty much every other feature to the fates. I do one last set of googling and find the reviews on the one I am about to buy are terrible, with more than half the reviewers giving the model one star and the main complaint being leakage. Um, isn’t that how I ended up here in the first place? The Krups model beside it gets moderately good reviews and I find out that Future Shop next door is selling it for $85 instead of $100. I haul it up to the cashier and am pleasantly surprised when she says yes, they will pricematch if I can show them the online price. Thrilled that my $100 coffee maker will only cost me $68, which still seems pricey but perhaps necessary for a life-giving source of coffee, I triumphantly whip out my 20% off coupon and am crushed when she looks at it and says “Oh no, sorry, we can give you the price match or the coupon, not both.” Too tired and weak from the hunt to put up a fuss, I hand over my debit card. Whatever. Take whatever you need, just please let me be done shopping for coffee makers now.

By the time I get home (again) it is midafternoon. I am a little too excited when I am able to plug in the machine, and run a quick cycle of water through before actually brewing a pot. Finally, nine hours (and four stores and three coffee makers) later, I have a pot of coffee.

Some things are worth waiting for!

So tell me, do you read online reviews when you’re shopping? There are some products (like coffee makers!) where I give them lots of credence, but for movies and camera equipment, I find the reviews annoy me more than they help. How much credence do you give online reviews in your decision-making process?

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

7 thoughts on “A very long ramble about about the time the coffee maker died and she lost an entire Sunday to the quest for a new one”

  1. I’m confused why you need such a long cord for your coffee maker? We’ve just always plugged them in close to the wall. Anyway, so I am laughing that 30 cms wasn’t enough for you, you have high standards!! ***30 cms not enough for Danigirl*** read headlines. I am however, most happy you are happy you have your coffee yet I am more personally thrilled to know I am not the only one out in jammies, boots with no socks heading to a drive thru (or dropping kids at school).

  2. LOL Nancy, all I need is enough cord to reach from counter height to socket height. I’m not demanding, I just need flexibility and reach dammit! I think the coffee maker ppl assume you will plug in to a counter-height socket but ours is on the wall below the counter. Haven’t yet done the jammies to school drop-off, but I’m sure that day is coming! (Perhaps one of the few benefits of a cold Canadian winter, that when you’re wrapped in winter attire what’s underneath is less obvious?)

  3. Yes I research online for most things. But for a coffeemaker I would have ordered the one I wanted online and, until it arrived, used our plastic drip cone that fits over a thermos. Bought a tablet strictly based on specs and online comments and it’s everything they said and more. Although it’s one of the rare times I had a device fixed under warranty.

  4. I gave up on coffee makers years ago. I have a Melita porcelain cone that makes the best coffee ever! No buttons, no leaks, always piping hot. But to answer your question, yes, I always research before I buy anything. I read any online reviews I can find. The one time I didn’t do my homework I ended up with a very attractive, red bodum kettle that I curse every single day. It was so pretty that I had to have it. If I had only read the reviews I would have discovered how many other people out there share my hatred for that kettle!

  5. From one coffee lover to another that is an amazing piece of writing.
    I don’t often read reviews. In fact, when I purchased our washer I read no reviews. I asked the salesperson for the machine with the least amount of buttons and one that won’t lose my socks. 🙂
    I have a Black & Decker coffeemaker that was given to me as a gift. I only use it when company’s over. For my daily coffee I use a French press. Best coffee ever.
    I plan to share this post with friends. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Why didnt you just get a Keurig…..pick, brew and enjoy in 2 min( and you can use your own coffee!).
    A far as online reviews, I read, but some people have a beef about everthing, so I take with a pinch of salt.
    Keep in mind, you get what you pay for.
    Now….what about toasters??

  7. Funny I saw in Starbucks they had a ceramic one-cup filter thing that sounds like the Melitta ones you guys mention and at the time I thought it was a good idea. Might pick one up if I see it again, for emergencies! I don’t like the Keurig or Tassimo coffee, unfortunately – I find the packaging pretty wasteful, and the coffee never tastes good to me.

    Thanks for the kind words Stefania!

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