Saturday, March 17, 2018

to k-cup or not to k-cup, that is the question

For the past two years... at home, I have had my top-rated OXO coffee maker and Shawna has had her Keurig machine. We had been doing strictly Keurig before I bought the OXO. I went with my OXO coffee maker because the end result is better-tasting coffee.

When I first bought the OXO, I decided that I would not buy coffee beans, but would instead buy good-quality ground coffee. Of course grinding fresh from beans produces better coffee. But it requires a grinder on the counter and additional mess. I settle on Peet's for my ground coffee, and the results were pretty good. Even without grinding my own beans, the OXO made considerably better coffee than the Keurig.

One of the aspects of switching to the OXO from a Keurig machine was an expected reduction in cost. I had thought that k-cups were probably the most expensive way to buy coffee. However this turned out not to be true. And that’s because my OXO calls for a pretty large amount of coffee each time I brew.

For example... one pot of coffee requires nine scoops of coffee (18 tablespoons). And yes, this makes it strong, as it should be. But because of the large amount of coffee that is called for, I don’t really think I was saving any money over using k-cups.

Based on $10 for a pound of decent coffee and .36 ounces per scoop. Ground coffee runs about $0.22 per scoop. It takes 2.5 scoops to make one cup of coffee using ground coffee ($0.55). Whereas a cheap k-cup is more like $0.35. So, cost is not a good reason to be using ground coffee over k-cups.

Even though the OXO clearly makes better coffee, at some point one might just be ok with “good enough”. If we go with good quality k-cups, the result will certainly be closer the level of the OXO. And honestly, a really good k-cup may well produce better coffee than what most people typically drink.

At work, we buy Starbuck’s k-cups because my boss is a shareholder. Those k-cups actually make a pretty decent cup of coffee. At home, we usually get Costco’s Kirkland brand. They are some of the cheapest we’ve found. And they are acceptable.

There is one aspect of using k-cups that I’ve thought would be nice to avoid. And that pertains to our morning coffee routine. We will typically run through 6 k-cups before leaving the house in the morning. But after thinking about that, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

While it is somewhat of a pain... 6 (actual drinkable sized cups) of coffee is more than a full pot in my OXO. So either way you look at it it’d be a fair amount of effort to get our morning coffee taken care of. I don’t know that brewing two pots of coffee using the OXO is any less hassle than running 6 k-cups through the Keurig.

So the Keurig wins.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Celebration of life

My wife and I went to a memorial service for a 13-year old girl yesterday. No one was really talking about it, and you don't really ask, but word was that she committed suicide as the result of bullying.

It was a nice service in that folks shared their memories of her. And I got a small glimpse into this young life of someone I did not know. By all accounts she was an amazing young woman. So very sad how her life ended.

There was a noticeable absence of any mention of Jesus or salvation... or God in general. There were two "clergy" there. I don't know what kind of clergy they were but IMHO they were not deserving of that designation.

The service made me think a little of my own life, and what my memorial service would be like. Or perhaps my wife's memorial service. What focus would it have? I have to admit... the current focus of my life is really not God. It would almost seem disingenuous to attempt to have a memorial service centered on God when one's life clearly was not.

To be fair... I do toy around with the idea of God. I read a devotional on occasion. I try to think about right and wrong and doing the right thing. I definitely know and believe the truth of the Bible with regards to Jesus, His death and resurrection, etc. But my life is a far cry from what my honest idea of a committed Christian should be like. It's possible that my idea is not accurate. After all, there is real life to deal with... working, eating, sleeping. Not everything is about God right?

In my experience, trying to make everything about God has a tendency to cause one to sort of go off the deep end. And yes, been there, done that, and got the t-shirt.

However, I do think that God's idea of a committed Christian would be considered "off the deep end" by the world's standards. So I would say, there is a good off-the-deep-end and a bad off-the-deep-end. I'm not sure I know how to tell the difference between the two.

And I have no doubt in my mind that the majority of people who are off the deep end in the bad kind of way honestly believe that they are walking in truth and right on track.

Christianity is nuts in a good way. But how do you know you're not just nuts? Because many folks would probably think that you are. One of the tools I use to gauge the general acceptability of things I say or ideas I have is by people's reaction to those things. That lets me know when I'm off track. However that doesn't really work that well with Christianity. Because the indications would be highly misleading. I think that with Christianity, it's totally possible to be perfectly in line with God's will, and have others think you're crazy... even other Christians.

So that's leaves us without a good measurement gauge. Hmmm...