by Lalith Paranavitana
The Coffee Price Crisis
by Kenneth Davids
The FUN-dametals of
by Kyle A. Lord
What's Brewin' New Coffee
The FUN-dametals of Office Coffee
By Kyle A. Lord
The following tongue-in-cheeck inter-office memo was submitted
to Virtual Coffee by Kyle Lord of the Broomfield Colorado office
of Structure. Try Kyle's procedures in your office for better
tasting brew during your work day!
This document exists to educate the employees of the Broomfield
office on the appropriate procedures of making a new pot of coffee,
including the proper times to empty the pot and make a new batch,
how to properly insert the coffee liner, and notes on making sense
of the confusing buttons on the front of the coffee making machine.
WHEN TO BREW
It's important to understand exactly when making new pots of coffee
is required, as countless numbers of your fellow employees rely
on your coffee-making prowess to survive throughout the day. This
is especially true on any given Monday.The first and most obvious
time to infuse a batch of premium French Roast (see document:
Appropriate Coffee Types for Office Consumption) is if you are
the first to arrive at the office. The pot is invariably empty
at this time. Because you were the first to arrive at work, it
is evident that you have had far too much coffee this morning
anyways, you are obviously a coffee connoisseur, and you may skip
the rest of this document and proceed with the brewing process.A
new pot must be made immediately if, when entering the break room,
you notice that the pot of coffee is below the capacity of one
standard Styrofoam coffee cup.
If the coffee pot is above the 1-Styrofoam cup capacity level,
but below the 3-cup capacity level, you may leave the pot alone.
However, if within the course of an hour after the inspection,
the capacity level has remained the same, the coffee has undoubtedly
become toasty and burnt, and the pot must be disposed of and returned
to a full capacity with a fresh brew.
THE BREWING PROCESS
There are a number of complex parts contained within the coffee-making
unit. Don't be afraid... you can make a brilliant cup of coffee
in just a few simple steps.First, you must empty the pot and rinse
it out. Always grab the pot by the plastic handle, as grabbing
it by the glass exterior will generally result in 3rd degree burns.
When rinsing the pot, ONLY use WATER. Do not use any cleanser
or soap. Doing so will result in small bubbles and a soapy aftertaste
in the coffee, even if you rinsed it out with a 1000psi hose from
the drive thru car wash.Next, place the empty coffee pot back
onto the warming plate. This is the small cylindrical plate underneath
the filter mechanism. Do not place the coffee pot on the warming
plate on top of the unit. Gravity won't put the coffee up there.
It doesn't work that way. Make sure the plastic handle is facing
away from the unit to the right. This will aid the majority of
us who are right-handed. Left-handed people are smarter and will
figure something out.The next step can be messy if not done properly.
Remove the filter mechanism containing the old filter and wet
coffee grounds quickly, turning your body towards the garbage
can and pulling the mechanism out in one deft maneuver. When the
filter mechanism is over the garbage can, turn it upside down
and shake slightly. If you have forgotten to remove the garbage
can lid, the idea is to walk away quietly and pretend you didn't
see a thing. Otherwise, you should have an empty filter mechanism.
It is also a good idea to rinse this out, but again, no soap.Too
many make the mistake of removing the old filter, filled with
wet coffee grounds, by hand and placing it in the trash. This
is dumb. It's akin to picking up a pile of cold wet dirt with
soggy toilet paper. Set the rinsed filter mechanism aside, and
search for a coffee filter. A rule of thumb is that you will never
find coffee filters in the same place twice, and while this phenomenon
is yet unexplained, there is a growing theory that coffee filters
are indeed living organisms which have learned to survive by roaming
in IT break rooms eating the remains of Hungry Man and Michelina
After locating a stack of coffee filters, remove one from the
stack. This is done best by those who have long fingernails. Due
to working in an IT environment, most of us have no fingernails
left at all, and we must approach this as a two or three step
process. Work diligently and make sure you are holding only one
filter when finished.It makes no difference where you dispose
of the remaining stack of filters. They'll find their way home.Locate
the filter mechanism and place the coffee filter into the mechanism.
Do not concern yourself with pushing the filter into place, as
the coffee will settle the filter.
The bags of coffee are located in the drawer labeled "Coffee".
Take a bag and note the tight air seal. This is to keep the coffee
grounds fresh and also to make your life very difficult. The opening
of the bag is very similar to UNIX; there are many means to an
end. You can go for the "thumb and forefinger" pull
approach, but I've found this ends in a fast-food ketchup package
type of ending, with coffee grounds being spread in all directions
and ending up mostly in your eye. The easiest method is the "place
the corner in the mouth and pull". If you choose this approach,
make sure HR isn't nearby, as I think OSHA has some regulations
regarding this particular type of thing. Also, do it over a trashcan.
Once you have the package open, pour the grounds evenly into the
filter. Discard of the package and spit the little piece of the
packaging still in your mouth into the trash.
Reinsert the filter mechanism; push it all the way into place,
making sure the spout is aimed directly towards the middle of
the pot below.
Press the green button labeled "Start Brew".A number
of choices are now available. Standing in the break room and pretending
to show interest in the next Management Seminar posted on the
bulletin board while the coffee brews is a true sign of caffeine
addiction and is not recommended. Returning to your office while
the coffee brews is also not recommended, as this poses a chance
of the pot being emptied before you return. A dangerous but truly
commendable third choice can be made, but lightning reflexes and
a true poker face are required.
To get a strong cup of brew, grab a Styrofoam cup in your right
hand and the coffee pot handle in your left. Tilt the Styrofoam
cup at a 45-degree angle and place it at the lip of the coffee
pot. Now quickly pull the coffee pot out and away, while at the
same time pushing your Styrofoam cup under the steaming stream
of dark coffee. When your cup is full, reverse the operation.If
anyone walks in while you are performing this option, use a poker
face which tells the person "This is a normal thing for an
acting IT professional to do", and bring up the crazy Colorado
Congratulations! You have just brewed a pot of coffee and made
out with a fresh, and probably pretty strong cup for yourself.