RIP Mr. Coffee Saturday was a very sad day in my existence. My single cup coffee maker died. After eight years of loyal service, Model PTC 13S gurgled out its last caffeine fix. Sad, sad, so sad.
I remember when I bought my coffee maker. It was on sale at the local Lechters in New York. I didn't expect much from it, but it turned out it could make really good coffee. It even had an insulated mug that I could take on the train. It was very convenient.
It was basic black and had a single button labeled ‘on'. It was so simple to use. It only required coffee and water. For the last few months the ‘on' button had started sticking---probably from years of coffee spillage. Then, Saturday morning, Mr. Coffee turned on no more. Gone, gone, gone.
This was extremely inconvenient on Saturday. I had slept for too long and really needed a caffeine surge. I had to resort to (oh it pains me to admit it) instant coffee.
When I was moving several times in 2002, the coffee maker was always with me ready to make coffee on whatever counter it sat. Housemates always complimented the coffee maker. Anyone could use it, and the coffee receiver was always amazed that such a little thing could make something so delicious.
When I went west, the coffee maker went west. It was hard giving up some of my material things to make such a journey, but I always had room for Mr. Coffee.
Mr. Coffee has stood on my counter through many tough mornings, hangovers, oversleeping, undersleeping. Mr. Coffee has always been there to make that single special cup for whoever might need or want one. Perhaps in the early afternoon? I'm pretty sure Mr. Coffee never brewed a decaf cup---at least not for me.
The Mr. Coffee has even outlasted the insulated mug that came with it. When you leave your insulated mug under the drivers seat of your car for two weeks, that is just enough time for the coffee gunk to permanently seal the lid to the cup.
So now, Mr. Coffee will join the insulated mug on that heavenly mound of landfill. Rest in peace, Mr. Coffee. You made good Joe. You made good Joe.
But wait. There's more.
This morning I called the 1-800 number etched into the plastic lid of the Mr. Coffee. I was hoping for some help. I was hoping to buy a replacement machine. Instead, I got Linda the unhelpful one.
After I gave her my name, phone number, zip code, and Mr. Coffee model number, I could hear fingers typing on the key pad. She asked for the model number again. I gave her the number again. She asked if I had the model in front of me. I got my un-caffeinated ass into the kitchen and read her the same model number for the third time off the bottom of the coffee maker.
‘That model number doesn't exist.' Linda said in a slightly snooty voice as if I was making the whole thing up just to wreck her already miserable day.
‘Yes it does. It is right here in front of me right next to the words Mr. Coffee and its trademark logo.' I said. I was starting to really get annoyed. I had not had any coffee yet.
‘When did you buy this machine?' she asked.
‘Seven or eight years ago.' I said. I figured she would be amazed that her company made such a great product that would last for so long. I mean this coffeemaker made it through Y2K without even a scratch.
‘Oh. Well. That explains it.' She said slightly incredulously. So much for company pride.
When I explained that I wanted to get it fixed, she gave me a list of service centers near me. These service centers were in such nearby places as San Francisco, Fresno, Corvina. California is a very lonnnng state. When she asked if there were any other states near me, I mentioned Hawaii to the west and Mexico 120 odd miles south. So much for fixing it.
I decided this call was going nowhere. I asked if Mr. Coffee still made single cup coffee makers and if I could check them out online. Linda gave me a model number and our call was over with a ‘thank you for calling Mr. Coffee and have a very nice day'. Okay, okay, okay, bye.
I went online and checked out the Mr. Coffee website. Unfortunately, all their single cup coffee makers use those little pods of coffee. I don't want pods. I want coffee making freedom! I want caffeine liberty! I want to be able to mix my hazelnut and Columbian. I want to go heavy on the French Roast. Coffee is life. Coffee should not be shackled by pods. Coffee should breathe. I'm looking at getting a Cuisinart.