I'm a bit of a coffee nerd, but I'm an efficiency nerd as well, and the ROI for fancy coffee makers was just never there for me. I do have an espresso machine, and the big thing I learned from it is that it's worth it to pay someone else three bucks to make a complicated coffee drink, because it's a pain in the ass to do it yourself. I've done the french press thing, and it made good coffee, but was a hassle to clean. The vacuum coffee maker was even worse to clean, but the coffee was excellent, and, man, was it fun to watch. Too bad it didn't survive our last move. For a while I followed in Alton Brown's footsteps with a deconstructed drip device, but that didn't pass the Mary test, and Mary drinks more coffee in a one-week visit than I do for the rest of the year. She found my coffee setup more confounding than my entertainment center, and that's saying something. In fact, she actually went out and bought a Mr. Coffee.
That was a bridge too far for me. I can't stand the way coffee tastes when it's been sitting on the hot plate, so the Mr. Coffee had to, at least, be replaced by something with a thermal carafe. The coffee maker Christie got me that Christmas was a good compromise between efficiency and taste.
Somewhere in there, though, Christie finally admitted that she doesn't actually like coffee, and I was back to being the only coffee drinker in the house. I tried one of those pod thingies, but, to be honest, the coffee was both expensive and lousy. Not a good combination. So I was back to making at least half a pot each morning, which meant either drinking more coffee than was good for me, or letting a bunch of coffee go to waste. Neither was a good option.
Finally, two weeks ago, I did something I have done in years. I bought a new coffee gadget, the AeroPress. There are the four things you need to know about the Aeropress:
1. It's fast. I can make a cup of coffee in under a minute, once the kettle's hot.
2. Cleanup is fast and easy.
3. It makes a great cuppa from cheap, pre-ground coffee.
4. It cost under $30.
I still use the Braun when we have guests, but when it's just me drinking coffee, it's Aeropress all the way.