Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unexpected bumps in the decaffeinated life

3 weeks ago I gave up caffeine entirely.

It’s had it’s problems.

Not the ones everyone was warning me about – headaches.

Everyone said “Oh take a couple weeks to wean yourself, you drink a LOT of coffee”

But that coffee was 2/3rds decaf already,sometimes 3/4 decaf, so just using straight decaf was a simple thing. No physical effects were felt at all.

Until a couple weeks later when my brain started taking longer to boot up in the mornings.

It’s a problem, but not a big one.

There is a bigger problem. The problem  no one warned me about.

The coffee maker itself.

My coffee maker does not like straight decaf coffee grounds & throws up at least half time I make coffee.

By throws up I mean the coffee grounds overflow the filter & sometimes the basket & drip into the pot, clogging its openings (it’s a thermal carafe, keeps my coffee hot for 4 hours) causing the liquid to slowly drain down the outside of the carafe.

Makes a terrible mess.

So I bought a French press coffee maker. A cheap one from Wal Mart for now but probably I will invest in a thermal one. Maybe.

The press has it’s own issues.

It makes a good cup of coffee & the decaf grounds stay where they are pressed & don’t seep into my cup.

But cleaning it is a challenge.

We have a septic tank so I can’t keep washing the grounds down the drain, but getting them loose enough to come out of the bottom of the jar requires water.

But I can’t pour water into the garbage can because I never have a garbage bag that doesn’t have a hole poked into by something or other. 

I try scooping it out with a spoon but half the grounds stick to the sides or I can’t reach them so then I swirl a spatula around the inside & try pulling what is left out that way

Any thing I try makes a terrible mess.

I suppose I could get a really fine mesh strainer, pour water into the jar, get the grounds loose & then strain them & thrown them away.

I’m trying to decide which coffee maker is less work to clean.

How do you clean out your French press if you use one?


Wendy Bukowski said...

LOL, I'm no help I'm afraid but I do need to make a mental note NOT to wash coffee grains down the sink into the septic tank - I never even gave that one a thought so thank you :-)

Helena said...

Those pesky unintended consequences - I put my coffee grounds on my compost heap so some extra water doesn't matter and I need water to get them all out

SciFi Dad said...

I don't have a french press, but would cheesecloth work?  Fill the carafe with water, then pour through a cheesecloth.  Shake out the grinds.

Gem said...

I'm sure I watched on Gardeners World once that you can put used coffee granules in with your mulch.  You could try that? 

Julieaj said...

I think Helena and Gem are on the right track - compost or mulch are probably the best way out.  Personally I use instant - saves a lot of hassle.

Andrea @ The Creative Junkie said...

I'm not a coffee drinker so I have no idea. I'm not a coffee maker either so I still have no idea. But I just want to give you props because giving up caffeine is no easy thing. I've heard that it's kind of like losing an appendage and for a long time afterward, you'll still have that phantom pain.