January 20, 2014
On Hot Beverages
It’s very much winter time in Indiana, and it’s one of the worst we’ve had in a while – the “while” that I can remember, and that includes five terrible winters in Minnesota. When it’s cold out, there’s nothing nicer to consume than a hot beverage. For example, as I write this, I do so with a nice warm cider, “fresh” from the Keurig. At the same time, I came across an article on Hacker News questioning why good kettles cost so much.
Yes, I’m procrastinating something else, But it got me thinking.
My Mom is an avid tea drinker. This has made seasons of gifts easy, so much so that we’ve been instructed to not give tea as a gift, because she has more than she could ever hope to drink. When she wants a cup, she pulls out the teapot, fills it with water, and waits for a boil. It’s a pretty sturdy stove-top model that a friend from college bought as a thank you gift for letting him stay with us for a holiday, and has now lasted nearly a decade. It replaced one that lasted even longer.
My aunt is several years younger than my mom, and also a tea drinker, doing her part to raise two younger tea drinkers and recently converting my uncle from coffee. She has an electric kettle. It’s faster than boiling, but slower than my Keurig. No frills or anything, just an electric model that quickly boils a pot of water suitable for steeping tea.
Then there’s me. At any given moment, I’m 60 seconds from tea, or coffee, or cider, or even soup. I replaced a standard coffee pot with a Keurig because I’m the only coffee drinker in my household, and I love gadgets. I justified it as a waste reduction tool – I feel good about not pouring a quarter pot of coffee down the drain because I only drank one cup. It costs more than a pot, about $0.50 a cup, but that’s less than the $2.42 my Starbucks would cost ($3.22 in the summer – I drink iced). And it does so many things! I don’t just have to drink coffee – I mentioned the soup, right?
There are probably several lessons in this anecdote. Definitely one about patience, another about being part of an on-demand generation. I just figured it was an interesting little story.