Shannon Stacey

Coffeemaker Drama

I swear, coffeemakers are going to be the death of me. It should be easy. Buy a coffeemaker and it makes coffee for me. But no. I have coffeemaker drama.

It started a while back when I finally broke down and bought a Keurig. A single cup on demand! Sounds like coffee heaven, doesn’t it? My plan was to use it for single shots of decaf, while still using my regular coffeemaker to make sure there was a full pot of fully caffeinated brew waiting at 6 am. Sadly, I use a very large coffee mug and when Keurig says single cup, they mean one of those delicate little teacups that hold a few mouthfuls. Rather than go through the rigmarole of running the cycle twice, I brought it back and paid $5.00 for a jar of instant decaf.

So Friday was a snow day. A pretty nasty one, too, because it wasn’t just snow, but an ugly mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. And I discovered, while fishing around in my dishwater, that the glass carafe from my coffeemaker had broken. Ouch, btw. My husband and I put on our boots, threw the truck in four-wheel-drive and went off to Walmart to buy a new coffeemaker.

We chose a simple GE coffeemaker because it was close to the one we’d had. It’s neither the cheapest nor the most expensive and, since I couldn’t remember if it’s the Mr. Coffee or the Black & Decker carafes that dribble coffee down the pot and onto the floor while you pour, GE it was.

First clue we didn’t pick a winner? No packaging, other than the big inserts that kept it from rattling around, and no book. Gah. I don’t really need the book, though, having had a similar model, so I pulled it out of the box for a cleaning run. Almost every plastic hinge on the damn thing was broken. Nice. (Dear Walmart: When somebody returns something all busted up, you don’t put it back on the shelf. Or rather, you’re not supposed to.)

It wouldn’t have been so bad if my husband wasn’t getting up at dark o’clock the next morning to meet some friends for snowmobiling. When you get up at dark o’clock, you want the coffee brewed and waiting for you. So my plan was to use the old coffeemaker with the new carafe. On Monday morning I’d wash up the carafe and take the broken coffeemaker back. I would have a little guilt about using it once or twice before returning it, but then again, they sold me a broken piece of junk that they’d obviously put back on the shelf after taking it back.

Guess what? The old coffeemaker didn’t work. My guess is that taking it out and dropping it on the cement pad of the porch so the husband could take it out to the garbage broke something inside of it. So…we put our boots on and put the truck in four-wheel-drive and slipped and slid our way back to Walmart. (Bonus—no lines, no waiting!)

We bought the same model, but we opened the box and checked it all over first. (And then we couldn’t get it back in the box properly, of course.) And despite the many horrific reviews on that I hadn’t read before I bought it, this one functions properly.

More or less.

It’s been my experience that, while using the permanent filters that come with coffeemakers may seem like a lovely, Earth-friendly idea, they leave a dark sludge in the coffee that’s really quite nasty. I had some basket-style paper filters left over from an old coffeemaker (pack rat FTW!) and used one of those the first night. Well, this coffeemaker has an oversized basket that’s supposed to be awesome for reasons not made clear. It’s twice as tall as the basket filter, so the filter folded up on itself and my coffee was full of grounds. Used the permanent filter Sunday and Monday nights and suffered through sludge at the bottom of my cup. (I looked at Walmart and they don’t have oversized, taller paper filters.)

After reading the horrible reviews I should have read before I bought the damn thing, I saw somebody mention using the cone filters (which is what my previous model used) because they’re taller, even though they’re not shaped to fit the filter basket. I tried it last night and my coffee this morning is neither full of grounds nor sludgy. But using a cone filter in a basket-shaped filter basket is just wrong. And it did fold up a little to one side. No grounds, but based on taste and color, I suspect more than a little water bypassed the grounds and ran into the pot for a nice diluted effect.

So much drama over something that’s supposed to be one of life’s little conveniences.

I think #1) I’m going to nurse it a little while, then claim it shit the bed and buy a Bunn or something. And #2) if you made it this far, I’m sorry my coffeemaker drama ran so long. I love my coffee.

10 comments to “Coffeemaker Drama”

  1. Jaci Burton
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 8:59 am · Link

    I wouldn’t even nurse it a little while. Toss the damn thing and buy a new one.

    Life’s too short to go through it with crap coffee.

  2. Shannon
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 10:04 am · Link

    I don’t want my husband’s head to explode, though. And I need to research this time because I’m going to go with the “you get what you pay for” motto and drop some coin.

  3. Dianne Fox
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 10:54 am · Link

    We used to have a regular coffeemaker, but when it broke, we bought one of these:

    The Technivorm Moccamaster is quite possibly the most awesome thing to ever produce coffee. If you can get past the price tag—which it is TOTALLY worth, by the way—I highly recommend it.

  4. Shannon
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 11:33 am · Link

    Wow. That looks like a crazy awesome coffeemaker! And I’d really, really, really like to be able to clean the water reservoir properly which can’t be done with regular ones.


    I read the description about European cups being smaller than ours and it brews 40 ounces of coffee. I did some very unscientific math (consisting of filling things and seeing how many times I could fill my 8 ounce measuring cup). My mug is 20 ounces and my husband’s is 13 ounces. Our coffeemaker brews about 56 ounces of coffee, which means he and I can each have our “waking up” cup and then I have a second cup to keep me company during the morning routine.

    With forty ounces, we could each have our first cup, but then I could only have a third of a cup to get me through getting the kids to school.

  5. Shannon
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 11:34 am · Link

    Although…40 ounces would fill my mug twice. I could just make my husband go down to the gas station at the bottom of the street. :)

  6. azteclady
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 11:59 am · Link

    I love my morning coffee too (in fact, one of my sisters in law knows I love need it so much in the mornings that she got me a tall mug that reads, “No coffee, no workee”).

    However, I got used to espresso when living down in Caracas many, many moons ago. One smallish cup (okay, twelve ounces) of espresso can and do carry me through the entire day, from three am to four pm, no problem!

  7. Dianne Fox
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 12:33 pm · Link

    I forgot to mention the other huge advantage to the Technivorm Moccamaster: it brews a full pot in less than 5 minutes. So you could easily make two pots in the morning if you found that one full pot was too small.

    We either both have travel mugs or one of us has a travel mug and the other (me) has two big cups at home. I only brew 6 of the 8 cups the Moccamaster will hold, and we’ve never ended up with too little coffee. But ymmv. :)

  8. Dawn
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 12:39 pm · Link

    My husband drinks a lot of coffee, and we have two coffee making solutions in our house (I drink it only occasionally).

    For everyday use, he has the older version of this Cuisinart single serve brewer.

    Like you, he uses a big coffee cup, so he does two 10 oz brews to fill it each time he makes a cup. Because the Cuisinart doesn’t use those little pod things, he uses whatever coffee he likes (in a plug for our local coffee roaster, he usually has the Chester Springs Blend from this company: Kimberton Coffee).

    When we’re having people over, we use a french press. It’s so easy, even I can make coffee, and this one (link removed, no longer working) holds 51 ounces! That one is around $40, but the smaller ones are about $20. Because I drink tea, we do have an electric kettle that boils water relatively quickly, but all you need to do is boil water and then the coffee is ready in 4 minutes.

    Good luck.

  9. Jewell
      · March 2nd, 2011 at 6:33 pm · Link

    Okay, my husband has me hooked on old school. Namely the regular coffee pots that perk instead of drip.

    True they don’t have a built in timer, nor are filterless, but they make a FANTASTIC pot of coffee. When it gets a little clogged from tons of use, you run a cycle with DIP IT through it, and once more with only clear water. Works like a charm.

    Plus, you can fill a mug and a large thermos because of its capacity.

    We dealt with the timer issue by buying a stand alone timer you can use on almost anything. Voila. Fresh, huge, nondrip pot of coffee in the morn.

  10. Jean
      · March 4th, 2011 at 6:37 pm · Link

    We’re on our third GE coffeemaker (the only place you can get them is WalMart). We bought one, and it died. I’d misplaced the receipt, so, even though it was under warranty, we bought a replacement, because we liked the way it worked when it worked.

    The second one leaked. I’d learned the lesson and kept the box and receipt. We eventually took it back and got it replaced under warranty.

    The third one (fingers crossed) is working like a champ. (But we still have the receipt and the box).

  • Get my latest news straight to your inbox!

    I'll only be sending newsletters when I have news to share, and I'll never share your information. You'll receive an email asking you confirm your subscription (so please check your spam box if you don't receive that). You can unsubscribe at anytime.


  • Affiliation

    Shannon Stacey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of

    If you purchase a book listed on the site from, she’ll earn a small commission. Thank you!