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Vintage Joe
By Mark Neeley

Coffee, it’s the morning staple of my dietary consumption. It’s a near necessity of my morning and a sometimes feature of my evening. I am happy to admit though that I am not a coffee junkie. I only require a couple of cups every day. Not one of those foo foo dainty cups, but a couple of ceramic mugs full to get my required shot of Joe. When I drink coffee the one thing I must have is a hot cup of it. None of this new wave stuff for me. I like good ole hot coffee like our (I’m 42) parents and grand parents drank. The kind that make corporate attorneys wince and liability attorneys smile like a Cheshire cat.

 In the early 1990s, I purchased a new automatic drip coffee pot to brew my morning elixir. It was your typical higher end name brand model, that I thought would be with me at least a decade or so ( I know I am asking alot). I like to spend my money on things that work and work well. I also like things to work for awhile. Back then I was not near as disillusioned with quality and how long something should last as I am today. I mean I own a vintage fan company. Most of the fans we work on have already been through one century in deplorable working conditions and after repair they are eager to continue into the 21st Century. When you work on that type of quality day in and day out, it tends raise your standards considerably. After I bought my new automatic drip, I was delighted that we could set a timer to have coffee waiting for us piping hot, or so I thought. The first few times we used it I found myself heating up the coffee in the microwave shortly after I poured it. It made the coffee hotter than warm but not real hot. I began to wonder why the temperature of coffee seemed cooler than it was in the 1980s. I’ve got a pretty good suspicion of why, but that’s another story. After having the new automatic drip for a good two to three weeks I went to cut it off one morning and it “popped” fire from the switch covering its white facade with a nice shade of charred plastic. Disgruntled but not completely surprised, I decided to give up on the modern approach to coffee brewing. I had a revelation. I’ll get an old percolator!

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