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Posts tagged ‘coffee’

How to make the perfect cup of tea

Couldn’t tell you. Tea. The stuff turns me cold. I’ve never understood why companies would manufacture a product that tastes the same as boiling a dirty twig for three weeks and straining the result through a mouldy jock-strap – and even less why customers would choose to BUY it.

This antipathy likely stems from a childhood trauma when, innocent and impressionable, I was preyed upon by a great aunt who offered me a cup of Earl Grey.

The bitch.

My mother has always complained that I am incapable of making a decent cup of tea, which is hardly surprising given how I feel about the stuff. (I’m not a fan, in case you were wondering.) Personally, I’m not sure how you can make a ‘bad’ cup of tea – I mean, we’re only talking about degrees of foulness here.

Now, it has recently come to my attention that Husband cannot make coffee. Unlike me, there is no valid rationale for this failing, because Husband is pretty partial to a delectable cup of rich, warm, velvety coffee-flavoured scrumptiousness.

Instead, Husband prepares a menacing slop of scorched darkness, its oily surface simmering as if from the movement of tiny, stunted eels writhing in agony beneath. It is either so weak that the caffeine flavour is imperceptible, or so strong as to pop the eyeballs out of your head if you blink too suddenly. It makes milk curdle spontaneously. At times, I am driven to wonder whether Husband has mistaken salt for the sugar – or maybe rotten garlic, mouse droppings or arsenic.

In short, Husband’s coffee tastes like fear and rage and sweaty loathing in liquid form. Although he presents the coffee lovingly, drinking it makes me doubt his feelings for me, to the extent of suspecting he despises me and secretly plots my murder, the first step of his diabolical plan being to blitz my immune system with his vile concoction.

So coffee duty has reverted back to me indefinitely i.e for all time

More maintenance

Me: I had to fix the espresso machine as well-

Husband: Don’t tell me. It sheared in two, so you went down to Mitre 10 and purchased some heavy industrial machinery and a mask, and welded it back together in the kitchen. And now it works perfectly.

Me: You know, sarcasm doesn’t suit you at all.

Husband: Ok, what was wrong with it?

Me: After your whole shearing/welding scenario, it sounds a bit lame. Er, ah, well, so there was water leaking around the filter.

Husband: Maybe you were packing the coffee too tightly-

Me: I considered that, so I tried packing the coffee loosely, but it was still leaking; so I tried half-filling the filter, but that didn’t work either; so I filled it right up in case there was too much pressure building up in the space at the top. Then I cleaned the head and ran water through the machine to dislodge any burnt coffee grounds, and then I scrubbed the O-ring even though it appeared to be fine-

Husband: Wow, you really considered the options.

Me: I did! I objectively analysed the problem and applied logic and guile to test and eliminate the issues according to cause probability. So then I emailed Breville’s Customer Support-

Husband: Really?

Me: Yeah, but all they did was write back and ask what model it was. Useless bastards.

Husband: When did you contact them?

Me: This morning.

Husband: You expect a lot from your customer support, don’t you?

Me: I just don’t see why they can’t support customers, as per their job description.

Husband: Fair enough. So-

Me: Well, I’m still waiting to hear from them. But I managed to fix it in the meantime-

Husband: For the love of God, HOW?

Me: Changed the brand of coffee.

Husband: . . .

Me: It was too fine a grind, so I’ve gone back to Robert Harris. Seems to have done the trick.

Husband: You’re a genius.

Me: I’m pretty special

A hard day’s work

I’ve considered setting up a blog for some time, especially after my monthly email list hit the 30 mark. Although the idea is appealing, the reality is that I’m an irregular writer who spends more time trying to locate her wasted muse than writing. It will be interesting and/or depressing to see whether I can muster the discipline to post daily.

Ok, let’s not be too ambitious: weekly.

One problem is that, now that Husband and I have settled into Turanga Road, we rarely leave the house. My working day looks roughly like this:-

08:00 Get up

08:01 Shower

08:15 Chew on Husband’s ear a while

08:20 Turn on coffee machine

08:27 Open garage door and walk down the driveway to check post

09:00 Go to office to Write

09:01 Check email, write responses to incoming

09:40 Pick fingernails

10:20 Look up waffle irons on Trademe

11:09 Read new threads on discussion board

11:55 Research (MacGyver on Wikipedia)

12:04 Secondary research (methods for defusing nuclear warheads, the melting point of iron, Clayton County, entomophagy, online radio stations, balloon fetishes, symptoms of anaemia, the Piri Reis map, pictures of facial boils, Gothic cemetery art, squirrel hazing)

12:30 Is it lunchtime already?

13:10 Digesting

15:00 Go to office to Write

15:01 Return to kitchen to make coffee

15:15 Go to office to Write

15:16 Think up excuse for not Writing

15:20 Return to living room to rearrange sofa cushions

15:30 Go to office to Write

15:31 Check out the time in Adelaide, Ireland, Albania, London, Spain, Dubai, Jordan and Auckland

15:39 Definitions of the word ‘harrow’ on

15:50 Look up exchange rates: US$ to NZ$, AED to NZ$, Euro to NZ$, Euro to US$

16:30 Go to kitchen, look in fridge

16:47 Return to office, look up recipes including ingredients: red cabbage, dark chocolate, blue cheese, crackers, sherry

17:00 And we’ll call that a Hard Day’s Work

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