There was a time in my life I called myself an appliance genius. I was a customer service representative and later a sales trainer for the largest maker of appliances in the United States (today Whirlpool is the largest appliance manufacturer in the world, but I digress). For all of the questions that consumers had – including do-it-yourself repairs – I had to know the answer or at the very least know where to find it. It was in that time that I learned the difference between the average appliance buyer and the culinarily curious.
I have become culinarily curious over the years experimenting with my beloved coffee and coffemakers, making my own homemade kefir and sourdough and baking homemade bread. There’s something fascinating about the interaction of simple ingredients like flour, water and yeast or the fermentation of milk. You can have your complicated recipes, my palate and my mind prefers the simple and the mysterious.
I’m noodling a coffeemaker that KitchenAid makes. I’d love to get their cold brew coffeemaker, but I already have one, so what’s the point of getting another? But I discovered their line of craft coffeemakers, and I’ve been eyeing them for months like a sailor salivates over sailboats at the annual boat show. Imagining the beautiful cup of coffee and the aroma filling my home is a favorite past-time. I already purchased the espresso maker, so it seems a bit extravagant to buy another appliance for a one-person household, but still …. I want it.
When I worked for Whirlpool previously, we didn’t have craft coffee brewers. We also didn’t have our employee purchase program back then, so on my calltaker’s salary buying one of their expensive coffeemakers was out of the question. Besides, I had not worked at Starbucks – or even visited one – and been trained on the art of making a great cup of coffee. When I discovered Starbucks as a resident of Seattle, my coffee adventure – and curiosity – truly began.
So this morning I’m dreaming of the Craft Siphon Coffee Brewer that KitchenAid makes. One of the reviewers bought one for his Dad who had always talked nostalgically of the great cups of coffee made in an old Silex siphon coffee brewer. I wondered why we don’t use siphon brewers anymore if the coffee is so good, and Google provided a very interesting article on the history of coffee brewing. Apparently, the culinarily curious have for centuries been experimenting with how best to combine coffee beans and water for the most entertaining and tasteful brew.
Michigan seems to be a hotbed of crafty culinarily curious scientists. We are number 4 in the nation for craft breweries, and our bountiful orchards are the fodder for many wineries and hard cider makers. Organic farms, artisan creameries and local cheesemakers are not uncommon. Maybe the long winters provide time to think about how things are made and to experiment in dark Michigan basements. Perhaps it’s the summer with its burst of energy that ignites energetic curiosity. Or maybe it’s just the history and nature of the great Midwest farmers to be culinarily curious. Whatever the cause, it is fun to talk to the culinarily curious in these parts and to taste their experiments.
I’m guessing I’ll end up with this little coffee machine at some point. I already have too many coffeemakers for one person, but I guess that’s the hallmark of the culinarily curious. As bad habits go, this one is relatively inexpensive and coffee is something that can be enjoyed every day (with liberal splashes of decaf). As for today, I’ll make myself another cup of magical coffee from my espresso machine and say goodbye for now. It will be rainy today, so perhaps I’ll go visit a local culinary artist for a sample. Have a great weekend!
Note: If this has tickled your curiosity, I can get you a great deal on a KitchenAid coffeemaker if you are interested (more than 50% off). Just send me your email address. I’ll hook you up.