Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Who Makes Your Coffee--Mary or Martha?
When I got the French press, I thought it was so great that I considered putting away my drip coffeemaker. That would save me about a square foot of counter space, which in my tiny kitchen is no small potatoes.
I haven't stowed away the drip coffeepot, though--and I think that's because there's a little too much Martha in me. And I'm not talking about Martha Stewart, either.
The drip coffeemaker allows me to be Martha when I need to. All I have to do is fill it up and hit the switch. The coffee brews without my paying any further attention to it. That means that I can wake the kids up for school, unload the dishwasher, and pack lunch sandwiches while the coffee brews. If I get distracted and don't get to pour that cup of coffee right away, it'll sit there and stay hot until I can get to it. It's definitely the kind of appliance that allows me to keep busy in the kitchen, with my mind on many things, with no adverse result if I have to keep that hot coffee waiting for a while. That's why using a drip coffeemaker is like being Martha; she was concerned with many things. Martha was a multitasker, the hostess with the mostest who had a lot on her mind, and she knew that the dinner wasn't going to cook itself. She'd have loved a coffeepot that would do the work for her--it's one less concern she'd have when she held a dinner party.
Using a French press, on the other hand, is a very "Mary" way to make coffee. It's not a push-button kind of thing. A French press requires that you pay attention to it, much like the way Mary dropped everything to sit at the feet of Jesus. I think of Mary as a "one thing at a time" kind of girl. She wasn't going to multitask. Everything she did got her full and complete attention. So she wouldn't mind warming the press, bringing the water almost to a boil, adding the coffee and hot water, waiting four minutes, then pressing out the coffee and pouring that fragrant first cup. She'd be there four minutes later to do that; she wouldn't have run down to the basement to throw in a load of laundry or gotten distracted with the peanut butter and jelly.
I love French-press coffee, but at this time in my life, I can't always spend the ten minutes to be completely attentive to it. Most of the time, I have a "Martha" kind of morning. And that's OK. But sometimes, I manage to choose the better part, like Mary. And when I do, I savor it.
Who makes your coffee?