Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Going for Quality Homemade Brew,
Which Officially Busts The Budget!

Well, I decided to really become an official coffee snob. :)

I figure that I really enjoy my 2 to 4 cups a day, so I'm gonna upgrade to really good equipment and make to-die-for coffee from fresh ground beans. When I have to deprive myself of other indulgences due to high cholesterol and a fat bum, coffee is worth splurging on for nearly zero calories per cup.

Plus, I'm mad right now. And when I'm mad, I change things.

For the last year, I've had a Flavia Fusion machine. I've been quite happy with it. It makes one cup at a time. I can make assorted types of coffees and teas and "indulgences", including lattes and moccachinos. And there are no grounds to clean up. A snap. Coffee in 30 seconds, one fresh cup at a time. And while I've been happy with the machine, the coffees themselves left me hanging. I was happy with the House Blend, an enjoyable "working class" sort of coffee.

I went to make my breakfast cup and...it didn't taste like House Blend. It tasted like hazelnut flavored coffee. And I detest pre-flavored coffees. When I drink my breakfast cup or after dinner cup, I want my coffee black and sweetened, but not flavored. Ugh. I checked the packet (it's a pod type coffeemaker), and it said it was House Blend. The new case it came from said "House Blend." Me so confuzzled by that. I made another one from a different pod in the same case. It also tasted flavored with hazelnut.

I called Flavia. They couldn't seem to address the issue, and tech support was so busy, I couldn't expect to hear from them until maybe tomorrow.

Do they know what it is to have a coffee jones? I mean, I'm used to my cup or two at breakfast, maybe a cup with lunch, maybe a cup with dinner. It's part of the ritual.

Here is what they SHOULD have done, had they really cared a big fat bowel movement about customers: "Oh, sorry Mrs. Doe. We certainly understand how frustrating it is that you expected your usual House Blend coffee, and it was an improperly packaged flavored one, instead. How vexing. We will immediately ship out a case of House Blend at no cost to you--since you already paid for your case of coffee--and make sure you get it by Friday via UPS. We are so sorry for the inconvenience."

They can do all their tech and what-not checking later. Leaving a coffee lover hanging is not cool business.

So, today, in a fit of massive pique, I went online and spent THREE HOURS researching coffeemakers and coffee beans and grinders, and I got myself a top of the line combo that I hope I get by next week. I will no longer be dependent on Flavia and their crap customer service.

I will have one of the handmade Dutch TECHNIVORM thermal carafe coffeemakers sent to me (cost $265 ouchie dollars). It's one of only two coffeemakers I saw out there that got certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, guarantee to brew coffee at the perfect temperature. Coffee snobs rave about it. So, my birthday is exactly a month away. Here is my early gift. I will be telling hubby this is what he got me. As usual SOP in our household. :)

I also got a Baratza burr grinder. Apparently, this type of grinder makes for a much better and non-bitter cup. Which is good, as I'm gonna be ordering gourmet coffee and I don't wanna ruin expensive beans. (I used to order from Torreo, but I'm trying Terroir this time.) I got three bags of highly-rated whole beans roasted coffees (all with more than 92 points at Coffee Review website).

See what happens when lousy customer service ticks off The Mir. The Mir upgrades. So, no more orders of coffee from Flavia, and in a recession, they may feel it. I mean, I spent about 400 bucks in the last year with them on coffees, teas, and water filters, on top of the $99.00 price of the machine. Say bye-bye to those 400 bucks yearly of ongoing business, Flavia. Adios!

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swag said...

Good choices. Dump the Flavia -- that's stale milquetoast coffee.

Sounds like you've got a much better setup. I would just make sure not to buy roasts more than a week old and to rotate them out after 2-3 weeks.

Stale coffee in good equipment is like listening to AM talk radio on a $30,000 stereo. Or worse, Flavia.

JC Lamont said...

Girl -- you're awesome. A true, die-hard coffee addict..er, I mean...fan. I didn't even know there was such a thing as the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Oh, and I love "had they really cared a big fat bowel movement about customers".

Suzan Robertson said...

I'm an addict, too. The best coffee I've had lately?

Intelligentsia Organic Black Cat. Roasted the day it is shipped. I am on auto-delivery.