Wednesday, September 12, 2012

coffee carafe, mi amor

This coffee carafe says hello, good morning and please continue to have a good day for I am here to help you, filled with delicious coffee.  

Every. Single. Day.

Pour over coffee is the thing in San Francisco these days, people wait in lines to get it (and oh it is good of course!)  but it is the way my mom has always made coffee since the dawn of my memory.   A two dollar red plastic Melita cone, paper filters and Kenyan coffee from the old Cost Plus or Co-op.  

Boil water, pour over, wait.  Bloom, pour slowly, never ever stir to disturb the bloom.  One cup at a time, in all the familiar mugs of my childhood.

When we first moved back to the City we ditched our coffeemaker back in Los Angeles with most of our belongings.  Making pour over coffee again, lamenting that we could only find a plastic cone anywhere.  (This was 2006 in San Francisco.  There was not a single ceramic drip cone in this city.  I know.  Because I looked.)  Caroline was visiting and took note as the next Christmas a package arrived from her and it was a ceramic drip cone.  Hallelujah!  It was twice the size of the plastic one we had been using, so now we needed something larger to catch the coffee in.

The carafe was 50 cents, missing a top but the perfect size sitting on a top shelf in the housewares section of Thrift Town in the Mission.  (I call Thrift Town the ORACLE because I never go in intent on finding anything, but I always find exactly what it is that I needed but did not know.)  It says something "Scandinavia" in green on the bottom, but has since rubbed off.  I brought it home and since then, we have made over 1400 mornings bearable with it.

One day my Grandma (Po-Po) noticed we were missing something essential and heat insulating with our setup and gave us this chipped mug top, of which she has many for her all day teadrinking-ness.  She uses them to cover the top of an ancient plaid Thermos mug that is stained from decades of tea brewing all day long.  It is the perfect match.


This may seem like a weird excursion, but I am really interested in the stories behind the things we actually find useful in our day to day domestic lives.  Not the "omg this is the best most time saving invention ever for cooking" but in the this is something my hands touch and use every single day and it never ever lets me down.  Its something completely unremarkable, that proves its function with use, and contributes to the quality of one's daily life.

Do you have such an object?  Please share in the comments below!


  1. I love how it's a collaborative piece, plus sentimental and useful, the best combination.

  2. Grandma and Caroline made it possible yes! Also that they have never met, but I think would have a lovely time together even with my grandma not understanding english. I might need to make that meeting happen.

  3. This story makes me so happy! I love knowing that even though we are on opposite sides of the continent we get to do mundane little things together somehow.