Monday, November 30, 2015

What’s a Percolator?

An interesting time at Starbucks this morning.

It’s been complete chaos last few mornings at the drive-thru location. Lines have been long, backed up into the street to where us customers began queuing up in the lot next door, waiting turns to get into the drive through lane, or looking for parking on the lot to walk-in.

When I’ve been lucky enough to find a parking spot, inside was just as bad as outside with long lines.

So deciding this morning to once again give making my own coffee a try, I drove 2 miles to the drive-thru intending to purchase a pound of beans.

It was nuts! Couldn’t get into the line, couldn’t queue up, couldn’t find parking on the lot, so backtracked and drove two miles back to the complex, past the complex, 2 miles to the walk-in location, where I can always find parking on the lot.

Once inside, I chose a pound of ground Christmas Blend, walked to the counter and asked the barista, “Will this work in a percolator?”

“What’s a percolator?” said she.

My mouth flew open in surprise and, for a second, I was dumbstruck, my thought being … Oh my God, I’ve become a dinosaur, while everyone behind the counter began laughing, as did customers in line behind me.

Once recovered, I prefaced my explanation to the barista as to what’s a percolator with, “Well, in the olden days, we used …” but, before I could finish, the customer in line behind me stopped laughing and interjected, “You’ll need a french press for that.”

“I tried a french press a few years back, didn’t like it”, said I.

“Yes, I didn’t have much success either, but if you use a percolator, the grinds will fall right through.”

That explains why, when I tried making my own coffee in the percolator four years back, it didn’t work out because there were grinds in it. That also probably explains that, when I bought a high-end coffee maker, there were grinds in it too, so I returned it, gave up trying to do it myself, and began hitting Starbucks every single day.

“You’ll need a thicker grind,” she directed towards me. “Give her a Turkish”, she directed towards the barista.

“OMG, I’m so glad you’re here”, said I to the helpful customer.

“I use to work here, that’s how I know.”

So, still not knowing the answer to her question, what’s a percolator, the barista set the grinder to Turkish and I walked out with a 1 pound bag AND a prepared cup for the day, with plans to start making my own coffee tomorrow morning in my years and years and years and years old percolator which, judging from the barista’s reaction, is now not only extinct but completely foreign as to ever having existed in the awareness of this young generation.

Only thing I'm worried about is, I thought the beans were already ground, so did grinding them yet again to turkish make them even finer or coarser? Guess I'll find out tomorrow morning.

On tap for the day is more de-cluttering. This time, it’s going through the bedroom closet ... getting rid of shoes and clothing I haven’t worn in a long time and don’t see a future need for.


  1. Too funny!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your coffee-brewing adventures.

  2. Wait, they ground the already ground coffee? I thought you started with fresh beans for the turkish grind? Terry buys his coffee at Starbucks and makes it at home in a drip machine. He also has an espresso maker and gets espresso grind for that. You have to tell the clerk what type of coffee maker you are using. Glad you took a photo and can now show that to the clerk the next time you go in. They'll get it figured out and get you the right grind for your machine. If you only drink one cup a day, you might like a pour-over. A single cup filter system. You pour boiling water over it. Terry has that if he wants cup of decaf at night. Oh, I AM married to a coffee connoisseur.

  3. Just told this story to Terry. He was aghast. You never put ground coffee through the coffee grinder he said. Starbucks employees should know better. Also, a turkish grind is far too fine for your percolator. You need a coarser grind he says. However, he says you probably will still have grounds in your coffee.

    1. The package said "ground" but somehow it worked out. Coffee this morning was free of grinds but, just in case, I thought about it last night, did some research online and was prepared to strain grinds out through nylon stocking.

    2. So glad to hear this. Enjoy your morning's coffee.