For the past few weeks, my husband has been on a quest to make the best cup of coffee this side of the equator.
He's on a mission to buy a coffee machine that will brew java so delicious he'll bound out of bed an hour before the alarm buzzes just to savor his steaming breakfast beverage.
As a result, he's been measuring, weighing, pouring, calculating, calibrating and tracking water and beans like a mad man.
Or, more accurately, like a Libra. Are you a Libra? Do you know a Libra? If you answered yes, then you, like my Libran husband, understand that one cannot accurately assess a coffee machine based simply on the taste of the coffee it produces.
Oh no. You, like my husband, realize this is a highly complex matter requiring complicated spreadsheets, in-depth analysis of Consumer Reports and back issues of America’s Test Kitchen and copious online research including diving deep into the bottomless pit of reviews and ratings from equally avid (and, I assume, Libran) coffee drinkers around the globe.
Did I mention that I am not a Libra?
I am an Aries, which I believe is officially the opposite of a Libra.
Perhaps you, like my husband, understand professional-grade comparison shopping involves testing equipment. Lots of equipment.
I can’t remember what my kitchen counter looks like because it is obscured by a seemingly endless display of shiny coffee machines in assorted shapes and sizes, all designed to grind beans smoother than sand, boil water to the optimal temperature range of 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your morning joe to the exact GMT-calibrated second.
Also laid out on the counter: a NASA-tested kitchen scale for weighing the beans, a NOAA-tested thermometer for double-checking the machines' built-in thermometers, a grinder to accurately compare manual vs. automated grinds and, of course, many, many cups of coffee.
After seventeen years of marriage, I am very familiar with my Libran's laborious, Excel-spreadsheet-driven approach to making a big purchase (or a big decision).
It stands in extremely stark contrast to the decision-making strategy of an Aries gal like myself.
My approach can be summed up in four syllables: Like it? Buy it.
So I've been going a little nuts as I watch my husband carefully, precisely and v-e-r-y thoughtfully sip from one steaming mug, swallow, and then rinse his palate with a swig of water before moving onto the next cup.
"How does it taste?" I demand, exasperated by all this methodical sipping and spitting. "For God's sake, which cup do you like best?"
My husband answers by way of a Ted-Talk-worthy lecture about the Rules Of Making Coffee.
He mentions water temperature, grind texture, extraction rate, flow rate, water-to-bean ratios and the properties of water absorption before I leave the room.
Did I mention I don't drink coffee?
I'm a tea drinker, which I believe is officially the opposite of a coffee drinker.
But I'm also my husband's wife. I promised to stand by my man, no matter what.
So today, while he painstakingly ponders the all-consuming Coffee Machine Dilemma, I'll make room on the counter for yet another high-tech brewer and say, "Sure, babe. Pour me a cup of joe."
Willow Older is a nationally and internationally published writer and a professional editor. She lives in Northern California where she runs her own editorial services business and publishes a weekly newsletter called Newsy!.
This post has been republished with full permission, you can read the original here.
There's a perfect cup of coffee for every stage of parenting as well—which one are you?