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Something new is brewing in the kitchen

How do I brew thee? Let me count the ways.

That's what I was thinking the other day while making myself a cup of coffee.

Only I didn't have much time to think, because the process takes less than a minute.

That's how fast our new single-cup brewer works, a little longer to first heat up the water.

We like coffee, but we don't consume a lot of it. I might want a cup at a different time than my husband does, and then he'll decide he wants tea instead.

In this way, the new Keurig, which uses prepackaged K-Cups or a My K-Cup reusable filter you fill with your own ground coffee, fits our family.

Still, the machine takes me back to how I learned to make coffee. On our counter stood a KitchenAid electric coffee grinder with heavy base and glass top filled with coffee beans.

It had a dial for different grinds, and the machine was loud. But in a good way. The ground coffee beans would shoot out into a special glass with markings for numbers of cups desired.

GrrrrGrrrrrGrrrrGrrrr, it would growl every morning.

The coffee was made on the stove in a Revere Ware pot percolator with copper bottom and glass knob on its lid.

I didn't drink coffee until I was out of college, but I used to love making it in that pot for my parents during my high school years.

I remember the process clearly. I would first fill the pot to the bottom of the spout hole to make six cups, the top of the hole to make eight. Then I added the three inside pieces, including the one that held the ground coffee beans.

Once the water started bubbling around inside the glass knob, I would reduce the heat just slightly to avoid spillover and then set the timer for seven minutes. Soon, the clear water would turn coffee brown and the kitchen would smell wonderful.

Later in life came the Mr. Coffee. The Krups. The paper filters. The gold filter. I replaced glass carafes. I bought a white insulated coffee keeper. I also inherited a 30-cup urn-style coffee-maker that I still pull out for parties.

And I've certainly made my share of Tim Hortons runs.

Now we use a single brewing system -- often but not all of the time.

I have considered the cost: Prices vary, but a box of 18 single-serve cups priced at $9.99 means we'll pay 55 cents per cup.

I also have read concerns about the environmental impact of the K-cups going into landfills and how the company is working on this issue (see for details).

As for taste, I must say the coffee is good. Very good.

I just don't know if it's better than what came out of that old pot percolator.


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