What’s the one thing you can’t live without in the morning? Most of us would say, a delicious, hot cup of coffee.
When I was a young woman living at home, the first thing I remember about mornings was hearing the sound of my mother using the coffee grinder, and then the fabulous. comforting, reviving smell of fresh brewing coffee that actually made me want to get up and out of bed. She was a College Professor and got up early, and didn’t mind the ritual of grinding the beans, cleaning the grinder, and brewing the coffee with just the right amount of beans to water to make the best coffee I’ll ever drink. But most of us are busy, and we don’t want the fuss and bother, and we can’t waste the time to grind coffee fresh each day.
Now there’s a fabulous and affordable way to spend more time and money on yourself, and less waiting in lines and spending money on your barista. The Black & Decker Mill & Brew 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker Model #CM5000B (Srp. $89.00) won’t replace my mother, but it can certainly make coffee as good or better than that at your local coffee shop. All you need is decent coffee beans. As I put the Black & Decker Mill & Brew through its paces, I began to appreciate the fact that it made it much easier to get closer to those coffee memories my mom made, but in a much faster, easier, and more efficient manner.
The Mill & Brew holds a generous 12-cups of coffee, should you be having guests or have several coffee drinkers in the house, but it grinds the beans and brews the coffee automatically, and even has auto 24-hour programming, so you can have that coffee whenever you want it. It took me a moment or two to learn the nuances of the machine, but basically, it’s simple. A lighted control panel on the front lets you choose from regular, strong or a bold grind, or no grinding at all (in which case you use regular, pre-ground coffee). The rest of the display lets you set the clock and choose the time you want the coffee maker to work its magic. A traditional water reservoir on the right side holds your water to brew, the left side has a permanent coffee filter basket that has grinding blades in the bottom (they obviously don’t spin if “no grind” is chosen). You save money because you don’t need those paper coffee filers in this one. The brewing cycle is also quite fast, and you can sneak a cup without making a mess. The nonstick plate on which the glass carafe sits will keep your coffee hot for some time, but be aware that if you leave it on the warmer too long, the “freshness” of your coffee is diminished.
The minute you place your beans in the filter/grinder basket (I used the same amount of beans as I would normally measure out ground coffee, you can experiment to your own taste), add the water and press the start button, the grinder begins and in seconds, it’s done, and the brewing starts. Even if you are using “discount” beans, the grinding brings out the aroma and whatever additional taste those beans hold for maximum coffee taste and pleasure. You just can’t top the luxury and delight of coffee brewed “a la minute.”
If there are downsides, they’re small compared to the benefits. You have to dump out the brewed coffee grinds as you would a percolator, instead of just lifting out a paper filter to throw away those grinds as you would with a standard coffee maker. That can be a bit messy, but nothing compared to having to deal with a coffee mill. And that grinder/filter basket has to fit perfectly in it’s compartment, or the front power light blinks and the coffee maker won’t grind or brew.There is a handle on the grinder/filter basket so it’s easy to lift out. Make sure that the coffee pot carafe has to be set perfectly under the unit to ensure that you don’t have spillage on your counter. The Mill & Brew just won’t give you the results you want unless the pot and grinder basket are properly set. Still, these are minor inconveniences for the major benefits and coffee drinking pleasures, that Mill * Brew provide.
Holiday guests? A cold and nasty morning? This is the one gift to get yourself now. With the Black & Decker Mill & Brew 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker you or the lucky person or family that receives this as a gift for the holidays, will spend mornings with the best coffee they can obtain, save money, and have more time for themselves. Why wait in line at the local coffee shop for a product that can’t be as fresh or high quality as the one you can make in minutes (literally) at hone right now?
This is the appliance to treat yourself to right now, or buy for holiday gifting. Treat your holiday guests to delicious coffee, and enjoy it all year long. Over time, you might save enough money (not to mention time) to buy something really special–for yourself! You can get this at Target and other mass market retailers, but the Advice Sisters suggest you visit The Black & Decker Web Site for more information.
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Road Gypsies: the Unsung Lives & Untold Stories of Rock and Roll Roadies. This is my new book project. There is a Facebook Page and a Twitter Handle. We’ll be posting our progress as we travel, interview roadies, bands, and more. WHY A BOOK ABOUT ROADIES? Without the roadies, the show couldn’t’ go on so we’re showing what really goes on behind the scenes. PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: LIKE THE ROAD GYPSIES BOOK PROJECT ON FACEBOOK, FOLLOW ROAD GYPSIES BOOK PROJECT ON TWITTER @RoadGypsiesBook