How to Brew Coffee Using a Broken Coffee Maker

I don't mind spending money on appliances. I understand that if I want a coffee maker, I have to pay for one. If I want two coffee makers, I have to pay for two coffee makers. If I want three coffee makers, then I have to pay for three coffee makers. After that, if want more coffee makers, I should probably be able to negotiate a deal for a quantity discount.

However, I only really want one coffee maker. One that will last as long as I do. That's not so much to ask for, is it?

Well, maybe. Or maybe not.

Buy A Coffee Maker or Don't Buy A Coffee Maker

A Coffee maker is designed to break down eventually  Photo Credit: Wikipedia
A Coffee maker is designed to break down eventually Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Buy a Coffeemaker: Think About the Workers!

There are people who make a living producing and selling coffee makers. If you and I buy only one coffee maker per lifetime, then they will be very poor. They might even go out of business. All their employees will become jobless. There will be a great depression. It will be all our fault, because we didn't periodically go in and buy another coffee maker, even though we have a perfectly good one at home.

The workers of the world have nothing better to do with their time than to produce things that people don't need, and there is no better way to feed the masses than to keep making people buy the same product over and over and over again.

For the sake of the toilers, I should probably be happy to keep buying the same coffee maker as many times as it takes to keep everyone else in coffee makers. Otherwise, there might be deflation, and that would be bad!

Not Buying a Coffeemaker: Why Deflation Would be Bad

What is deflation, and why is it bad? Deflation is the opposite of inflation. In an inflationary economy, you have to spend your money today, or it will be worth less tomorrow. In a deflationary economy, money that you have today will buy even more tomorrow, if you can bear to wait. More food. More health insurance. More houses. And, yes, more coffee makers!

So, if you and I and everyone else refuses to buy a coffee maker today, tomorrow we may be able to buy more coffee makers for the same amount of money. And this would be bad, why?

Well, clearly because of the toilers. The toilers are people who always spend everything they have, so they require a steady income, and they will do almost anything to get that income. They are addicted to work, because they need their money fix. If you give them money, they immediately go out and buy a coffee maker, whether they can afford it or not. That's why they never have any savings. And that's why everyone needs to buy coffee makers in order to give them something to do.

So, we people with savings but no income need to buy coffee makers so that other people with no savings can have income to buy coffee makers, too. How awful it would be if some poor family (one with an income much higher than mine) had to go without a coffee maker, just because you and I and everyone else decided that we were not going to ever buy a coffee maker again!

People Buy Coffeemakers: Why there are so many coffee makers in the store

Have you ever gone to Wal*Mart and seen all the coffee makers available? They display them quite prominently. When I first noticed that display, I thought: "Those must be for people who don't have a coffee maker yet. People who have never bought one before. Lucky for me, I already own one."

Then one day, my coffee maker broke down. It refused to make any more coffee. And I suddenly remembered that this was not the first coffee maker I had ever bought. About five years ago, my old coffee maker broke down, and I went and replaced it with a brand new one. Were they expecting me to buy a new coffee maker every five years? I didn't budget that in, when I retired.

Are all the retired people supposed to keep the younger generation in coffee makers by buying them over and over again? Is that how the economy works?

Don't Buy a Coffeemaker: My Electric Teapot to the Rescue

I'm very weak willed. I probably would have rushed out to buy a new coffee maker the moment the one I have broke down, if it weren't for one thing: I am confined to the pens. Without a babysitter for Bow, I can't leave the house. And I needed coffee right away. I couldn't wait!

Necessity is the mother of invention. "I wonder how this coffee maker works, anyway," I thought. "I think it involves boiling water in some way."

It just so happens that I have an electric teapot that boils water. I boiled the water, then I poured it into the paper coffee filter of my non-functioning coffee maker. The boiled water dripped through the coffee grounds, and voila! --- There was coffee in the pot.

I have been using my broken coffee maker to make coffee in this manner for the past month. The coffee is excellent. And guess what? If the electric teapot breaks down, I think I remember how to boil water on the stove. And if that breaks down, I can use my fireplace to boil water.

So, you and I and all our friends can "whip inflation now" by refusing to buy any more new coffee makers! We will shut down the motor of the coffee making world. The coffee maker industry will collapse. The workers will all be laid off, and the money we have stashed in our mattresses will buy more stuff. We will get rich quick by refusing to spend more money.

Let's start rampant deflation now. Non-workers of the world unite! Let the strike begin...


(c) 2010 Aya Katz

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Comments 30 comments

Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida

I had the same problem a few times. My coffee maker broke, but I needed coffee. I did end up getting a new coffee maker, but I didn't buy it. My mom gave me her old one. It works fine, she just didn't like it because it was slow. That coffee maker still works fine, and my mom, well...she has gone through about 7 coffee makers since then. The less features a coffee maker has, the less likely it is to break. Funny hub about consumerism!!!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Anna Marie Bowman. You were lucky to get the one coffee maker that actually is capable of lasting! I wonder if the manufacturer of that model is still in business.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

Good points! I have one of those "Perfect Brew" filter cones. I have had it for at least a decade. It never breaks down. I also have an old-fashioned stove top percolator. It, too, just keeps on working without ever a problem! :)


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Suzanne! Apparently, a lot of people do just fine without a coffee maker. I am just now realizing that I don't need one, either!


hot dorkage profile image

hot dorkage 5 years ago from Oregon, USA

We have used the Melitta method for 20 years. We had an official Melitta glass carafe but those eventually break and you can't just buy a replacement carafe, oh no. You have to buy the whole outfit. We recently bought a large coffee thermos so now we just filter the coffee directly into that. The plastic cones will die if they happen to fall onto a lit stove ring, but otherwise are pretty indestructable. We have reusable hemp filters so now we only buy the coffee.

If everyone acted as you and I do, stupid consumerism (planned obsolescence and things built to break to keep the cash flow positive) would be turned on its head. Of course there would be some adjustment and it would be uncomfortable, but eventually the economy would stabilize to produce more truly durable goods and consumables that we really do need.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Hot Dorkage, for twenty years! I am so behind on this. My friend Anita, who did the piano accompaniment you sang to, also uses Melitta, but I only just now found out about it.

Maybe more people will decide to opt out of "stupid consumerism" now that the economy is in a slump. In the long run, this could be a good thing.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

This is one of the best "sales" Hubs I've ever read. You featured excellent products and then encouraged me not to buy any of them, which for me, because you suggest I shouldn't, I'll just do the opposite. Brilliant reverse psychology! Thanks for a great morning read to accompany my coffee.


sunforged profile image

sunforged 5 years ago from Sunforged.com

I had the very same espresso maker that appears in your first picture, that is until it broke.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Sally's Trove, I wasn't trying to use reverse psychology. Honest! But, hey, if it works that way, I won't be upset. Maybe I should use the same strategy with Bow and his touchscreen. If I tell him not to use it, maybe he will. Anyway, thanks for a great comment!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Sunforged, ha, ha! Thanks for proving my point!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India

So....necessity being what invention is all about? Broken coffeemakers and deflation - you've made a great connection, Aya! Speaking of coffeemakers, my Krups hasn't let me down yet.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Hi, Shalini. The connection between deflation and coffeemakers is not all that different from the connection between any other product and deflation. It's all about supply and demand.

So, Krups is a good brand? I'll have to look it up.


Maryanne Maguire profile image

Maryanne Maguire 5 years ago from Santa Monica, CA

Love the recycle / reuse theme!


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida

Yeah, it's your basic, no special features generic coffee maker...GE!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Maryanne Maguire, thanks. I would rather reuse than recycle if I can, because recycling usually costs something.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Anna Marie Bowman, I guess the simpler the coffeemaker, the less likely it is to break down.


Wendy Krick profile image

Wendy Krick 5 years ago from Maryland

I think I would do the same thing if I wanted coffee bad enough.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Wendy Krick, thanks for your comment. I take it you've never wanted coffee that badly?


Wendy Krick profile image

Wendy Krick 5 years ago from Maryland

No, but I would be totally lost without my tea. :)


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Wendy, I understand. Fortunately, teapots don't seem to break down as often.


IdeaMorphist profile image

IdeaMorphist 5 years ago from Chicagoland

I adore the way you wrote this! Plus, I'm 27 and on coffee pot #3... it is ridiculous! Makes you wonder if they build them to specifically wear out after a while. I mean, if my parents 1983 Benz station wagon got over 350,000 miles how does a coffee maker not make it past 5 yrs?!?!?!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

IdeaMorphist, thanks! Planned obsolescence, I think they call it. Nowadays most appliances are designed to fail sooner rather than later. Then at the store, they offer you an extended warranty. I bought a DVD the other day, (a cheap one -- only $5.00) and the salesperson asked: "Would you like an extended warranty with that?" They design things to fail, and then they want to make even more money off your fear that they will fail.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

Oh, another good way to make coffee is to make "Cowboy Coffee". Just measure your water and coffee into a big cooking pot, cook it on high until it just starts to bubble, then turn it off and let it sit for about 5 minutes and pour it through a strainer into your cup. Nothing disposable to buy or throw away! Just toss those coffee grounds onto your compost heap!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Suzanne, thanks! I've never heard of "Cowboy Coffee" before. I guess there are lots of different ways to make coffee without a coffee maker! I have a feeling we are all going to learn more forgotten survival skills in the coming decade. Thanks for sharing this method!


myrtle McKinley profile image

myrtle McKinley 4 years ago

Hi Aya Katz

Very clever hub in resisting replacing that coffee maker that will always eventually break. I have been through numerous ones. They seem to working fine every day until one morning you push the brew button and nothing happens.

How frustrating, and thanks for a great alternative idea.

I am new to hubbing, and would appreciate you checking me out. Thanks, Myrtle


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Myrtle, for your comment. I still haven't replaced the coffee maker, and it has been over a year now.

Welcome to Hubpages.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

What a great idea. I bought a new coffee maker last year, but if I had read this hub then, I might have just tried your idea of pouring the hot water through the old one. What irks me is a friend gave me an old coffee maker a few years before that, and it was during a time I was not drinking coffee. I got rid of that model which was really nice, but I suppose I should have kept it. However, I have an aversion to keeping too much stuff, so sometimes that comes back to haunt me later I guess. Necessity and invention are great in this case.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, SweetiePie. I kept going with that broken coffee maker for over two years, until it got really scuzzy. I just bought a new one on sale a month ago for $8.00. But if it breaks down, I will not rush out to replace it. I can use it when broken down, too.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

Well think of all the money you saved for two years, and the eight dollars is a good deal.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, SweetiePie. I think so, too.

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