Monday, July 17, 2017

A Good Cup of Coffee

The Coffeepot that Time Forgot

This blog is ostensibly reserved for art-related subjects, which of late have been few and far between, but what’s more important than a good cup of coffee or two in the morning to get the motor running so you can create anther masterpiece on canvas in your home studio. 

There’s not much to the routine.  You boil the water, feed the cat, make the coffee, have that important first cup, then a bowl of cereal, then another cup of coffee, visit with your Internet friends, take the paint out of the freezer section of the refrigerator, exit kitchen, walk through the living room to the lavatory, then clean the cat’s litter box, then stride resolutely forward due west around 8:30 a.m. to what has been your land of hope and glory for the past 35 years, a cluttered 12x20 ft. home studio with two average-size windows looking west/northwest over Broadway on the eighth floor of an old apartment building on Manhattan’s fashionable Upper West Side. 

And when you get really old, as have I, that cup of coffee is far more important than painting another masterpiece that the art market has no interest in, primarily because you allowed yourself to get old without acquiring any predilection for self-promotion.

So you can imagine my distress when the coffee maker I have been using daily for some 25 years or more suffered an accident due to my carelessness.  

This coffee maker is, without any doubt whatsoever, the best coffee maker ever made. While I know this for certain, it is curious that the Internet is awash with pictures of current and vintage models of manual and automatic coffee makers of every conceivable configuration, but there is no image of this coffee maker other than the one posted above by yours truly.

I confess to being very surprised by the absence of images of this fine coffee maker.  All the minor variations of mediocre coffee makers are pictured multiple times, if you are so bereft of meaningful things to occupy your time that you bother to look for them in the first place.

One possible reason that there are no other images of this coffee maker on the Internet is that it is so simple and perfect in its conception that it was completely sold out and everyone who purchased this model has been using it every day like me and wouldn’t dream of parting with it on eBay or Craigslist.  I also think the manufacturer would rather not remind the public that it had once created the perfect coffee maker – planned obsolescence, in my humble opinion.
Now in all fairness, there may have been something like a product recall that I’m unaware of that has caused this particular model of coffee maker to vanish off the face of the earth.  I suppose that’s possible, but as I’ve indicated, I have been in love with it since I first purchased it when it was introduced and it has caused me no problems whatsoever.  Well, the filter holder did come with a thin piece of flexible metal held by a plastic hinge installed at the base that was designed to slow the flow of coffee through the opening, but it eventually broke off and I didn't miss it at all.  Was that enough of a problem to discontinue the model?

There’s really nothing simpler than this elegant coffeemaker.  Pour hot water over the coffee in a filter and a minute or two later you’ve got four to six cups of hot coffee in a thermos.  Screw on the flat plastic lid for a vacuum seal and the coffee stays at perfect drinking temperature for the balance of the morning.  Clean-up is exceedingly easy -- just give the filter holder and glass lining a quick rinse and you are set for tomorrow.  And this model looks so much better than most other coffee makers when sitting on the counter.

But a couple of months ago I set the plastic lid down too close to the gas burner and the plastic melted, rendering the lid useless.  I sent a couple of emails to Melita, the manufacturer, asking if they had replacement parts for this model, or perhaps another one gathering dust in a warehouse somewhere, but got no reply whatsoever.

I’m still using my coffee maker, but with no lid to seal the thermos, I have to heat up additional cups of coffee in the microwave as the morning rolls along.  Oh, the ignominy.  It’s just another irritating life-changing event in the annals of an old starving artist as he muddles through with his Internet alliances – original paintings for sale at and prints and other reproduction art available at  But please don’t tell anybody; otherwise I would be accused of self-promoting!