No Power… Must Grind Beans

hand grinding in the dark

Woke up this morning to no power. Which brings to mind the many items often taken for granted that use electricity. One of the key parts of starting a day would be the first cup of coffee. No power-no grinder-no coffee. I’m a coffee snob and only keep whole beans around the house. Why not? There is always a grinder right next to the sack o’ beans. Many things ran though my head including going without when a stroke of early morning brilliance decided upon the mortar and pestle. Worked out great, added stove-top heated water (gotta love gas stoves) to french press and I was in good shape.


Editorial Opinion by MadMatt

Cast into shadow by a power outage, he was left to fend for himself. All alone, what was jMan to do? A true resourceful coffee drinker will stop at nothing to have the morning java. Much like the apes in  2001 A Space Odyssey – The Dawn of Man begins with the simple use of a bone to crush. Stone tools again are important to man, especially jMan when the power is out… I joke here, but the sad state of our society is evident by jMan’s plight. It’s not funny to be withheld the caffeine. But what happened to all of the hand operated tools, simple things like the coffee grinder? I think back to my grandparents house, in which a coffee grinder was firmly attached to the wall for daily grinding of beans. I myself do not own a hand grinder, but I do remember what they are and how they were used. There have been way too many devices that have been replaced by electric versions.  Unfortunately electric devices are just too easy to access and frankly more effective and fun to use. The hand drill is a good example of this. I have several crank operated hand drills. They can be hard to use, and not that effective when drilling things like steel. An electric motor is an obvious upgrade to the drill as a tool. But what about a simple coffee grinder? Is grinding coffee that hard, or do you use that much of it? Sort of like the electric can opener. Kind of silly when you think about it, opening cans in an appliance, unless you have 500 cans to open. As this next generation grows up, the one that will only know the computer as a touch screen interface with always on internet, 4G phones and HD 3D TV, will they know where we have been and how far we have come? As homebrewers, we tend to be hands on people, who like to do things for the sake of doing them. I encourage you to pass this excitement for doing and making on to the next generation, especially doing and making the hard way or the old way. Maybe we need to take a step back in time on some things we do daily, to make the rest of our digital lives seem more real. I for one, will be looking for a hand crank coffee grinder. But if the power goes out at my place, I won’t be able to heat water anyway, so I will be cold steeping my morning coffee. \m/

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