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The buck with junk stops here. All stop. Do not pass go. The price is no longer right.

For many, many years, I was an average consumer.

I bought what was needed, when it was needed. The only requirement was price. As long as it lasted for a while, I was content to buy junk and buy it again when it broke.

In a world where everything was always breaking, items had less value.

Teachers Talk Money

Somewhere along the way, that changed.

I changed.

My perspective on buying has shifted gradually by articles read, lifestyle lived, and trash cans filled. It’s similar to how a trickle starts a stream that becomes the Colorado which creates a world recognizable hole.

One drop at a time. Or in this case, one less piece of junk at a time.

I had a chance to practice giving up on junk when the coffee maker broke.

Café Creations

I should have known it was going to die.

For months, after I poured water, added the tiny cup of grounds, and pressed play, the coffee maker would groan and pop with effort.

After the coffee maker popped like a car backfiring, boing water would spurt in different directions. I had to angle a wide-mouth cup to catch the wayward coffee.

It was like watching a broken coffee pot musical.

But it worked. I added water, grounds, and after a few minutes, it gave steaming coffee.  

A few days ago, after the morning brewed cacophony, I grabbed my prize. As I peered into my mug, I noticed it looked low. I checked the reservoir, and there was water waiting. I tinkering around with the on/off button, unplugging and replugging, but the maker refused to dump its contents.

It turned from a maker into a breaker.

I’m stubborn, so I tried fiddling with it another day before I gave up and called to see if electronic recycling would take the breaker. Even though their website listed laptops and phones, they agreed to take it.

The easy part was figured out. The hard part was deciding what route to take for coffee. With a 5 am wake-up, I needed to figure out how to level up my coffee routine. Quickly.

Lifetime Value

I hold onto things for a long time. It’s to the point where I have items longer than friendships, jobs, and mindsets.

Lately, I have been buying brands with lifetime warranties.

I have a few items with lifetime warranties that have already paid for their initial price, from tents to gaters to socks. There are a surprising number of companies who support the idea of their products lasting a human-sized forever and backing it up with a free replacement if the item falls short.

I keep a bookmark folder of companies when shopping for long-term products, but my favorites weren’t gurgling up any coffee makers.

Instead, I started looking on Amazon for research purposes. Plenty of options came up, but they didn’t align with the giving-up-on-junk saga.

There were plenty of options, too many. I felt overwhelmed. It helped when I started talking to Mr. BuLL, he is like a social version of Sheldon from Big Bang; all logic and extrovert. He rarely drinks liquid gold, but he has a knack for teasing out efficiency.  

Helpful when I am staring at 2 billion coffee makers.

After some discussion and out-loud thinking, I wanted something that had few, if any, mechanical parts and wanted something easy to clean, store, and move.

French press it is!

With the search results refined, I stumbled upon someone’s comments about Stanley’s lifetime warranty.

Yeah, we build products to last a lifetime. And we intend to spend that lifetime, and the one after that, doing right by our people, our planet, and, most of all, by you.


Hope brewed into reality to craft a cup of perfection.

I bought the expensive French press. At a discount, because that is how I buy quality on a Park Ranger budget. I found a Rakuten coupon for 20% off, which paid for half the shipping too.

Who needs coffee with so many wins? Just kidding, I choose you, coffee!

Coarse Adventures

Before the magical press arrived, I had to travel through the land before time coffee makers. It’s a sad place that I haven’t enjoyed, and hope to never see again.

As an avid hiker, I have instant coffee. These little packets are a delight in the morning when it’s 30 degrees, and I’m wearing everything I could stuff in a backpack. In those moments, I’ll drink anything hot. I delight in their presence in the backcountry, but in my house with creature comforts, the diluted drink is more instant than coffee.

After that unpleasant experience I switched to drinking coffee at work. Work coffee flows freely with the centenarian candidates, they prefer coffee over everything else. It’s fine as a temporary fix and tasted better than instant, but I missed relaxing with a coffee.

Work coffee is, well, work with some coffee. Plus, I was inching closer to my weekend.

The puzzle was how to drink coffee with a coffee breaker and avoiding instant.

Giving Up On Junk

That is how I ended up heating pumpkin cold brew coffee into hot cold brew coffee.

The coffee is tasty, but there is a process to heating cold brew, and which is more effort than desired at 5:30.

As I continue to reflect in a caffeinated way, I’m excited about what is to come in giving up on junk saga and a new French press. In a strange way, I feel lighter and better about a small choice.

If I can do that with coffee, what’s next?

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7 thoughts on “Giving Up on Junk

  1. You’re spot on, Carolyn! I am loving it! Its easy to clean, use, and the coffee tastes so much better. 🥳

  2. I read this post saying to myself ” Get a french press, get a french press”. I was so glad when I reached the end and saw that you did. I said there had to be a better way several years ago and haven’t looked back ( and also haven’t had to recycle any defunct coffee machines)

  3. French presses used to intimidated me too but they are easy to use (I swear!) and have a richer flavor. It is quite possibly, the best decision I have ever made about coffee.

  4. It. Is. Delish. Its more potent than drip coffee but in a delightful way.

  5. “That is how I ended up heating pumpkin cold brew coffee into hot cold brew coffee.” HAHAHA. I literally went “whatttt” when I read that.

    The way to optimize coffee consumption is a key personal finance detail to sort in each of our lives 🙂 Good luck with the French press! Those things intimidate me but I hear they are awesome.

  6. I heard the press makes the best coffee one could try.

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