How much coffee to make for our annual Holiday Open House is always a great question and the answer is . . . . well, it is all over the place. We can have 140 RSVPs and only 90 attendees, or 115 arrive. Some years they drink a lot of coffee and some years they do not. Make 50 cups and throw out 40. Make 20 cups and need to make more. Have someone paid to just keep making pots of regular coffee and decaf and they are either totally bored or running around like crazy. Creamer. Buy a quart of half-and-half and it is empty in an hour. Buy a half gallon and it is still almost full. The same with flavored creamers. All a shot in the dark.
Then, in a flash of brilliance hubby came up with the perfect solution – use our new Keurig! Guests could make a cup of regular coffee or decaf as they desired and would choose from several brands. OK, I was concerned, but fear not! Hubby to the rescue. Our new Keurig has a large clear plastic tank to hold water and can make either an individual cup of 8, 10 or 12 ounces, or a pot of coffee. Maybe this could work.
I wrote out instructions on how to make an individual cup of coffee. Simple step-by-step instructions including how to add more water to the tank. Hubby rigged up a platform that held a 2 ½ gallon plastic water jug to make it easy to add water to the tank by just turning the spout. Instructions included how to put the coffee pod into the holder, pull down the lever and hit the power button. Then, hit only the 8 oz. button. Wait for coffee to stop dripping, open the lever and toss the pod into the trash and there is your steaming hot cup of coffee.
Simple, right? Bet me!
The first thing we discovered 20 minutes into the party was that many of our guests were not Keurig experienced and they also didn’t read the directions taped to the unit. The very simple 1, 2, 3 etc. directions. We also discovered that our 8-ounce coffee cups held precisely 8 ounces, as in 8 ounces of coffee came right to the very top of the cup. OK, go into the house, past a room filled with company, to find other cups. Luckily, we had another style. They seemed to hold just a tad more at 9 ounces, but it could work. Crisis 1 solved. Crisis 2 was related because some guests wanted a larger up of coffee and hit the 10 oz. or 12 oz. button, even though the directions said to hit the 8 oz. button. Remember, it is barely a 9 oz. cup. Lots of coffee spilling. Hubby got bright orange tape and taped over the buttons for 10 oz. and 12 oz.
Next, there was an issue with the creamer. I’d put out a bottle of Peppermint Mocha creamer. Some people must be addicted because it wasn’t long before someone put a lot of creamer into a cup BEFORE brewing the coffee which caused the cup to overflow and coffee to make a mess of which most went into a holding bin under the cup. Still it was sugary and messy and needed to be cleaned. Well one thing we did right was to set up all the beverages on the brick barbecue outside. Easy to wash down.
Now came the best! Below the power button was the button marked for a pot of coffee. Someone didn’t have their glasses on and hit that button. The Keurig thought we wanted to make a pot of coffee. This wouldn’t be too bad BUT because we had taken the unit outside and were not going to make pots of coffee we had removed the glass carafe. Instead of the unit pouring hot water out of the brew basket into the carafe, it was one of those that stops dripping if the carafe is not in place, so all the water stayed in the brew basket and when it filled up spilled back into the workings of the Keurig, causing it to sputter and turn off, followed by it blowing the circuit. We have no idea who did what, and with 60 plus guests enjoying food and beverage our only option was to smile and make it look like something that happened every day. No easy task but we think we pulled it off, and we kept laughing and hoped it all worked out.
And it did work out. We emptied the water in the unit, dried everything. Unplugged the Keurig, reset the breaker- plugged in the Keurig. It worked. Hubby then taped over the button with the coffee pot symbol.
Somehow making 50 cups and pouring out 40 no longer seemed like a bad idea.