Though I haven’t told him so outright, I generally consider Christian a hair smarter than me--a two foot in diameter hair. So when I get perplexed by the comings and goings of each day, I tend to turn to him for answers.Pat: Hey buddy--I know you don’t drink coffee, but I was hoping you could help me solve a conundrum.
Each morning, after I wake up, I go downstairs and make a nice pot of coffee. Not a full pot, mind you, as my spouse and I don’t need that much anxiety in our lives. Instead, I opt for ten of the twelve possible cups allowed by our pot.
Here’s the thing...
I put ten cups of water IN the machine, but by the time it comes out deliciously dark and murky, there are only eight cups available.
What the hell is happening to those two cups?
Christian: Don’t you coffee freaks make your coffee really hot. Is there steam involved? If so then you are probably steaming away those extra two cups. Either that or coffee elves are taking the cups while you aren’t looking. Science.
Pat: There is steam, but two cups worth? That seems like an awful lot of steam! Should I try to capture it and measure it?
And I appreciate the second theory, but the kids are pretty steadfast in their assertion that our house is inhabited only by us, cats and fairies. No elves. I think the kids would know.
Christian: Do you have a steam collector?
Steam collector. Every kitchen should have one.
If so then, yes, capture the steam the next time you boil coffee or however it you make it, and then take a ruler and measure the steam. I don’t know what the conversion from inches to cups is, but I’m sure your iPad can do that for you.
I’m really curious now to see what you find. Don’t worry...we’ll figure this out. Unless of course you don’t have a steam collector, in which case you’re screwed.
Pat: No. I don’t. At least, I don’t think so. Does my mouth count as a steam collector? ‘Cause one time I opened it up real wide and tried to catch as much steam in it as I could. But then I coughed and mildly choked, and I think I lost whatever steam I had captured in my mouth. Do they make more effective steam catching devices?
Christian: I don’t know. You’re the coffee drinker here not me.
OK, let’s pass on trying to measure the amount of steam. How about this: just don’t heat up the coffee and see how many cups you can drink. If you still end up with two less cups than what you started with then we can rule out my steam theory.
Give that a try and then report back.
Pat: This is embarrassing, because I consider myself pretty well-versed in the kitchen arts, but...I don’t know how to make coffee without heating it up. I tried it but just got a mouthful of gritty dark water. It wasn’t very good.
Were you just pulling a funny on me?
Christian: Of course not. Remember, I know nothing about coffee except for the fact that I hate how it tastes. Are you suggesting it doesn’t normally taste like gritty dark water? Because that sounds like an accurate description to me.
But back on to the task at hand: How many cups of the gritty dark water did you have? Were you missing any cups?
Pat: It’s the gritty part that caught me off guard. Hadn’t had that since I accidentally drank the last sip in Turkey, but at least THAT was hot grit.
I don’t know if I was missing any cups, because after you tricked me into drinking cold water with ground coffee in it I went into a Hulk-like rage and smashed my mug and the coffee pot.
Christian: OK, we probably need to take a step back then. You don’t have a steam collector and not heating up the coffee apparently had some negative side effects.
Maybe we need to figure out where in the process of making the coffee you are losing the two cups. Can you just half make the coffee? If you can do that then we can see if you have only lost one cup at that point. If so then we’ll know we’re losing the cups over the entire process as opposed to losing both cups right at the end or something. I think this is called the transitive property of cups.
Try that and let’s see what that tells us.
Pat: Okay, I’ll try it. But then what’s your suggestion or what I do to treat the headaches that ensues from drinking only half my normal intake of coffee?
This is just seeming too damn complicated! Maybe it’s better to just let the mysteries of evaporation and liquid disappearance be!
Christian: That’s fine with me I don’t really care what happened to those two cups. And since I can’t stand the taste of coffee I actually wouldn’t mind if by the time you were done making the coffee there weren’t any cups left.
We can just leave it as one of those mysteries that science just isn’t powerful enough yet to explain. Like how the universe started or how gravity works. Or why it’s so hard to get rid of styrofoam.
EDITORS NOTE: In last week’s PCPPP post, which can be found here, here, here, or here, we gave thanks to some fellow bloggers that had given us accolades and shoutouts. Unfortunately due to a clerical error which we are assuming occurred in our accounting or HR department (heads are going to roll!) we forgot to say thanks to MOV over at mothersofbrothersblog, who recently gave us a great shout out on her blog. Thanks MOV! And for those of you unfamiliar with mothersofbrothersblog, after doing a shame cry for 15 mins you should head on over and say howdy. It’s a hilarious blog where you will find amazing posts about baseball people’s ability to fix anything, fighting with the self-checkout machines at the grocery store, and giving us an awesome shout out.
Thanks again MOV and sorry you didn’t get mentioned last week. Seriously we are looking at firing 20 to 30 people from our staff because of this.