On Tuesday last I grabbed my mask
And drove to the café.
My Chemex needed filters now—
I couldn’t risk delay.
I asked the fair barista, “Sir,
Have you the stock I seek?”
“Alas,” said he, “our shelves are bare,
And will be for a week.”
“Stay calm” thought I, “be still, my soul—
No need for panic yet.
This town has coffee shops galore;
One more, and I’ll be set.”
But soon I learned the sad, sad news:
A shortage ‘cross the land.
Not even pow’rful Amazon
Could lend me its prime hand.
I scrolled and searched and scrolled again;
My hopes began to fade.
But then at last I found my prey,
Logged in as “Guest,” and paid.
But still I had four business days
To wait while they were shipped.
How to get my bean juice fix?
Of comfort I’d been stripped.
I could go broke and buy a cup
Of local joe each morn,
Or I could switch to tea a while
And, caffeinated, mourn.
But then a dawning of relief!
Unbid, an answer came:
A gift from a dear loyal friend:
An “AeroPress,” the name.
So Wednesday morn I took it out,
Stared strangely at this beast;
Not a vessel, a gadget ‘twas—
Too many parts, at least.
But thankfully I knew a fount
Of knowledge ready made:
To YouTube did I turn my trust,
And YouTube gave me aid.
The first batch lacked a certain spice;
The second was too weak.
The third, to overcompensate,
Of burnèd toast did reek.
But I pressed on—most lit’rally—
And brewed and brewed and brewed.
Soon I was drinking liquid gold,
Or leastwise nothing crude.
At this point in my happy tale
I pause to share some tips.
Should AeroPresses fall your way,
Here’s how to keep your grips:
The stirring seems superfluous,
But skip it at your peril.
An unstirred cup will taste too blah,
Like whiskey sans the barrel.
My second warning’s on the grind:
It must be very fine.
If using a Baratza burr,
Don’t set it high’r than nine.
But most importantly—take heed!—
If you’re brave and like control,
You’ll want the brewer upside down
To keep the slurry whole.
And this is where disaster lurks:
Without a careful seal,
When you invert the AeroPress
There’ll be grounds up to your heels.
What is the moral of my song?
Why care you what I drink?
Perhaps you don’t, but even so,
Here’s what it’s made me think:
Don’t let an old attachment,
Beloved though it be,
Prevent you from exploring all
The other ways to see.
For now my coffee making’s split,
My mornings torn in two.
I love my dear old Chemex, yes,
But AeroPress will do.
Josh Parks graduated from Calvin in 2018 with a BA in English literature and violin performance, and he completed an MA program in medieval studies at Western Michigan University in 2020. He is currently a student at Princeton Theological Seminary, which means his plans to be in school forever are working out well. When not writing, he can be found playing violin, drinking coffee, making excruciating puns, and trying to learn Old French.