Restaurant Critic Attacked by Fancy Coffee Machine

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Fancy coffee machines make great gifts, because they have levers and nozzles. They are also deadly. New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni found this out the hard way when he traded in his trusty Mr. Coffee for something called a Chemex, which just sounds evil. A wild-eyed, possibly sleep-deprived Bruni explains what happened next:

I’ll say this for crusty old Mr. Coffee and his shinier, snazzier progeny, which I kept using long after any self-respecting epicure was supposed to: None of them ever spat scalding liquid into my eye.

The Chemex glass coffee maker did. It’s a one-piece carafe/cone combo, fetchingly shaped like an hourglass and fully vetted by the coffee cognoscenti, who assured me that it would ask for just a modicum of extra effort and answer that with coffee bliss. Into its upper half a multilayered paper filter is supposed to be tucked delicately, emphasis on the delicately. I did so hastily and clumsily, and then carried my clumsiness over to the arrangement of coffee grounds and pouring of hot water, and suddenly there were bubbles and a geyser and ... yowza! My right eye burned and shut tight, and a dark future as an abashed Cyclops stretched before me.

Unmentioned by Bruni: Starbucks Sumatra blend is made from people.

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