The Ultimate Coffee Maker

I came across an old photograph while clearing out a storage locker. It was a Kodak image of my Dad’s favorite coffee pot, a percolator my brother and I called the “acid maker.” Dad photographed his percolator, one Christmas, with a new Brownie camera. Who would ever want an image of a percolator in a photo album? Dad did. I stuck the photo in my pocket and finished my work and went to look later at the machine fromĀ

I thought about the picture of Dad’s percolator all the way home. Actually, it made pretty good tasting coffee, as long as you didn’t let it percolate too long. Looking at the photo later, with nobody around, I remembered mornings my Dad woke the entire household yelling “Coffee’s ready!” The aroma had snapped us all awake long before his call.

The image of Dad’s percolator stayed in my mind. I couldn’t shake it. I stopped at a department store after work one day, out of sheer curiosity, to see if they happened to have a percolator in stock. They had cappuccino makers, electric coffer centers, several drip-type machines, espresso machines, and an electric percolator. I wanted a percolator that worked on a stove top. The sales clerk said she had never heard of such a thing.

Now I really wanted to find one. I decided that if I could find one like Dads — I’d buy it in an instant. I went to two shopping malls, two home centers and three more department stores. No luck. I even showed them the photo of dad’s percolator. I began to drive toward home; it was getting late and I was becoming disenchanted.

I drove past trash cans in front of a vacant house. They were stacked to overflowing with remnants of an earlier family’s existence. A black and white box sat atop one of the cans of detritus. I slammed on my brakes and pulled over. It was a box for a percolator like the one in dad’s photo! I pulled the picture out of my wallet and my heart leapt. What are the chances? I got out of the car, walked to the box and lifted it. It wasn’t light; I figured that someone probably had used the box for storing trinkets or junk. It contained an exact duplicate of dad’s percolator – unused and just like new! I ran to the door of the vacant house and banged as hard as I could. Nobody was home. I looked through the windows and saw that the house was empty. I walked back to the car, debating what to do, when I saw the home-made sign taped to the front of one of the trash bins. “Free Stuff – Help Yourself.”
I had a second cup of delicious coffee after dinner that evening. Made in a percolator just like the one in Dad’s photo — now prominently displayed on the first page of his old album.

Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro Vs Juiceman II

I’ve bought quite a few juice extractors in the past. The first few that I owned were purchased at various department stores and, as I discovered, were clearly substandard in quality. Brands such as Oster, Hamilton Beach, etc., were just not up to the task of producing quality juice without major problems arising in the process. The main drawback to these inexpensive juicers is in the weakness of the motors. Almost without exception, the motors bog down (sometimes to a standstill) before the produce is completely fed through the feed chute. In addition, the produce has to be trimmed down extensively in order to fit into the chute. Finally, cleanup is invariably arduous and time consuming.
I began to realize that if I wanted a “real” juicer that could stand up to the task of producing fresh, quality juice without a lot of hassle, I would have to spend more money than I had previously been willing to spend. So I purchased a Juiceman II through mail order. At a little over one hundred dollars, this juicer was well over twice the price of the juicers I had bought in the past, but it was well worth it. The motor in this juicer didn’t bog down at all and clean up was fairly brief as well (between five and ten minutes).

There were three things I didn’t like about this juicer, however. First of all, it was somewhat loud. Although it wasn’t as loud as a typical vacuum cleaner, it did seem to be a bit louder than necessary with respect to what it was designed to do. Secondly, the feed chute was rather small. A large apple, for example, had to be cut at least in quarters and sometimes eighths in order to fit into the chute, so there was a lot of prep time involved. Finally, a plastic tab located on the side of the top housing broke off after a few months of use. This piece is necessary to latch the housing into place prior to juicing. I ended up having to use a strip of Velcro to fasten it down so that I could continue to use the juicer. After using it in this condition for a few months, I decided to purchase the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer Pro.

I watched the infomercial on this product and, admittedly, I was intrigued but at one hundred fifty dollars for this stainless version of the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer, I was somewhat apprehensive about purchasing. I did like the large feed chute and the “whisper” quiet motor however, so I decided to take a chance and buy one for myself. I’ve owned it for almost a year and I would have to consider myself a “satisfied customer”. The motor in this juicer is just as powerful as that in the Juiceman II but, as advertised, much quieter (you can hardly hear it running). The pulp comes out fairly dry which is an indication of a relatively high juice yield, and because the feed chute is so large, there’s very little prep time involved. Clean up time is about the same as for the Juiceman II. About the only “complaint” I might have is that when feeding carrots into this machine, they tend to rattle around a bit before settling into position to be run down through the extractor. However, if you let them go where they will with just a bit of pressure on the pusher, they usually feed through just fine.

Based on my experience with a number of juice extractors, I would recommend this machine to anyone interested in juicing. Just keep in mind that cleanup should be done right away, as with any juicer, and that the juice is best consumed shortly after extraction due to the oxidation induced nutrient breakdown characteristic of centrifugal force extractors.