A Lawyer's Best Friend

Let’s play an association game. I say a word or phrase, you fill in the blank. All right, here we go:

Legal tools.

How did you complete the association? When one thinks about legal tools, one might picture on-line databases, casebooks and reference materials, briefcases, PDAs or smartphones, laptops, software, social media and marketing sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, even file jackets, manilla folders, paper and pens.

Did anyone think about coffee? I do.

My apologies to anyone who gets their fix from another source, but lets face it – most lawyers regularly turn to some sort of aid to maintain sharp wits and copious workflow throughout the day and night. I did not start drinking coffee until my first full time legal job as an associate in a large multi-national firm serving London clients who reported to work seven hours earlier than I did. Let’s face it: the practice of law requires long hours at tasks that can be very “tiring” (I did NOT say “boring”).

So, where do you turn for your kick? In order to free up cash previously spent on designer shop coffee for other more pressing purchases, I have invested in a coffee maker. I use it all day when I work from home and program it to supply a piping hot cup on those brisk 5 a.m. mornings when I must travel into my office. Sure there are all sorts of fancy makers out there that can grind, brew, steam and froth, but I have found true love with a good ole’ 12-cup Hamilton Beach BrewStation Pro. Mine came from Target and looks like this:

Brewstation Select

The one shown above is from the Target website and is called the Select (they must have changed the name since my purchase). The features list includes:

• 1-hand dispensing coffeemaker means no pouring, no carafe and no spills
• 4 brew modes: normal, decaf, flavor +, and 1–4 cups
• Programmable clock timer with auto shutoff
• Gentle warmer heater with no hot plate to scorch coffee
• The thermal insulated tank and lack of hot plate means that your last cup tastes as fresh as your first

I have to say, it brews the best coffee that I have ever experienced from a home unit. I have been using it daily for almost a year and it steadfastly has provided outstanding coffee and service. I love being able to program it, dispense only what I need at each visit and keep the remainder warm and tasty until the next cup. I find it no more difficult to clean than my prior makers. It brews better coffee than my traditional Cuisinart carafe-style maker that cost me twice as much. It has a tall enough dispensing slot for my 18 and 20 ounce travel mugs. Target has 14 reviews for the unit that range from 1 to 5 stars. I have not experienced any of the difficulties the reviewers with poor ratings have noted.

Brewstation

The unit pictured above is the Brewstation Deluxe 12 cup. It is the closest model to mine on the Hamilton Beach website, but includes a gold filter.  My Pro from Target did not have the gold filter and I use basket style paper filters.

Reviews for the unit can also be found at epinions.com. While one reviewer sings the praises of the Select, the other complains that it broke after 1 1/2 years. I haven’t reached the 1 1/2 year mark yet, but I see no signs of failure. This is a good benchmark, since my four prior coffee makers did not even last a year.

So, please accept my opinion regarding the value of this fine coffee maker for what it is worth. While I am by no means a coffee snob, I know good cup when I whiff it. This unit provides a great cup at a great price. Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on that new Blackberry Storm or a shiny iPhone?  I thought so. Say “ahhhhhhhh.” Or should I say “javaaaaaaaaaaa.”

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